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» Got Questions? Get Answers. » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » Inappropriate comments from teacher

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Author Topic: Inappropriate comments from teacher
Lauren057
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So, a couple of days ago, my class went on a field trip to a local market. A good friend of mine (who is male) happened to be there, and I gave him a hug, and we spent some time talking and hanging out, since we had not seen each other in many months.
Today, I was away sick from school, and have heard from numerous students that my teacher (who is also male) was saying some things about me behind my back, apparently in a 'joking' way because I was laughing and sitting beside and enjoying the company of this male friend. My teacher knows me well, as he has taught me many times, and I have always thought we have a very close and healthy student-teacher relationship. My teacher also knows I am in a monogamous relationship with my boyfriend, who he has also met. I have heard from a few friends that I trust that he 'jokingly' used the word 'hussy' while he was 'jokingly' making fun of me. I would like to talk to him about this, because I don't give a flying f*ck if he was joking, as someone I thought I trusted, and especially as my teacher, making that type of comments is NOT OK WITH ME. I realize that he may very well have been kidding around, and I'm not on a vendetta to get him fired, or anything ridiculous like that. However, I do feel it is reasonable of me to want to talk to him privately and let him know that I feel insulted, and hurt, and confused, and filthy and just mad that he would say that about me, in front of my whole class, while I am not there. Help?!

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Lauren :)

Posts: 24 | From: Canada | Registered: Oct 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Sans
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I definitely agree that your feelings are more than justified regarding this situation. His comment, whether it be in a joking manner or not, is not okay. And having a one-on-one conversation with him on this sounds like a very reasonable and sensible course of action to take.

If he dismisses your concerns, you can certainly take this case up with the administration, guidance counsellors, etc., whomever in your school who either has a position of authority over him or is responsible for dealing with student appeals.

This kind of behaviour is inexcusable, especially for a teacher, as you mentioned. No matter how well he knows you, he has no right to make such derogatory comments, jokingly or not. Everyone deserves to be respected no matter what sort of life decisions they make for themselves and the relationships they choose to have. In your case, you're just having a good time with a friend. It's completely none of his business.

I think that it's wonderful that you're standing up for yourself here instead of letting it slide. [Smile]

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"Sneak away, sneak away / If the fate is too sad / You are not a flower of hell / That kind of place... / Don't become lost, don't become lost... / Or you won't be able to grasp the entangled hand / The cry also has a limit...." - Naraku no Hana

Posts: 537 | From: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Lauren057
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Thank you. Your post makes me feel very good about myself, which is always nice haha. I live in a rural area in Canada, where sometimes, things are not as professional as they could be. I do not mean this in a bad way, just in a way that because the community is small and close knit, often you know your teachers outside of school. Sometimes you are related, sometimes they are family friends, sometimes you have mutual friends, but often, there is another connection. I have worked with this teacher in other out of school projects. I am a very good student, and we are both very passionate about the program that we are both involved in. Usually, we have a very close student-teacher relationship. This is why I am feeling something that feels just a little like betrayal. I don't feel like I fully understand what has happened here, or why it happened. I hate when stuff like this happens.

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Lauren :)

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Sans
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Your welcome, I'm glad to have been of help. [Smile]
You deserve to feel good about yourself. I think that the way you're planning to handle this matter is very commendable and mature.

It's totally understandable, given the fact that both of you are passionate about the program and your close student-teacher relationship, why you would feel betrayed. It's only natural to expect that the people we trust and respect would respect us in turn, stand up for us, and not insult us, especially behind our backs and in front of peers.

I agree that your teacher's actions has put his character in a very questionable light. I personally don't think that, given what you have told me, what he has done is excusable even if he explains himself. But it is definitely a good idea to talk to and to confront him about this, even if you don't get the response/explanation/apology that you deserve. In that case, you can appeal to the administration, as I stated earlier.

I'm heading off for the night, but I will definitely check back with you tomorrow. I'd love to hear how you're doing with all this, or if you just want to talk about how things have turned out. [Smile]

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"Sneak away, sneak away / If the fate is too sad / You are not a flower of hell / That kind of place... / Don't become lost, don't become lost... / Or you won't be able to grasp the entangled hand / The cry also has a limit...." - Naraku no Hana

Posts: 537 | From: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Lauren057
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Well, today I talked to him about it. Well, mostly cried actually (idk if it a symptom of being on the pill, but I swear it is, because the waterworks start up way more often than they did when I wasn't on the pill - lol) Anyways, his initial response was 'if you were here, you would have thought it was funny' to which I replied 'probably not - try again' and walked out. He did later apologize in front on the same class, which was nice, but the moral of his apology was that he was kidding, and we should know that he doesn't really mean to malicious etc. Basically, he kind of missed the point, because I wasn't ever thinking that he actually had been serious, but just the FACT that he said it. He just can't be saying sh*t like that, period. Him saying that made it ok for other students to say that, which some of them did. So, today was a pretty crappy day at school. He also said he hoped I would forgive him, which I'm sure I will. I also told him that I know he was 'just kidding', and I know he 'didn't mean any harm' but I don't think he can be my favorite teacher anymore, because I can't talk to him without feeling ashamed and upset, and I can't sit down in my desk without feeling like I want to get up and leave as fast as I can. I also do not like feel like I can ever trust him as a teacher again, and I thought it was important that he know that. So, I guess the best ending possible, but kind of a generally crappy series of events.

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Lauren :)

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Sans
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I do agree that he completely missed the point, and that jokingly or not, he has no right to say what he said. It really concerns me, though, that he didn't seem to have taken your feelings into consideration at all, especially given the closeness of your relationship.

At this point, whether or not you want to confront him again regarding the issue is up to you. But I am concerned that you can't talk to him without feeling ashamed and upset, or sit in your desk without feeling like you want to get up and leave as fast as you can. That is not a great situation to be put in, and it's not your fault at all for feeling the way you do. Since, presumably, you attend his classes on a regular basis, you have to interact with him quite often, am I right? If so, I think that it's best to talk with him again, clarify your feelings, and make sure that he absolutely understands everything that you have said. You do not deserve to feel this way because of his inconsideration. HE needs to know that his behaviour is inexcusable.

Your teacher also needs to know that his apology completely missed the point, since he obviously doesn't seem to understand the impact that his actions have had on you. I think it's important to let him know, bluntly, what you have told me here; that, jokingly or not, comments like the ones he made are completely not okay. The fact that his dismissal of your feelings in front of your whole class is causing your classmates to taunt you as well is also very disruptive to your well-being.

It's understandable that you might not want to talk to him at this point, but I believe that he needs to know how all of this is affecting you and to properly acknowledge his mistake. Otherwise, as you mentioned above, you would have a very diffcult time around him and in his classes.

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"Sneak away, sneak away / If the fate is too sad / You are not a flower of hell / That kind of place... / Don't become lost, don't become lost... / Or you won't be able to grasp the entangled hand / The cry also has a limit...." - Naraku no Hana

Posts: 537 | From: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Lauren057
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To be honest, I believe he does think he apologised what I was upset for. I'm not sure he 'gets' the whole 'principle' of it. I know he is not malicious, and I kind of just want to move on from this point. That may be not the 'right' thing to do, but it's what I feel like is right for me at this point.

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Lauren :)

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Sans
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Then go ahead and do whatever is right for you. I don't believe that there's a difference necessarily between what is "right" at this point, and what is right for you. [Smile]

Just as long as you're feeling okay at school and around him.

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"Sneak away, sneak away / If the fate is too sad / You are not a flower of hell / That kind of place... / Don't become lost, don't become lost... / Or you won't be able to grasp the entangled hand / The cry also has a limit...." - Naraku no Hana

Posts: 537 | From: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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