Predators come in both genders. We cannot vilify one and sugarcoat the other.
I was invited on a radio program recently to discuss what seemed to be a growing trend of educators who court and sleep with their students.
One only has to read the news to see the most recent story of a 35 year-old teacher who was caught in the midst of a long affair with her student, who was sixteen years of age. As a result of the growing misconduct, laws (at least in Pennsylvania) have become more strident. For example, every three years, educators and volunteers must submit to criminal, FBI, and child abuse clearances.
This has created some angst among those who since being hired with a clean bill have filled their record with incidents of indiscretion. And depending on the infraction, it could cost these educators their jobs.
Aside from that, some districts have educators sign an agreement during the hiring process stating that they must self-report any infractions with the law, or face serious disciplinary actions, up to and including termination.
While the newest version of the law will help weed out the unsavory in education, my other concern are for the parents who, without much thought, drop their kids off at friends homes and drive away.
Even worse, most parents worry if there is a man in the house, while no one considers that the mother – or female guardian – could be the one baiting your child into unfamiliar territory, which leads to molestation. Female predators are alive and well, so I recommend parents take the same precautions with a woman as they would with man.
No teacher should be allowed to have your child in their home, every evening, for hours at a time.
Some mothers label their homes the “neighborhood hangout.” Be mindful about what happens in these spaces and monitor how much time your child spends there. If an adult is constantly calling to have your children spend the weekend with them that should be a red flag, too. It’s nice to get a break from your children, but never at the expense of their well being.
And for goodness sake, teach your children that if something doesn’t feel right, to call you and go home. Teach them what an unfamiliar or a too familiar touch is. Have them practice caution without being overly sensitive. Teach them to speak up if they see their friends being caught in similar circumstances without fear of getting in trouble.
The “boogey man” can have a beautiful smile, wear lipstick, be disarming with all the right words and dress well. In short, predators come in both genders. We cannot vilify one and sugarcoat the other. Molestation is life altering, no matter who does it, so safeguard your children by having consistent conversations around this issue.
Thanks for reading the thoughtful musings of a DIVA!™