An Open Letter to THAT Teacher…

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Dear “THAT” Teacher,

My daughter came home from school the other day to tell me that you were in pretty big trouble.  As she unfolded the rumor spreading like wild fire from the school, I shook my head but hardly in disbelief.  Why?  Because, your story is becoming all too common.  You are one of the many reasons why my homeschooling friends do not trust the public school system.  You are the evidence that even a “uniform school’s dress code” won’t keep our children from being objectified.  You are the reason my daughter is worried about her grades right now (13 days before the end of the school year) because instead of doing your job, you were busy entertaining a relationship with one of your students.

Every day, I send my children to school for an education.  I pay for the articles of clothing that fit into a particular dress code, in order to ensure our children are modest and not drawing attention to themselves in a way that is distracting.  I entrust my daughters into the hands of trained educators who are more than aware of the ramifications of having any inappropriate relationships with their students.  I entrust my children into the hands of educators who are supposed to protect them.  And, I do not blame any of the teachers who actually did their jobs as described.  In fact, I applaud the teacher who called you a pervert… among other choice phrases.  It served as a reminder that not all teachers are bad, and that there are simply sick people who take advantage of situations that give them access to our children.

I don’t care that the student was graduating this year, and technically a legal adult. She was your student, and that makes this far from okay.  I don’t care that you claim to be “in love” because this was your student and “in like” should have never happened in the first place.  I don’t care that you claim it was “consensual” and she backs up your claim, because she was a student and you should have known better.  In fact, you did know better. You knew the consequences for your behavior.  You knew the consequences that would fall upon her if your relationship was discovered.  You should have been an adult and never allowed it to happen in the first place.

Now, this poor girl can’t graduate as they investigate the grades she received in your class.

Now, this poor girl walks the halls of the school knowing everyone is talking about her, as rumors have spread quickly.  Trying to avoid making eye contact with other students as she walks by and hears their whispers “Isn’t that the girl….”

Now, this poor girl who is “in love” with you is carrying guilt that she has messed up your life.   Do you even understand how WRONG that is, that she is going to carry guilt because you couldn’t do the right thing?

Now, this poor girl will be thrust into a spot light she never intended for herself.

Should she have known better?  Sure.  But she is a child, and children make childish decisions.  Which is why we count on the adults to fill that gap, and make adult decisions.  You put her future and your own on the chopping block and you can’t fix that mistake.  You took something from her, she will never gain back.  You made secret promises to her, you will not be able to fulfill.

Now, you will pay your consequences… starting with your job.   And, who knows how much more will come as the investigation continues.  Leaving many of your students scrambling to make up for your mistake so they can still graduate or pass their grade level.  Forever, when someone googles your name… you will be THAT teacher.

That teacher, who crossed the line.

That teacher, who lacked self control.

That teacher, who took advantage of a student.

That teacher, who smudges the name of the public school teachers who ARE amazing people that positively impact students every day.  But those teachers won’t make the news, because it’s your face that is going to be smeared across the news and social media.  People will talk about my daughter’s school and say “Isn’t that the school where the teacher had a sexual relationship with one of his students”. 

This is your legacy as a teacher… to be THAT Teacher.

Yes, as parents we are furious.  Yes, you should be ashamed.  And, yes… I’m not quite ready to talk about forgiveness yet.  Why?  Because I’m too busy having to talk about this subject with my middle schooler, since what you did is public knowledge … and she now has questions.

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