Monday, October 06, 2008

New Poll: Sex with pupils - good idea / bad idea?

Thanks to everyone who voted in the What do you think of the US bailout plan? poll. Here are the results.

Good idea - it's a necessary measure
Only if funded by a tax on the very rich - otherwise no dice
There's no need for it - things aren't that bad
Absolutely not - it will make things worse
Don't know, could be the right thing
Don't know, but it feels wrong

Initially no one was voting for either of the don't know options - which I thought was odd for such a tricky subject, but we had a few people wade in at the last minute which I think helps balance the whole thing out a little.

We have a new poll as of now which is;

If a teacher has sexual contact with a sixth form pupil it is a sexual offense.

This time I'm giving you just two options, yes or no.

For those of you watching the news you'll know this is because the NASUWT general secretary, Chris Keates, has told her union conference that teachers who have affairs with their charges who are over the age of consent should only be subject to professional sanctions rather than, as it presently stands, be prosecuted and placed on the sex offenders register. Controversial stuff perhaps.

Personally I'm ambivalent and would appreciate any guidance on this. It seems to me that the sex offenders register is a sledgehammer to crack a nut sometimes. When you have a teacher who kissed a 17 year old placed on the same register as Gary Glitter it does make you wonder how useful the list is, no matter how creepy that teacher might be.

Keates told the conference;

"Clearly there have to be appropriate disciplinary sanctions in the school where a teacher works to make sure that inappropriate relationships don't develop.

"But it does seem a step too far, when there has been a consensual relationship, to put that person on the sex offenders register when, in fact, they could have a perfectly legitimate relationship with an 18-year-old at another school."

To be clear then we're not talking about non-consensual acts, or with kids under sixteen, but specifically about sexual relations between teachers and charges over the age of consent. Clearly they have a duty of trust and responsibility over young adults, but does the law as it stands create a double standard for teachers, as Keane claims.


FW said...

I read
"New Poll: Sex with pupils - good idea / bad idea?"
Inadvertetly skipped over the next line, and saw the result
"Only if funded by a tax on the very rich - otherwise no dice 39%"

Perhaps the new poll would benefit from more options, especially, as you note, illegality is one thing, classification as a sex offence is another?

Out of interest, are there parallels in any other profession for this? Doctors/Patients?

Jim Jepps said...

I don't believe there are.

You could be struck off as a GP - which is a very serious thing to happen but is not a criminal conviction and does not place you on the sex offenders register.

I think Keane's argument is that there should be a separation of that kind of professional regulation and the law.

By only having yes or no I thought I'd try to avoid muddying the waters with whether people thought this sort of thing was harmless/inappropriate... but then again we like muddy waters!

Barkingside 21 said...

Thought you'd be interested in this.

"Sack the managers, let the shareholders fall, but protect the customers, was Bloomberg's view."

Cadiz said...

Brit teachers are notorious, the British have invoked WWII Anglo/US intel agreements so State & Justice have to keep quiet about it.

LIST 99 came into being ( 1920s) when the empire's dominions had enough of sex maniac exports. Before the FBI came along, it all went under the carpet.

Brit teachers run a lot of the major CP networks, they have a safe haven in Britain to get away with it. The FBI have to wait until a US citizen is victimized before they can sort out the needful.

So foster parents, care-workers in chldren's homes, they all get a free pass if the NASUWT perverts strike lucky which is quite possible.