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;
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.
"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."