Teachers Need to Keep Their Hands Off Teenage Students


friskingAdolescents of America, rejoice! For today is one when you should be glad that you are not living out your teenage lives in merry old England. Because one hop over the pond, and you could be subject to a brand new education initiative that gives teachers the right to touch you all over your body.

I'd like to think that the move to give English teachers TSA-like powers would bother me less if -- here in the States -- we weren't in the middle of a disturbing sex abuse scandal involving adolescent boys at Penn State. But I'm betting that even if Jerry Sandusky weren't out on TV talking about the joys of showering with little boys, I'd be raising holy hellfire over the idea of a teacher putting his or her hands on my daughter.

The Education Act in England would make it legal for teachers to frisk students' bodies -- rather than a simple locker or bookbag search -- to search for electronic gadgets, weapons, drugs, etc. The latter two might make this move sound like it's for the greater good, so to speak, but it troubles me to think that kids' bodies are in essence being treated like public property.

It's called personal space. Teenagers deserve it too. Even if they bring iPods and cellphones into a classroom. Even if they crack their gum and uses their saliva to craft spitwads.

Being touched by someone else -- especially when you're in the hormonal teen years -- can be extremely uncomfortable. Now imagine that person is your teacher, who is already in a position of authority over you and as such can threaten you with some serious punishment if you complain about exactly where they put their hands: "Don't like that I touched your breast? I'll give you an F."

Having a position of authority over someone makes touching inappropriate. Period. Even the good stuff can be too easily misconstrued. There's a reason one friend, a high school teacher, says she will not let her students hug her. She doesn't want to be put in a position where anything can be questioned or misunderstood. She's protecting the kids as much as she's protecting her job.

How would you react if a teacher frisked your child?


Image via sass_face/Flickr

puberty, school, issues


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nonmember avatar blh

I would not allow a teacher to frisk my child. And I really wouldn't care what the law said. I can see some kid getting pissed and punching the teacher or something too.

hazel... hazelnut93

I'm all for it if it protects children from being harmed by weapons brought into the school by other students!

P2The... P2TheDoodle

Right. Because you know, the fourth amendment shouldn't apply to teenagers as well. I love how these kinds of things happen and we think we're being safer. I realize this is in England, but honestly, it might as well be here with all of the rights that we freely give up every day under the guise of "safety". 

Behav... BehaviorExpert

This is um... well... very questionable at best. It's kind of like the New Jersey driving law that requires teens with a provisional license to put a red sticker on their license plate. Hmmm..... I don't think this is going to save kids lives by having them pulled over and fined if they're out past curfew. I think they are going to get kidnapped/robbed/raped because they are young and for the most part defenseless. Yes, pedophile teachers now have a right to feel teens up and down, not okay 

Sidthe Sidthe

BeahviorExpert what do they expect the red tag will do besides what you listed and what if it's a shared car? My first car I had to share with my mother until they got her a new car. What are the red tags meant as a warning to all other drivers "get away as fast as you can new driver?"

And my dad would be damned if a teacher did a full body frisk of me no matter what they thought especially if I didn't have the suspected phone/drugs/weapons whatevs. Wouldn't matter if it was law or not!!

EvaSa... EvaSamuel

This headline is incendiary at best.  It implies that teachers WANT to put their hands all over teenage students.  Teachers want to educate and inspire their students, not pursue them in a sexual manner.  There are millions of teachers in this country that are not molesting their students and are instead providing them with a meaningful and engaging education.  Please do not lump all teachers together with teachers who behave inappropriately with students, it's unfair and mean.

nonmember avatar anon

I work in a little bit different of a situation where this is acceptable for safety reasons and maybe can offer a bit of a different spin on it...I work in a rougher area with kids who have been suspended or expelled from their regular schools (usually for drugs, gangs, or weapons/violence). they must walk through metal detectors daily and search them regularly throughout the day. that is because we regularly recover things like knives, guns, drugs, etc. i know it sounds like an extreme circumstance...but all these kids CAME FROM public schools because of similar violations. These items are coming in to schools daily and, though you may not hear about every single case, being used DAILY in schools. Honestly, where I live this would be a wonderful and necessary thing if we could do it in the public schools and might prevent a lot of kids from needing to come to my room.

sammy... sammyk1976

I'd break the teachers fingers.


tinks... tinkshort

Thats what campus police and administrators are for, the teachers can keep their hands off my kid.

nonmember avatar Sam Curitiba

Sixteen years ago, when I was teaching in a Minnesota middle school, a new eighth grader brought a loaded gun to school and had it in his baggy pants pocket, safety off. The night before, he had thrown a handful of gravel at my classroom window that I thought was gunfire, and when the police came to the school, they discovered my car tires had been slashed and the oil drained. I had no idea we had "issues" as he had been in my class only three days, but he bragged to another student about how funny it was to watch my fear from outside, where he was hidden in the dark. The other student told the principal, the boy was hauled in, and he was frisked. After his expulsion, the principal told the staff he had been expelled from the entire Florida public school system for holding a knife to a teacher's throat. . . If circumstances warrant, I am ALL IN FAVOR of student frisking. Had your child been shot in the crowded school hallways, where MS students are always goofing around and pushing and shoving, you might not see this so B&W.

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