Is dismissing a teacher accused of sexual harassment enough punishment?
A college in Ahmedabad recently transferred out a lecturer because he had been accused of sexual harassing a student, while a school in Gandhinagar dismissed a teacher on similar charges.
So just the act of accusation is enough to get someone dismissed? What happens if he is found guilty?
Most of the times sexual harassment tendencies occur because of some mental depression or going through sexual harassment themselves. Such people should be investigated while being suspended from duties. And the root of this cause should be found out.
I have been a Police Officer and a School Principal.
As a police officer I saw the devestation that the accusation alone could cause. So point one is there should be a full, frank and fair investigation. Being registered as a sexual offender will do two things, one is to keep the offender away from the obvious areas of reoffending (like any job to do with children). The second is that, if the behaviour was predatory (not just situational) it will simply go deeper underground.
As a Principal, I want any one in my employ away from the school, permanently, and not in any situation that will allow reoffending.
On balance, dismissal is not enough. At root, any sexual harassment is about power. Misuse of power is not a 'mistake' it is a choice. Remove the offender from the opportunity to reoffend, unless he/she is willing to undergo significant therapy.
The trust is gone.
Thanks MickS, ChrisLincoln and KewlWriter for your inputs to answer above questions.
"Sexual harassment" covers a lot of ground, from a single insensitive remark to actual stalking and intimidation. I don't think that all cases should be treated the same, therefore.
For more serious cases, the teacher should have their professional credentials revoked, ending their career altogether. Perhaps, at the 'mild' end of the spectrum, counselling and/or reprimand would be more appropriate than actual dismissal.
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