Instructor-Student Relationships

What would happen if I saw naked pictures of my classmates and my instructor posted on the internet  Then I would never be able to go to class again without thinking about my indecent professor.  And if the local media broadcasted it, then I would never be able to mention the name of my university without anyone snickering about my pornographic school.  While it may be great for the press, it would be terrible for me.  Therefore, the university should develop a formal policy that explicitly addresses romantic and sexual relationships between faculty members and students because an instructor is a role model, a professor has to be mentally fit to teach, a teacher has to be fair to everyone, an instructor needs to be sensitive to the religious and gender philosophies of others, a professor must be mindful of the schools reputation and the school or teacher potentially faces lawsuits.  The policy should explicitly state that all instructor-student sexual relationships are strictly prohibited.   Anyone found violating this policy will be investigated and given a chance to a fair hearing.  However, he or she will undergo disciplinary measures, up to or including termination, if he or she is found guilty.   The policy will also require all instructors to voluntarily disclose any existing sexual relationships between them and any student.  They will have to either terminate their relationship with the student or resign as faculty from the university.  The policy will also reward anyone who reports an existing instructor-student sexual relationship which was not voluntarily disclosed.

First, the teacher must act like a god.  If he acts like a deity, then students are more likely to believe and follow what he or she is saying.  People follow someone they believe is higher than them.  But sex is seen often as something animalistic.  And if the instructor is just another animal like the students, then why would they follow them.  Like a god, it would even be advisable for the instructor not to be seen eating, sleeping, or even going to the restroom.  He or she dresses at a higher level than the students, but like a god, every now and then, he or she goes down intentionally to the students level in an act of compassion whenever the situation is professionally called for.  This creates an image that the gods also have a heart.  Not an animalistic, lustful one, but a compassionate one.  Other countries like China, Japan, Korea and Singapore treat their teachers with respect because they view the ancient teacher Confucius like a god.  And they deal with ungodly teachers accordingly and seriously.

Second, an instructor should be mentally-fit for work.  Even some corporations today prohibit married couples from working in the same department.  The reason is simple.  People in love are like people on illegal drugs.  It has been demonstrated by scientists that a person in love releases neurotransmitters in his or her brain that mimic LSD.  This may give the lover a cloud-9 high if love is reciprocated, but if it is not, it will make him or her feel like a terrorist.  This type of hostility may vent out during class lectures, tests, grading and other important instructor duties that require complete mental fitness.

Third, the instructor must be fair to everyone.  If the instructor loves someone in class, he or she may favor him or her over the others in terms of grading, assignments, tests and so forth.  Its a conflict of interests between him or her and the other students and the university.  Other students may also use it as an excuse to challenge the teachers fairness in grading them even if they were graded properly.
Fourth, an instructor must be sensitive to the religious and gender philosophies of others.  While liberals may feel that it is okay for teachers to have sex with their students, conservatives may disagree.  Conservative Christians and Muslims may even see it as an evil act and denounce the university as an evil school, making the teacher a possible target of unwanted terrorism.  Moreover, same-gender relationships including marriage are now being openly discussed and in some states, it is very much lawful.  If the instructor has same-gender relationships with students, the class will probably not be able to concentrate during the lectures, possibly thinking about their queer professor.
Fifth, an instructor must be mindful of the universitys reputation.  In the past, news was slow to spread, and most of the time, it was confined to the local vicinity.  But now, because of the World Wide Web, digital information can spread across the globe at the speed of light.  Also, satellites and cable television now facilitate live broadcasts around the world at any time of the day and night. With this type of technology, one of the girls that a professor might be sleeping with might install a web-cam while they have sex for the entire world to see.  Or she may take nude photos of the professor making love with her and post it all over the internet for everyone to see.  Now, once students recognize their professor in x-rated films, they may naturally spread it to others and it may even reach the media, which could broadcast the news worldwide in an instant.  From then on, it will not just be the porno professor who will become world-famous it will also be the university he works for and the other students studying there.  On the other hand, if it is all kept secret by a student, it could be used to blackmail the professor.  And she could extort many things from him.

And lastly, an instructor must be cautious against potential lawsuits against himher andor the university.  If a professor is allowed to court students, the professor may cause unintended harassment, leading to possible lawsuits.  He or she may flirt with students and it may cause them discomfort.  They may think that he or she is harassing them like a dog in heat.  They may take advantage of the situation by calling their lawyer, who will want to maximize his or her profits from any lawsuit.  And if the university has liberal or unclear policies about instructor-student relationships, the lawyer may also use this to sue the school.  The lawyer may even exaggerate the unclear policy and say that the school promotes sexual harassment because it does not blatantly oppose teacher-student relationships.   Thus, this could lead to numerous unintended and unwanted lawsuits to both the instructor and the university.

While currently, the Instructor-Student Conflict of Interest policy in the Universitys undergraduate Academic Calendar states, In order to avoid conflict of interest, instructors are expected to refrain from entering into any relationship with a student which may compromise, or which may reasonably appear to compromise, the instructors exercise of professional responsibility, I believe that it is insufficient.  Lawyers and spin doctors can always find a loophole in any policy.  They can stretch and spin the idea of conflict of interest and may even say that it is in the interest of the university to have loving professors because love is an art that educators need to get their messages across to their class.  They can say that teachers are artists who need to be creative, and part of their creativity is their expression of love to their students.  Even the definition of compromise or reasonably appear to compromise could be spun around.  The instructor could say that his or her sexual relationship with his or her student does not compromise their professional responsibilities.  In fact, they may say, it even enhances it because they are inspired everyday by the presence of their loved one in school.  And without that daily inspiration they would be dead as a lifeless rock.

Even most Canadian universities who have a we dont prohibit, but we discourage teacher-student relationship policy are too vague, uncertain and lax about this issue.  If they dont prohibit it, they are allowing it even if they look down on it.  This means, for fearless instructors, they will still do it even if their peers may not be agreeable.  Since they will not be fired, their acts will continue, to the detriment of both the students and the school.

In conclusion, the university should create a very clear and explicit policy about instructor-student relationships.  It should clearly state the procedures and penalties without hesitation or without being wishy-washy.  This will protect the interests of not only the university and the students but also the professional interests of the instructor.


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