Is a teacher allowed to call a student a DICK, because they called me one?Please answer because I need to know if i should file for sexual harassment.

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akannan's profile pic

Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

The previous posts were fairly strong.  I think that, as mentioned, the sexual harassment claim is not going to be where this is. I do believe that reporting it might result in some type of articulation between administration, the teacher, and you.  I think that some level of speaking out will probably give you some level of comfort.  Whether you want to pursue the formal channels of involving the principal or others in the position of power is certainly one avenue.  Yet, asking your parents to call a meeting with the teacher and then being able to voice how you felt about the incident in question and your opposition to his use of the term could allow for a new and more healthy dynamic between you and the teacher to emerge and could also allow you to feel empowered.  I think that being silent or harboring resentment that is not released in a positive and constructive manner could be one of the worst things to do in this predicament.

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bullgatortail's profile pic

bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Although I have taught many students who probably would have fit this term, I never lowered myself to the level of calling a student by this name (unless that was his real name), and certainly no teacher should. It is probably a reason for dismissal if not suspension, and the teacher could well be given other disciplinary sanctions by the state department of education. I have to wonder what prompted this demeaning insult, and I hope you can ask yourself in all honesty if you did anything to provoke this teacher's response. It could also have been said in a joking manner, though no teacher in his right mind (and in full control of his emotions) should call a student this derogatory name for any reason. You should speak with your guidance counselor, parents, and/or principal first, although contacting an attorney could well be an option.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Of course a teacher is not supposed to call you a dick.  However, I think that you would have a heck of a hard time calling that sexual harassment.  Calling you a dick is not really a sexual reference anymore than saying "f... you" is sexual.  Even though those words have sexual content, they are not being said in a way that is likely to make you feel like you are being sexually harassed.

So, complain if you feel like it, but don't charge sexual harassment because it is not likely to get you anywhere.

krishna-agrawala's profile pic

krishna-agrawala | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

Sexual harassment or no sexual harassment, the alleged behavior of the teacher is highly improper which should attract, I believe severe disciplinary action against such offending teacher.

No doubt that a student would have annoyed the teacher is some way or the other elicit such offensive behavior> However, no amount of provocation on part of students justifies such behavior on part of any teacher. Teachers have may different options available to discipline the students, and abusing the students is not at all necessary. As a matter of fact I am very much against use of any kind of abusive language by teachers against students. It discourages and demoralises the student affecting their studies adversely. Besides it sets a very bad example for the students.

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