By Tikya Wireko – An educationist.
Sexual violence also known as sexual harassment has remained a key challenge in our schools with many male teachers falling in this trap than females. It is not uncommon to hear of an ongoing relationship between a male teacher and a female student.
The reality of the matter is, the teachers’ code of conduct of the GES frowns on all forms of sexual violence and harassment. The rule seems to favour the student than the teacher in an attempt to protect the presumed weaker (student). Even when the student is morally bad, the teacher is the sacrificial lamb. There seems to be no equity or fairness yet, teachers must obey the rules as part of the risks associated with the profession.
Some of these happenings have led to creating Teenage Pregnancy and Mothers of unwanted babies.
Many teachers have lost their jobs, others have had to be transferred, imprisoned, and publicly ridiculed among others for engaging in sexual acts with students. The infamous kitchen stool story at the SHS rings a bell in the minds of many today.
Upon all these, sexual violence in schools continuous to flourish in many schools and only surface in the public domain if whistleblowers break through the unofficial protocols that are used to hide these punishable offences.
The code of conduct is against every form of sexual harassment of a pupil or a student. A staff of the GES who has carnal knowledge of any female or male pupil or student of any age, with or without his/her consent, shall be guilty of professional misconduct.
There are teachers who have come out to reveal they married their students by going through the right procedures with their parents however, the code is explicit on that as it indicates that “No employee shall compel any female or male pupil/student in his/her school or in any educational institution to marry him/her with or without the consent of the child’s parents.
Other rules on sexual violence captured in the code of conduct for the staff of GES include.
No staff shall have any carnal knowledge of any pupil/student in his/her own school or in any pre-tertiary educational institution with or without his/her consent.
No employee shall serve as a go-between or knowingly suffer any female or male pupil/student in his/her school or any other pre-tertiary educational institution to resort to or be in or upon a premise for the purposes of carnal knowledge by any person or by himself/herself.
No staff shall cause or encourage the seduction, carnal knowledge, or prostitution of or the commission of an indecent assault upon a pupil/student.
No employee shall detain any pupil/student for immoral purposes.
No staff shall by false pretense or false representation procure any pupil/student to have any carnal knowledge with him/her.
An employee shall not apply or administer to or cause to be taken by any pupil/student any illegal drugs, matter or thing with intent to stupefy or overpower him/her so as to enable the staff or any person to have carnal knowledge with such pupil/student.
No staff shall publicly or in secret willfully commit any acts of indecency towards any pupil/student.
It shall be the responsibility of any staff who directly or indirectly gets to know of the occurrence of any of these acts to report it to his/her immediate superior.
A staff shall intervene to stop a pupil/student from perpetrating sexual abuse or violence upon another pupil/student.
No staff shall directly or indirectly, instigate, aid, or in any manner facilitate, encourage or promote whether by his/her acts or presence or otherwise any of the above-named acts.
If you find yourself entangled in sexual violence in school as a teacher, it is time to repent from this before the full arm of the law grabs you. Stop “chewing the Learners”
By Tikya Wireko