Teachers: Why are they so trusted?

I find it very troubling that we fully trust certain types of professions and believe our children are safe with them. What makes these professions more “safe” and trustworthy then others?

For example, teachers are meant to be the keepers of children. They mold children into smart young adults who are the future. We are supposed to be able to trust them. But why? Teachers are people, and just like people they have fantasies, fetishes, obsessions and weird habits.  However, we often forget this.  We often forget that teachers are people. I know I forget.  I used to see my high school teachers out sometimes, like at Walmart or out to eat, and I always had to remind myself that they had lives outside of the school.

Teachers are put on a pedestal, and people believe they can do no wrong or harm.We trust that while our children are with their teachers they are safe and out of harms way.

But people are sadly mistaken. Children can be harmed still.

Teachers are humans, and humans make mistakes and can do harm. They can do harm to their families, co-workers and even the children they teach.

Unfortunately, over the last year the mistreatment and abuse children have gone through at the hands of their teachers, mentors or coaches has come to light, with Sandusky and Fine, and now these teachers in Los Angeles.

Two teachers at the Miramonte Elementary School are accused of abusing children at the school, according to CNN. One of the teachers, Mark Berndt, is accused of taking bondage photos of children and making them eat his semen from a spoon, the other, Martin Bernard Springer, is accused of lewd acts on children. Springer allegedly fondled two young girls in the classroom.

Berndt and Springer have been arrested and the school is currently closed for two days due to the current investigations.

Schools and their teachers are meant to be trustworthy. We are meant to feel safe dropping our children off and leaving them for six hours. However, I think the recent allegations in L.A., along with the current scandals surrounding Syracuse University and Penn State, show that these professions and people we blindly trust and believe in are using this trust to abuse children and take their innocence away. And sadly, we are no better since we often let it go on, even if we hear allegations or suspicions, because we cannot even fathom that they are true.

Now, I am not suggesting we should not trust any teacher. I had amazing teachers throughout my schooling and I trust every one of them. They were genuinely good people and good at their job. Majority of teachers have good hearts and just want to make a difference in a child’s life.  All I am suggesting is that maybe we should take these teachers, coaches, mentors etc off their pedestal and begin to see what is really going on.


About Haley Behre

I graduated from Syracuse University in December 2011 with majors in newspaper journalism and women and gender studies. Using these majors, I aspire to become a journalist who writes about human rights issues. I have held internships at the Syracuse New Times, Dash Media PR Firm, Syracuse Post-Standard and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. I also had an internship at the Not For Sale Campaign Syracuse chapter, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to eradicating human trafficking. I was born in Seoul, Korea on September 30, 1990 and moved to the United States before I was one year old. When I was 8, my family and I moved to Norwich, England for three years. While I was here I was immersed into a new culture and got to experience many things other children my age do not get to. Over the three years, I visited Ireland, France and the Netherlands several times, and Belgium, Wales and Sweden once. In the winter of 2010, I got an amazing opportunity to visit Kenya for a month. This was by far the single most eye-opening experience of my life thus far. The natural beauty of the landscape and its people do not compare to anything I have seen. I currently intern for the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press in the hopes of getting a full-time job at a newspaper or non-profit after.
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