Teacher abuses position to slut-shame a teenager, gets a slap on the wrist – how moral!

‘I’ve got four years’ good conduct, I have-‘
‘No, that was four years’ Not Found Out,’ said Vimes.

- Terry Pratchett, Night Watch

An unnamed teacher at an unnamed Catholic high school has been disciplined after calling one of her students a “slut” and – in a move which really doesn’t seem to be outraging people as much as it should – scornfully referring to that student having an abortion.

As Coley put it,

It’s interesting that a lot of the commentary about the teacher who called her student a slut hasn’t mentioned that the teacher was holding /

A class on abortion being evil knowing at least one of her students had terminated a pregnancy. And made her stand on a chair 4 not behaving

(1, 2)

The teacher has not been barred from teaching again, because apparently we excuse gross breaches of people’s privacy if they’re tired and emotional and have:

a previously unblemished record.

The above quote from Pratchett’s excellent novel Night Watch sprang to mind, for obvious reasons.

Let me illuminate the point with some personal anecdata.  At my Catholic high school – and if I ever find out this is the same one I’m going to have some fucking unladylike words to say – some girls were told in an RE class that if they didn’t believe in God they would go to hell.  And when they told another teacher that – several of them with the exact same story, mind – they were told “no, [X] wouldn’t have said that.”  Never mind that several girls from the same class were all saying they’d been told the same thing, it was simply hand-waved away on the basis that it couldn’t possibly have happened.

It probably helps that no one left the class in tears, or – and I have to guess here because the story has very few details – has parents who won’t accept that kind of shit, or an ally on the staff.

The opening paragraph of the Herald article says the teacher “[referred] to her having an abortion in front of classmates”.  Think about that framing.  It’s as though the problem is she let some little secret slip, or that it was only problematic because other people were there.  And let’s compare that with what the teacher actually said:

The teacher said words similar to “stop acting like a S-L-U-T” …The teacher then referred to the girl being pregnant and said words to the effect of “if you think having an abortion makes you an adult then it doesn’t”

And let’s remember that this is a Year 10 class, and let’s think the fact that the pupils in that class are 14-to-15-years old, and let’s consider how vicious and unethical a person you have to be to:

  • Know a pupil in your charge who is under the age of consent has had an abortion
  • Force her to sit through a lesson about “Pope John Paul II’s stance on abortion” (spoiler:  used the phrase “culture of deatha lot) – or not even have enough empathy to think about how it would affect her
  • When she (strangely enough) gets disruptive, punish her and – because you really want to demean her – not only call her a slut but spell it out like she’s a toddler having a B-A-T-H
  • Throw the fact she’s had an abortion back in her face – right after a class which has happily laid the ground for everyone to feel moral and righteous about judging and persecuting people who have abortions

I feel quite comfortable stating that this person shouldn’t be allowed near young women, much less in charge of them.

But all she gets is a slap on the wrist and a ruling to “inform” any future employers about what she did.  Like that’s going to hurt her employment chances.

Remember, it’s the antichoicers who are the compassionate, moral ones, and us nasty feminists who actually hate women.

3 comments

  1. cranapia

    I also suspect this is a school where any student cussing out a teacher or violating their privacy would be expelled instantly, “emotional states” and “previously unblemished record” be damned. And rightly so, as far as I’m concerned.

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