School should be an awesome place where you can go to learn new things, be with your friends, and figure out what you want to do with the rest of your life. Here are some simple things you can do that will ensure it is as great as it is meant to be.
How can you stay safe from sexual abuse and not become paranoid about everyone around you? It's easy. You just have to place a few solid boundaries in your life and then make sure you live by them.
- A good teacher will never ask you to be alone with them behind locked doors. They should want to protect their own reputation, as well as yours. If a teacher asks you to stay late or come in early, bring a friend with you if possible.
- We all have favorite teachers, coaches or mentors. It's great to have a teacher take notice of your talents and to help you be your best. However, if you ever start to feel that they are getting too interested in being a part of your personal life, it's time to make sure you have appropriate boundaries set.
- You should never go to the private home of your teacher. Anything that needs to be done can be done at school.
- Make sure your parents know where you are and who you are with.
- Never accept a ride home from a teacher. Again, a good teacher should never offer one.
What do you do if you feel a teacher or school employee is getting too personal with you?
- Trust your gut. If you feel uncomfortable, it's a problem.
- Talk to a trusted adult. Your parents, an administrator, another teacher. Tell someone with some power to do something about it.
- Don't be embarrassed about it. If they have good intentions, they will not be upset that you were cautious.
- Avoid being alone with this teacher and keep your interactions with them on a professional basis.
- Talk to the administration about changing classes.
What do you do if you feel another student is having an inappropriate relationship with a teacher or school employee?
- Talk to a trusted adult. Again, your parents, an administrator or another teacher. They are best equipped to deal with the problem.
- Remember, if you feel that there is a problem, there probably is. Trust your instincts. Better to be safe than sorry.
- Talking to the student may not help. Most students are too afraid to admit what is going on. They are afraid of people finding out.
What if the adult is a "favorite teacher" and you are afraid no one will believe you?
- Sexual abusers are usually the more popular teachers/administrators. If you are not believed, that's OK. The important thing is that you speak out and get help for you or your friends. If you protect yourself and those around you, it's worth the consequences, both good and bad.
- Again, talk to a trusted adult. Someone you know will listen to you. And if they don't believe you, try someone else until someone listens!