Are they asking for it?

Are they asking for it?

teachers claim students are the seducers

HLOTSE – GIRLS going to school without wearing any undergarments, others sitting at “strategic positions” for teachers to have a view of their private parts . . .  Instead of grasping educational concepts, some female students are mastering the art of seduction, at least according to teachers from Leribe, a district affected by high incidents of sexual abuse of students.
Male teachers in Leribe say these are some of the challenges they have to deal with in class.

At a workshop organised by Sesotho Media and the Ministry of Education in Leribe to sensitise male teachers about the dangers of sexually abusing students, participating teachers pointed the finger at the victims.
The teachers spoke on condition of anonymity at the workshop.

“They (female students) deliberately sit with their legs spread, knowing well that they have not put on their panties when a targeted teacher passes,” one teacher said. “When you pass quickly trying not to look, the girls giggle and pass silly remarks like ‘he has been hit or he has seen’,” the teacher said.

The teachers said some girls even compete amongst themselves for the affection of some teachers.
“You will hear a girl saying ‘I will catch him’,” another teacher said.
The teachers said the girls, despite their young age, have studied the “vulnerabilities” of men and they are using “every opportunity” to sleep with teachers.

“Yes, there are teachers who use their positions to abuse girls but let us not turn a blind eye to the fact that they (girl students) propose love to us,” another teacher said. “The challenges we face with girls in this day and age are very intense. Girls at a very tender age know how to seduce a man,” another teacher said. “Students at high school level are explorers. They want to practise everything they see on TV, internet, books and other forms of information giving tools.”

Teachers said they meet some of their female students at pubs in the evening and “while there you can’t talk them out of it”.
“We teach students of different ages and some are above 18 and married, it is very hard to reprimand and rebuke these older girls without them giving you an attitude,” one teacher said.

Authorities say such behaviour by female students is no excuse for abuse, adding that teachers should report such behaviour.
“It is unlawful for anyone to publicly display their genitals,” said district prosecutor Taeli Sello.
“The Sexual Offences Act says a sexual offence is the direct or indirect contact with anus, breast, penis, vagina or any part of the body,” he said.
“I know it is not easy, especially for a male teacher, to report that a girl student was showing off her genitals in class,” he said, adding: “They will probably laugh at you and tease you, but you would have done something about it.”

The law, ethics and codes of conduct as well as professionalism should be the guiding lights for teachers, Sello said.
“Why should it be hard to remember the ethics that keep you grounded and the professionalism that needs to come with teaching?” he queried.
Kopa Lekhotsa, the Leribe District Resource Teacher, said teachers should set a good example instead of taking advantage of vulnerable children.
“Education should be beautiful in the eyes of those we give it to. When you do bad things to one student you create a corpse that will one day haunt you,” Lekhotsa said.

“When we face challenges we should remember we are the creation of God. We have the spirit of God in us and this spirit does not do harm,” Lekhotsa said. Some female students say teachers often propose to them.
A 15-year-old student who spoke to thepost in Leribe said it was “very common to know which girl was in love with which teacher”.
“I have been proposed by a teacher before. I didn’t like it and so I asked him to stop but he kept persisting until I told one of our female teachers who reported to the principal,” the girl said.

“I don’t know what actions they took after that except that the teacher who was bothering me stopped pursuing me,” she said.
“It is very hard to study when you know there is a teacher looking out to have you. Sometimes you fail his subjects after rejecting him,” she said.
Another student said “many” teachers have sexual relations with their students.

“Some (girls) do it so that they get good marks while others do it because they just want to have an older person as a boyfriend,” she said.
The girls spoke on condition that they were not named.

Rose Moremoholo

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