SYRACUSE, N.Y Mac Konrad– The Salem-Keizer school district in Oregon, an area an hour south of Portland, approved a rule requiring faculty to report students engaging in sexual relationships to state or law enforcement officials.
The rule has been very controversial since it’s implementation and in Syracuse it’s seen no differently.
Syracuse Teacher’s Association President Megan Root says teachers don’t need to be so involved in the private lives of students.
“You know certainly we have the best interests of our students at heart but at some point we also get to be private citizens ourselves. I think that, not only does this involve us in to a greater extent in the lives of our students but it also obligates us to involve our students in our personal lives,” Root said.
Root describes the change as a “slippery slope” which could lead to the disruption and intrusion of student’s private lives by school employees.
But teachers are not the only local school representatives who do not agree with the new rule.
SASSE is a student sexual advocacy group on Syracuse campus. SASSE President Kathryn Pataki says teachers should have better things to do than involve themselves in their student’s sex lives.
“I think my initial reaction is that teachers should mind their own business in terms of students and their sex lives… Honestly it just kind of sounds weird. Like let’s say if I was a teacher, a student’s sex life, that would be like the last of my concerns,” Pataki said.
SASSE student officer Crystal Letona says the rule takes away student’s right consent to anything at all because consent is no longer theirs to give. Letona believes it is a ‘dangerous’ proposition for teachers to take such an active role in the lives of their students.
In Oregon, both parents and students have challenged the new rule publicly. Currently the Salem-Keizer school district is considering a public forum to discuss changes to the rule.