- Aug 27, 2004
Your school is pretty small too as I recall, and that also could be a reason for policing faculty-student dallying especially strictly--situations that might evoke an "Aw who's gonna care?" in Ann Arbor (though against policy there too) might in practice be impossible to ignore in a close environment. Of course being married (or even worse, getting involved with a married student) won't help your case anywhere; most of the few terminations over this issue I've heard about at public universities involved faculty stupid enough to get involved with married students, whose spouses discovered obscene text messages etc. You put your dean on the receiving end of that person's wrath, I guarantee s/he won't feel too sympathetic towards you! But in general public schools are under more pressure to balance faculty freedom of association against potential conflicts of interest, rather than pinning all the weight on the latter factor.Perhaps because it's a fairly conservative private college the administration feels the need to be more strict with conduct in general. All of our major projects are funded by wealthy donors that for the most part are very conservative and old fashioned.
No one said anything about "agendas"...? I did ask what's the angle, i.e. what's the intended ethical issue under discussion here, because as the responses suggest, there's potentially more than one. It was a question, not an allegation.No agendas, just wondering what people thought about it. Is that illegal around here? Or is it more fun to assume that people have agendas and to comment on that? I don't know, just a bit confusing there.
Powers' father died when she was about 11 based on the article, so it seems unlikely that would be highly and directly pertinent to her recent state of mind. No way to know from the outside, but it could just as easily be the case that she pursued him more aggressively than the reverse--I've personally seen that happen at that grade level. As a matter of professional ethics, neither of their mindsets really matter though; virtually all high schools nowadays have blanket bans on teacher-student dating/sex. As they should, IMO; not because I dismiss out-of-hand that emotionally mature relationships between 18- and 41-year-olds could exist, but because the great majority of students at any high school are neither legally nor developmentally adult, and in establishing workplace ethics codes you base your policies on preserving an overall environment, you don't leave it up to individual teachers to decide if a relationship with a given student might be okay for both of them once the student hits the magic age of consent. Above and beyond that, just as in college there's the "conflict of interest" issue too.
I don't personally find the specifics of either of their family situations all that relevant, since as several posters have pointed out, at that point you could be describing any number of people and it's impossible to say from the outside how those (few) known factors might (or might not) be impacting either of them personally. Maybe she's a confused and isolated teen in search of a father replacement (or a defiant and sexually precocious teen rebelling against a disrespected mother); maybe not. Maybe he's a frustrated and lonely man in search of the loving and understanding partner he never had (or a vain and selfish man exploiting teen naïveté to shore up his sense of manhood); maybe not. We can't know.