29 August 2023

~3 minutes read

University of Galway researchers contribute to report on teacher sexual misconduct

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University of Galway researchers contribute to report on teacher sexual misconduct

Galway Bay fm newsroom – Researchers at University of Galway have contributed to a new report on sexual misconduct by teachers.

It’s the first of its kind in Europe and collected anecdotal experiences from secondary schools in Ireland and the UK.

The joint study was led by the University of Greenwich with support from University of Galway, Massey University and Brighton and Sussex Medical School.

In total, there were almost 600 respondents who had experienced some form of sexual harrassment or misconduct by a teacher – and 200 of them are from Ireland.

Almost 90 percent of the Irish respondents were female, and the most common age group was 18 to 24 years old.

86 percent of those from Ireland said they experienced some form of sexist harrassment, while 72 percent said they had experienced sexual harrassment.

One woman said she was out of breath at an event, and a teacher took her to a private location and lifted up her shirt, before rubbing her breast and nipple to “help regulate my breathing”.

Another said her teacher was constantly flirting with her and asked her out on a date once she left school.

In one case, a teacher made contact with a student after he left the school, eventually engaging in phone sex and suggesting they spend the night together.

Several people reported their teacher trying to kiss them – with one saying her skin crawls when she thinks back to the time her teacher licked her neck at a social event.

One person said her young teacher often winked at her and made comments about her body, expressly telling her that if she wasn’t his student, things would be “very different” between them.

Other experiences include a female deputy head measuring girls skirts to ensure they were a certain length “out of respect for male staff”.

Another said that a male teacher would often comment on their uniforms, saying “those trousers don’t show off your figure”.

One woman reported that a teacher told her he’d heard she was a naughty girl at the weekend – and he wouldn’t mind seeing that side of her.

Another said she was warned by a teacher that she was “getting a reputation” for herself for socialising with boys at break time – and that it was being discussed in the staff room.

One respondent was snidely told that having “lady issues” was no reason not to take part in PE when she reported she was suffering from bad period cramps.

And a male respondent told researchers that his teacher engaged in “weird” discussions about his blackness in conjunction with his sexuality – and suggested to him we are “all loose and like to party”.

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