All male teachers vulnerable to attack
In a March 18th – 24th NZ Listener article titled “No Thanks, Sir“, education experts point out that the negative publicity surrounding MP David Benson-Pope is making education as a career even less attractive for men. Last year, primary schools employed only 445 new male teachers competed with 2312 new female teachers.
University of Auckland Education Faculty Dean Dr John Langley says:
“There seems to be this underlying assumption that as men we have to be saved from ourselves – that left to our own devices we will naturally lapse into licentious and sexually aggressive behaviour.
“That kind of thing is what male teachers fear – that if an accusation gets made, because they’re male, an assumption will be made that it [the incident] wasn’t harmless.
“I think it is something that is putting males of teaching – that notion that they’re males and their intentions in those situations will be construed as being sinister even when they are not. I think that has a very damaging impact.”