Abusive Teachers

October 11, 2007 at 5:46 pm 2 comments

I’m not sure what to think about this article. What exactly constitutes verbal abuse? I mean, don’t all of us feel picked on by teachers sometimes?

Then again, if we’re really talking screaming and belittling, that’s pretty bad. Anyway, thought I’d share.


Abuse by teachers linked to early sex

TheStar.com – Canada – Abuse by teachers linked to early sex

October 08, 2007

MONTREAL – Children, especially girls, may be more likely to have sex before the age of 14 if they have been verbally abused by teachers, a new study suggests.

The study, which followed 312 children from kindergarten to age 23 in a rural Quebec town, also draws a link between peer rejection and girls engaging in early sexual intercourse.

“The girls seem to suffer more from these negative social experiences,” said Mara Brendgen, the study’s lead author.

“Girls, generally, are a bit more oriented towards social relationships and suffer more if these social relationships go sour.”

Researchers found children at elementary school who were shouted at, harshly criticized or embarrassed by teachers in the classroom had an increased risk of early sexual intercourse.

These students often disengaged from normal expectations and many turned to generalized delinquency, said Brendgen, a psychology professor at the Universite du Quebec in Montreal.

“(Often) it’s the same children who are delinquent, who take drugs who also engage in risky sexual behaviour,” she said.

Sexually active girls under 14 are more at risk of having multiple partners, which increases their chance of contracting a sexually transmitted disease or becoming pregnant, she added.

The study, published last week in the October issue of the American Journal of Public Health, also suggests that students who were criticized or laughed at by peers developed a lower self esteem.

Brendgen said some girls used sexual intercourse to give their battered self esteem a lift.

“Basically, it’s a similar experience that they have from the teachers as they have from peers, in the sense that they are really publicly humiliated and exposed,” she said.

Meanwhile, it’s the disruptive students who were most frequently targeted, she added.

“It’s not random,” Brendgen said. “These children have certain behavioural characteristics that may provoke either their peers or the teachers into negative behaviour.”

Brendgen estimates between 10 and 15 per cent of children are regularly abused by teachers, while the same percentage are rejected by peers.

Neil Guilding, a co-ordinator at Head and Hands, a Montreal youth-assistance centre, said many adolescents complain about being singled out by their teachers.

“There are definitely situations where certain youths are being picked on all the time,” he said.

Guilding believes rejection by teachers and classmates can increase the chance of drug use and criminal activity down the road.

“I think school can be a very lonely and scary place,” said Guilding, who runs the centre’s drop-in program.

Brendgen, meanwhile, said teacher training should highlight the potential consequences of negative behaviour toward students.

“Teachers need to have a lot more training, but also a lot more support in dealing with problem children,” she said.

“On the side of the children, it is also important to maybe think about targeted interventions to help them develop positive relationships with their teachers and with their classmates.”

The study, which began assessing children in 1986, was funded by grants from the federal and Quebec governments.


Entry filed under: CLIPPINGS.

Thank You Notes Borrowed Words

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Natalie Seim  |  October 15, 2007 at 11:12 am


    I have a teenage daughter with problems relating to a verbally abusive teacher in a classroom at High School. This is what brought me to your site and the article relating basically to poor self-esteem, early sex, drug use relating to teacher verbal abuse.

    Anyway, thank you for such an enlightening site! Success to you on your teacher career!

    My husband does a web site, catpin.com and has a bubble test for teachers. He hears such positive remarks from teachers. There is no charge for this site, but thought you might like to see it! (If you ever need help with bubble tests!).

    Natalie Seim

  • 2. sherren  |  September 21, 2009 at 3:50 am

    hello my name is sherren and i’m 16 years old and i go to mintlaw academy in north east scotland.

    my friend called beth has been getting a lot of verbal abuse from her modern studies teacher. i know first hand how bad that teacher can get, as i took his class 2 years ago.

    also the teacher freely makes sexist and racist remarks all day long and he yells at any one who stands up to him.

    my friend as gone to see her guidence teacher and other members of staff but nothing has been done.

    the teacher is called Mr Patterson and he has made my friend cry twice in the space of 4 days. beth has medical problems that sometimes make it hard for her to keep up with all work. and this teacher basically said that her illness would fail her and that it was disrespectful to hand in extra work that she had done to try and make up for the work she had missed.

    our school is not the best of schools, the teachers can be very mean and they all tend to stick together whenever a problem is raised.

    i’m sorry if this is wrong place to post and comment such as this, but i could really use some advise on how help my friend.

    thank you for taking the time to read this.


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