Is Teacher/Student Affection Appropriate At School?

Good moral judgment and common sense are what some teachers rely on to avoid accusations and allegations of inappropriate conduct between them and their students.

Brandon Elementary School teacher, Gary Davis, said, "I never allow myself to be alone in a closed space with a student. If I am doing one-on-one tutoring, like during my conference time with a student, I definitely make sure that my classroom door is always open. I never want to be behind closed doors with one student."

That's especially important when working with younger students. Often, elementary-age kids walk right up to their teachers and grab on to them, looking for some attention.

"I give them a light tap on the back and, then, try to avoid the situation. There are times that you do want to give them a hug or embrace them in someway. I usually just do a rub on the shoulder, a pat on the back, because I don't want to put myself in a situation that I can't get out of legally."

Students of all ages look forward to praise and encouragement from their teachers. But, now, to avoid potential trouble, teachers are learning to give them that support from a distance.

Some educators use the rule that, if they're uncomfortable in a situation, chances are, their student is too.