A couple of recent incidents have caused me to have to adopt a new personal policy. In the first, I was lecturing an Anatomy and Physiology class, part of the class was about reproduction. I talked about spermatazoa, oocytes (female eggs), and genitalia, and how they worked to pass on genetic material in humans. Two female students filed a sexual harassment complaint against me, and said that talking about those things is offensive. They also complained that, during a break, I told a joke involving a gay bar and another student that was in the class. The problem was that I was not the one that made that joke, it was another student.
When they got the complaint, the school flew off the handle and pulled me off the class without even seeing if the mention of genitalia was appropriate to the class material. I was on the verge of resigning from teaching. If you can’t mention body parts in an anatomy class, how can you possibly teach it?
So the next morning, I went to the CEO of the school, who questioned several other students from that class, and they confirmed that the lecture was professional and well done, and that the off color joke had not been me. I finished the lecture as originally scheduled.
(On a side note, certain immature students need to decide if they are cut out for the paramedic profession. I pity their future coworkers, because those girls are a lawsuit or a termination waiting to happen. Talk about potentially career ending coworkers.)
The second incident involves a car accident. I was backing up in a parking lot, when another vehicle, also backing up, collided with mine. There were no witnesses at the time. That is, until a week later. That was when a man came forward and suddenly the accident was confirmed as my fault. My insurance is now paying the damages.
After those incidents, and after seeing the number of stupid police stops, I have decided to do the followng:
I am going to purchase a couple of video cameras, and will be recording certain high risk activities like driving and teaching class. I am looking for an in vehicle DVR system that will record my driving. It has to have certain features:
1 Record front and rear views with audio
2 Store video in a secure format that can only be accessed with a password
3 It would be nice if it could transit video off site on request
There will be a second camera bought that will record my lectures, and I will archive them all for a period of time, perhaps two weeks or a month.
That is the world we live in now. Cover your ass is the name of the game.
Dan · February 18, 2013 at 6:16 pm
I've considered getting a setup for my car. Please share your experiences shopping for and setting up such a system.
SiGraybeard · February 19, 2013 at 3:20 am
The first story – the girls suing you for harassment – blows my mind. I can't imagine how anyone could go into your field without knowing such topics are discussed. I can't imagine they could possibly be offended by an academic lecture.
We did that in Junior High biology, but that was in the old days, before the term sexual harassment had even been thought up. Still, no snickering, no laughing, just study. From 13/14 year old kids.
TOTWTYTR · March 31, 2013 at 11:00 pm
You are not the only one,
Short version. High school biology teacher uses the word "Vagina" in class and four parents complain.
He might get a reprimand.
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