[dropshadowbox align=”center” effect=”lifted-both” width=”full” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]CALL TO ACTION: Please leave a review on the Roots N’ Wings Montessori’s Google+ page and Yelp page, and tweet this article to #education and #mhrm. [/dropshadowbox]
Recently men’s advocates were alerted to the comments of a Montessori school director on the website Quora in which she openly stated that she has a presumption against hiring male teachers specifically, assuming them all by default to be potential sexual predators.
She was never publicly identified. Until today.
Quora is a lot like Yahoo! Answers; people post questions, and the Quora community answers. This particular question was “Why aren’t there many men teaching in preschools and elementary schools? Do they hate being around children below the age 10?” Here are screenshots of her response and commentary:
Her comments of this Montessori director are particularly disturbing on their face, but are even worse in context of the more complicated reality of child sexual abuse and the decline of educational achievement for men and boys.
The comments were soon taken down. Screenshots were uploaded to Reddit shortly after, but her name was blurred out due to Reddit’s posting requirements. Her profile picture was not blurred out, however, and we have been able to use that, as well as some simple Google searches, to identify this administrator. Her name is Tracy Crawford of Roots N’ Wings Montessori in Redwood City, California, as you can see on her Quora, LinkedIn, and Google+ profiles, all of which match seamlessly.
I’d like to call activists to write a review on the school’s Google+ page and Yelp page, and warn people of the attitude of the school’s director. Their profiles only have 9-12 reviews each, so our statements could have a significant impact.
It should be well known that men and boys currently have severe problems concerning educational achievement. One key solution that is often advocated is greater outreach and acceptance for male teachers, especially in early childhood education. “Coincidentally,” Roots N’ Wings Montessori focuses on early childhood education. Interestingly, many other Quora users commenting in the same thread as Tracy Crawford mentioned that male teachers were frequently alienated from lower education and barred from being positive role-models to children due to the kind of hysteria Crawford herself indulges in.
It should also be widely known (but unfortunately isn’t) that women are very often the sexual abusers of children as well. A study by the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect (NCCAN), for example, discovered that 25% of sexual abuse victims were victimized by adult women.
We also periodically see media accounts of female teachers convicted (and too often given a slap on the wrist) for sexually abusing children. One notable case is that of Megan Denman from California, the same state as Roots N’ Wings Montessori. Megan believed that she should not serve any jail time for sexually abusing her students.
Because she was a woman. She literally cited the fact that other female teachers had sexually abused children and avoided jail time as the basis for her expectation that she should be allowed to follow suit. She believed – as many unfortunately do – that being a woman gave her a per se entitlement to sexually abuse children with impunity.
Despite the “concerns” of administrators like Tracy Crawford, I’ve never heard a man take the position that simply being male gave him such a right, and I’ve never seen any evidence of a widespread social permissiveness for men to do so.
But that permissiveness is a problem when women are the abusers. Just hop over to The Guardian, where Feminist Barbara Ellen argues that women who rape children should be spared punishment. Or simply follow the many other cases where female sexual abuse is dressed up as “caregiving” when perpetrated on younger children, or a “relationship” or “affair” when perpetrated on older children.
So no, I do not think that such bias against men exists because men “abuse children more than women do,” assuming that is even the case since much female sexual abuse is hidden because it is reclassified. Instead, it is clear that this prejudice exists against men for no other reason than because they are men.
Some men’s advocates may be tempted to classify Tracy Crawford as a Feminist. And depending on how you define Feminism she very well could be. Montessori schools, however, are more often known for being bastions of traditionalism, which is why they often have religious overtones as well (Roots N’ Wings is located on the property of a church, for example).
A common mindset among those who espouse traditional attitudes regarding gender is that women are supposed to have primacy over children. As for men who take an interest in educating and inspiring children to be lifelong learners, they simply don’t “know their place” if they hope to be seen as women’s equals. Combine that entitled mentality with the cowardice school administrators are rightfully well known for, and you get a person like Tracy Crawford.
There are a lot of Tracy Crawfords out there, and they are able to get away with rampant discrimination – fuelled by nothing but prejudice – behind the secrecy of closed doors. But, with our help, their actions won’t be a secret for much longer.