Male Primary Teachers

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I belong to a Primary message board site and last couple of days there has been this huge hoopla about male teachers in Primary. Somehow some presidents are saying that in the “guidelines” it states that if a male is called to teach Primary then it has to be as a couple (husband/wife team) or 2 males, doors are to remain always open and that any member of the presidency can walk in unannounced at any given moment. When I posted the question of where this so called guidleline is no one seems to know. I also pointed out that males were being dumped on (on this site regarding this particular post) and that men aren’t the only ones that are abusers of children.

I also pointed out that if the church (according to the Utah wards that were posting) had set these guidelines to protect the children then how is it that men can teach in Young Men or in Scouts where the chances are greater for risk factor as they meet a lot away from the actual building (camps etc).

Has anyone actually seen this guideline set out by the church?

17 thoughts on “Male Primary Teachers

  1. Just a note, but men can’t teach scouts alone. They frequently do, but they aren’t supposed to. I know because I was called to scouts as the assistant and then the leader’s work kept him from doing it. I refused to hold meetings alone and kept bugging them to call someone as a leader. So we just didn’t have scouts.

    This is pretty prominent in the documentation you have to fill out.

  2. Frankly, I hope this policy is in place church-wide. Men aren’t the only abusers of children, but lamentably, they are the majority. These rules just make sense.

  3. Another example of outrageous policies caused by the actions of a few.

    Men are treated in the Church as if they are weasels waiting to strike unsuspecting victims at every turn.

    If their wives are abusive, somehow the man must be to blame. If their children are dysfunctional then the man must be to blame. And if the wife wants a divorce, the man must be to blame.

    Then they wonder why there is a lack of enthusiasm among the brethern re: home teaching etc.

    In fact, I’m surprised that home teaching is allowed by the brethern. We are clearly a bunch of perverts who are telestial beings waiting to die.

    If those who are doing the calling do not have sufficient knowledge of those whom they call, then why are they in the position to make the call in the first place.
    Does this illustrate some lack of diligence on their part?
    If a man is a pervert let the rest of us beat the bl…y h… out of him and then the rest of us can live without the cloud of suspicion over our heads.

    I taught primary twice…18 months each time…I took my calling seriously and loved every minute of it. If at any time someone felt to check up on me to see if I was abusing the children, I would have resigned on the spot.

    This is outrageous.

    On the other hand I support Clark in what he did, because when I attended scouts at a Baptist Church, when I was a kid, the Scout master was an abuser, and the assistant scout masters were too stupid to stop him. There was also a bishop who would go to scout camp with the express purpose of abusing the boys. He later became a patriarch.
    Fortunately, he has been exed.

  4. i never have heard of this as an actual guideline from the head of the church. however, in some wards maybe they were just inspired to do it this way?

    however, i think it is probably best in our day and time if every class was team taught. afterall, women can be abusers as well.

    actually, let’s just do away with the last two hours and only have sacrament meeting… that would solve these kinds of problems all together, and probably increase activity as well! :)

  5. I’m the primary teacher of 4-5 year-olds. I’ve only heard of this policy by reading variations of it on the bloggernacle. The only policy I’ve heard in my ward is that I can’t teach with a woman who is not my wife. I’ve got 7 kids in my class and I teach alone. It’s actually been very fun and I’ve grown to love the children — they are all unique and make class interesting. The only hard part about teaching by myself is that I don’t have enough lap space. Going out of town would be easier with another teacher too. We just don’t have enough adults to double-up in all the primary classes.

    Of course, the presidency is welcome to come into my class anytime. I occassionally solicit their help when taking kids to the bathroom.

    I am certainly saddened by events that cause some to feel it necessary to place such precautions on the teacher-child relationship. Abuse is the furthest thing from my mind and I would expect the same of anyone who was placed in this calling. Unfortuntately that is not reality, so I do not blame anyone if they feel this policy would help.

    If all classes were to have two teachers, I would also vote to do away with the requirement that teachers were spouses or of the same gender. It’d be awesome if each class had a male and female teacher to give positive role models. Plus the kids would see that men and women can work together on a team that is not a marriage. Of course, there are reasons why that rule is in place too…

  6. So primary teachers need a buddy, but it’s perfectly alright to send my 14 year old son into a bishop’s interview behind closed doors?

    Can you smell that? It’s the hypocrisy stewing.

  7. If I taught primary I would welcome such a policy. Why? Because false accusations of abuse,while rare, to happen and once that geenie is out of the bottle it never goes back in. Such a policy not only protects children from predators, but it also protects good folks from false accusations.

  8. I should add that I think this policy should ideally be applied to men and women equally (although many wards simply do not have enough people to make such a policy work).

  9. Our primary president made an announcement last Sunday. She said all male teachers were to be team teachers if they taught children or youth – no solo teaching would be permitted from now on. She said the directive was coming from the stake, but thought it was actually coming from (her words) “the powers that be.”

    I think they should just put huge windows in every door so that there is no privacy. There is no need for privacy at church.

  10. I have a hard time seeing this policy as “outrageous.” It’s certainly no more outrageous than instructing missionaries to have a companion with them at all times. What hardship or degradation are the teachers suffering by having someone else in the room?

  11. Boy Scouts/Cub Scouts policy (which the Church follows if they use the program for their YM activities) is to provide “two-deep” leadership, meaning, each meeting should have two leaders present, or there is no meeting at all (Well done, Clark!). The BSA takes this policy very seriously, and I cringe when I hear of wards who don’t.

    For campouts, there are supposed to be enough leaders (two or moer) to take a sick/misbehaving boy to the hospital/home, while leaving the rest with two-deep leaders. Fathers always grumble when asked to help on campouts, but there’s a reason for it — protection of the youth.

    I don’t think it would be a bad policy to adopt in primary/Sunday School at all. I’m not offended in the least, because I recognize the value in it.

    Sue M., the nursury room(s) in our building has windows on the doors, small windows, 5′ off the ground to peek in and check the kids. I don’t think there’s a need for a “huge” open window to the wandering youth/priesthood in the halls to distract the already-distracted 6 year-olds, though.

  12. exactly, there is suppose to be two deep leadership for all young men activities and for male primary teachers. Bishop are suppose to have a clerk present when there is an interview taking place as well. The clerk is in the adjoining room. working in social work, i hate to say it, but the majority of abusers are men. that means sex abuse and domestic violence. Like 98% are men. so if that is the facts, then I applaud the church for being pro active in stopping the abuse of the most vulnerable of our congregation.

  13. I was an assistant ward clerk for a period of time and the bishop said that he had been told that all classes in the primary (not just classes with male teachers) needed to have two teachers. The reasons given were as one other person stated, to prevent problems of abuse and to also have a witness in the event of an accusation.

    I also heard that the policy came to be because of an accusation issue.

    Like several others have stated, both in that ward and in my current ward it would be difficult to have two teachers for each class.

  14. Anonymous said: “Like several others have stated, both in that ward and in my current ward it would be difficult to have two teachers for each class.”

    Of course Gospel Doctrine would be a much smaller class if the parents were teaching their children instead of socializing.

  15. I think team-teaching in Primary would raise the level of instruction. Right now when I teach a slacker primary lesson, there usually are no witnesses.

    The teacher shortage could be much-solved by giving up single-age classes. I’ve got six kids in my class. I could easily teach 15.

    Another thing that would help: shorten the length of the Sunday meeting to two hours. You could run two classes: one for Jr. Sunday School and another for Sr. Sunday School and assign each a team of four. Stop making the kids sit by age, let them sit with siblings and older/younger friends within the Jr/Sr group to which they belong. I know it would be nice for the lone boy in our class of six.

    When you give up the small single-age classroom, you give up asking questions with obvious answers to a very small group of children in a classroom. Instead: matching games on a board, puppet shows, and all the engaging group activities that make up Sharing Time and Singing Time now.

  16. After reading through the hand book of Instructions I can’t find any such guidelines.

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