Should a student be expelled for having sex at school?

By means of judgment T-364 of 2018 (dated September 4), the Constitutional Court ruled in favor of two students of a military school who demanded reinstatement to the institution, after being expelled for having sex on the campus. . 

The event, which took place in 2017, was captured on video by a security guard at the educational center and this served as proof of the expulsion, as the institution classified the episode as a “serious offense”.

The high court found, however, that the expulsion of the students was a “disproportionate sanction because what happened is part of the intimate sphere of the people and does not affect third parties . ” He added that the punishment was disproportionate, since the manual of coexistence included mitigating factors that were not taken into account. In this order of ideas, the Court ordered the reinstatement of the students. 

While this is a specific fact, it sets a precedent in the education sector. Specialists in education and mental health gave EL TIEMPO their opinion about it. 

For Mery Jiménez, rector of the district school Jaime Garzón (institution that is part of the administration of Educational Alliance), the solution is not the expulsion, but to educate with strategies applied from an early age.

“For no one is it a secret that at that age, young people are awakening their sexuality, and that desire to know more leads them to experiment. We must train and educate, before thinking about expelling “, considers the educator. Jiménez recognizes the importance of children learning from grade zero to assess their affectivity. 

” Minors have to learn about their bodies, about what is public and private. And this does not have to come only from the educational institutions, also from the home, “he adds. 

In a similar position is Victoria Cabrera, a teacher at the Family Institute of the University of La Sabana, warning that expulsion is ignoring the issue. 

Being an intimate expression, there are spaces for schoolchildren to have the opportunity to be heard. Open communication should be created between adult and student to exchange concepts. If this is not achieved, we are unfortunately not educating, “he suggests. According to the expert, this type of events can not be ignored because “the phenomenon of the snowball would form, where the behavior is replicated”. 

On the contrary, Sonia Muñoz, rector of the Rochester school, believes that the expulsion is valid because it is a “serious offense, looking at it from the moral and ethical point of view”. 

” So it is not in the manual of coexistence, the act has no presentation.They can not say that it did not affect any third party if the sentry saw them and they affected the good name of the institution and that of the girl, “he emphasized. 

Also, Muñoz believes that educational institutions should be respected because “they are sacred places, and not spaces for sexual relations.” “This could open a very serious door for education, because the manuals seek that minors have no privacy in school places,” he says.

For Olga Albornoz, a child psychiatrist, it is important that adolescents differentiate between a private and a public place. “At school, mathematics, geography and science are taught. The values, meanwhile, are taught in the house, “he said. In addition, he clarified: “Sex is a normal situation, but there are things that are private. From the cradle, parents should teach their children to have respect for themselves, for others and for institutions. ” 

The specialist warns, without wishing to impart value judgments, that these situations can be generated because those values ​​are blocked.

” If the institution considers that having sex in their classrooms is disrespectful, it is in all its rights, ” Albornoz said. 

Some specialists say that these situations can be generated because the school is the only meeting point where couples can meet, as it happens that in their homes they forbid sentimental relationships.

What to do?

Experts agree that the solution is prevention. The teacher of the University of La Sabana believes that the manuals of coexistence should prohibit these situations, but with a clear language and without negative connotation. 

According to Jiménez, rector of the Jaime Garzón district school, the institution carries out “a follow-up of the couples, and without demonizing, we see how the courtship develops. Periodically we open a wedding school to teach them respect for the body and for the other, “he says, and concludes that” parents can not be closed to children having a boyfriend, but they should be aware that they are awakening their intimacy, love, and teach them about trust and respect. “

Violation of the right to one’s privacy

The child psychiatrist Álvaro Franco believes that the ruling is very appropriate because, according to him, the educational institution “did everything wrong” and is the main responsible for the violation of the right to privacy. And, although it clarifies that the sexual encounter between the two students could have been an inappropriate act within the educational institution, it corresponded to an intimate act that should have been respected. 

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