• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3

One in 30 students has had a relationship with a teacher

10 Feb 2013, 10:14

Published: 10 Feb 2013 10:14 GMT+01:00

Out of 600 high school students who participated in a survey by the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper, 20 said they have had a sexual or romantic relationship with a teacher, with one percent claiming they are still in such a relationship.

Two percent said they have classmates who are in a sexual relationship with a teacher.

Five per cent, or 32 students, know or have heard of students in other classes or schools who are in relationships with teachers.

Around 80 percent of Swedes attend high school (gymnasium), which is not compulsory and corresponds to grades 10 to 12.

The law says that someone who persuades another person to engage in a sexual act by seriously taking advantage of that person's position of dependency should face up to two years in prison. However, the deed must constitute a clear abuse of power.

"The law could be better and clearer," said Kristina Huldt, a lawyer with experience of handling sexual abuse cases.

"As it stands, evidence is required that the teacher in question persuaded the pupil. That can be hard to prove," said Huldt.

For Gisele Priebe, a psychologist and researcher at Lund University, the problem is not whether sexual relations between teachers and pupils are illegal or not.

"Even if the pupil and teacher are in love 'for real' and there is no pressure involved, it is still a question of power imbalance. It is very hard, if not impossible, in these instances to have a relationship where both people's wishes and opinions count as much."

The Swedish National Agency for Education (Skolverket) did not want to comment on Svenska Dagbladet's findings.

"We have no direct views on this. The National Agency for Education does not have a position on this issue… This is a political issue," said Eva Röyter, a lawyer at the Agency.

The Teachers' Ethical Council (Lärarnas yrkesetiska råd), which is tasked with encouraging a continuing debate on work ethics and with promoting professional ethics among teachers, did not want to take a stand on the issue, either.

Story continues below…

"You can't ban love. The fact that there is attraction is not strange, but we have to think about how we handle it," said Jesper Rehn of the Teachers' Ethical Council.

Rehn does not believe legislation is the way forward or that the Council should publish guidelines for how to deal with the issue.

Asked whose role it is to draw up such guidelines, Rehn replied: "That's a good question. I don't know."

The Local/nr Follow The Local on Twitter

Your comments about this article

11:26 February 10, 2013 by calebian22
"You can't ban love."

That is an odd response. I wonder what skeletons would be found in Rehn's closet?
12:41 February 10, 2013 by just a question
I strongly doubt that what the students have told is true.

Seriously, I don't think that this is true. Students will do and say whatever to ridicule the teachers.
15:01 February 10, 2013 by Frobobbles
I don't believe that, for every 100 students, there are 3 teachers who has relations with some of them. Rather, for every 1000 students, there's this teacher who is involved with 30 pupils.
17:31 February 10, 2013 by theobserver
Some students will do anything in order to get good grades. What they should realize is that, in Sweden, they don't have to offer sex to achieve this. The Swedish system is made in a way that all students pass and graduate, no matter how poor they are. So if you are a student reading this, please don't offer sex to your teacher. You don't have to do that,. Sweden has made sure that you will graduate in any case.
13:09 February 12, 2013 by geoff44
If true and not simply pupil hype, it is a little alarming to feel that some teachers think they can have a 'mature' relationship in these circumstances.Of course, it would be surprising if that is what they actually seek. However, more surprising is to learn that this is a 'political issue' according to the NAE.Not a moral issue.not an ethical issue. a 'political issue'.
17:46 February 15, 2013 by james_g
@ calebian22 - what's odd about "You can't ban love" - it's a simple statement of fact! What sort of mind instinctively reacts with thoughts of closeted skeletons...?

@ geoff44 - you should bear in mind that (in the UK at least - not sure about here in Sweden) it's quite possible for a 22 year old teacher to be teaching an 18 year old student, in which case (and even with slightly larger age differences) the ethical constraints might well be overridden, however regrettably, by the hormones! I also don't see why you should sneeringly express disbelief in the possibility that, at least occasionally, a 'mature' relationship IS what both parties are after and, indeed, sometimes attain! Yes there are plenty of instances where this is not the case, but WHY always be ready to think or expect the worst...?
15:21 March 1, 2013 by Exolon
@calebian22 "That is an odd response. I wonder what skeletons would be found in Rehn's closet?"

That is an odd response. I wonder what skeletons would be found in your closet?
02:30 March 7, 2013 by bradalreadyinuse
That is a lot of students; has anyone calculated how many? No, wait..that is a lot of tired teachers .....it is probably normal for students to fantasize about their teachers. I would not take it too seriously. Ask yourself how many times you have been honest answering a survey ... ;-) Everyone knows who the real child abusers are because there are no secrets in the long run, thank GOD!

This is the math: Wikipedia sez there are about 1.2 - 1.3 million primary and secondary students. One in thirty works out to 43K students +/-...that's a lot 'o children...hard to believe...if they have parents, that is in excess of 80K people complaining, not to mention besteforeldre (sorry for the Norsk) . Ok, I've excluded the clones, alien insemination and "spontaneous" conceptions. Cheers ;-)
Today's headlines
World Cup of Hockey
Europe sends Sweden home from World Cup
Tomas Tatar scores a winning goal against Sweden's Henrik Lundqvist. Photo: Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP

Sweden was kicked out of the World Cup of Hockey after losing to Team Europe in overtime.

Poetry can 'save Arab world' says Nobel Prize hopeful
The Gothenburg Book Fair. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Speaking at the Gothenburg Book Fair, Syrian poet and possible Nobel Prize contender Adonis said that religious fanaticism is 'destroying the heart of the Arab world', but sees salvation in poetry.

Malmö gunfire missed child 'by centimetres'
Police in the area. Photo: Emil Langvad/TT

Bullets fired in a drive-by shooting in Malmö nearly hit a child, police have told Swedish media. Four men were injured, one critically, in the attack.

My Swedish Career
'As long as you hook Swedes on the first try, they'll be back'
Kerryn Beattie (left) and Craig Donovan (right), founders of the Nordic Kiwi Brewers. Photo: Nordic Kiwi Brewers

The Local speaks to a Kiwi expat who took on the tricky world of microbreweries in Stockholm and won.

Masked men on mopeds shoot four in Malmö
Censorgatan in Fosie is a relatively quiet residential area in Malmö. Photo: Google Maps

At least four people have been injured in a shooting in southern Malmö.

78-year-old crowned Sweden's best grower of oilseed rape
Gunnar Henningson celebrates his well-deserved victory. Photo: Svensk Raps

"This is one of the happiest days of my life,” said 78-year- old Gunnar Henningson, after being crowned Sweden's "Rapsmästaren".

Sweden to bring in tighter rape laws to up convictions
Mari Heidenborg, president of the Sexual Offences Committee wants to drop the Swedish term fro rape Våldtakt. Photo: Claudio Bresciani / TT

Swedish lawmakers are to propose adding a controversial consent clause to the country’s rape laws.

Sweden's centre-right voters up for deals with populist SD
Jimmie Åkesson with Centre Party leader Annie Lööf and Moderate leader Anna Kinberg Batra. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

A growing majority of voters for Sweden’s four-party centre-right Alliance support working with the anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats.

Coeliac disease not caused by early weaning: Swedish study
Carin Andrén Aronsson now plans to investigate why Sweden has such high levels of coeliac disease. Photo: Polarbrod

Mothers who stop breastfeeding early are not to blame for their children developing gluten intolerance, a new Swedish study has found.

Zlatan look-a-like storms pitch as Man U take on champions
A grinning Zlatan pushed the man away with the palm of his hand. Photo: YouTube

Zlatan fever has hit the UK, with a look-a-like storming the pitch on Saturday only to be palmed off by the grinning Swedish star.

Sponsored Article
Let's Talk: a personal Swedish language tutor in your pocket
National
Muslim teacher leaves job after not shaking male colleague's hand
Sponsored Article
‘I view the world in a different way now’
Travel
Why we adore autumn in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: September 21st
Blog updates

7 September

Svensk or svenska? (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hejsan! My inbox is full of questions :-). Here’s one about when to use “svensk” and…" READ »

 

23 August

A Summer in Sweden (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"For our first year here in Sweden we decided to have all our holidays in Sweden.…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
'Creating a sense of home': Collective living in Stockholm
National
Stockholmers hunt killer badger after attack on neighbourhood hipster cat
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
The Local Voices
Why this Russian developer is committed to helping refugees - with tech
National
Six key points in Sweden's budget plan
The Local Voices
How a Swedish name finally made recruiters notice this Iranian's CV
Sponsored Article
Gran Canaria: 'So much more than beaches'
Gallery
Property of the week: Luleå
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Gallery
People-watching: September 16th-18th
Culture
Why Swedish TV has given these kids' trucks a sex swap
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
National
TIMELINE: Everything you need to know about the Julian Assange case
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Gallery
People-watching: September 14th
Politics
Why Sweden is putting troops on holiday dream island Gotland
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
The Local Voices
'What I mean when I say: I came here to blow myself up'
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
Society
VIDEO: Are Swedes that unfriendly?
Sponsored Article
7 reasons you should join Sweden’s ’a-kassa’
Features
INTERVIEW: How Arthur the jungle dog opened hearts and minds
Gallery
Property of the week: Smögen, Västra Götaland
Society
Sweden's ancient forest tongue Elfdalian fights for survival
National
Where Sweden's foreigners are from
Gallery
People-watching: September 9th-11th
The Local Voices
Shakib, 23, works and pays taxes — but will Sweden let him stay?
National
Watch this Swede roll his kayak without spilling his beer. Respect.
Gallery
People-watching: September 7th
The Local Voices
'Swedes are polarized on refugees - it's the welcome mat or the exit door'
National
WATCH: Yes, this Swedish rising star really is Abba legend's grandson
The Local Voices
'Whenever I apply for jobs I’m treated like an unwanted stranger'
The Local Voices
Is Swedish bosses' ignorance keeping refugees out of jobs?
2,970
jobs available