Teachers are human beings, and as human beings, we have human feelings.
Every year when I got a new class, being human, there were students I felt I liked and disliked. But I always did my best to never let that affect me, and to get to know each student as an individual. Almost always, after getting to know each student personally, I was able to find something to like about every single student.
Students who behave badly and cause a lot of trouble in class for the teacher and other students are most definitely not the same as those who have severe character flaws or personality disorders. I could see right through the behavior of some of the worst-behaved students to see that in spite of their behavior, that they DID care about their friends, and have feelings for other people. Provided they could stay out of delinquent behavior during their teenage years, I had every confidence that these students would grow up to be responsible adults and parents, and contributing members of society.
However, in many years of teaching, there were only two students where I was not able to find anything to like. These two students, even at mid-elementary school, scared me. In both cases, I felt that there was something seriously wrong with these them. Knowing the students’ parents somewhat, I did not see anything wrong in the parents’ character. But the students had a very, very serious character flaw. Midway through elementary school, they had not developed any conscience, and they both had no feelings whatsoever for other people, or other living things.
At one point during his school year, one of these children threatened me with he “was going to send viruses to destroy my computer” if I didn’t do what he wished” (I no longer remember what he wanted me to do do). I talked to him many times throughout the year and he told me over and over that he didn’t care about anyone else besides himself. And it was really true. This boy was a reasonably good student and extremely intelligent. While I hope for change in this boy, as he left my class, I felt that I would not be surprised to hear he had become a white-collar criminal in future years.
As the years have gone on, he is thankfully out of my class and out of my life, he is still around, but my assessment of him has so far not changed. However, in his case, we still have the future to see what happens.
For the other boy, his future has already arrived.
When the second boy was in my class, he was already a hard-core pornography addict. At this time, our Middle Eastern country was receiving triple-x pornography (the type where in America you would have to go to a particular part of town, show ID that you were at least 21 to even enter the store, and watch the movie in a “private” cubicle) right on the television, broadcast from Europe, over the satellite dishes. Many parents were unaware that their children had discovered these TV channels.
Many students told me that they just flip the telecommand every time they hear their parents coming, and then just change it right back afterward. I wondered at the time how this would influence the boys (and girls, too) who were exposed to this at such a young age, particularly as to how this would influence their future dating behavior and how they would treat or view the opposite sex when they got into their teenage and young adulthood years.
Knowing some of those children well at the time, and seven-to-twelve years having now passed, I see that those who were decent children in mid-elementary school have mostly continued to be decent young adults, and from what I hear from other teenagers, are going to be okay. On the other hand, those who had problems, I’m sure those problems already had those character disorders accelerated and developed at a younger age than before. In some cases, girls and boys have come to view behaviors as normal that are really not normal between loving adults.
From reading articles on the subject, pornography is most damaging to young boys when it is coupled with violence.
So, this second boy in one of my classes, even although a hard-pornography addict in early elementary school, probably did not have his problems caused by the porn, but merely exacerbated by the porn. He was a good-looking boy, but extremely lazy, always out of his chair, not interested in learning anything (although I did try quite hard to have some success with him). He did some mean, nasty, and even evil things to others even at that age. (I’m sorry I cannot go into specifics; I wish I could, but I cannot.) He did more mean and evil things as he aged, and continued to be a very bad student who was always in trouble. The boy’s father, who did care about his son, died while his son was still in elementary school, and therefore he did not have a father’s influence during those important years. Later on, he had a girlfriend for several years toward whom he was extremely abusive. His behavior in many areas eventually got him expelled from high school.
He remains a dangerous person in a small town. He is extremely rich, drives an expensive car, and is from a powerful family. In societies like ours, this means that he has “carte blanche.” He does horrible things which seem to escalate each year and which are becoming well-known, particularly among people of his own age group, and everyone feels that they cannot do anything because of the powerful family he is from.
This is the same reason that Dominque Strauss-Khan was able to get away with his behavior for so long, was that he essentially has the same “carte blanche” in French society. It is the reason why corruption continues in all societies where WHO you are is of primary importance. When there is an evil person with “carte blanche,” neither the police, nor the judges, nor anyone will help.
So what people do, unfortunately, is to behave in an extremely servile manner toward that person, and “pretend” to be his or her “friend” just so that they will not fall on the bad side of that person. “Carte blanche” means essentially that a person, or particular group of persons, is “above the law.” The law does not apply to them, and no one in the society will DARE challenge them. Anyone who tries will be hurt severely, or have their family hurt severely, and no policeman, court, or judge will lift a finger to help them. This is another reason why there is such emphasis on WHO you know in these sorts of societies. Often, your only protection is knowing someone MORE powerful than those who might be against you, who have the power to control this person, or protect you from other persons in that group who have “carte blanche.”
So, back to my student. I really, really thought something was seriously wrong with this student even in early elementary school. It’s clear that I was right. The really dangerous thing, in my opinion, is a child who develops no feelings for others; it is what creates a sociopath. And not every sociopath was abused as a child. I wonder if Ted Bundy’s (American serial killer in the 1970s and 80s) or Jeffrey Dahmer’s (American serial killer of the 1980s) teachers saw something wrong with them as a children. They probably did.
I think having only two students like this in twenty years of thinking is not bad. Maybe I had two or three others over the years who were borderline, but for whom I still have hope, even after several years have gone by. I feel horribly depressed about this one student, hearing regularly from others about the things he does that are so bad, but which I cannot even safely mention, and about which no one feels they can do anything.