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To Sam

Is It OK?

Is it ok for a teacher to hold your hand in class? It makes me very uncomftorble but I dont know how to make it stop. Does he have the right to do that? I am I in the wrong or is he and if so how is he wrong? does this count as harrassment? Please tell me I am so confused.
Ask Sam


Hi there,

There are different ways that people might touch us. There are friendly ways and there are more intimate ways. It wouldn’t be okay for a teacher to touch you in an intimate way. And however they mean it, only you get to decide if you’re comfortable with someone touching you.

I can’t tell you whether your teacher is doing something wrong or not, but what’s important is how you feel. You are clearly uncomfortable, which is all that matters. If you ever feel that any part of your body is being touched by someone in a way that you don’t feel comfortable with, it’s always okay to say something about it.

You have a right to feel safe and secure at school. So if someone is making you uncomfortable it’s okay to tell someone – especially if that person is a teacher. There are boundaries between a teacher and a pupil. Proper physical contact should always be respected.  

Deciding who to talk to about this is important. If you feel comfortable and confident talking to your teacher directly then you could tell him how you feel about him holding your hand. But if you don’t feel able to do this then you could tell someone else, like another teacher or someone at home.

If you're not sure what to say, you can always talk to a counsellor to practise what you’ll say first. You may also find that other young people on our message boards have been in similar situations and could share their thoughts and experiences.

I hope this helps you work out what is the best thing to do.

Take care

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