An issue on sexual harassment

I have been teaching for 11 years now in the College of Medicine. Within those long years, it did not enter my mind that I will take part in uncovering the bad practice of a colleague.

It was a fine January afternoon and we were having our experiment in the lab. One of my female students ( lets call her Sally) approached me and asked me of what I think about a particular male professor (lets call him Dr. D). I told Sally that Dr. D is okay and I’m having no problems with him. Sally told me that she is. She said that Dr. D has been texting her, asking her to come to his clinic since the start of the second semester so that they can talk about her grade in his subject which according to him is very low and she is in danger of failure. Sally did not want to go. In fact she was afraid to go as she was hearing bad things about the professor. Some of her friends from the higher years even fell victims of the said doctor. What she wanted from me then was an advice on what she should do. I was shocked at that moment so I just told her to save the text messages in her cellphone. I told her that maybe we can tell the Dean but I was not sure how.

After a few days, I happen to come to school an hour earlier than my schedule. And coincidentally, I chanced upon students from the higher years hanging around outside their classrooms. There were seats outside and because the classroom where I’m suppose to enter was still close, I sat down and had a conversation with them. I kept on thinking about Sally and how I can help her bring it up to the Dean. But there was also the thought that everything was not true and Sally was just fooling me. And so I found that day an opportune time for me to ask around of what they think of Dr. D before I decide to go to the Dean’s office.

My encounter with the students proved positive of Sally’s accusations of Dr. D. They even mentioned several cases but omitting the names of those involved. These students passed Dr. D’s subject because they agreed to his dirty tactics. They were assured of passing grades whether they took the remedial exams or not.

Armed with the information I gathered from the students, I approached the Dean together with my husband. Aside from the goal of helping Sally solve her problem, our other concern was the thought that Dr. D might be using our names (we are in the same department) in collecting a large sum of money from foreign students in order to pass his subjects. There were rumors that he did this in the past. But I am not sure if it is really true. We don’t really have proof but the words of those involved. After telling the Dean all our concerns. We felt that our task in helping our student is over and we went on with our life as normal.

That was how far my participation in this case took me. But Dr. D took my actions negatively and he is saying things against me. He is eliciting the ire of the students by telling them that I repeated old test questions in their exams, an action which I openly admitted in front of the class. Why? Is repeating old test questions a crime? In fact, when my mother-in-law died sometime in July last year and my husband was not around to prepare test questions, Dr. D asked me to repeat my husband’s old test questions. And which I did. I was expecting Dr. D to prepare the test questions himself that’s why I told him two days in advance. And that was what he was supposed to have done being the chairman and a fellow at that.

Yes, one cannot please everybody. Even if you do good, it will still backfire on you. But at least I’m not guilty of anything.

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