Wedding Woes

Classic: Go to your boss. Now...yesterday. But be prepared for consequences.

I am a single middle-school teacher in his early 40s. Two years ago I had a sexual affair with the mother of two students who attended the school where I teach. A year ago, her husband caught us, and the affair ended. Until this year, I have never taught one of my former affair partner’s daughters, which I guess made it easier for her husband to stomach my working at his daughters’ school. Now I have the elder child in one of my classes. Because I coach the volleyball team and the younger daughter took up the sport this year, I now also have nearly daily contact with her, too. I know it was stupid and wrong to sleep with a married woman; I make no apologies for my behavior. That said, I was never in love with my affair partner, and I have no interest in rekindling our affair. She and her husband don’t believe me. If I ever compliment or speak to their daughters—I assume they find out because they interrogate the girls—one or both of them will email me to tell me to watch it. She threatens to go to my boss if I interact with her daughters too much and “expose” me. Last week I gave the elder daughter a C-minus on a poorly written essay, and they accused me of punishing her because the affair ended. I do not know how I can teach or coach my students if I cannot speak to them or give them the grades they deserve. Frankly, I’m wondering if I should talk to my boss about this and take away their power to threaten me. Another part of me wants to tell them I am not interested in the mom and just want to do my job.

Re: Classic: Go to your boss. Now...yesterday. But be prepared for consequences.

  • banana468banana468 member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    I'd go to the boss and would see if you can phrase it as a "personal conflict that you do not want to discuss." 

  • CharmedPamCharmedPam Chicagoburbs member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    Definitely take out the affiar when mentioning not wanting to teach her. 

  • mrsconn23mrsconn23 member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    IDK if the LW can completely 'remove' the affair if they are threatening to 'expose' him.  I think LW would have say he at least had a personal relationship with the parents and there was a 'falling out'.  

    But LW definitely needs to speak up now so they can control the narrative here.  If LW can't get the child removed from his class, he should at least have someone else do her grading if possible.  
  • Yah I don’t know how you tell the principal/ superintendent that you can’t teach/ coach a child without explaining why. While morally you probably shouldn’t have had an affair with a married person, you didn’t legally do anything wrong since you weren’t teaching their children. I would disclose the affair to your boss and show the messages you’ve received from the parents and the students. If these people are willing to interrogate their child & send you message threatening to “out”’ you to your boss it’s time to let your employer help protect you as well. I hope LW has tenure. 
  • MesmrEweMesmrEwe member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I wouldn't disclose the word "Affair" and simply "Previous relationship that involved poor judgment on (the teacher's and parent's part), and the parent is now threatening action if they don't give the kid a higher grade than they earned which is unethical and you want the backing of the admin and union ahead of time and advisement on how to handle the situation (if not move the students to a different class/teacher for the sake of everyone).  This may be the semester to go to a multiple choice format to CYA instead of essays even though skill building is important.. but I'd definitely recommend cutting this one off at the pass by going to the Admin to nip the problem in the bud...  
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