A male teacher explaining why he refused to let a female student play on the monkey bars has sparked a heavy discussion online.
TikToker Mr. Trayvon–a.k.a. @mr.trayvon–posted a video explaining his concern that the innocent involvement would be prone to misinterpretation.
According to a 2011 ABC News report, "only slightly more than 2 percent of kindergarten and preschool teachers were male."
He touched on this statistic with a video in which he explained why a lot of male-identifying teachers would rather not work in elementary schools.
The caption for his video read:
"The stigma around men being elementary school teachers is sad, and keeps many men from wanting to work in elementary schools."
In his video that racked up over 948,000 views, Trayvon said a kindergartener wanted help getting her across the monkey bars, which would entail him holding onto her.
A female teacher eventually helped her across and apparently told the girl "I believe Mr. Trayvon doesn't want to help you because he believes he could get in trouble."
To which Trayvon told viewers, "Hell, yeah I believe I'll get in trouble."
“The way that society has ingrained in people’s heads that males working with kids that age are predators has got me in a place to where I don’t want to work with kids K-3.”
“I’m always afraid of a parent seeing me doing something with a student that’s completely and misconstruing it, reporting it to my district office, and I get a call from them saying ‘come to the office, you’ve got an allegation’. … I don’t want to deal with that.”
You can watch the video here.
People weighed in with their thoughts on the issue.
In a follow-up video, Trayvon responded to a TikToker who said the male teachers refused to dress code the female students because "that makes them look like a creep."
TikTokers shared their experiences with dress coding.
And when one TikToker suggested there should be an age limit for teachers as a solution to many problems, Trayvon disagreed and said that " creepers" can be in their 20s or in their 70s and that a person qualifying as one wouldn't matter.
In response to the last video, one TikToker also disagreed, saying:
"Yeah, sorry, no. Placing an age limitation on teachers would be age discrimination. It’s not acceptable in any profession and not ours either."