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Old 01-16-2014, 08:05 AM   #15
Susan Dalton
Dojo: Greensboro Kodokan
Location: Greensboro
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 247
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Re: Teacher OKs "Avoid[ing] touching females on religious grounds"

Great discussion! Lynn, I want to add to what you just said. I have had female students, who because of past abuse or experiences, were uncomfortable being touched by men. I didn't make a big deal of it--just let them choose their own partners. I always make the announcement, "All partners are good partners. You have something to learn from everybody. Try to work with as many different people as you can." Eventually these students grew more comfortable and expanded their pool of partners. People putting their hands on you can be disconcerting at first. When I began, I had problems with that issue myself. I chose female partners when possible. However, segregating a class because of my discomfort would have been unfair to all involved, including myself. Eventually I realized I was in a safe, respectful place, and I learned to work with everyone, just as my students learn to do.
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