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Old 11-25-2008, 11:35 AM   #94
Dojo: Berkshire Hills Aikido
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 820
Re: Another harassment question

I think the central issue here is whether a student who joins an Aikido dojo has a reasonable expectation of being treated with respect by the instructor(s) regardless of the students' gender, race, religion etc.

IMO the answer is an unqualified yes.

Is the Aikido instructor held to a very high standard of personal conduct with respect to his/her students?

Again, I'd say yes with no qualifications.

In the case where the instructor engages in questionable conduct towards a particular student or group of students and there is no higher authority within the dojo to appeal to; is it both the right and the responsibility of the group to call the instructor to task and ask for a change in the instructor's behavior?

Once again I say yes, although the actual method for doing so may be difficult to arrive at.

Referring to the situation that occurred at Tom28's dojo, giving the instructor the benefit of the doubt and realizing that in the minds of some that times and therefore gender relationships have changed and gotten more liberal and less politically correct, pickup lines on the mat during class still qualify as unacceptable behavior for an Aikido instructor. The proper venue for establishing a personal relationship with a student is off the mat.