The teacher's role as a guardian and mentor of schoolchildren is a special one, unequivocally requiring propriety and appreciation of the enormous responsibilities that go with the job.
Few outside the craft have such nurturing qualities as to mould children's character for the challenges of the future. This special status assures them unqualified respect from their communities as well as trust from learners.
Sadly a question mark hangs over the status of the teacher these days. This stems from frequent reports of dubious behaviour among some educators, which has left some parents aghast.
Their concern arises from perceptions that teachers breach their professional code with impunity. The high incidence of teacher-pupil affairs, which happen under the noses of pliant or ignorant principals, support this view.
Elsewhere in today's edition we also publish a report of similar shenanigans involving gymslip-chasing teachers.
Most disturbing is the conspiratorial silence around gymslip affairs. More so the deafening silence of the South African Council of Educators, whose task is to enhance the status of the teaching profession and promote professional conduct among teachers.
Solutions must surely include stiff sanctions against gymslip predators.