Piropos in the classroom… what do you do?

Even if it the words weren’t aimed directly towards us, we’ve all heard piropos. Cat calls… Hola mi amor. Chelita bonita. Regálame un beso, mwah! Preciosa. Mírame con esos ojos gatos. Oooh baby. Dame su número. The tone of voice, the leering stares, the kisses and mocking laughter—it’s enough to make your skin crawl right off your body and into a cleansing bleach bath. It’s one thing when piropos come from truck drivers or intoxicated men on the street, but on school grounds, or in the classroom… what do you do?
Volunteers from around the country sound off on how they responded to piropos in the education environment…


“I outlawed whistling in my classroom. It worked a little bit; there’s no more whistling. But it doesn’t mean it made the boys are any better of people.”  –Caroline, RAAS

“I just tell them it’s inappropriate and ask them to stop. I think it works pretty well, because if it continues I  just say one-on-one ‘Look, you are a student, I am teacher, there’s nothing that’s ever going to happen between us so there’s no benefit to you saying anything except ‘yes profe, no profe.’ If it’s a boy, I call them out and let them know that’s not cool.” –Jamey, Nueva Segovia

“Sometimes I will just ignore it, because I don’t want to draw more attention to them and disrupt the class even more. Sometimes I tell them it’s inappropriate and kinda call them out during class, or sometimes my counterpart will say something. If it’s in the halls or not in class time, I talk to them one-on-one.”  –Natalie, Boaco

“One of my ten year old students held up a rock and said ‘Mire que bonita profe, como usted.’ And I told him ‘I am your teacher and you shouldn’t say things like that to me.’”  –Robi, Managua

“I got real mad. I was teaching a 6th grade class and one of my 6th graders who was repeating blew me a kiss. I stopped class and said ‘I never want to hear that again in my classroom, and if I do I’m taking you to the principal’s office.’ He laughed. It did happen again, and I did take him to the principal’s office.”  –Tara, Chinandega

“A student thought he was being clever and speaking in English and said ‘Good-bye lover’ to me. I told him ‘No, you can’t say it that way, but you can say good-bye teacher.’”  –Sarah, Jinotega

“Well, I teach primary students. Does it count as a piropo if they ask ‘Can I have your eyes?’ I just tell them I’ll end up blind.” –Patrick, Matagalpa

“I was walking into my new school and 3 older boys called out ‘Hey baby’ to me. I almost ignored it, but instead turned out, told them to come back, and asked if they had been at school when the principal presented me to the student body the other day. They said yes. I said then they must know I’m a teacher here and talking to me that way is disrespectful and that I hoped to never hear those words come out of their mouths again.” –Alba, Madriz

What do you do about piropos in the classroom?
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