Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Abuse by teachers goes under the radar

2,500 U.S. cases of sexual misconduct in 5 years found
Associated Press
Posted: Oct. 20, 2007

An Associated Press investigation found more than 2,500 cases over five years in which educators were punished for actions that ranged from bizarre to sadistic.

There are 3 million public school teachers nationwide, most devoted to their work. Yet the number of instances of abuse, nearly three for every school day, speaks to a much larger problem in a system that is stacked against victims.

Most of the abuse never gets reported. Cases that are reported often end with no action. Cases investigated sometimes can't be proved, and many abusers have several victims.

And no one - not schools, not courts, not states nor the federal government - has found a surefire way to keep molesting teachers out of classrooms.

Those are the findings after reporters sought disciplinary records in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The result is an unprecedented national look at the scope of sex offenses by educators - the very definition of breach of trust.

The seven-month investigation found 2,570 educators whose teaching credentials were revoked, denied, voluntarily surrendered or limited from 2001 through 2005 after allegations of sexual misconduct.

Young people were the victims in at least 1,801 of the cases, and more than 80% of those were students. More than half the educators who were punished by their states also were convicted of crimes related to the misconduct.

The findings draw obvious comparisons to sex abuse scandals in other institutions, among them the Roman Catholic Church. A review by America's Catholic bishops found that about 4,400 of 110,000 priests were accused of molesting minors from 1950 through 2002.

Clergy abuse is now part of the national consciousness after a string of highly publicized cases. But until now, there's been little sense of the extent of educator abuse.
First thing's first, "An estimated 0.2% of Roman Catholic priests have been proven to be abusers." (Philip Jenkins, Pedophiles and Priests: Anatomy of a Contemporary Crisis (Oxford University Press, 2001).

"Publicly reported convictions going back 17 years reveals that:75 clergymen have been convicted of, or pleaded guilty to criminal child molestation charges since the Gilbert Authe case in Louisiana in 1985."
The Catholic Church has paid approximately a billion dollars in "settlements." No trials, no convictions, (relatively few) just checkbooks. If someone raped or abused my child, I would not seek money...I would seek justice. Which would ultimately be administered by Bubba in the nearest Federal Prison, yet most accusers, did not seek that. They sought money. In other words, instead of reporting the alleged crimes to the police, those who accuse the priests thought it better to "report" it to their bishops...??

Naturally, I am not defending any form of abuse. I am simply pointing out how we don't hear much about the massive abuse happening everyday by lay teachers in the US. If we do, it usually comes in the form of a beautiful blond woman who gets a slap on the wrist and a beautiful ankle bracelet.

Most men I talked to, sadly, rather enjoyed that particular story, or blew it off, no pun.
And this one

But...the double standard that exists when women teachers are accused of sexual abuse, is another story... for another time.

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