Very Scary about teachers abusing children

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by susiestar, Oct 20, 2007.

  1. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    This seems to be a well written article. It is verys cary that the CHILD is still attacked and ostracized in cases of sexual abuse of students by teachers. This makes my heart ache for the children.

    I will admit, there are rare cases where a child will accuse a teacher of abuse when it did not happen. A dear friend of my fathers was a VP and was accused of this by a high school girl. I have no doubt he was not guilty. We spent a lot of time with him and his family. My dad worked with him for almost 10 years. It did receive a lOT of publicity, and ended his career. It was around the same time that the Catholic Church scandals were really in the paper. I think that sweeping ANY case under the rug,is just criminal.

    We all need to do as our Desari did and CALL THE POLICE if we suspect this. Educators are not trained investigators. Administrators are going to CYA for the school district in most cases. And the poor student will be treated horribly, so pushing the school to pay for other educational options should be mandatory.

    I did notice one thing in the article, and correlated it to the contraceptives in middle school article we were discussing. Maine refused to give any info to the AP. Now I am sure that Maine is NOT a little slice of heaven where this does not happen. Gives new insight into the Maine middle school giving contraceptives, doesn't it??? (or maybe I just watch too much X-Files and see conspiracy everywhere??)

    Would love to hear your opinions.
  2. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Forced sexual conduct by someone with authority is sexual violence. Period.
    It is doubly despicable when the victims preyed upon are among society's most vulnerable: children, the elderly & the sick. It shouldn't really matter what the perpetrator's profession is, any allegation of sexual misconduct needs to be thoroughly investigated by law enforcement and applicable charges filed. Someone convicted of laundering money would never be hired by a bank, why should child predators be hired by schools? I wonder what would happen if mandatory reporting were expanded into reporting abuse by all care givers to our vulnerable populations? Nurse's aides, teachers, troop leaders, etc? Could it help stop the abuse?
  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I have no idea what will help. I do know that until we start reporting the abuse to the police it will not stop. The schools fear lawsuits and loss of reputation and standing, so they are very motivated to prevent families from contacting the police.

    Not all police departments are willing to handle these reports of abuse because they think it can't really happen, in spite of what they see every day. The statistics that show almost 10% (4.5 million out of 50 million students) of students experience sexual abuse means it can happen ANYWHERE. Not just in Catholic schools, in ALL schools. And not just by men, women can and do abuse male students.

    So very many dedicated teachers spend their whole working lives getting no respect while they try to give our kids the knowledge and tools to be productive and happy adults. It is a dang shame we have to spend energy and $$ sorting out perverts. Woudln't it be great if we could just not have perverts anywhere? Esp in schools?

    I am very aware of the many wonderful people who teach our children. I am the daughter of 2 teachers, the niece of a few more, and the wife of a former teacher. The work they do never ends. It is untold hours of planning, grading, standing all day, hard physical labor, bad working conditions, stress and very little pay. The rewards for the job are the hugs and kisses that are fewer and fewer, seeing the progress a child makes, and that rare visit from a student who graduated and came back to say "Thank you, you made a difference in my life."

    It is a shame that people willing to do so much for so little are embarrassed by perverts who move from system to system. It is a shame that our children and teachers do not have the safety of having these perverts removed from teaching, that the perverts can just move instead of facing jail time.


    (as you might guess, I am passionate about this!)

  4. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Susie ~ I agree that this is a problem and needs to be addressed. But statistics can be manipulated to show whatever the researcher wants them to show so we need to be careful about just assuming that the stats are true and that the study is valid. Also, are these verified cases of sexual abuse or accusations? I think that is important to know before we believe that 4.5 million children are being sexually harassed or molested at school.

    There have been two cases at my high school in the 20 years that I have taught there where teachers have been accused of inappropriate behavior. In both cases, the teachers were immediately removed from the campus while the cases were being investigated. One was arrested and is in jail as I type. The other was a "he said, she said" situation where the parents did not want their daughter to have to testify in court. So, it was decided that the teacher would retire and that was the end of the case.

    So, yes it does happen, and yes it needs to be stopped. I'm just not sure if you can ever stop this kind of human behavior. At best, you have to be on guard and vigilant and be willing to investigate all accusations. On the other hand, it is very easy for a teenager to get mad at a teacher and make false allegations. So there is just not an easy answer here.

    It is such a sad, sad, situation.

  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It


    I know very well how it can be out of hand. I was close with the daughter of the man I mentioned in my first post. That was not a 'he said she said' but a very clear case of revenge against an administrator who backed up a teacher.

    I also realize exactly how easy it is to manipulate numbers and statistics. The numbers in the article may be high, or may be low. The research did look to be pretty well done, and based on reports from the states themselves.

    Either way, I think it is probably very much underreported, and is a sad commentary on human behavior. But the part that truly bothers me is the way many of the adults went from one district or state to another.

    There are no easy answers. A witch hunt is certainly NOT an effective way to try to handle this. But there has to be some way to deal with this other than to let the abuser just quit and go off to hopefully do something more.

    I really believe that most people who work in schools want to do what is best for the children in the school. It is the hardest job out there, and one of the least supported and most criticized.

    But it does no good to the people who are doing their best for children to have a case of sexual abuse not reported to the police. If it is a case of he said, she said, then the police are trained to investigate, to find the truth. TEachers are trained to teach. Principals and other administrators are trained to somehow run an organization that has almost no money, too many students, and not enough teachers/support staff or supplies in such a way that everyone is safe and learns. They simply are not trained to figure out what is going on and what the legalities of the situation are.

    I do not mean to cause hard feelings, I simply think that it is scary to realize that this happens far more than we had any idea of. By this, I mean having people who clearly abused a child be able to quit and get another job working with children in almost the same environment. I am not at all speaking of hte he said, she said cases, nor am I commenting on amy particular school or school district.

  6. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I don't pay much mind to statistics.

    But I do pay close attention to life experience.

    Now back in the day when I was in school, Jr high, we had a vice principal who was a preditor. Nicest guy you'd ever hope to meet, unless of course you were a kid under the age of 16 and happened to find yourself in his office alone.

    All the kids knew it. Everyone avoided him. Didn't help. Know one back then, at least that I knew, thought to tell on someone with so much power over their lives. My brother was one of his victims. He didn't speak up. It continued on for YEARS.

    One day my uncle buys this gorgious house on a steal. When we go to look at it after he moved in, he tells us it belonged to the same vice principal. Turned out a girl finally had the courage to tell her parents. VP had to sell his house to pay for legal costs. He was sitting in prison. I was 17 when my uncle bought that house. (uncle never knew the VP or his previous rep)

    This is only one of several I could tell about my own school days. Nor does it include physical abuse by a teacher.

    Now I live in a sm town 2 states away from where I grew up, and I swear here it is worse. And the stories that are being told to me are by upstanding adults who have no reason to make it up. They involve teachers, a principal who was for awhile the superintendent.....seems a good ol' boys club of preditors resides in this town in the school district. Ppl are too scared to speak out. It's unbelievable. :smile: We had a scandle not long ago about a teacher in the hs getting a jr high student pregnant. Never reached the press. Guy got suspended for 6 mos. :faint: I'm pretty sure a police report was never filed.

    It happens. Anywhere there are adults working with children there is the potential for it to happen. These sorts of preditors gravitate to those types of jobs because it gives them access to potential victims.

    Sad part is that there are also false allegations made. Which makes it even more difficult to root out the rotten apples.
  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    The principal our one of our local high schools where I live is a perv. It is common knowledge among the students and the parents that he likes a certain type of young female student and has had relations with certain female students. It has never been reported or stopped as far as I know. He recently retired. If it was under duress, that hasnt been reported publicly. Obviously I will not tell the schools name but I have had 3 kids attend

    Now when I was a 16 year old I was a complete difficult child and I attended this really weird little private school for a time. There werent all that many teachers but I had this male teacher for algebra and french that was about 26 years old and he was cute! Or at least we thought He did some after hours tutoring for those of us who needed it at his home or the school. Now...he decided who went where...his home or the school. I went to his home.

    It never occurred to me until recently that what went on between us was wrong. I was tickled to death with him. It didnt bother me one iota to mess around with him. I didnt see it as wrong. I got great grades in algebra and french too!

    Now I think a bit differently on the matter but this could be why things are under reported. I still dont know that I completely think this man sexually attacked me. I was certainly a willing partner but he did abuse his position.
  8. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I am sorry to say that in the past year there have been three individuals employed by our district (1 full time, 2 substitutes) that have been accused of involvement of sexual misconduct with minors. Another instance in the district next door involving a female teacher and male teenage student.

    Most of the time pornography is also in the picture. I'm sorry to say that I expect this problem to only get worse given the free access to pornography and the readily available and inexpensive technologies that are around today.

    I was just sick last year--in addition to this (which we had to address with our students since one of those subs was in our building) there has been an increase in abduction attempts and more than once my daughter has sobbed that she doesn't feel safe anymore.