The VAST majority of educators are great people. In my years teaching in the public schools, I was always amazed at the acts of kindness and sacrifice that I saw teachers give in order to help a student truly be their best. Where are the news stories of these amazing men and women? Because they do not pull the high ratings for media outlets, they are all too often absent in the headlines.
That being said, I am always surprised when I hear someone say, "This doesn't happen in our schools anymore." How I wish that were true. Unfortunately, there are abusers in our communities. And because each abuser tends to have multiple victims, having one abuser in our midst means we have many suffering students. We cannot fix what we do not know. This page is to help you know. Know what is happening and know how to protect yourself and the children you love.
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Oct 24, 2014 - Oregon- Denise Keesee, ex-Sherwood teacher who sexually abused student, sentenced to prison after probation violation
- The criminal investigation into the former teacher started in October 2012 when Sherwood police received information from the state Department of Human Services about an inappropriate relationship between Keesee and an 18-year-old student.
May 28, 2014 - New Jersey - 2-Year Suspension of Teaching License For Role In NJ Student Sex-Abuse Case
- This teacher tried to coerce a student to drop charges of sexual abuse against a coworker. A prime example of what happens all too often when a student tries to report sexual abuse to authorities.
Sept 26, 2014 - Pennsylvania - Lauren Harrington-Cooper, Former Pa. Teacher, Sentenced For Sex Abuse Of 4 Students
Oct 21, 2007 - National - Associated Press: Sexual Misconduct Plagues US Schools
- 2,500 teachers punished in 5 years for sexual misconduct. And those numbers don't include teachers who were not disciplined, or those states who would not report their information.
"Too often, problem teachers are allowed to leave quietly. That can mean future abuse for another student and another school district.
"They might deal with it internally, suspending the person or having the person move on. So their license is never investigated," says Charol Shakeshaft, a leading expert in teacher sex abuse who heads the educational leadership department at Virginia Commonwealth University. It's a dynamic so common it has its own nicknames - "passing the trash" or the "mobile molester."
Education Week Nov. 2, 2014
-Dr. Mace Knapp, Nevada State Prison Psychologist.
• 29% of child sexual abuse offenders are relatives, 60% are acquaintances, and only 11% are strangers.
-Diana Russell, The Secret Trauma, NY:Basic Books, 1986.
•The typical offender is male, begins molesting by age 15, engages in a variety of deviant behavior, and molests an average of 117 youngsters, most of whom do not report the offense.
-Dr. Gene Abel in a National Institute of Mental Health Study.
• Like rape, child molestation is one of the most underreported crimes: only 1-10% are ever disclosed.-FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin.
• The behavior is highly repetitive, to the point of compulsion, rather than resulting from a lack of judgment.
-Dr. Ann Burges, Dr. Nicholas Groth, et al. in a study of imprisoned offenders.
Charol Shakeshaft is the leading authority and known for her studies on sexual abuse of students by school staff. She co-authored a four-year study on sexual abuse at school, which first appeared in March 1995, in the educational journal Phi Delta Kappan. Shakeshaft is chair of the Educational Leadership Department at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Shakeshaft was commissioned by the Department of Education to review the available literature on sexual misconduct with students by public school employees, and published her findings in 2004.