With rising sexual violence, predatory teachers are often allowed to abuse children for decades, conservative group says
According to a new report from a conservative think tank, US public school employees who sexually abuse children are typically transferred to different schools three times before finally being arrested, preying on 73 victims before finally being arrested. punished.
Released last week by the Defense of Freedom Institute, the report details hundreds of cases in which teachers in public school districts were accused of abuse but had their records expunged before being transferred to new positions, where the abuses continued.
Citing previous research from the Government Accountability Office, the report notes that firing teachers can be a costly process for school districts. Thus, districts often negotiate confidentiality agreements with unions under which a teacher can resign or be demoted to avoid disciplinary action, before being transferred to another school with a clean slate.
The average employee accused of abuse transfers to three different school districts before facing legal consequences, and may abuse up to 73 children during that time.
This system has allowed sexual assault to proliferate, according to the report. According to the most recent data from the Ministry of Education, 13,799 cases of sexual violence and 685 cases of rape or attempted rape were recorded in schools during the 2017-2018 school year, compared to 9,649 and 394 in 2015-2016.
In one case highlighted in the report, a creative writing teacher at a Florida high school began abusing teenage girls in 2004, encouraging one to write sexually explicit material and persuading her to perform oral sex on him. When school district officials were notified of several such cases, the teacher transferred to another school in 2011 with a glowing recommendation.
According to multiple lawsuits, the teacher assaulted at least three girls at the new school before he was finally arrested in 2016 when a victim turned himself in to police. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison last March.
Former President Donald Trump’s administration introduced new reporting requirements in 2019 and directed the department’s Office of Civil Rights to ensure that all reports of sexual abuse are investigated. investigation before a district can displace an employee. According to the report, President Joe Biden’s administration has yet to implement these changes.
The report called on the Biden administration to begin enforcing these measures immediately and urged Congress to pass legislation that would require schools to notify parents of any “violent criminal activity, including sexual abuse, that occurs on school property, on school transportation, and in school-sponsored activities.” States should also ban confidentiality agreements between unions and districts and punish officials who fail to report abuse, he recommended.
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