Sunday, February 2, 2014

GAO report faults handling of abuse in schools

"Federal, state and local agencies aren’t doing enough," the Idaho Statesman reports, "to monitor and prevent sexual abuse of children by school employees, resulting in a spotty reporting system that might underestimate the number of children who are sexually abused in schools, according to a new congressional report." The report follows up on a "2004 U.S. Department of Education report that said nearly 10 percent of students have sexual contact with school employees before they graduate."

This calls to mind Hofstra University researcher Charol Shakeshaft's observation that "the physical sexual abuse of students in schools is likely more than 100 times the abuse by priests." As Tom Hoopes has written:

A writer for The New York Times lurked online at pedophile chat rooms, and reported this summer about the chilling way pedophiles convince themselves that children want to have sex with them and insinuate themselves into the lives of children.

The Times' Kurt Eichenwald explained that pedophiles often discuss their personal lives. They come from all walks of life, but they like to speak about how close their jobs take them to children. "The most frequent job mentioned, however, was schoolteacher," he wrote. "A number of self-described teachers shared detailed observations about children in their classes, including events they considered sexual, like a second-grade boy holding his crotch during class."

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