Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Abusive teachers skip from state to state as local schools cover up misdeeds

"Despite decades of repeated sex abuse scandals — from the Roman Catholic Church to the Boy Scouts to scores of news media reports identifying problem teachers — America’s public schools continue to conceal the actions of dangerous educators in ways that allow them to stay in the classroom," reports Steve Reilly of USA Today. "Education officials put children in harm’s way by covering up evidence of abuse, keeping allegations secret and making it easy for abusive teachers to find jobs elsewhere. As a result, schoolchildren across the nation continue to be beaten, raped and harassed by their teachers while government officials at every level stand by and do nothing."

The investigation by USA Today and other Gannett Co. newspapers found "more than 100 teachers who lost their licenses but are still working with children or young adults today," Reilly reports. "State education agencies across the country have ignored a federal ban on signing secrecy deals with teachers suspected of abusing minors. . . . Private schools and youth organizations are especially at risk. They are left on their own to perform background checks of new hires and generally have no access to the sole tracking system of teachers who were disciplined by state authorities."

The failure of the system extends to local schools, which "regularly fail to do the most basic of background checks," Reilly reports. "School administrators are rarely penalized for failing to report resignations of problem teachers to state licensing officials."

"At every level, institutions and officials charged with ensuring the safety of children have failed. Lawmakers have ignored a federal mandate to add safeguards at the state level. Unions have resisted reforms. And administrators have pursued quiet settlements rather than public discipline." (Read more)

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