Sexual abuse in our Public Schools: is anybody paying attention?

Another week, another round of sex abuse charges coming from our public schools.

Three teachers accused of having sexual relations with students — and even sexting during class — were arrested Thursday along with two administrators who allegedly covered up a slew of bad behavior going on at their New Jersey high school. 

“It’s obvious there existed a culture at Triton High School whereby teachers thought they could get away with improper relationships with their students and administrators turned a blind eye,” Camden County Prosecutor Warren Faulk said at a press conference.

“The improper relationships between the teachers and students were fostered through social media as well as socializing in person outside the school. Indeed we uncovered evidence of sexually explicit text messages during instructional periods,” Faulk said.

Didn’t you hear about this on the nightly news? No?

How about this one:

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) — Newly-unsealed legal documents reveal disturbing new details in the case of a San Jose elementary school teacher accused of child molestation. The documents indicate the principal knew lurid details, but police say she failed to report the teacher.

Ever since the principal was charged with one misdemeanor count in this case, her attorneys have been trying to keep the notes sealed, but on Thursday a Santa Clara County Superior Court judge unsealed them. They consist of three pages the principal wrote almost one year ago.

Former teacher Craig Chandler is facing felony charges. Prosecutors say he molested five girls between the ages of 7 and 9-years-old at O.B. Whaley Elementary School. The newly-unsealed papers are notes taken by school Principal Lyn Vijayendran. The three pages are notes the principal hand wrote when one of the first children came forward and told her what was happening.

Principal Vijayendran has been charged with failing to report child abuse a misdemeanor. “I cannot imagine that upon hearing that information, the principal was not alarmed enough to contact law enforcement,” said Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Alison Filo.

And a couple more, from earlier this year:

A Brevard County (FL) science teacher is still in jail, accused of having sex with a 14-year-old student. Irene Khan, 32, was arrested on Wednesday and booked into the Brevard County Jail.

“Did you have inappropriate contact with one of your students?” a reporter asked as Khan was transported to jail.

The eighth grade teacher never said a word.

A spokesperson with West Melbourne Police says the two had sex on and off for the past 10 months.

And:

Fourteen mothers are filing a lawsuit against the Los Angeles Unified School District on Tuesday over the sex-abuse scandal involving former Miramonte Elementary School teacher Mark Berndt.

Berndt was arrested earlier this year on 23 counts of lewd acts on children ages 6 to 10. The former third-grade teacher is accused of blindfolding students, covering their mouths with tape and placing items in front of their faces. The investigation began after Berndt, a teacher at the school for 30 years, tried to develop photos of students, and a film processor at a CVS turned them over to police.

This is the third lawsuit filed against LAUSD in this case. Two other lawsuits were filed in May – one representing 11 students and another representing 20 students.

In the latest lawsuit, the mothers claim their kids were abused by Berndt between 2002 to 2011 and that the district was negligent. The parents allege the LAUSD did not protect their children, despite previous complaints against Berndt that go back to the early 1990s.

These abuses in our schools speak to a problematic element which exists yet is being blatantly, tragically ignored.

—–

Not sure what else to say about this that I didn’t say in my previous post. And if you missed it, I’d ask that you please go back and read it.

As before, I’m still painfully aware that this isn’t a priority for our Media. Of course, they are also assiduously avoiding any mention of the terrorist attacks in Benghazi and the resulting cover-up, which in many ways is just as egregious, so maybe I shouldn’t be too surprised.

But reporters have kids, too, don’t they? Are they that blinded by their biases and predispositions that they can ignore this national assault and not try to connect the dots here?

Earlier this year, Slate.com had a small article where they surmised that “about 10 percent of students suffer some form of sexual abuse during their school careers“. If my math is correct, that would mean in any class of 40 kids, on average FOUR of them will be abused? If that is even close to accurate, how is this not on every front page, every day?

Hello, Media!! I didn’t go to J-school, but doesn’t this sound like a story? Heck, an entire SERIES of stories!? Hello-ooo??!

No one wants good people tarred-and-feathered, or for all teachers to be hung in journalistic effigy. Two of my closest friends are teachers, and they are both phenomenal people & parents. However, the results are before our eyes and yet we’re avoiding the entire sordid, dangerous, deviant topic.

A good friend of ours (Rick, over at Let’s Get Political blog) reminded me yesterday of a tried-but-true saying which certainly applies here:

“All that is needed for evil to succeed is for good people to do nothing”.

Do we continue to do nothing? Do we just keep feeding this government-sponsored machine our children, and simply hope for the best?

With all my heart, I pray that’s not our decision.

16 responses to “Sexual abuse in our Public Schools: is anybody paying attention?

  1. livinrightinpgh

    Isn’t Sandusky getting life in prison for this sort of behavior? And, before you say he was a “serial offender”, let me ask: How many children do YOU permit to be abused BEFORE it’s serious enough for significant prison time?

    • Come to CT they turn a blind eye to everything in the schools…all the time. It is a standard practice along with “pass the trash”

      • Ahh, yes..the “Dance of the Lemons”. I have a couple buddies who are teachers and am quite familiar with the phrase.
        Too many schools operate this way: if we ignore the problem, maybe it will just go away…for now.

        Sad, frustrating and pathetic: words that none of us should need to use to describe our schools, but they’re only too appropriate.

        Thanks for stopping by AND commenting, Sue —
        Sincerely hope to see you again soon!

  2. These teachers need to have an old fashioned “blanket party” thrown in their honor. IYKWIMAITYD

  3. Tuesday evening, another case in northern Indiana: http://www.news-sentinel.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20121009/NEWS/121009568/1020/CRIME
    At least our local evening paper (the conservative local news) publishes these things. Doesn’t make it any less disturbing. I’m glad our boys are out of there, and pray our granddaughter is NEVER in public school.

    • I was listening to an interview with a (gasp!) CONSERVATIVE professor from Yale. (sorry, can’t remember his name). Anyway……he was talking about the need for families, neighborhoods, and communities to band together and basically, form their own Cyber-school networks. With parental involvement in documented cases of these cyber-school arrangements, the test scores ANNIHILATE those of rival public schools. Additionally, one would think that these cases of sexual abuse by teachers would be greatly minimized…..

    • This is only a problem because it is not being ACKNOWLEDGED as such.
      And worse, this is not a decades old problem: it’s going on right now, as you and I have been pointing out.
      These kids aren’t capable of defending themselves properly, even the ones who are “older” (16, 17).

      There is no punishment on Earth horrific enough for these monsters to experience, but I sure would love the chance to try and find one.

  4. Until the courts take this issue seriously from the very first victim and punish these perpetrators ruthlessly instead of compassionately, not much will change, I’m afraid.

    • You’re exactly right, Rick. It is poo-poo’d, and then hushed up. “Nothing to see here. It’s an anomaly. Won’t happen again. we promise.”

      Time to put the pressure on the system to protect our children.
      Even though my boys aren’t (and never will be) in the system, each and every case makes me physically ill.

  5. Pingback: Why does the Media continue to ignore the rampant Sexual Abuse in our schools?? | Two Heads are Better Than One

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