|The Case for Paying College Athletes
We’ve all heard of some pretty shocking practices of inappropriate teacher – student relationships. Our children are being subjected to sexual
predators in our schools. One of the more high-profile cases involved Mary Kay Letourneau who went from having an affair with one of her 6th-
grade students to marrying him after an eight- year prison stint for sexual abuse of a child. As of this writing, there is a 50-year old former
teacher who is currently on the run with one of his 16-year old students.
As parents, we like to think of our schools as safe spaces for our children, but there is an alarming rise of abuse in our schools. The California
Commission on Teacher Credentialing opened over 300 investigations of alleged sexual abuse against children in 2014. One sure way to
substantially reduce, if not eliminate, this growing phenomenon is to hold the school administrators accountable who knowingly engage in the
practice of passing the trash to other school districts.
Passing the trash is a hidden classroom tragedy operating within schools across the country. Instead of reporting these individuals to the
Department of Education, many administrators are merely firing the perpetrators and not reporting it to the DOE. The practice of non-reporting
allows teachers who have been terminated for sexual or physical abuse to apply for jobs in other cities or states around the country. In many
cases, the abuse continues because the new school is completely unaware of the person’s past crimes. Worse yet, in some situations, these
teachers are given letters of recommendation from the administrators
The Department of Education estimates that a staggering 4.5 million students will be physically or sexually abused by a school staff person
sometime between grades K-12. The practice of passing the trash is an easy way out for school administrators who simply want to get rid of
the trash from their school without giving any further thought to where the trash ends up, knowing full well that the abusive behavior is likely to
continue and more children will be damaged. One child predator can average as many 73 victims without ever being caught, according to
recent data. The American Bar Association reports that in 2008, the Seattle Public Schools agreed to pay a $3.5 million settlement to two
students who had been molested by a former 5th- grade teacher, who during his 20-year career had molested multiple children. What is most
shocking about this case is that while the teachers at this particular elementary school were aware of the abuses, neither the parents nor the
police knew what was happening.
Despite mandatory reporting laws, many instances of child abuse taking place in the schools go unreported either because the child is afraid
due to intimidation or fear of not being believed. Many children will suffer in silence and not tell anyone, even a trusted adult or friend because
they just want the abuse to stop. Teachers have been known to threaten students with a failing grade if they divulge their affair to anyone.
Grooming is a practice used by these predators that pick out their victims based on their level of vulnerability. For example, a child who is shy
and withdrawn may be a prime target for these predators that are constantly looking for any vulnerability or weakness to exploit. Many of the
abused children discuss how the abuser made them feel special by selecting them for certain assignments and always praising them in front
of the other students.
Until some effective legislation is passed to protect our children, it is up to us adults to make sure that our children do not fall prey to such
abominable conduct by these sexual predators who go from district to district and state to state to find unsuspecting victims to prey upon.
Parents can protect their children by educating them about appropriate vs. inappropriate touching. All children should be taught their body
parts, and what parts of the body are off limit to touching by school staff. Parents are also encouraged to visit the child’s classroom and
observe how the staff is interacting with their child and daily communication about their day. We must be vigilant about stamping out the
practice of passing the trash in order to ensure the safety of our children.