This spring, a teacher that I had known well in high school was charged with sexually assaulting two underage female students. A few weeks ago, he was indicted on 16 felony charges and 11 misdemeanors. This was a well-known and loved teacher, and the entire community was shocked. But the issue of sexual abuse in schools is not an uncommon one.
In an article on chicagoparent.com, Robyn Monaghan examines several recent instances of educators abusing students and questions how willing school officials are to investigate claims of sexual abuse that involve one of their staff or faculty members.
Stop Educator Sexual Abuse, Misconduct, and Exploitation (SESAME) is an organization that “works as a voice for the prevention of sexual exploitation, abuse, and harassment of students by teachers and other school staff.” They cite many facts and statistics on their website and claim that “15% of students will be sexually abused by a member of the school staff during their school career.”
While this number may seem high, it is important to remember that many students will never report a teacher who acts in an inappropriate manner. Of those victims who do seek help, many face disbelief and scorn rather than receiving support.
Photo credit: striatic
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