Beginning October 20, the Associated Press (AP) ran a three-day series on sexual abuse in the public schools. In its first installment on this issue, the AP called sexual abuse by public school teachers “a widespread problem.” The news wire service, which spent seven months gathering information, pulled no punches: “Students in America’s schools are groped. They’re raped. They’re pursued, seduced and think they’re in love. An Associated Press investigation found more than 2,500 cases over five years in which educators were punished for actions from bizarre to sadistic.”
Indeed, the AP said that on any given school day, three educators are actively hitting on students, thus speaking to “a much larger problem in a system that is stacked against victims.” And as we’ve known for some time, this is because the teachers unions are more interested in the rights of accused teachers than they are the welfare of alleged victims. Who speaks for the kids is a mystery.
Complicating the cause of justice was the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification. It keeps tabs on guilty teachers but only shares the names among state agencies. No wonder suspended teachers are commonly passed from one school district to another, or from one state to another. So frequent is this phenomenon that it’s called “passing the trash” or the “mobile molester.”
Just as outrageous was the media’s reaction. A Nexis search showed that only five newspapers carried the entire three-day series: Daily Breeze (CA), Richmond Times Dispatch (VA), Knoxville News-Sentinel (TN), Statesman Journal (OR) and Inside Bay Area (CA); it was also carried by Connecticut Post Online.
So where was the Boston Globe, which broke the Catholic scandal, and all the other big media outlets? Just goes to show that it was never the molested who counted, just the identity of the molester.