“Passing the trash”. It’s what happens when a teacher suspected or accused of sexual abuse moves to another school district without informing his or her new employer of the allegations. Numerous educators have faced teacher sex abuse allegations, or been accused of outright pedophilia, but have “beaten the rap” by relocating to a new school district where they’re not known. Studies show that about 10 percent of students suffer some form of sexual abuse during their school careers.
In a 2000 report commissioned by the American Association of University Women, students between 8th and 11th grades were asked whether they had ever experienced inappropriate sexual conduct at school. This included lewd comments, exposure to pornography, peeping in the locker room, and sexual touching or grabbing. Nearly one in 10 students said they had been the victim of one or more such incidents at the hands of a teacher or other school employee. Two-thirds of those reported that the inappropriate conduct involved physical contact.
What can parents, teachers, and adults do to protect kids from sexual predators? Here are a few suggestions from non-profit agencies:
Pay attention to what is happening with your child.
Don’t assume that someone is safe just because of his or her position. Predators use their position of authority to gain the trust of their victim and to maintain control of the child.
Teach children that touch, teasing, games, and treats should NEVER be a secret.
In one of our civil lawsuits where we represented sexually abused children, a teacher isolated a child in a classroom, blindfolded her, and tell her they were playing a “Helen Keller” game. Once blindfolded, the child was told to guess what was put in her mouth.
Teach children to let you know if they are spending “special” time or “alone” time with their teacher.
This is often part of the predatory grooming process. Predators must gain the trust of the child before abusing them, and isolation is key.
Teach children how to set boundaries, even with adults that they would normally obey.
Children should know that they have the right to their own bodies. Teach children that they don’t have to do anything that makes them too uncomfortable, even if ordered by an adult.
If you suspect that a school teacher, administrator, or other employee is sexually abusing your child, please call the law firm of Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard. It is most important that your child gets counseling and professional help. We represent numerous families whose have had teachers sexually abuse their child. Allow our experience to help you in difficult times.