Monday, August 14, 2017

U.S. soft on inappropriate sexual student/teacher relationships

Think you know what a sexual predator looks like? You might want to think again. With alarming frequency, the new face of predation is the person standing at the front of your child’s classroom.

Hard numbers are not easy to come by but there seems to be a troubling trend. The Center for Sex Offender Management is a project operated by the U.S. Department of Justice. In 2014 (the latest year for which data is available) there were nearly 800 prosecutions initiated nationwide for school employees engaging in sexual activity with students. One can safely assume a comparable, proportional number applies in Canada.

According to the same source, females are the perpetrators in 30 per cent of all cases. There exists some controversy over whether male or female teachers are treated differently by the justice system and if a double-standard is in play.

We shouldn’t allow that debate to obscure the fact that inappropriate sexual relationships between a student and a teacher – whatever their gender – demands a co-ordinated and systemic response, involving not only the criminal justice system but also school boards and teacher’s unions.

Certainly, it’s time school boards were held more accountable.  (more...)


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