At least 269 K-12 Educators Arrested for Child Sex Crimes Between January and September

Digital writer Jessica Chasmar dug into the muck of child sex abuse in schools and analyzed all educator arrests publicized this year. And as bad as the results were, Chasmar notes that they do not include arrests that were not publicized or incidents that didn’t result in an arrest or were unknown to authorities.

Christopher Rufo, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute responded that "The best available academic research, published by the Department of Education, suggests that nearly 10% of public school students suffer from physical abuse between kindergarten and twelfth grade." “The question for critics who seek to downplay the extent of public-school sexual abuse is this: How many arrests need to happen before you consider it a problem? How many children need to be sexually abused by teachers before you consider it a crisis?"

It is a crisis, but even if just one child is abused, it is a crisis for that child, and we should do something to stop it.

Chasmar reports that all states receiving federal education funding must pass laws to prevent “passing the trash” so that suspected sexual abusers can’t get a job in another school district. But laws to prevent the practice vary enormously. All states require criminal background checks for educators, and 46 states fingerprint. But only 19 states require schools to request information from current and former employers. Fourteen states require schools to check eligibility for employment or certification, and only 11 require candidates to disclose information regarding actions related to sexual abuse or misconduct. (We don’t recommend ever relying on people to disclose such matters.)

Based on our research, all 269 of these educators likely passed a criminal background check. These checks preclude most applicants with records from pursuing employment and eliminate those that do from consideration. Obtaining information from previous employers would prevent individuals who have engaged in wrongful conduct from having the opportunity to offend again. But these laws, policies, and procedures, while important, would not have prevented most of the child sex abuse or other wrongful acts and conditions that we face today.

Laws, policies, and procedures are important to prevent and detect fires and crime. But smoke and fire alarms are essential to preventing and detecting fires, and the 911 notification system is essential to preventing and detecting crime. And effective notification systems are essential to preventing and detecting wrongful acts and conditions in organizations.

Although less than 5% of small and medium organizations have a notification system, most K-12 schools now have at least a program, but many are ineffective or flawed. Only a system that addresses why people don’t report potentially serious matters and what it would take for them to do so, is effective.

Our Protection and Trust Scorecard includes those features and associated requirements, recommendations, and preferences.

And our Notify application is the notification system most likely to prevent and the first to detect wrongful acts and conditions. We’ve documented that most U.S. state, district, and territory child (and elder) abuse mandatory reporting requirements discourage reporting, so Notify automatically facilitates mandatory reporting from the organization dashboard.

We can do something about this crisis.

I welcome your questions. Our Protect package, including Notify, is currently available for only 25₵ a day.