Monday, July 05, 2004

Giving Education A Bad Name

A report required by the No Child Left Behind law and delivered to Congress on Wednesday, shows that more than 4.5 million students endure sexual misconduct by employees at their schools, from inappropriate jokes all the way to forced sex. This report by Charol Shakeshaft, a Hofstra University professor is the first to analyze research about sexual misconduct at schools.
According to the report nearly one in 10 kids faces misbehavior ranging from unprofessional to criminal sometime between kindergarten and 12th grade. The report describes schools as places where abusers can target vulnerable and marginal students who are afraid to complain or unlikely to be believed if they did. In a particularly troubling finding, the report says that in elementary schools, the abuser is often one of the people liked most by students and trusted most by parents. Sexual misconduct is defined in the report as physical, verbal or visual behavior.
The report found teachers are the most common offenders, followed by coaches, substitute teachers, bus drivers and teacher aides. Among those offenders, 57 percent are male and 43 percent are female. Among the victims, 56 percent are girls and 44 percent are boys. More Details .