QUOTE


"Great cycles of history began with vigorous cultures awakening to the needs of children, but collapsing with frayed family ties. Have we failed to learn lessons which Ancient China, Greece and Rome learned too late - about day care and death houses for old folks? Do we without protest accept accelerating preschool and nursing home cultures which warn ominously that the earlier you institutionalize your child, the earlier he will institutionalize you!" - Raymond S. Moore, Ph.D.

Join us on: Twitter | Facebook

GAO: Registered Sex Offenders Find Jobs At Schools

By Mary Beth Marklein

Registered sex offenders are getting jobs in schools as teachers, administrators, volunteers and contractors, despite state laws that prohibit them from contact with children, a government watchdog report says.

And school officials in some states enable misconduct to continue by ignoring red flags during hiring or by covering up the firing of sexual offenders, according to the report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress.

The report, obtained by USA TODAY, is based on a review of 15 cases in 11 states over the last decade involving people with histories of sexual misconduct working in public or private schools. Of those, 11 offenders had previously targeted children, and six abused more children in their new positions.

About 35 states have laws restricting offenders from schools, and most states require criminal history checks, though specifics vary widely, the report found. Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., who requested the investigation, urged states to strengthen laws or pass a law if they don't have them.

"These children were put in this unsafe position because adults in charge of their well-being failed to do their job," says Miller, outgoing chair of the House education committee. "Parents have a right to believe that their children are safe" in schools.

An Education Department study estimates that millions of kids in kindergarten through 12th grade are victims of sexual misconduct by a school employee at some point. The GAO report also notes most sexual abuse of children goes unreported. In one study it cites, 232 child molesters admitted to molesting a total of 17,000 victims, often without ever being caught.

How offenders slipped through the cracks:

• A teacher/coach who was forced to resign from an Ohio school because of inappropriate contact with girls was hired by a neighboring district, where he was eventually convicted for sexual battery against a sixth-grade girl. The superintendent at his first school had called him an "outstanding teacher" in a recommendation letter.

• Several Louisiana schools hired a registered sex offender, whose Texas teaching certificate had been revoked, without doing a criminal history check. A warrant is out for his arrest on charges of engaging in sexual conversations with a student at one school.

• An Arizona public school skipped the required criminal history check even though the applicant disclosed he had committed a dangerous crime against a child. He was later convicted for having sexual contact with a girl.

• In three cases, schools failed to ask about troubling application responses. For example, a California charter school hired an administrator who had left blank a question about previous felony convictions; he had been convicted of a felony sex offense against a minor.
When questioned by investigators about why such lapses occur, officials typically said the time and costs associated with background checks made it hard to monitor applicants.

Fear of lawsuits also was a factor.

Charol Shakeshaft, a Virginia Commonwealth University professor who researches the topic, said school personnel aren't trained in how to recognize and deal with such misconduct. "Parents, teachers, students and administrators don't really know how to handle it. Districts don't think it's a high probability. So people just don't learn what they're supposed to do and what the procedures are. There is hardly any education done on this."

December 16, 2010
USA Today
http://www.usatoday.com/news/educati...terstitialskip

(3 Comments)

Join us on: Twitter | Facebook
Posted in: News by NewsBot on January 1, 2011 @ 6:31 PM

Tags: ,

BLOG


View Latest Comments
Add a new post


GET UPDATES



You alone are responsible for what you do with the information on this site, but please don't ever hurt yourself or anyone else, or break stuff. Use your brain and always listen to your conscience. Click for full disclaimer.

[disclaimer] [privacy] [spread the word]
:: Powered by Wordpress ::
All articles etc. copyright to whoever wrote them. Please copy and distribute anything on this site, as long as you credit it to the author, and include a link to www.school-survival.net