According to a report commissioned by the US Department of Education, between 6 percent and 10 percent of school children in USA public schools have been sexually abused or sexually harassed by school employees and teachers.
Associated Press conducted a seven-month investigation and found that from 2001 to 2005, more than 2,500 teachers lost their teaching licenses across the nation because of their actions that ranged from bizarre to sadistic.
It is estimated that nearly three cases sexual abuse take place in USA public school every school day. This should give people an indication as to how serious this problem is. However, this is one issue that does not get the attention it deserves. Even public school authorities are afraid to take up cudgels against perpetrators and as a result they go scot free. For example, there is the case of a teacher who conceived a child with a 16 year boy, who was her former student. As soon as she became pregnant, she proceeded on maternity leave. Then, she was hired by a nearby school district because the authorities there had not inkling about her past.
Around 80 percent to 90 percent of the molesters and abusers are middle aged men, who come from middle class families and are married with children. And while most of us think that victims of sexual abuse in USA public schools are always girls, it is not true. Even boys get abused; however, they react differently. When they get abused by a female teacher, they feel they are suppose to enjoy it; and when they get abused by a male teacher, they are humiliated. Either way, boys seldom talk about being sexually abused.
All fifty states and the District of Columbia have child abuse laws and child abuse, including sexual abuse has to be reported. School authorities are required to report any sexual abuse to the social agencies of the state or to the police. Thereafter, the social agency will conduct a thorough investigation to determine the facts. If an abuse has taken place, the offender is reported to the law enforcement authorities.
Students who are sexually abused at school can not only sue the school but also the school district and the state's Department of Education.
Today, school authorities of public schools in nearly all the states are being trained on how to recognize early signs of sexual abuse so that they can take appropriate steps.
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