Archive for February 15th, 2012

Sexual Abuse of Children

No, I’m not talking about priests abusing boys back in the 1960s. I’m talking about public schools today.

Los Angeles police are investigating a teacher aide at Miramonte Elementary School who allegedly sent love letters to an 11-year-old student. The student’s mother discovered the letters in 2009, but she says police and school officials didn’t take the matter seriously until last week, when two other teachers at the same school were arrested for sexually abusing students in separate cases. Is sexual abuse in schools really as common as these reports make it seem?

Possibly. The best available study suggests that about 10 percent of students suffer some form of sexual abuse during their school careers. In the 2000 report, commissioned by the American Association of University Women, surveyors asked students between eighth and 11th grades whether they had ever experienced inappropriate sexual conduct at school. The list of such conduct included lewd comments, exposure to pornography, peeping in the locker room, and sexual touching or grabbing. Around one in 10 students said they had been the victim of one or more such things from a teacher or other school employee, and two-thirds of those reported the incident involved physical contact. If these numbers are representative of the student population nationwide, 4.5 million students currently in grades K-12 have suffered some form of sexual abuse by an educator, and more than 3 million have experienced sexual touching or assault. This number would include both inappropriate romantic relationships between teachers and upperclassmen, and outright pedophilia. 

For over a decade, and more, we’ve known this situation existed in public schools. The media, however, rather than report on this current problem, continues to harp on Catholic priests who did what they did 50 years ago. Indeed, it should be reported, but how about a little perspective? The occasional comely female teacher who hits on boys in her classes is occasionally highlighted, but the study cited here is but 12 years old, and there is no evidence that the incidence has decreased.

The professor who worked on the best study of its kind on the subject, Charol Shakeshaft of Virginia Commonwealth University, should be on your news radar. She contributed to this linked report as well.

Schools today do exactly what the Catholic Church did in the 60s; ignore the problem and move teachers to another district. ("Passing the trash", as they call it.) But the media have not given public schools nearly the investigation that they’ve given the Catholic Church, instead solely focusing on individual cases, so as to make the problem seem more isolated than it is.

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    Things Heard: e208v3

    Good morning (and yes, I’m on the left coast, it’s still morning here)

    1. Evil and theology.
    2. For valentines day, belated I guess.
    3. On the Obama = Socialist term.
    4. A pre-Xi primer.
    5. How soon will you walk/bike to work? At what cost/price of gas do you change your habits substantially?
    6. Or its just a nod to their buddies installing cat-5 in walls.
    7. No taxes raised on those making less than 250k? Oh, wait by 250k that’s not dollars, he means micro-dollars. Didn’t you read the text, when he said 250k he didn’t specify units. You just assumed he meant dollars.
    8. Well, as Freddy Mercury said, get on your bike and ride! (or run up the mountain 7 miles a day).
    9. MLK Jr and Zombies, they value you for your brains not the color of your skin, eh?
    10. The snow tortoise.
    11. For the cook.
    12. Gold value.
    13. National defense and the nearby star.
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      Fabulous Food Foto (# 006)

      The Monte Cristo Sandwich at the Cafe Orleans, in Disneyland.

      The Monte Cristo is described as “Sliced Turkey, Ham, and Swiss fried in a light batter and served with Berry Purée dusted with Powdered Sugar.” Wow! This is an awesome sandwich and is a definite “I gotta take the rest home” serving. Living close to Disneyland, my wife and I like to occasionally have a dinner at the Cafe Orleans, enjoying the sights and sounds of the faux New Orleans ambiance (without the humidity, I might add).

      Enjoy!

      – image © 2011 A R Lopez

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