According to a major study commissioned by the U.S. Department of Education, the most in-depth investigation to date, nearly 10 percent of U.S. public school students have been targeted with unwanted sexual attention by school employees in an adult/minor context.
Titled, "Educator Sexual Misconduct: A Synthesis of Existing Literature," the report says the mistreatment of students ranges from sexual comments to rape.
In fact, says the studies author, Carol Shakeshaft, professor of educational administration at Hofstra University, in Hempstead, New York, the scope of the school sex problem appears to far exceed the clergy abuse scandal that has rocked the Roman Catholic Church.
Comparing the incidence of sexual misconduct in schools with the Catholic Church scandal, Shakeshift notes that a study by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops concluded that 10,667 young people were sexually mistreated by priests between 1950 and 2002.
In contrast, the extrapolates from a national survey conducted for the American Association of University Women Educational Foundation in 2000 that roughly 290,000 students experienced some sort of physical sexual abuse by a public school employee between 1991 and 2000.
The figures suggest "the physical sexual abuse of students in schools is likely more than 100 times the abuse by priests," said Shakshaft, according to Education Week.
Indeed, more than 4.5 million students are subject to sexual misconduct by an employee of a school sometime between kindergarden and 12th grade, says the report.
- Carol Shakeshaft, "Educator Sexual Misconduct: A Synthesis of Existing Literature," June 2004,http://www.ed.gov/rschstat/research/pubs/misconductreview/report.pdf
- Laurie Goodstein, "Scandals in the Church: The Overview; Abuse Scandals has been Ended, Top Bishop Says," New York Times, Feb 28, 2004,http://www.nytimes.com/2004/02/28/us/scandals-in-the-church-the-overview-abuse-scandal-has-been-ended-top-bishop-says.html?pagewanted=all
- Caroline Hendrie, "Sexual Abuse By Educators Is Scrutinized, "Education Week, March 10, 2004,http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2004/03/10/26abuse.h23.html
And something has especially gone seriously wrong with our society when we now have an epidemic of female teachers sexually abusing their (minor) students...