Sunday, April 24, 2005

School Sex Abuse Scandal

From the front page of my local paper, The Detroit News, "State fails to stop teacher sex abuse." Not Catholic priests, but public schools teachers. Twenty-two men have been convicted, while 35 have been charge in the past 15 months ALONE. In just a little over a year. Thirty-Five men. And, I read through the charges, and they involve video taping of young boys in their locker room, or assault in a janitorial closet, or online solicitation of a minor (we're not just talking about a 24 year old teacher, taking on a young girlfriend.) In private conversations, I have been told that the rate of sexual assault by teachers on kids in school would make the Catholic scandal look tame by comparison, but I've never seen that uttered by anyone publically. I've never seen a story like this until this morning. To look at the numbers a bit, there were 4, 392 priests charged over a 52 year period. That breaks down to 870 (roughly) per state, with less than 2 charges per year (yea, yea, I know, there probably were some cases that didn't get reported, but most likely all priests that committed such acts were reported, and this number counts not the number of children assaulted, but the number of priests that were accused.) Two priests per state, versus 35 school employees. Do you think this is going to get the same sort of attention that the Catholic church scandal got? Are there going to be demands for the teacher's union to repair itself? Is it going to be vilified by EVERY talking head, and be the butt of every late-night talk show host? Is Letterman going to do a "Ten signs your teacher might be a pedophile" list?

I doubt it.