At least 102 of the charges involved, 76 percent overall, involved crimes against students. Of the 135 suspects, 117 were teachers, 11 were aides, and 7 were substitute teachers.
The issue of teachers committing sex crimes against students is not being taken as seriously by the federal government as it should be, according to Erika Sanzi, Director of Outreach for the education watchdog group Parents Defending Education. Sanzi pointed to the fact that the last federally-commissioned report on the matter was in 2004, with a report by the Department of Education claiming that up to 9.6% of students are the victims of sexual misconduct by educators at some point during their schooling.
“Educator sexual abuse is a major problem that largely gets ignored because it’s so uncomfortable to talk about,” said Sanzi. “While a very small fraction of educators and school employees prey on the children in their care, one bad actor can do damage to many students.”
“We need to get much more honest about the problem, study it again and ensure that we have policies and laws in place that protect children,” Sanzi continued. “It is currently legal in Massachusetts and Rhode Island for teachers and other adults in positions of authority to have sexual relationships with students once they turn 14.”
Christopher Rufo, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and an expert on far-left indoctrination in education such as Critical Race Theory, said that “the public school system has a serious child sex abuse problem.” Rufo similarly pointed out that there has not been a major federal investigation or study on child sex abuse by educators since 2004.
“This is a travesty,” Rufo added. “Parents deserve to know exactly what’s happening in the public school system and deserve to have tools for protecting their children from abuse. Congress should immediately fund a $25 million research program into child sexual abuse in public schools and provide complete transparency for parents. The first duty of public schools is to keep kids safe—and, tragically, that’s not happening in far too many cases.”