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Old 06-17-2009, 04:54 AM
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Day One of Teacher Sex Abuse Series: Sexual misconduct plagues U.S. schools, AP finds more than 2,500 teachers punished in five years

Posted by The Associated Press October 21, 2007 21:14PM

Categories: Teacher Sex Abuse Series

EDITOR'S NOTE -- Sensational cases make headlines, but the scale of sexual misconduct by teachers in America's schools gets little attention. The Associated Press has spent months digging through public records to document the problem in every state, revealing a disturbing national picture. This story is the first in a three-day series on an overlooked blight on our education system.


By MARTHA IRVINE and ROBERT TANNER
AP National Writers

The young teacher hung his head, avoiding eye contact. Yes, he had touched a fifth-grader's breast during recess. "I guess it was just lust of the flesh," he told his boss.
That got Gary C. Lindsey fired from his first teaching job in Oelwein, Iowa. But it didn't end his career. He taught for decades in Illinois and Iowa, fending off at least a half-dozen more abuse accusations.
When he finally surrendered his teaching license in 2004 -- 40 years after that first little girl came forward -- it wasn't a principal or a state agency that ended his career. It was one persistent victim and her parents.
Lindsey's case is just a small example of a widespread problem in American schools: sexual misconduct by the very teachers who are supposed to be nurturing the nation's children.
Students in America's schools are groped. They're raped. They're pursued, seduced and think they're in love.
An Associated Press investigation found more than 2,500 cases over five years in which educators were punished for actions from bizarre to sadistic.

There are 3 million public school teachers nationwide, most devoted to their work. Yet the number of abusive educators -- nearly three for every school day -- speaks to a much larger problem in a system that is stacked against victims.
Most of the abuse never gets reported. Those cases reported often end with no action. Cases investigated sometimes can't be proven, and many abusers have several victims.
And no one -- not the schools, not the courts, not the state or federal governments -- has found a surefire way to keep molesting teachers out of classrooms.
Those are the findings of an AP investigation in which reporters sought disciplinary records in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The result is an unprecedented national look at the scope of sex offenses by educators -- the very definition of breach of trust.
The seven-month investigation found 2,570 educators whose teaching credentials were revoked, denied, surrendered or sanctioned from 2001 through 2005 following allegations of sexual misconduct.
Young people were the victims in at least 1,801 of the cases, and more than 80 percent of those were students. At least half the educators who were punished by their states also were convicted of crimes related to their misconduct.
The findings draw obvious comparisons to sex abuse scandals in other institutions, among them the Roman Catholic Church. A review by America's Catholic bishops found that about 4,400 of 110,000 priests were accused of molesting minors from 1950 through 2002.
Clergy abuse is part of the national consciousness after a string of highly publicized cases. But until now, there's been little sense of the extent of educator abuse.
Beyond the horror of individual crimes, the larger shame is that the institutions that govern education have only sporadically addressed a problem that's been apparent for years.
"From my own experience -- this could get me in trouble -- I think every single school district in the nation has at least one perpetrator. At least one," says Mary Jo McGrath, a California lawyer who has spent 30 years investigating abuse and misconduct in schools. "It doesn't matter if it's urban or rural or suburban."
One report mandated by Congress estimated that as many as 4.5 million students, out of roughly 50 million in American schools, are subject to sexual misconduct by an employee of a school sometime between kindergarten and 12th grade. That figure includes verbal harassment that's sexual in nature.

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Old 06-17-2009, 05:27 AM
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Can we just cut to the chase on this one where you say all teachers should be tarred and feathered, and blame it all on European influences?

The shrill tones of hysteria are reaching a pitch that can only be heard by dogs.
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Old 06-17-2009, 07:20 AM
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Get over it, man. You know where I'm coming from when I speak of Europeans and Native Americans. I wasn't referring to your sweet aunt Tillie. But you keep defending those responsible for the torturing and slaughtering of innocents. Go dig up more anti-American photos. I know clearly where you're coming from.

You waste too much time on your bashing of Bush (nearly all politicians are liars and swindlers--what else is new?). One of Saddam Hussein's sons would make rounds in schools to pluck young girls from their classrooms and then rob them of their innocence. Too many perverts endangering the children of the world. It's terrible.





Child Sex Tourism


"On this trip, I've had sex with a 14 year-old girl in Mexico and a 15 year-old in Colombia. I'm helping them financially. If they don't have sex with me, they may not have enough food. If someone has a problem with me doing this, let UNICEF feed them."
-Retired U.S. Schoolteacher
"Maria is . . . prostituted by her aunt. Maria is obliged to sell her body exclusively to foreign tourists in Costa Rica, she only works mornings as she has to attend school in the afternoon. Maria is in fifth grade."
The international tourism industry is booming. Since the 1960's, international travel has increased seven-fold. As tourists eagerly travel to distant lands to enjoy new landscapes and cultures, economically developing countries have welcomed the expansion of the international tourism industry as a much-needed source of income within their own nations. With the exponential rise in this industry, however, comes the growth of a darker, more clandestine phenomenon: child sex tourism.
Background

Sex tourism is a very lucrative industry that spans the globe. In 1998, the International Labour Organization reported its calculations that 2-14% of the gross domestic product of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Phillipines, and Thailand derives from sex tourism. In addition, while Asian countries, including Thailand, India, and the Phillipines, have long been prime destinations for child-sex tourists, in recent years, tourists have increasingly traveled to Mexico and Central America for their sexual exploits as well.

Child sex tourists are individuals that travel to foreign countries to engage in sexual activity with children. The non-profit organization End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography, and the Trafficking of Children (ECPAT) estimates that more than one million children worldwide are drawn into the sex trade each year.

Factors Supporting the Child Sex Trade

The most significant societal factor that pushes children into prostitution is poverty. Many nations with thriving sex tourism industries are nations that suffer from widespread poverty resulting from turbulent politics and unstable economies. Poverty often correlates with illiteracy, limited employment opportunities, and bleak financial circumstances for families. Children in these families become easy targets for procurement agents in search of young children. They are lured away from broken homes by "recruiters" who promise them jobs in a city and then force the children into prostitution. Some poor families themselves prostitute their children or sell their children into the sex trade to obtain desperately needed money. Gender discrimination also works in tandem with poverty; in many countries, female children have fewer educational opportunities or prospects for substantial employment. Consequently, they must find other means of earning a living.

The Internet has also facilitated the recent rise in child sex tourism by providing a convenient marketing channel. Websites provide potential child sex tourists with pornographic accounts written by other child sex tourists. These websites detail sexual exploits with children and supply information on sex establishments and prices in various destinations, including information on how to specifically procure child prostitutes. Additionally, sex tour travel agents may publish brochures and guides on the Internet that cater to child sex tourists. In 1995, there were over twenty-five businesses in the United States that offered and arranged sex tours. One particular website promised nights of sex "with two young Thai girls for the price of a tank of gas." The easy availability of this information on the Internet generates interest in child sex tourism and facilitates child sex abusers in making their travel plans.

Finally, actions by foreign governments may directly or indirectly encourage child sex tourism. National governments in countries which are struggling economically have become increasingly tourist-oriented in their search for profitable sources of income. These governments sometimes turn a blind eye to the sex tourism industry, thus allowing the industry to perpetuate sexual exploitation upon children in order to encourage tourism in their country in general.

Victims of Child Sex Tourism

Child sex tourism makes
its profits from the exploitation of child prostitutes in developing countries. Many children are trafficked into the sex trade. In Thailand, for example, Burmese girls as young as thirteen are illegally trafficked across the border by recruiters and sold to brothel owners.

The lives of child prostitutes are almost too appalling to confront. Studies indicate that child prostitutes serve between two and thirty clients per week, leading to a shocking estimated base of anywhere between 100 to 1500 clients per year, per child. Younger children, many below the age of 10, have been increasingly drawn into serving tourists.

Child prostitutes live in constant fear; they live in fear of sadistic acts by clients, fear of being beaten by pimps who control the sex trade, and fear of being apprehended by the police. It comes as no surprise that victims often suffer from depression, low self-esteem, and feelings of hopelessness.

Many victims of child sexual exploitation also suffer from physical ailments, including tuberculosis, exhaustion, infections, and physical injuries resulting from violence inflicted upon them. Venereal diseases run rampant among these children and they rarely receive medical treatment until they are seriously or terminally ill. Living conditions are poor and meals are inadequate and irregular. Many children that fail to earn enough money are punished severely, often through beatings and starvation. Sadly, drug use and suicide are all too common for victims of child sexual exploitation.

Child Sex Tourists


Child sex tourists are typically males and come from all income brackets. Perpetrators usually hail from nations in Western European nations and North America.

While some tourists are pedophiles that preferentially seek out children for sexual relationships, many child sex tourists are "situational abusers." These are individuals who do not consistently seek out children as sexual partners, but who do occasionally engage in sexual acts with children when the opportunity presents itself.

The distorted and disheartening rationales for child sex tourism are numerous.
Some perpetrators rationalize their sexual encounters with children with the idea that they are helping the children financially better themselves and their families. Paying a child for his or her services allows a tourist to avoid guilt by convincing himself he is helping the child and the child's family to escape economic hardship. Others try to justify their behavior by believing that children in foreign countries are less "sexually inhibited" and by believing their destination country does not have the same social taboos against having sex with children. Still other perpetrators are drawn towards child sex while abroad because they enjoy the anonymity that comes with being in a foreign land. This anonymity provides the child sex tourist with freedom from the moral restraints that govern behavior in his home country. Consequently, some tourists feel that they can discard their moral values when traveling and avoid accountability for their behavior and its consequences. Finally, some sex tourists are fueled by racism and view the welfare of children of third world countries as unimportant.

International Response to Child Sex Tourism

The response of destination countries to the epidemic of child sex tourism has been ineffective. Although many of these countries have passed legislation that criminalizes sexual exploitation of children, these laws often remain unenforced against tourists. Efforts to combat child sexual exploitation often run into conflict with foreign governments' efforts to promote the international tourism industry. Police corruption is common. In Thailand and the Philippines, police have been known to guard brothels and even procure children for prostitution. Some police in destination countries directly exploit children themselves. Thus far, the international community has not been able to rely on destination countries to adequately protect the rights and well-being of child victims.

The United States has risen to take legislative action against the growing evils of child sex tourism. In 1994, Congress established 18 U.S.C. 2423(b), which is aimed towards prosecution of child sex tourists. Section 2423(b) criminalizes traveling abroad for the purpose of engaging in illegal sexual activity with a minor. Currently, successful prosecution under 2423(b) requires the government to prove that an alleged child sex tourist from the United States formed the intent to engage in sexual activity with a child prior to meeting the child and initiating sexual contact. In other words, a defendant is only punishable under 2423(b) if he has the intent, while traveling, to engage in sexual activity with minors. The federal government has successfully utilized 2423(b) to target several child sex tourists. Current proposals to eliminate the intent requirement may broaden the government's prosecutorial power by allowing the government to prosecute United States citizens who engage in sexual acts with children while abroad, regardless of when they formed the intent to do so.

Child sex tourism grows at an alarming rate and inflicts devastating consequences on millions of children around the globe. As a global leader, the United States is committed to using its power to reform and eradicate child sex tourism industry.

-Sowmia Nair

Last edited by Cityboy; 06-17-2009 at 07:40 AM..
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Old 06-17-2009, 08:49 AM
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I really couldn't be bothered reading four pages on an ambiguous subject, so how about you stop beating around the bush and tell us what it is you're trying to say?

Just as a matter of curiosity, have you any idea how many teachers have been abused by students? If you're going to present an argument or debate, don't have it lopsided. I know teachers that have had nervous breakdowns because of the things that happened in their classes. I know another teacher who was stabbed five times by a student. He hasn't worked in eight years.

There are always two sides to any story.
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Old 06-17-2009, 08:58 AM
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This thought may have legs and it may not. But maybe the crusade by some people to make God vanish from humanity is depleting mankind of its spirituality. The author of the article "Child Sex Tourism" states that poverty is the main factor for parents turning their children into sex slaves. But when examining the animal kingdom, one might find that a female will often fight to the death protecting its young from predators. Will a spiritually enriched female belonging to the human race sell its child into prostitution? I can't say for sure, but the odds are in favor that a God-loving mother would rather die with her child before turning it over to such a horrific life.
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Old 06-17-2009, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Daedalus View Post
I really couldn't be bothered reading four pages on an ambiguous subject, so how about you stop beating around the bush and tell us what it is you're trying to say?

Just as a matter of curiosity, have you any idea how many teachers have been abused by students? If you're going to present an argument or debate, don't have it lopsided. I know teachers that have had nervous breakdowns because of the things that happened in their classes. I know another teacher who was stabbed five times by a student. He hasn't worked in eight years.

There are always two sides to any story.

Actually, my friend, there are three sides to a story. Yours. Mine. And the truth.

Any child stabbing a teacher needs to be disciplined. On the other hand, students are not sex toys for predator teachers.
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Old 06-17-2009, 09:17 AM
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Disciplined? You actually believe the crap that comes out of your mouth? A student who stabs a teacher should be imprisoned for attempted murder. Disciplined. My God, the crap people come out with.
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Old 06-17-2009, 09:31 AM
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On the other hand, students are not sex toys for predator teachers.
Or anyone for that matter.
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Old 06-17-2009, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Firefly View Post
Or anyone for that matter.

Children. Students. Women.

Look. If I were a teacher, I would much prefer--no, make that welcome--being stabbed by a student than molesting or raping one. The body scar of a teacher will heal with time, but the mental scar of a child may not.


Originally Posted by Daedalus View Post
I really couldn't be bothered reading four pages on an ambiguous subject, so how about you stop beating around the bush and tell us what it is you're trying to say?

Just as a matter of curiosity, have you any idea how many teachers have been abused by students? If you're going to present an argument or debate, don't have it lopsided. I know teachers that have had nervous breakdowns because of the things that happened in their classes. I know another teacher who was stabbed five times by a student. He hasn't worked in eight years.

There are always two sides to any story.


Truly strange comparison you are drawing up. Why defend sex predators?

Maybe the teacher who had a nervous breakdown shouldn't have worked with children. Maybe the teacher who was stabbed provoked the student. Maybe the students were just wild kids. What do those situations have to do with sex predators in the teaching profession?


We must protect the little ones and weaker ones from sex predators--that should be a front page issue.

Last edited by Cityboy; 06-17-2009 at 10:05 AM..
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Old 06-17-2009, 11:44 AM
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Because no one ever asks why. No one ever looks at it from the opposite side. Why did s/he do that? We just assume that these people are fucked in the head because they molest children. Well, of course they are! We don't choose who we're sexually attracted to. Homosexuals don't choose to like men. Lesbians don't choose to like women. We are who we are, and we are sexually attracted to whoever we're sexually attracted to. It's all in our genetics, in the way our brains are wired.

And if you're sexually attracted to kids, you're basically screwed. Because even if you never touch a child in your life, you hear the disgust and contempt in people's voice for those that do. So, you live your life in fear of what will happen if someone ever discovers what you're about. Because even if you've never exhibited any signs of attraction or molestation, they'll still want to string you up from a lamp post and cut your balls off if they find out what you are.

You spend your entire life lusting after something you can't have, and if we're to entertain the belief that people are born that way, you spend it feeling like you don't belong. You're a sicko; a weirdo that should be castrated for being sexually attracted to a child. It's wrong, it's sick, and you're disgusting for being the way you are. But you can't help it, and you lust after something that you can never have. So, you have to suffer with those feelings your entire life, knowing that you're sick and disgusting and worthy of contempt. And all that sexual energy that's built up from the desires within your body, it's going to explode one day and you will try to fulfil your fantasies. And even if that never happens, even if you somehow manage to stop yourself, you're still sick for being that way in the first place.

I don't condone what sexual predators do, but not everything is as cut and dry as people make it out to be, simply because no one asks questions. They just assume. And what do we say about assumptions? They're the mother of all fuckups.

Last edited by Daedalus; 06-18-2009 at 01:57 AM..
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Old 06-17-2009, 12:47 PM
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Why defend sex predators?
It's almost as though you are making the assumption that all teachers are sex predators.
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Old 06-17-2009, 01:57 PM
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If I could question for a moment what the question is? I don't actually see anything to debate here--I see an article that gives some facts and statistics, but no actual question for people to concentrate on and debate about. Is there a certain idea you had in mind for this discussion to revolve around? It seems sort of ambiguous right now, and it's hard to control discussions that don't have a focal point.
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Old 06-17-2009, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Firefly View Post
It's almost as though you are making the assumption that all teachers are sex predators.
Firefly, you know what I mean. Why are you itching to score "brownie points" here?

Lust after children? H-e-l-p needed. Really fast. Hey dude, can't you make a point without using the "F" word? And what's all your "ranting"? Are we supposed to take out our handkerchiefs now and start crying for these child predators? I'll tell you what's better than crying. Why don't you just find a quiet corner and say some prayers for them. Prayers may soothe and heal their tormented souls.

Ambigous? Child predators. Students molested by some teachers (2,500 teachers punish in last five years in USA--the Lord only knows how many not caught). What's ambiguous?

Here's a song by Chris Rea which tells the sad story:

Tell Me There's A Heaven

The little girl she said to me
What are these things that I can see
Each night when I come home from school
And mama calls me in for tea
Oh every night a baby dies
And every night a mama cries
What makes those men do what they do
To make that person black and blue
Grandpa says their happy now
They sit with God in paradise
With angels' wings and still somehow
It makes me feel like ice
Tell me there's a heaven
Tell me that it's true
Tell me there's a reason
Why I'm seeing what I do
Tell me there's a heaven
Where all those people go
Tell me they're all happy now
Papa tell me that it's so

So do I tell her that it's true
That there's a place for me and you
Where hungry children smile and say
We wouldn't have no other way
That every painful crack of bones
Is a step along the way
Every wrong done is a game plan
To that great and joyful day

And I'm looking at the father and the son
And I'm looking at the mother and the daughter
And I'm watching them in tears of pain
And I'm watching them suffer
Don't tell that little girl
Tell me
Tell me there's a heaven
Tell me that it's true
Tell me there's a reason
Why I'm seeing what I do

Tell me there's a heaven
Where all those people go
Tell me they're all happy now
Papa tell me that it's so
story:

Last edited by Cityboy; 06-17-2009 at 03:27 PM..
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Old 06-17-2009, 03:31 PM
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Why are you itching to score "brownie points" here?
What's that supposed to mean? I am only pointing out that you tend to say things as huge generalizations. Sometimes, it's easier to see someone else's point of view, if you are more specific when you give your thoughts on something.
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Old 06-17-2009, 03:47 PM
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Prayers? Haha. Oh, snap! If there's one thing I'm not, it's religious.

Your problem is that you've got blinders on to the world. You only see what you want to see. Whether it be God, kids, rapes, whatever. You do nothing but sprout invective about things that piss you off, but you never provide any reason to debate. It's like you ask a question and then tell the answer. If someone doesn't agree with your views, you whine like a baby.

Oh, and I noticed how you deflected everything relevant that I said in my post. Wouldn't have anything to do with that fact that you can't answer any of it, would it? You try to look smart by posting links to articles, but when someone puts up a counter-argument, you deflect and ignore.

I'll let you figure out what that makes you.
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Old 06-17-2009, 03:53 PM
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Irvine and Tanner are not here to defend their claims; nevertheless, their article is being used here to start discussion, so I'll look at it. Since the article is from 2007, so are my numbers:
7.1 million
Number of teachers in the United States in 2007. Some 2.9 million teach at the elementary and middle school level. The remainder includes those teaching at the postsecondary, secondary, and preschool and kindergarten levels.
Source: Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2009, Table 596 <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/>
The article claims "the seven-month investigation found 2,570 educators whose teaching credentials were revoked, denied, surrendered or sanctioned from 2001 through 2005 following allegations of sexual misconduct." So, of those cases, how many were in 2007? We'd have to say less than 2570. But even if all the reported cases occured in that one year, that would still only be 2570 teachers out of 7.1 million. That's a pretty small percentage. Granted, each case is a crime, but the numbers hardly justify saying there's a "disturbing national picture" or "overlooked blight". What it suggests to me is that some teachers sexually abuse kids. We knew that. So do some parents, some priests, some babysitters, and so on. So far, what we have is a social problem, not a school problem.

Originally Posted by Shelly View Post
Yet the number of abusive educators -- nearly three for every school day -- speaks to a much larger problem in a system that is stacked against victims.
What does "nearly three for every school day" mean? That every school day, three children get groped? Or that the number of school days times three is the number of abusers? That's a tricky figure to find, seeing as how each state makes its own laws about the number of school days. But the average is 180 days. 180 times 3 equals 540. So if that's what the authors mean, they estimate 540 out of 7.1 million. An epidemic? Sounds to me like the overwhelming majority of teachers don't sexually abuse their students.

Originally Posted by Shelly View Post
"From my own experience -- this could get me in trouble -- I think every single school district in the nation has at least one perpetrator. At least one," says Mary Jo McGrath, a California lawyer who has spent 30 years investigating abuse and misconduct in schools. "It doesn't matter if it's urban or rural or suburban."
McGrath may be right, but there's little proof of it. There are 14,556 school districts in the US (again, as of 2007). How does that compute with any of the estimates given so far? If there are 14,556 abusers, why did only 2570 show up in five years? Why do the AP journalists only estimate 540?

I don't think this article does a good job of proving its central idea. The authors and editor claim there's a huge and unreported problem in US school districts. All they show is that there's a problem in general, and it happens to exist in schools as well as in the rest of society.

Moreover, as Winterbite said: what's to debate? All we have are the words of Irvine and Tanner, who cite studies but don't name them. So far, no-one on this forum has made a claim, point, or thesis about the matter, nor has anyone asked an intellectual question. (EDIT: No offense to respondants who have made good comments, I'm talking about a central idea for a debate, which doesn't exist here.)

I'll move this thread to the Writer's Cafe. The Intellectual Forum is for debating questions, not talking about how sad news stories are.
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Old 06-18-2009, 12:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Shelly View Post
Look. If I were a teacher, I would much prefer--no, make that welcome--being stabbed by a student than molesting or raping one. The body scar of a teacher will heal with time, but the mental scar of a child may not.
That's pretty nonsensical. Let's get serious for a moment.

The statistics that the article suggests (I haven't read it, only your abstract) are appalling, there's no denying it. We should be able to rely on adults in a position of trust to be unimpeachable. But that's not the real world.

I don't know how it works in the US (not very well by the looks of things) but in the UK teachers have to undergo police checks before they can work with kids, which at least ensures that nobody with previous history gets through. That doesn't mean it doesn't happen, but it does mean the incidence is far lower here than it appears to be there. What appears to be happening in the US is that, just like in the catholic church, incidents are hushed up and the teachers quietly moved on rather than cause a scandal. This is a major systemic failure and there should be more than just teachers losing jobs.

We've just had a particularly unpleasant episode here in the UK (don't know if it will have made US news) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/news...-children.html - a nursery assistant has been charged with taking indecent images of children.
Far from being hushed up, this is in the open and will almost certainly lead to a change in the laws governing nursery schools.

Broadly, Shelly, we're on the same side here. Children should be protected from predators, not just at school but in all walks of life. The problem I have with your reaction is that you (and others here, you're not alone) head straight for the knee-jerk, immature emotional response - castrate them, kill them, hurt them - rather than looking at reasons and solutions.

Paedophilia is a sad and abhorrent fact of life. We can't wave a magic wand and make it go away. Instead we have to look at cause and effect, systems and management and do everything we can to minimise risk to all.

For instance, rather than taking the moral high-ground over sex tourism, blaming it on the mothers' lack of spirituality, why not examine the bigger picture? Why are there people in parts of the world where poverty is so great that prostitution is a necessary career choice? Why do our governments not raise an alarm when known paedophiles take a holiday to Thailand or similar?

Why not try, once in a while, getting off your hobby-horse and looking at the bigger picture?
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Old 06-18-2009, 01:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Mike C View Post
Why not try, once in a while, getting off your hobby-horse and looking at the bigger picture?
Because that would necessitate removing the blinkers which appear to be welded in place?
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Old 08-10-2009, 10:27 AM
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This kind of thing I am sure happens all over the world. Wherever there are folk you will find both good and bad. It is such a tragedy when the victims are children. The problem will not simply go away. All that can be done is to try and curtail it as best we can.
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