Another day, another New York City teacher arrested for inappropriate behavior with their students. Yesterday a Manhattan ROTC instructor at a Hell's Kitchen high school was arrested on charges he inappropriately touched a 14-year-old girl on school grounds earlier this month. Darryl Lynch, 55, was charged with forcible touching, acting in a manner to injure a child and sexual abuse.
The alleged abuse (it is unclear if it was a one-time thing or not) occurred in the school and was reported by the victim to a guidance counselor. Lynch, who has been a DOE employee since 1997, earns a $100,049 salary and lives in Connecticut, was assigned away from the High School of Graphic Communication Arts yesterday.
Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott responded to the news (he's been doing a lot of responding lately) with the following statement: "I am outraged by these charges, and have no tolerance for adults who betray the trust of their students and school communities. With the changes we have announced, any individual who has an inappropriate relationship with a student will be removed from the classroom as soon as allegations surface—and moving forward, be barred from teaching in our schools if those charges have merit."
Despite being a short month, February has appeared to have been packed with allegations of sexual misconduct in our schools—the charges against Lynch are the sixth to make the news—but statistically things may not be as bad as they seem. While in 2007 students made 619 complaints about sexually questionable conduct by school employees that number dropped 9 percent last year to 561 complaints and it is too soon to say if this year is markedly worse. Also interesting: only 27 percent of the cases reported last year were found to be substantiated, a 19 percent decrease from 2007.