Are you a parent? Well then the News today really, really, really wants to get you worried about the idea that your children may be sleeping with their teachers!
To stir your concerns they dig through the Department of Education's files with special schools investigator Richard Condon who says that his office busted "92 educators alone last year on sex charges - a 33% increase over 2004." While most of those cases involved inappropriate leers, grabs and propositions, "at least 19 cases in 2005 - six of them women - allegedly had intercourse, oral sex or romantic relationship with students." Another 18 cases "involved educators who appeared to solicit sex from students." A semantic point: The News is talking about educators here, not teachers. That is why they slip into their "statistics" that "31% of offenders were teachers or substitutes" and "13% were coaches" (we kind of would have expected more coaches, but we watch too much TV).
Are you skeptical of there being a teacher/student sex problem of "epidemic proportions" yet? Because Terri Miller of Stop Educator Sexual Abuse, Misconduct and Exploitation really seems to think there is. Us? Not so much.
While we don't doubt for a minute that there are teachers out there who have in the past, are currently and will in the future sleep with their students we also think it is an incredibly dangerous thing to go running around like chicken little about. A 33% increase to 92 substantiated cases of sexual misconduct in a school system with well over a million students sounds about what we would expect statistically (and again, less than a third were full-time teachers). There is no question that parents need to be vigilant about who their children spend their time with be their teachers or priests. But we saw where these kinds of sex witch hunts can lead when we were in high school, and it can get very ugly very quickly. Environments rife with illegitimate allegations are seriously not conducive to anyones education.