Report Examining Sexual Misconduct Taps Some Nerves
A report commissioned by the U.S. Department of Education on school employees’ sexual misconduct with students is drawing fire from national education groups and has attracted only qualified support from the agency itself.
Required under the No Child Left Behind Act, the report by sexual-harassment researcher Charol Shakeshaft concludes that such misconduct is "woefully understudied," but that as many as one in 10 students may be subjected to some form of it during their K-12 careers. A draft version of the report was made available to Education Week when Ms. Shakeshaft submitted it to the department in late February. ( "Sexual Abuse by Educators Is Scrutinized," March 10, 2004.)
The department sent a final version of the report to Congress on June 30 with a preface signed by Deputy Secretary of Education Eugene W. Hickok saying the department had "reservations" about the document’s scope. Specifically, the preface noted that the report examined all forms of sexual misconduct against students by school employees, rather than the narrower category of "sexual abuse" as defined in federal criminal statutes. Mr. Hickok called that...
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