About This Series
This series is the result of a six-month project by Education Week Associate Editor Caroline Hendrie and Deputy Managing Editor Steven Drummond.
The project involved scores of interviews with state and local education and law-enforcement officials, other experts, teachers, principals, parents, and victims, as well as an extensive review of court documents, journal articles, and public-policy records.
Since no concrete, national data exist on allegations of child sex abuse by school employees, the project was also based on searches through archives, wire service clippings, and computer databases of thousands of news articles from March through August of this year.
That research, with independent, follow-up reporting, led to the creation of a database of 244 cases that were active in either criminal or civil courts or being handled by school district investigators.
In addition, Education Week reporters surveyed officials from each of the 50 states on their laws and policies on sexual relations with students and the reporting of alleged abuse by school employees.
The newspaper's librarian, Kathryn Dorko, helped plan and conduct the research for the database, and Reporter/Researcher Adrienne D. Coles provided research assistance.