A Lingering Shame

Most of America's educators are dedicated professionals who wouldn’t dream of crossing the line into sexual conduct with a student. But a small slice of school employees do not respect that boundary. Their crimes can leave indelible scars on their victims, severely damage families, and cause lasting harm to entire school communities. How to recognize and combat the threat posed by such educators is an issue that no education policymaker, administrator, teacher, or parent can afford to ignore.

This special collection of stories, "A Lingering Shame: Sexual Abuse of Students by School Employees," assembles reporting on a problem that is only sporadically recognized as a national issue. The collection features a three-day 2007 Associated Press series on teacher sexual misconduct based on a seven-month investigation by AP reporters across the country. Some of the stories in the series appeared in the October 24, 2007, issue of Education Week; the entire series is available here.

The collection also highlights special Education Week coverage, including "A Trust Betrayed," an award-winning series based on a six-month investigation the paper conducted in 1998, as well as an update of the series based on fresh research done five years later.

December 2, 1998 It may start with a warm smile or an affectionate hug. But often, far more often than many people think, those friendly moments mask the first steps by a teacher or coach down the road that leads to sexual relations with their young charges and the shattering of a sacred trust.

April 30, 2003  On any day of the year, it's long been easy to find reports of sexual misconduct by school employees. But now, a new Education Week survey suggests, at least some state policymakers are starting to pay more attention.

March 25, 2010 – AP

March 23, 2010 – AP

March 12, 2010 – AP

March 10, 2010 – AP

March 10, 2010 – AP

March 9, 2010 – AP

February 1, 2010 – AP

July 28, 2009 – AP

May 25, 2009 – AP

Child-abuse activists warned Thursday that Ireland failed to learn the lessons from decades of unchecked brutality inside Catholic Church-run schools and still offers poor protection to vulnerable boys and girls.
May 21, 2009 – AP

May 21, 2009 – AP

May 20, 2009 – AP

May 12, 2009 – AP

Governors, legislative leaders and top education officials are pledging to close loopholes that have allowed teacher sexual misconduct to persist.
November 5, 2007 – Education Week (Web)

More than 300 California educators had their teaching licenses revoked or suspended because of sex-related offenses from 2001 through 2005. But you can’t tell that from the state’s enforcement records.
October 24, 2007 – Education Week

Associated Press reporters in every state and the District of Columbia worked for months to provide a national look at sexual misconduct among educators.
October 24, 2007 – Education Week

The Associated Press investigates a widespread problem in American schools: sexual misconduct by the very teachers who are supposed to be nurturing the nation’s children.
October 24, 2007 – Education Week

While most educators are dedicated professionals, investigators and academic experts who have studied teacher sexual misconduct say there are some warning signs that should make parents pay more attention and take action.
October 23, 2007 – Education Week (Web)

Time and again in their seven-month investigation of sexual misconduct by teachers, Associated Press reporters discovered cases in which educators accused of such misconduct continued to teach.
October 23, 2007 – Education Week (Web)

Every school has rules governing teacher behavior. Every state has laws against child abuse, and many specifically outlaw teachers’ taking sexual liberties with students. Yet people like Chad Maughan stay in the classroom.
October 23, 2007 – Education Week (Web)

Immediately after news of one teachers arrest hit in January 2005, people began questioning the girls' motives: Why didn't they come forward sooner? Were they really telling the truth?
October 22, 2007 – Education Week (Web)

Girls often are ostracized for bringing down educators, while boys are seen as ‘lucky’.
October 22, 2007 – Education Week

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