A Trust Betrayed

In the groundbreaking 1998 series, "A Trust Betrayed," Education Week examined the widespread effects of sexual misconduct on students, educators, and the community. Articles in this series address issues of concern such as prevention and response to inappropriate behavior, legal history and policy of sexual abuse cases, and student-faculty relationships in higher education.


• Read the 2003 update to this series, A Trust Betrayed: Update on Sexual Misconduct in Schools.

In 20 states, sex between a student and an adult employee is perfectly legal, as long as the young person is at least 16. And if the student is 17, add three more states to the list.
December 16, 1998 – Education Week

During a quarter-century career in the Los Angeles County schools, Jeffrey Warschaw has worked with inner-city gang members, taught children with severe emotional problems, and seen students charged with murder.
December 16, 1998 – Education Week

Few people go to college with the intention of falling in love with a professor.
December 16, 1998 – Education Week

School principals often feel they need to be education's answer to the Colonial minuteman—ready at a moment's notice to handle just about anything.
December 16, 1998 – Education Week

Sexual abuse of students is rarely a passing fancy, and for some schoolhouse predators, it becomes a way of life. Left unchecked, they may leave a trail of molestation that stretches across many years and countless students' lives.
December 9, 1998 – Education Week

Ten years ago this month, a high school senior from an Atlanta suburb brought an $11 million federal lawsuit alleging that school officials had failed to protect her from months of sexual harassment by her economics teacher. The case proved to be a turning point for students seeking redress for sexual misconduct by school employees.
December 9, 1998 – Education Week

If there's anything worse than a school employee who sexually abuses students, it's a school that doesn't care.
December 9, 1998 – Education Week

For nine months that felt like forever, Michael Gallagher and his family had prayed for this moment. And yet when it came, all they could do was cry.
December 9, 1998 – Education Week

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.
December 2, 1998 – Education Week

More than a year before he stole her virginity in the high school wrestling room, Michael Dwayne Blevins had figured out how to make the pretty blonde in his 8th grade science class feel special.

December 2, 1998 – Education Week

When the school band director is convicted for having sex with a 14-year-old trumpet player, more likely than not at least someone in the community will label him a "pedophile."
December 2, 1998 – Education Week

Because sexual misconduct by educators is a little-studied topic nationally, no one knows what proportion of it is committed by women. Yet an examination of recent cases around the country suggests that women play a significant, if decidedly secondary, role in such abuse.
November 25, 1998 – Education Week

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