Student Well-Being Series

A Trust Betrayed

Sexual Misconduct in Schools

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.

Student Well-Being On College Campuses, a Gradual Move Toward Addressing Faculty-Student Sex
Few people go to college with the intention of falling in love with a professor.
Julie Blair, October 18, 2007
5 min read
Student Well-Being 'Zero Tolerance' of Sex Abuse Proves Elusive
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.
Caroline Hendrie, December 16, 1998
16 min read
School & District Management At One California School, a 'Never-Ending Nightmare'
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.
Caroline Hendrie, December 16, 1998
5 min read
Student Well-Being Principals Face a Delicate Balancing Act In Handling Allegations of Misconduct
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.
Caroline Hendrie, December 16, 1998
6 min read
Student Well-Being 'Passing the Trash' by School Districts Frees Sexual Predators To Hunt Again
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.
Caroline Hendrie, December 9, 1998
12 min read
Student Well-Being Shifting Legal Ground on Harassment Has Made It Harder for Victims To Win
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.
Caroline Hendrie, December 9, 1998
5 min read
School & District Management Cost Is High When Schools Ignore Abuse
If there's anything worse than a school employee who sexually abuses students, it's a school that doesn't care.
Caroline Hendrie, December 9, 1998
11 min read
Student Well-Being Living Through a Teacher's Nightmare: False Accusation
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.
Caroline Hendrie, December 9, 1998
6 min read
Student Well-Being Sex With Students: When Employees Cross the Line
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.
Caroline Hendrie, December 2, 1998
17 min read
Student Well-Being In Youth's Tender Emotions, Abusers Find Easy Pickings

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.

Caroline Hendrie, December 2, 1998
6 min read
School Climate & Safety Labels Like 'Pedophile' Don't Explain the Many Faces of Child Sexual Abuse
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."
Caroline Hendrie, December 2, 1998
5 min read
Student Well-Being Abuse by Women Raises Its Own Set of Problems
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.
Caroline Hendrie, November 25, 1998
14 min read