Posts Tagged ‘pass the trash’

From time to time, when I really get to thinking about all that has happened with the school district as it relates to my husband’s ex, my mind wanders to the “mandatory reporters.”  Where are these people?  Who are they required to report to?  Why have they gotten away with NOT reporting?  So many questions, so few answers.

When my daughter was in high school, what caused her so much grief was that SHE was reporting a teacher who was known to have sex with students.  She told the administration on many occasions.  She told the Superintendent straight to her face about this teacher.  She sat with my attorney as I stood in front of the district Board of Education and not only told them, but we provided documentation from this teacher’s own testimony in family court about her relationship with one young man.  In the end, my daughter was the one punished.  Ostracized.  Alone.

The man who was the principal at that time has since retired.  He knew.  He had been this teacher’s principal when she was in high school.  They had been friends for many years.  His wife, also a teacher at this same high school – both when the ex was in high school and at the school my daughter attended where the ex was (and still is) a teacher – was also a close friend.  Can one honestly be expected to believe that neither of them knew about this woman’s history with students?  Especially with as much time as they spent together both in and out of the school setting.  Impossible.  Regardless, they were both mandatory reporters.

What about this teacher’s sister?  Once again, also a teacher at this same high school.  For many years their classrooms were right next to each other.  Is it possible that this sister was unaware of her sisters sexual habits with students?  Possibly.  But I find that unlikely.  The teacher and the student would often make trips to the home town of these sisters, visiting a family member, to spend together and avoid being seen in this area.  This sister is also the woman who called my husband the day after he got the test results that the third child wasn’t his and tried to shame him for uncovering that truth.  She is still a teacher at the high school and she is and always has been required to report suspected abuse.

Years ago, when my husband was first told about the rumors of the ex having sex with some of the football boys, he went to the administration of that small school.  Once again, mandatory reporters.

So what I wonder about often is exactly WHO is it these mandatory reporters are supposed to report suspected abuse to?  What happens to them if they don’t?  Clearly the list of people who stood by, knew this was going on – or strongly suspected it – and did nothing.  Actually, that’s not true.  What they did was allow countless students to be sexually and emotionally abused.  They promoted the exploitation of countless students by keeping quiet.  They are guilty of professional misconduct too.  But what happens to them?  In the case of the former principal and his wife, both are now retired.  Drawing a pension from teaching.  Personally, I don’t care how many years they taught, I don’t believe any of them should get one red cent of that State retirement.  They shirked their responsibilities to the students, their parents, the tax payers.

And what of the teacher who has sex with students?  What will the school district and the state board of education say when it is made known that the father of one of her children was a student of hers at the time of conception?  In this state, she cannot be prosecuted as the boys are all now over the age of 21 and the statute of limitations has expired.  Will she have her teaching license revoked?  Or will they try to quietly urge her to move to another district?  They did this before (she actually called my husband and told him that!) but she wasn’t smart enough to go. Maybe they will put another note in her personnel file that says she is not allowed to be around male students outside of the school setting?  (yes, she told my husband about this too and it was even discussed in family court.)  What is their liability in all of this?  What I really want to know is how do they live with themselves?

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” (Edmund Burke)

Advertisements

I remember the day my daughter told me about a teacher at school who was having sex with students like it was yesterday.  We were in our kitchen.  Standing in front of the dishwasher in fact.  The next thing out of her mouth shocked me, and angered me – at her.  She said “and everybody knows about it.”

“EVERYBODY knows about it?  I don’t believe that”, I challenge.  “Other students maybe… but EVERYBODY…meaning other teachers, school administrators, parents even???”  My mind could not comprehend that and my heart would not accept it.  “Absolutely NOT!” I scolded her.  “I don’t believe that for a minute.  And YOU better be careful what you say.”  That was 10 years ago.  My daughter was correct.  This teacher was indeed having sex with students.  Plural.  It was, and still is, shocking to me.

Over the years I have learned a lot about the teachers who exhibit this behavior.  These people are almost always predators.  You will find the occassional teacher who considers themselves “in love” with their victim.  The male teachers are almost without exception punished much more severely than the women.  There are still so many stereotypes about “boys being boys” that it can be difficult to prosecute the female offenders.  Studies show the long-term psychological effects of young men being victimized in this manner are just as damaging to them, sometimes more so, as to young women.  (Read http://www.sesamenet.org/male_vics.html for more information on male victims.  S.E.S.A.M.E – Stop Educators Sexual Abuse, Misconduct and Exploitation www.sesamenet.org is in my opinion, one of the best organizations today working to bring attention to educator abuse.)

Let’s jump back to the case of the teacher I reference above.   She has a history of this behavior going back to when she began her student teaching.  She still teaches today.  The school district she now teaches at is well aware of her history.  THAT is what was and still is most shocking, upsetting and disappointing to me.  They not only didn’t fire this woman, in actuality, they protected her.

Sadly again, what I have learned over the years is that schools protecting these teachers is common practice.  This is quite appropriately called “Passing the trash.”  (Check out http://www.lvrj.com/opinion/-passing-the-trash-in-public-schools-117893284.html)  Schools will approach a teacher known or suspected of being inappropriately involved with students and discretely ask them to leave the district.  In exchange, the district gives a good recommendation to the next district about the teacher.  Laws are changing but depending on which state you live in, they vary greatly.

My daughter wasn’t sexually abused at school, but she was harassed, intimidated, threatened.   She didn’t deserve that.  She was telling the truth.  How many more kids are there like my daughter?  Kids who speak up about a serious issue, only to be shot down.  My daughter didn’t give up until she had given me enough proof, enough stories that could be collaborated, enough names, that I believed her.  We fought a good fight, for a long while, to get things changed.  We didn’t win the battle.  We tried hard, but came up short.  But I promise you this, in spite of losing a few battles, in the end, we WILL win the war.