Dianna Sheely was shocked last year when she heard a teacher at Colerain High, the same district where her children go to school, was arrested for having sexual contact with a student.
Sheely felt let down. The head of the Northwest High booster club wondered how it could happen and what administrators at the Northwest Local School District – which includes Colerain and Northwest high schools – would do about it.
Then it happened again, this time at Northwest High where her children attend.
And then again.
Three times in the same school district, all within a year.
“It made me mad and it made me sad,” said Sheely, whose third child graduated from Northwest High.
“As parents, we put our trust in these teachers and we expect them to respect our students.”
Educators have been charged with having sexual contact with students four times in the last year in Hamilton County and at least nine times in Greater Cincinnati since 2010.
It’s an issue with which anyone with school-aged children can identify. It’s frightening because critics suggest that as many as one in 10 U.S. public school students – or about 4.5 million children – are involved in some kind of inappropriate teacher-student relationship.
But it’s not easy to identify – accusations involve everything from physical contact to inappropriate comments or looks – and can have a crippling effect not only on those involved but on the student body and their parents and educators.
Read the entire article here.
It’s simple – all school administrators, educators, and staff need training. School employees who receive training are better equipped to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. School personnel identify 52% of all known child abuse cases classified as causing harm to the child, more than any other profession or organization. Despite this, two-thirds of teachers do not receive specific training in child sexual abuse prevention or response. Bottom line: we must empower teachers to protect kids.