Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Children remain unprotected

Excerpted from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Every school has rules governing teacher behavior. Every state has laws against child abuse, and many specifically prohibit teachers from taking sexual liberties with students. Every school district has administrators who watch out for sexual misconduct by teachers.

Yet people such as Chad Maughan stay in the classroom.

Maughan got in trouble twice for viewing pornography at schools in Washington state but was allowed to keep teaching. Within two years, he was convicted of raping a 14-year-old girl in his school.

Legal loopholes, fear of lawsuits and inattention have weakened the safeguards that are supposed to protect children in school. The system fails hundreds of kids each year, an Associated Press investigation found. It undoubtedly fails many more whose offenders go free.

Read the entire article to see where priorities truly lie when it comes to protecting our children.

... piecemeal efforts have often run into resistance - from lawmakers reluctant to tackle the subject, from teachers unions concerned with privacy and due process, and from school boards worried about court fights.

Any lawmaker, union, school board, or other organization that puts the protection of perpetrators above the children should be considered an enemy of the people. An enemy of our children. That includes churches if they come down on the side of protecting adults from embarrassment at the expense of the child victims.

In Minnesota, the state school board association - allied with two church groups - has lobbied against a bill that would give victims of child sex abuse more time to bring civil claims. Schools, like churches, could be held liable if they failed to stop abuse about which they should have known.

It's a sad state that we are in when schools are more afraid of lawsuits and embarrassment than they are of allowing children to be permanently harmed by those who have been put in place to protect them and to teach them.

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