Despite attempts from liberal media outlets to downplay it, abuse of students by teachers in public schools remains a pressing problem. Vox referred to the furor over “grooming” as a “moral panic.” NPR, funded with your tax dollars, described the word as “homophobic.” But unfortunately, the concerns regarding teacher misconduct are not unfounded.
On Thursday, a high school basketball coach in Rhode Island was charged with second-degree child molestation and second-degree sexual assault. Aaron Thomas, who was a coach for the boys’ basketball team, is alleged to have conducted naked “fat tests” on students he was instructing. Timothy Conlon, an attorney representing several of Thomas’s alleged victims, described his conduct as “an open secret.” Thomas denies the allegations.
In the New York City borough of Queens, Jamaica Gateway to the Sciences, a public high school, was rocked by back-to-back scandals involving teachers accused of abuse. On the evening of June 2, music teacher Shannon Hall was arrested after allegedly sending explicit texts to a 16-year-old student. Hall had allegedly messaged the student that he wanted “to be with you,” and said that “she would be dead” if she reported the text. Hall also allegedly grabbed the breasts of a 14-year-old student. He was charged with forcible touching, endangering the welfare of a child, sexual abuse, and aggravated harassment. Later that month, a second teacher, Scott Biski, was fired for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a former student.
In Wilmington, Delaware, a teacher at High Road School was charged on June 15 with raping a student. James Garfield, 26, was arrested at his home after a 15-year-old student alerted the authorities.
Not to belabor the point, but one could create an entire book out of such cases that have occurred this year alone. According to an analysis by Fox News, 140 teachers have been arrested this year for sex crimes against students. Conservative activist Christopher Rufo, in a statement made to the media outlet, noted:
The basic fact is incontrovertible: every day, a public school teacher is arrested, indicted, or convicted for child sex abuse. And yet, the teachers unions, the public school bureaucracies, and the left-wing media pretend that the abuse isn’t happening and viciously attack families who raise concerns.
The handling of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church is rightly regarded as a scandal. Should the school system not receive the same scrutiny? Some on the left can ignore, evade, or downplay the magnitude of this problem, but it is real. And until we confront it and put in place policies to address it, it will remain real.
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