Not Just Oprah

Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic

Sexual misconduct by teachers is one of parents' worst nightmares. And when it makes the headlines, it's usually in an embarrassing and tawdry way... like the sixth grade math teacher from Nebraska who allegedly ran away to Mexico with one of her students, or the cloud over Oprah's school in South Africa. But an Associated Press investigation identified the problem as much wider then you might have thought. Today, we're going to delve into this problem, and give you the scoop on what to do if you suspect it's happening in your child's school. Your suggestions are welcome.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

I reported my highschool teacher for sexual harrarment in 1988. The school board attempted to remove his tenure in a closed trial, where I was a witness, but then the accepted his resignation before the trial had completed. No record of my accusations went on his record and to this day, he teaches at a different school system. My reputation was ruined as the school board leaked my accusations to the public. During the tenure hearing, a teacher and a fellow student testified on his defense even though I was a model student and was never in trouble.

Sent by tracy | 2:09 PM | 11-6-2007

Just wonder how much fermions and hormones have to do with this problem. Whether a old person mainly female would be better to teach younger kids? That maybe a gay guy would be better to teach young girls. Maybe the schools need to take a better look at who they put into the class room so that nature would take place. As far as young people being active, that has been going on since the beginning of time whether we want it or not. I'm not saying it's expectable in this day and age but you have to take the nature factor into account. Maybe these people wouldn't act if fermions and hormones were there. Maybe a spray could be developed to counter act these natural occurring odors.

Sent by Scrutinizer | 2:54 PM | 11-6-2007

I am mystified. This is so often talked about as if sexual abuse of a minor weren't a crime. These are trusted adults who prey on vulnerable populations. How is it that school administrations can take the place of the courts? It's an issue that goes beyond licensure. It's criminal.

Sent by Mary | 3:59 PM | 11-6-2007

Hi,
I just want to thank-you for your six kind words at the end of my on-air comments/story of the music teacher who nearly molested me. I have told that story to a few people and I can't recall anyone saying "I'm sorry that happened to you." So thank-you for your compassion and today's show. I have wanted to follow up and make sure that this guy is no longer teaching and I am more inspired to do so after this afternoon.

Sent by Theresa Marquardt | 10:43 PM | 11-6-2007

I'm appalled that NPR chose to use this topic, as the topic of the day. Cheap, scare-mongering, sensationalist, and uninsightful journalism at it worst.

Sent by hh | 11:30 PM | 11-6-2007

I guess it's really late to comment about this story, but I just read the latest on the teacher who took the student to Mexico.
What amazed me about your story was hearing the education official talk about the school investigation. When were educators trained to investigate crimes? Any suspicion should be reported to law enforcement and let THEM investigate.
Do you think this critical lack of critical thinking is why Johnny can't read?
If untrained investigators are investigating, no wonder this goes on and on and teachers go from school to school. What are these people thinking, just that they need to cover up that they hired a sexual predator?

Sent by emm | 10:26 AM | 11-11-2007

Support comes from: