Across the nation, in WA State, and even in our own local school district, we’ve latched upon zero-tolerance policies in our K-12 public schools as a means by which to decrease the potential risk to students from things such as student bullying, weapons, drugs, and alcohol. In most cases, however, absent from school district campuses are zero-tolerance policies which prohibit private access to children from public school personnel. The paradigm of in loco parentis authority over children while they are school suggests that the potential abuse of that authority seriously increases the risk to children, including the risk of sexual abuse. About 400 known juvenile sexual offenders presently lurk in our K-12 classrooms in WA State.
The Rest of the Story
School staff background checks are typically no more thorough (or not) than those given to community volunteers, but even background checks are useless during the time period proceeding that point at which an offending predator is finally identified. If our legislators and school districts were serious about protecting kids, they would have long ago adopted policies that protect our kids from the biggest potential threat ALREADY INSIDE the school buildings: the adults and the students.
When will the Oak Harbor Education Association, the Oak Harbor School Board, and the Oak Harbor School District work to enact such a zero-tolerance policy to protect our kids from this ongoing clear and present danger lurking in our K-12 public schools? According to testimony given in the video here (time stamp 27:00), there are over 400 juvenile sex offenders now in our K-12 classrooms in WA State! Current policy keeps parents and students in the dark about such offenders. When did ignorance become strength in our K-12 public school system?
While the incidence of child-on-child sexual abuse is not known with any certainty, similar to abuse by adults, would we tolerate 400 known adult sexual offenders as staff in our K-12 classrooms? Obviously, the answer is “no”, and we should not at all be comforted by these 400 known sexual offenders being given special status within our K-12 classrooms and likely riding the school buses, as research indicates that sexual assaults of children under the age of 12 are most commonly committed by adolescents who are 14 years of age.
This issue is a known problem, but our Democrat-led WA state legislators and Democrat Governor have enacted Swiss-cheese-like legislation on this issue and has perennially let languish legislation that could do some real good. See: SB 5204, HB 1208 and HB 1549.
Other on-line posters have previously addressed the issue of Sexual Predators in the Classroom, while, in Georgia, the “Charlie Rape Gang“, a group of middle school students, has terrorized other students, resulting in only a two-day suspension for one of the offending students.
The entire 120 staff of a Los Angeles primary school have been removed after two teachers were jailed for allegedly sexually abusing dozens of children. (See video from February 2012, below).
Zero-tolerance policies tend to be controversial. If, however, such policies are at all justified to prevent potential threats to student safety from entering school buildings, they are justified in this case, too, since numerous examples of harm being done to children via sexual predators in our K-12 schools continue to amass.