A “serious child sex abuse problem” in the nation’s schools confirms the problem is real – and the numbers of victims are rising.
Through May 13 of this year, 135 educators had been arrested for child sex crimes in the United States, according to an analysis by Fox News Digital.
But in a recent updated report, Fox News says the number of arrests rose by nearly 50 by the end of June – a total of 181 educators, for an average of one arrest every day.
The disturbing pattern has led figures such as Christopher Rufo, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, to sound the alarm about the need for a deeper look into this crisis.
“It’s time to take this problem seriously,” Rufo told Fox News Digital. “I call on Congress to appropriate $25 million for a national study of child sex abuse in public schools, so victims can finally get justice and parents can have greater confidence that schools will be safe for their children.”
The lack of awareness regarding how serious this scandal has become is primarily due to how intertwined teachers’ unions have become with left-wing politics, Rufo argues.
“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 alleged crimes range from possession of child pornography to rape. The overwhelming majority of arrests were among teachers, though four principals, 12 teacher’s aides and 12 substitute teachers made the list. Three out of every four incidents (77%) directly involved students, and most crimes were perpetrated by men (78%).
According to a Department of Education (DOE) report released last month, a major contributing factor is what is called “passing the trash” – when sexual abusers in one district can easily move to another school district quietly, opening up the possibility of more abuse.
To address the problem, Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania has proposed a bipartisan provision of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) that would hold schools accountable for their failures.
“The Department of Education … has continued to extend ESEA funding to states who have failed to properly safeguard students from sexual predators, which is in violation of this funding requirement,” Toomey wrote in a February 2022 letter with Sen. Joe Manchin to Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “We urge the Department to use the powers at its discretion to address this lack of enforcement.”
Some troubling findings from the DOE report show:
- Only 19 states require employers to request information from prospective hires’ current or former employers.
- Only 14 states require prospective employers to look into applicants’ certifications or employment eligibility.
- Only 11 states require applicants to disclose information related to investigations or discipline involving sexual misconduct or abuse.
“Any educator who engaged in sexual misconduct with a child should be barred from ever teaching in a classroom again, yet too many states do not have policies to ensure that is the case,” Toomey said in a written statement after the DOE report was released. “Releasing this report is only the first step – the department must hold states accountable and use the tools at its disposal to enforce the law.”