More than 100 public school teachers who lost their licenses due to allegations of sexual abuse of students are still working in schools today, according to a year-long investigation by USA TODAY.
Reporters reviewed educator licensing and misconduct databases in all 50 states, examined court filings and surveyed education officials to determine how teachers accused of sexual abuse remain employed in the education system.
Reporters made a variety of shocking discoveries:
- Education officials often ignore bans on secrecy deals that allow them to remove disgraced teachers without bad publicity. In some cases, officials have reached secrecy deals in which they pay teachers to resign. These deals help teachers cover their troubled pasts and easily find new positions where they can continue working with students.
- Private schools and youth organizations perform background checks on teachers without having access to state tracking systems indicating if a teacher has been disciplined by the state. This puts students and members of these organizations at a greater risk of being exposed to alleged sexual abusers.
- Even public schools may be negligent in conducting basic background checks for teachers. There have been cases across the country where a teacher’s past has been exposed by students conducting simple Internet searches.
- While 41 states, including Texas, require public schools to report teachers who resign to licensing officials, officials are usually not punished when they fail to do so.
- The fact that there is no government-run tracking system of serious teacher misconduct is a severe hindrance to efforts to root out teachers accused of sexual abuse or other serious offenses.
If your child suffered sexual abuse by a teacher or other school staff member, contact the Fort Worth sexual abuse attorneys of Anderson Cummings. We are committed to fighting for the rights of children who were abused by teachers and other school employees.
Call (817) 920-9000 or complete our Free Case Evaluation form.