Outrageous

Two teachers in a nearby elementary school have made national news. One was accused of blindfolding students, ages 6-10, and having them taste semen. These teachers have been in the school system for years.
In the past, when children reported to school authorities, one being the school nurse,  what was going on they were told not to lie.
After the men were arrested and the story hit the news, the Los Angeles Unified School District reassigned all the teachers in that building to other places. New faculty was brought into the school two days later. It was assumed that there was some code of silence among the teachers who were “protecting one of their own.” It is also hoped that there will be a complete fresh start for the school.
One must wonder what kind of training these teachers and staff have had to deal with situations like this. Even I know that the law would protect me if I blew the whistle on a fellow teacher. Even I know that children this young don’t lie about sexually explicit acts. Also, what culture of fear reigns where teachers who may have known or suspected this teacher of criminal acts, would protect others who abuse children?
Now the fired teacher, who is 61, will receive his pension of $4000 a month. This money is protected by law. Over the years the teacher, as part of his benefit package, had this amount of money socked away. He earned it.
When I discussed this with Dave, I pointed out how offensive it was to me that this teacher could get this money. Somehow it seems more horrible due to the nature of the crime. If this person had been embezelling, I would be more understanding that his earned pension was still his. But for someone who took advantage of children in his care, it seems wrong for him to be getting any money.  I have great sympathy for abused children who trust those who care for them.
I wish there could be a way that the money could be given to the victums or even  the perpetrator’s family. After all, Bernie Madoff ended up in jail for scamming people out of money. I doubt if he can keep any money he “earned.” While his crime ruined people financially, at least his victums were adults.
These are dilemmas that require some examination and soul searching. What, if anything, should be done about the teachers who may have remained silent? What should the other students be told? How do we care for the victums of the past? How do we protect our children if autorities can’t be trusted to do the right thing? How should students be educated about “good” and “bad” touches ?
What would you do?


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2 responses to “Outrageous”

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  1. Rhonda says:

    Hi Karen,

    Interesting post. There are a few things to consider. First the new teachers are just teaching. They have nothing to do with the original teacher’s decision to abuse his students. Second, Why didn’t the school bring in counselors for those children. Why wasn’t the teacher brought up on charges? For some reason authorities do not believe children or cannot accept there word as truth. I find that disgusting. Our children are our future and they need to be protected and taught properly. Our schools could do a much better job. I better stop before I get angry.

    Anyway we miss you at the Diligent Writers group, when are you coming back?

    Rhonda

    • Karen says:

      I think the school did bring in counselors for the kids. As to why ALL teachers were replaced, I think the school district wanted to act quickly so they didn’t have time to sort out who knew what. Probably none of the other teachers had anything to do with the abuse. I think it will be hard on the students to suddenly lose their teachers. That adjustment is hard on kids. I would have handled it by having training with the existing teachers on how to answer kids questions and how to look for symptoms of trouble and what is age appropriate behavior.

      I’m not sure when I’ll be back since I haven’t been writing much at all. But I will be back!