SAN MATEO, Calif., March 18, 2020 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) — Thousands of children every year are molested, used for pornography or otherwise sexually abused by teachers, coaches or other school employees – according to leading research, school employees sexually abuse one in ten students before the end of high school. New resources from Stop School Sexual Abuse (SSSA) help parents keep their kids safe.
“Children’s safety is just not a priority for many schools,” said Charles Gleen from SSSA. “Parents need information to know if their school can be trusted.”
SSSA has created the School Sexual Abuse Database, the only directory of educator sexual abuse of students in California. SSSA also has published its School Sexual Abuse Hall of Shame, which uses some of the worst examples of schools enabling the sexual abuse of students to highlight how schools fail on children’s safety.
“To reduce educator sexual abuse, parents must know if their school has been unsafe and must be able to recognize dangerous practices,” said Gleen. “But that information has not been available before.”
Schools don’t want you to know
The SSSA database includes cases involving the sexual abuse of hundreds of students from kindergarten through high school in more than 65 communities statewide.
“Schools try to hide or minimize sexual abuse of students,” said Gleen. “School sexual abuse is a powerful sign that administrators can’t handle the most important part of their job – keeping kids safe. They don’t want parents to know they have failed in this most basic responsibility.”
Even after abuse happens, schools often do not improve safety. Many believe changes are an admission that they failed before.
“Schools don’t automatically become safer, especially if the same leaders who neglected safety before remain in charge,” said Gleen. “Parents should ask what has changed to make kids safe. Were school leaders held accountable? Have policies or training improved? Parents need to know what happened in order to demand needed changes.”
Recognizing unsafe culture
The failings of unsafe schools are often similar from case to case, and parents can recognize the signs – if they know what to look for. The Hall of Shame provides examples of schools where sexual abuse could easily have been prevented, allowing parents to see how schools enable abuse.
“The Hall of Shame shows the failed attitudes and dangerous patterns of leadership that allow abuse to happen,” said Gleen.
The Hall of Shame includes private and public schools from San Mateo (St. Matthew’s Episcopal Day School), Daly City (Westmoor High School), San Jose (Dartmouth Middle School), Redlands (Redlands High School), Riverside (Liberty Elementary School) and Anaheim (Kennedy High School).
Understanding the risk
To help children stay safe, parents must first understand the risk themselves, and SSSA research provides insight into school sexual abuse.
“The diverse schools in the Hall of Shame highlight that students can be sexually abused at any school,” said Gleen. “Other research shows the highest-risk employees – coaches, teachers, aftercare workers, aides and bus drivers – and reminds that predators are found in every school job.”
The cases in the database also help parents understand the ways that educators manipulate children into abuse.
Promoting change through knowledge
“Predators are drawn to schools,” said Gleen. “Schools give predators a constant supply of vulnerable kids. Parents need to demand that schools take necessary steps to keep kids safe.”
Public pressure is the most effective way to make schools take employee sexual abuse seriously, but for that to happen, parents must know if their school failed and what to watch out for.
Search the School Sexual Abuse Database – https://stopschoolsexualabuse.site/.
Visit the School Sexual Abuse Hall of Shame – https://stopschoolsexualabuse.com/topics/school-sexual-abuse-hall-of-shame.
Other Information on School Sexual Abuse is at Key Topics – https://stopschoolsexualabuse.com/topics.
About Stop School Sexual Abuse
Knowledge is power. Stop School Sexual Abuse is a volunteer-run organization that provides victim advocacy services to school sexual abuse survivors and their families, as well as a website where survivors can tell their stories and a database of school sexual abuse cases. Our mission is to advocate and educate to reduce sexual abuse in schools. Stop School Sexual Abuse is a pro bono site supported financially by our team.
To learn more about Stop School Sexual Abuse, volunteer or submit your survivor story, visit https://www.stopschoolsexualabuse.com/.
News Source: Stop School Sexual Abuse