As a grandfather of four school- and professional-age children, with thirty-three years of experience in preventing and recovering from child sexual abuse, and author of “If I Only Knew…Sexual Abuse Within or Outside the Family: A guide to prevention,” I’m angry and disappointed by news report, “Teacher-student sex scandals investigated, districts should limit off-campus contact between teachers, students, experts say,” on Channel 5 from CBS, Phoenix, AZ, May 20, 2009 reported the standard laundry list of misinformation and distortion of the modus operandi of sex offenders. Also, no concrete strategies were offered to parents and teachers to protect children from this heinous crime that is too often committed against children.
My grandchildren are some who are prepared, because they have been educated on how to protect themselves from potential sex offenders. Who better to protect yourself than the potential target of this crime, since it is perpetrated in secret? Children, as young as two years old, can be taught techniques to protect themselves from a sex offender. There are seven compelling parent-approved, kid-tested techniques that parents, teachers, and kids can learn to teach most would-be sex offenders. Teaching children sexual abuse prevention techniques does not require sex education or details about how they can be harmed.
The opening statement of this report began with a litany of misinformation: “Dozens of Arizona teachers are accused of having inappropriate or illegal relationships with students each year…” Using the quantifying term, ‘Dozens’ implies that the total count is low. , when, in fact, there have been 104 reported cases of teacher sexual abuse in the greater Phoenix area in the last four years. Not to mention, many incidents of child sexual abuse by teachers go unreported each year.
Terms such as: ‘relationship’, ‘dating’, [a fifteen-year-old child “…was allegedly dating one of her teachers,”] ‘romance’ and ‘romantic’ imply that the student and teacher have an equal voice in negotiating the terms of a ‘relationship’. The opposite is true. Teacher sex offenders rely on their easy access to children and a trusted bond of authority to get what they want: sexual contact with children. Children are taught and rewarded for being respectful of teachers and authority. This fact alone disarms the child and gives him/her a false sense of security with a potential sex offending teacher: ‘Respect your teacher, my teacher is nice, he/she would never hurt me.’ Therefore, the child is easily cheated, tricked, tricked, seduced, coerced and threatened if he tells. “The trust of the innocent is the liar’s most useful tool.” Stephen King
Even more disturbing is the statement by Superior Court Judge Paul Katz: “A teacher should never become romantically involved with a student, period… Even if it ultimately works, it’s a bullshit trial.” The philosophy that ‘…even if it finally works…’, not only minimizes the harm suffered by the child and the heinous act of the teacher, but the child’s life has been immeasurably altered. And without effective and targeted recovery from sexual abuse, the child enters adulthood severely emotionally and mentally damaged and often suffers lifelong scars. Most of the time, the dots between child sexual abuse and its emotional and physical symptoms are not connected.
As for possible strategies to prevent child sexual abuse by teachers, the only suggestion offered was put forward by State Superintendent Tom Horne: “Some school districts, such as the Paradise Valley School District, already have specific guidelines regarding contact between teachers and students outside of the classroom. This measure will undoubtedly prevent some children from being victimized. However, is this what we want for our children: protection from some of the potential sex offending teachers? What does ‘outside the classroom’ mean? How about in the hallway, the gym, or on the playground? These areas are outside of the classroom. What are the rules about these places, where children are frequently sexually abused?
It’s not uncommon for gym teachers to “hold a hand” in the gym while helping a student. ‘Touching a caress’ is as harmful as touching or caressing the genitals. If you don’t believe this statement, come sit in my office for a week and listen to the pain and anguish of those who ‘just got groped’. Also, many students are sexually abused IN the classroom or IN the utility closet IN the classroom.
Horne said that even if he had the power, he doesn’t think it’s a good idea to make it difficult for teachers to develop healthy relationships with students. Mr. Horne is being short-sighted and irresponsible with children when he makes the flimsy argument that it is not a good idea to make it more difficult for teachers to develop healthy relationships with students, because many children have been helped by teachers, who have taken an interest. and become a role model for students.
There is a big difference between developing a healthy relationship with students and grooming a child for sexual purposes. There are many behaviors and statements that sex offenders make that convey their intent. The reason sex offenders make veiled statements about their intent is to gain access to the conscience of those who might ‘report’ their unacceptable intent with a child. If their statements are not acknowledged, they feel confident that their grooming actions will go undetected and never reported by anyone, including the child. Once the child has been desensitized and accepts ‘special attention’, the sex offender gradually increases the intensity and nature of the sexual activity.
Knowing the behaviors and statements makes it relatively easy to identify a potential sex offender. These behaviors are classic and consistent with sex offenders. All adults need to be educated about these behaviors and statements. And?
So it is appropriate that teachers and administrators be alerted to this fact and all, as appropriate, follow the teacher to avoid any opportunity for the teacher to target and groom a student. Surprisingly, the master may suspect or know that he is being followed and as a result, the suspicion or knowledge of him will force the master to further telegraph the intent of him and thus they are ‘caught’ before it can be done. cause the damage. Once your intentions and behavior have moved into a stage of preparation, the behavior can be reported to the authorities and prosecuted accordingly. “Power is not a blessing in itself, except when used to protect the innocent.” jonathan swift
Following the protocol for being alert to sex offender behavior and statements does NOT affect teachers, who are intent on developing a healthy student-teacher relationship.
Ultimately, all adults have a responsibility to protect our children so that they can reach their highest potential, free from adults who wish to exploit them for their own ends and thereby disrupt that divine gift potential. “We are not only responsible for what we do, but also for what we don’t do.” -voltaire
Dr. Dorothy Neddermeyer, an expert witness, is available to comment on physical and sexual abuse.