There’s a lot to be worried about in this study about sexual misconduct in our K-12 education system.
Apparently, 10% (or 4.5 million) students face anything from inappropriate jokes to forced sex.
What’s more surprising are the reactions:
- National Education Association spokesman said “Lumping harassment together with serious sexual misconduct does more harm than good by creating unjustified alarm”. I think that teachers sexually harassing students is cause for alarm, even if it isn’t physical; damage from that can be long-lasting.
- The Deputy Education Secretary said that find findings could be “considered insufficiently focused.” In the next sentence, the report says the officials “did nothing to downplay the importance of the problem.” Huh? Isn’t that what they were doing? Claiming that only assault is a problem?
The article does make a good point at the end, too, about the unknown truthfulness of allegations. “Teachers increasingly fear making even the most innocent gestures, like hugging a child having a bad day.” Let’s fix the real problems, not non-problems like hugs.