Some Criminals Hide in the Classroom

The latest report concerning the chemistry teacher arrested for allegedly showing his class how to make a bomb compelled me to research recent news regarding questionable activities by those to which we entrust our children. The reports were so numerous that the research was narrowed to the past two weeks.

Far from scientific, a simple browser search revealed stories concerning 21 different teachers. The offenses ranged from changing answers on standardized student tests to child pornography. The stories came from all over the country — from 17 different states.

You may be stunned (or not) to know these reports included an alleged gun dealer, drug addicts, a bomb maker, a NAMBLA(North American Man/Boy Love Association) member, and child pornographers. Of course, the reports also include teachers having sexual relations with their students. The youngest sexual abuse victim in these particular reports was 10.

By the way, the alleged gun dealer was arrested with a 9mm handgun in his pocket while leaving home to teach his ninth-grade class. It gives new meaning to the concept of keeping the guns out of the classroom. Apparently, we have to start sending the teachers through metal detectors too.

In one of the more bizarre cases, a band teacher from Illinois is charged with abusing 16 students. He allegedly tied young girls to chairs with duct tape and rope – and reenacted scenes from his sexual bondage porn collection.

Although it pales in comparison to the above, a junior high school teacher from Texas was arrested for providing beer and liquor to her students at her home. Police found 40 underage students drinking alcohol in her house when she was arrested.

Another teacher allegedly forced a 10 year-old-boy to spray himself with Lysol in front of his classmates. The teacher thought the boy’s body order was offensive.

Now, I realize these teachers are in the considerable minority. To the parents of these young victims, that’s irrelevant. Our schools employ many good teachers . . . and some truly great ones. I think, though, any parent will find these stories daunting. Are we truly protecting our children from these predators?

Sure, schools fingerprint prospective hires and compare them against databases of known offenders. Of course, that only works if the offender has been arrested/convicted. We know that child molesters are drawn towards jobs placing them in direct contact with their prey.

There exists a critical need for teachers across the country. It’s a tough nut to crack. What can be done? The only suggestions I have would take more time and money: polygraphs and psych profiles. We require these from employees in our intelligence branches. Shouldn’t we protect our National Treasurers with the same intensity as our National Secrets? Granted, these two stop-gap measurers would not necessarily catch all possible perpetrators. Parents must maintain vigilance to protect their children from harm. There are no easy solutions to protect our most vulnerable from those attempting to exploit them.

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