This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
As many teachers would ruefully admit, the money isn’t all that great; and the hours are long. Many do it out of a genuine desire to mould young minds; but there are a few whose motives are sinister – as the following shocking, but true, story illustrates. Gary C Lindsey got his first teaching job in Oelwein, Iowa, almost 40 years ago. After he had been teaching for a while, a fifth-grader complained to her parents that he had touched her breast, during recess. It is not clear whether he received anything more than a reprimand, but the shocking part is that he continued teaching for the next four decades; despite another half dozen accusations of molestation leveled against him. When he finally surrendered his teaching license in 2004, it wasn't a principal or a state agency that ended his career. It was one per¬sistent victim and her parents. One could, perhaps, regard this case as an aberration; an exception to the rule. Sadly, similar incidents take place far more frequently than many parents realize, Lindsey's case is just a small ex¬ample of a widespread problem in American schools: sexual misconduct by the very teachers who are supposed to be nurturing the nation's children. Students in America's schools are groped, they are raped; they are pur¬sued, seduced and some think they're in love. An Associated Press investigation found more than 2,500 cases over five years in which educators were pun¬ished for actions, ranging from bizarre to sadis¬tic. The actual figure is probably much higher. Most of the abuse never gets re¬ported. Those cases reported often end with no action. Cases investigated sometimes can't be proven, and many abusers have several victims. Many of the victims accept monetary set¬tlement deals and sign confiden¬tiality agreements. Beyond the horror of individual crimes, the larger shame is that the in¬stitutions that govern education have only sporadically addressed a problem that's been apparent for years. In the case of Gary Lindsey, Jennah Bramow, now 20 and one of Lindsey's accusers in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was the only one who sued her city's schools for failing to protect her and others from Lindsey - and won. Only then was Lindsey's teaching license fi¬nally revoked. Bramow said afterwards, "You're supposed to be able to send your kids to school knowing that they're going to be safe." You are indeed. I guess in today’s violent world, where morality and conscience, seem to be at low ebb, no one is really safe – not even school kids. As it is, parents have to live with the constant fear that some disturbed student may, one day, pull out a gun and start shooting. When some of the supposed guardians turn out to be predators of the worst kind, all they can do is pray to the Almighty to keep their children safe. Welcome to the 21st century.