A new government report says schools are still hiring sex offenders, giving them the opportunity to get close to kids and abuse again.
According to the NY Daily News, the Government Accountability Office has released a report detailing 15 instances where schools hired people with a history of "sexual misconduct." Eleven of those people had abused children, and six of them went on to abuse again in their new jobs. The Daily News includes this disturbing example: "An Ohio teacher forced to resign a previous job for 'inappropriate' conduct with female students was called an 'outstanding teacher' by the school superintendent and was later hired in a nearby district where he was convicted of sexual battery of a sixth-grade girl."
It often seems like laws restricting the actions of sex offenders get stricter all the time — occasionally with ridiculous results, like the group of released criminals forced to live under a bridge in Miami. So how can schools still be hiring people who have abused kids? Sometimes, it's because they fail to do background checks, or don't bother to check the teachers' records in all states where he or she may have previously lived. But often, the problem is what Rep. George Miller, who asked for the report, calls "passing the trash." He tells ABC that rather than disciplining offending teachers — or, presumably, turning them over to authorities who might criminally prosecute them and put them on sex offender registries — some schools just let them resign. They may even write these teachers letters of recommendation, so they can get hired at other schools — and, as the report shows, start abusing all over again. American schools should've learned from the Catholic Church that passing a sex criminal around from place to place is no way to protect kids. Hopefully the new report will teach them this overdue lesson.