The holder of this dubious distinction will likely not surprise you, but, fortunately for one state in this fine union, it's not Florida this time.
According to the New York Daily News, a new study, conducted by the former chief of staff of the U.S. Department of Education, reveals that in 2014 Alabama was the state with the most instances of teachers being reported, accused or convicted of having sex with one of their students. That's good to know, because it might make for some important changes to reform in regards to student safety, but it's super gross that a study like this needed to exist in the first place. Teachers, stop having sex with children. Just stop it.
The NYDN reports that Alabama's educators were implicated in 25 out of 781 cases of teacher-student sexual misconduct across the nation. And while this number is smaller than Texas's (The Loneheart State came in at 116 cases), the smaller population of Alabama played a role in the fact that educators there were involved more frequently in inappropriate relationships with minors. Among other things the study found was the fact that male educators were involved in twice the number of inappropriate relationships that women were and that female educators were much more likely to employ social media to "lure students in."
Terry Abbott, the former chief of education who compiled the data, told NYDN that there is some room for error because the study was done by looking at media reports of sexual misconduct and that there are no "uniform laws" regarding teacher-student relationships. I don't know why laws are even needed for this, but there you go. In Alabama, by the way, teachers are not allowed to get involved with students who are under 19 years of age.
Abbott says that he worked on the study in order to make classrooms safe spaces for students, including his own grandchildren, who may attend school in the Alabama.
"I want my grandchildren, one of these days, to be safe in Alabama's classrooms," Abbott said. "I think we have to be aware that, as many great teachers as there are in Alabama, we've seen that there are still sexual predators in our classrooms, preying on our children."
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