Sex Predators Have Safe Haven in NYC Public School System

alt-text optionalReason 24/7Job security for public employees can even withstand sexual abuse in schools.

From the New York Daily News:

Dozens of sexual predators are still working in New York City schools because of a broken disciplinary system that allows abusive staff members to keep their jobs, says a new advocacy group headed by former CNN anchor Campbell Brown.

Data obtained by Brown and the Daily News show that officials tried to fire 128 school staffers for sexual misconduct or inappropriate relationships with students since 2007 — but only 33 educators were actually fired.

Many of the school workers busted for creepy classroom behavior have been able to hang onto their jobs for years because of a cumbersome disciplinary process, charges Brown’s statewide group, the Parents Transparency Project.

“The details of these cases are hidden,” Brown said. “Many parents have no idea whether one of these teachers has been entrusted with their children.”

Time to break the teachers union? For the children, of course.

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  • Live Free or Diet||

    Sex Predators Have Safe Haven in NYC Public School System

    Everyone should feel safe at school. Or so I'm told.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Safe from other students, not from our heroic teachers.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    We don't tolerate playing hero at our school.

    Pardon me... Hairball...

  • Mainer2||

    As long as they are safe from any discussion of the Constitution, specifically the 5th Amendment, it's all good.

  • John||

    And this is different than the Catholic Church molestation scandals how? Yeah, the Catholic Church is at least a private organization.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    The Church eventually ended up paying a bunch of money to its victims?

  • John||

    That too. And the Church admitted fault and at least pretended to try to do something about it. Here the response seems to be "fuck you that is why".

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    But it shows that if the school district were allowed to hire married teachers, this stuff wouldn't have happened.

  • John||

    That is right. It is not that working for an organization that allows access to kids would attract pedophiles. It is that not allowing priests to marry turns them into crazed lunatics. That is it.

    It is funny. If not being able to marry makes you a pervert, are gay people in states where gay marriage is not recognized all perverts?

  • Invisible Finger||

    They used to be.

  • Hyperion||

    Let's face it, if you want to be a creepy pervert these days, all you have to do is claim that you think you are a member of the opposite sex, so that you can hang out in the restrooms of the other sex.

  • John||

    Pretty much.

  • Jayburd||

    That is why they need cameras in the restrooms.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    I have the number for the NSA here somewhere...

  • Zeb||

    The celebate priesthood certainly doesn't turn them into anything, but I suspect that a lot of the pervert priests enter the priesthood because they think that it will help them to curtail their bad sexual impulses rather than that it gives them access to children. I think that the same happened with gays a lot more before being gay was mostly acceptable in secular society.

  • John||

    Zeb,

    That is not why people enter the priesthood. No one enters the priesthood to curtail their bad sexual impulses. It is too much of a sacrifice and way of life to do that.

    Make no mistake, most of the molestation cases involved teenagers. There were very few that involved young children. It was mostly gay priests having love affairs with teenage boys. Not to defend that. But it wasn't so much a pedophile problem as an underage sex problem. What they did was wrong and they deserve whatever they got. But seducing the teenagers is not quite the same as molesting 9 year old kids.

  • Zeb||

    How do you know why they enter the priesthood?

    I am just speculating, so you may well be right, but that seems like a rather broad statement. Seems plausible to me that a highly religious person who has sexual desires considered sinful by the religion might be more likely to opt for a celibate life.

  • John||

    How do you know why they enter the priesthood?

    Because I have been friends with several priests and several others who attended Seminary only to leave before being ordained. The decision to be a priest is a really complex one. You surrender your entire self and life. And they don't just take you the day you show up. It is not like the military. They spend a lot of time trying to weed people out during the seminary. Anyone who joined just because they thought they were a pervert and had no other interest or aptitude for the life wouldn't make it through seminary.

  • ||

    Zeb has a very good point here John. You seem to be painting a picture of a world you wish was and one that resembles the one in church brochures.

    I have gotten the very strong impression from several priests that they entered the priesthood in hopes of becoming a better person, or in one case at least, less of a pervert.

    The only good thing I can say about that is that they recognize bad when they see it in themselves and try to be under control/repentant.

  • John||

    I have gotten the very strong impression from several priests that they entered the priesthood in hopes of becoming a better person, or in one case at least, less of a pervert.

    Since when does "be a better person" mean "not be a pervert"? I have no doubt everyone who chooses a religious vocation does so in hopes of being a better person. What other attraction is there to such vocations?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Possibly, but I note that a preponderance of the really awful incidents were in the 1970s and 1980s when gay lib was really picking up - and a time when the Church authorities were generous in granting requests to leave the priesthood.

    Why would there be a spike in these incidents just at the moment when (a) gay priests had the option of leaving for a lay life, and (b) being gay was becoming more acceptable than at previous times in history?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Just to be clear, sex crimes by priests are worse than sex crimes by teachers, IMHO, because priestly sex misbehavior is *sacrilege,* given that priests are specially consecrated to the service of God. A priest committing sex crimes is like someone assaulting a victim with a consecrated vessel.

    Of course, for those who don't believe in sacrilege, they have no basis for saying the priestly scandals are worse than the teacher scandals.

  • John||

    Why would there be a spike in these incidents just at the moment when (a) gay priests had the option of leaving for a lay life, and (b) being gay was becoming more acceptable than at previous times in history?

    Because gay priests became much more predominant and open in the 1970s than they were before. Do a google search and you will find a lot of testimony from people who left the seminary in the 70s and 80s because they were straight and felt ostracized by the gay culture that had developed there.

  • Zeb||

    I don't know. Maybe there was just a spike in reporting the incidents and priests have always been fucking their young parishioners at similar rates.

  • John||

    I don't know. Maybe there was just a spike in reporting the incidents and priests have always been fucking their young parishioners at similar rates.

    This for sure. People never used to talk about this stuff. And remember, it is not like very priest or even a sizable minority were doing this. Any profession that allows one unfettered access to kids is going to attract a small number of perverts. And that will never change.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I'm not aware of any study which says this. Anyone who's looked into it has found a spike in misbehavior during these particular decades.

  • John||

    I'm not aware of any study which says this. Anyone who's looked into it has found a spike in misbehavior during these particular decades.

    I hadn't heard that Eduard. That is very interesting. Something clearly happened to the priesthood during that time that allowed these sorts of people to thrive. No one ever makes the distinction, but I would like to know the full lay out of the ages of the victims. The real pedophile cases involving young children have nothing to do with "gay priests", since pedophiles are really their own separate sexual preference. But the cases involving teenagers are a gay priest problem. Having sex with a teenager, while immoral and certainly worthy of scorn and illegality, is not the same as being a pedophile.

  • Rasilio||

    Because a person who entered the clergy to avoid the sinful impulses they felt is not likely to make the conscious decision that "hey I want to be gay now", they are much more likely to have a moral failing and give in to temptation (the moral failing is in not keeping their oaths, not engaging in gay sex) and then be too afraid to come clean about it, especially if the gay sex was with a minor.

    Obviously no one is saying that this is true of all priests, not even of all priests who engaged in inappropriate relationships but it probably makes up a sizable chunk of such cases.

  • John||

    Rasillio,

    The problem with that theory is that just because you fall to temptation doesn't mean it has to be with a minor. Straight priests have been having affairs with parishioners since the dawn of the church. You would be amazed at the magic power a collar has over some women. Priests actually have groupies. For some women getting a priest to break his vows is a huge ego boost. We know these affairs happen pretty regularly. Yet, there is not to my knowledge much of a problem with straight priests banging teenage girls.

    It seems to me the more likely explanation is that the male gay community is a bit more morally flexible about having sex with teenage boys. And thus the gay male priests were more likely to get into trouble for underage sex than the straight ones.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    And if you have an affair with a priest, a lynch mob of your former lovers will burn you at the stake:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmRI3Ew4BvA

  • Rasilio||

    Or it could be that they did not allow altar girls until the late 1980's and the worst of the "pedofile priest" (which I agree is a misnomer as almost all cases were dealing with post pubescent adolescents and therefore not pedofiles) scandals took place in the 70's and 80's.

    Also, you are right, falling to temptation doesn't have to be with a minor, thing is doing so with an adult would not be a crime and in cases like you mention not even generate much in the way of a scandal as it was entirely consentual, such a priest could easily be removed from his position at no cost to the church because there would be no costly lawsuit or criminal trial, a priest who did fall to temptation with a minor would be very costly to the church and therefore much more likely to be covered up.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I won't claim that there are no cases at all such as the ones you cite, but someone trying to suppress gay impulses would have options other than completely reordering his life in order to pursue a priestly career. Of course, there was clearly *something* leading to this spike of cases, but the era in which this spike occurred was an era where gayness was getting an acceptance beyond prior historical levels.

  • HellsBells||

    One major difference is your kids are not required by law to attend church.

  • ||

    Priests aren't unionized.

  • ||

    There is no way that creepy pedophile types would ever actually seek out a job in this system.

  • Hyperion||

    Time to break the teachers union? For the children, of course.

    Someone obviously does not understand the way 'for the children' works.

    For the children is always used to expand the state, not to reduce it. Derp!

  • some guy||

    Yeah, NYC clearly needs to hire more administrators to provide proper oversight for its creepier employees. Even if it means constant supervision of each teacher. For the children!

  • Hyperion||

    constant supervision of each teacher

    Constant oversight for everyone! It's the only way to beat the terrorists. Every private citizen should be appointed their own overseer who follows them around 24/7 and reports back to the government on all their daily activities.

    It would make the NSAs job easier and prevent another Snowden.

  • some guy||

    "Creepy but not criminal behavior".

    I would say that things would be different in the private sector because privately owned businesses can fire people for "creepy but not criminal behavior". But how long will this be true? Firing someone for "creepy" behavior is often the same as discriminating against an alternative lifestyle and politicians are quickly taking us down the path of "all discrimination is bad discrimination".

  • The Late P Brooks||

    But if the union does not defend these poor victims of unwarranted slanders, the plutocrats will subjugate us all, and the forty hour work week will be a thing of the past!

  • some guy||

    I don't know a single teacher that only works 40 hours a week. Of course, I refuse to associate with lazy/entitled people beyond the consumer and professional settings...

  • Dweebston||

    Does your calculation include the assorted holidays, breaks, and annual three-month vacation?

    Then again, I prefer getting fewer rather than more hours of work from public school teachers. Let's extend teacher's hours to all bureaucrats, politicians, and social service workers.

  • some guy||

    Most teachers I know either teach summer school or find some other full time job for those three months. Again, the teachers I know are actually hard-working people, but I suffer from a well-known sampling bias.

  • KDN||

    Being married to a teacher that delights in telling me what her colleagues will be doing and knowing quite a few teachers besides, I can assure you that most teachers don't find a full-time job in the summer; they either get a bullshit tutoring or coaching gig, vacation, or just take care of random jobs around the house.

    Most teachers work their asses off during the year, but summer vacation is actually free time and the workaholics are few and far between.

  • John||

    In fairness, in this day and age false claims of sexual assault and or harassment are an issue. We really don't want to create a situation where any angry 7th grader can ruin someone's life with a single accusation.

    This is one of those cases where liberal fantasies collide. On the one hand you have the belief that teachers are the most noble people on earth and should be treated better than any other profession. On the other hand you have the feminist dogma that says no female would ever like about sex.

    So when a public school teacher is accused of molesting a female student, who wins?

  • Sevo||

    "In fairness, in this day and age false claims of sexual assault and or harassment are an issue. We really don't want to create a situation where any angry 7th grader can ruin someone's life with a single accusation."

    Yep. Much as I despise the teachers' unions, nothing in the article says anything about evidence.
    It can't be a surprise to anyone who was once a kid, but kids lie.

  • Hyperion||

    No way, Sev, little kids are angelic snowflakes who never harbor thoughts of malice towards others. I know this because I was once one of them.

  • Sevo||

    I rest my case!

  • Brett L||

    Is the teacher female and hot? Because then the Internet wins.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    The NSA will be submitting this comment to the relevant authorities. Begin prepping your child pornography trial defense.

  • Hyperion||

    I wonder if we all post a little more if we can run the NSA out of data storage space?

  • ||

    Only if we post in a funny font.

  • Sevo||

    Dingbat!

  • HellsBells||

    Oh dear God, do not read the comments section of the article. The stupidity, it burns!

  • MJGreen||

    a broken disciplinary system that allows abusive staff members to keep their jobs

    Oh, it's not broken.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Oh, it's not broken.

    No kidding.

  • ConMom||

    I am glad to see Reason addressing this. At my blog, I cover this topic quite a bit and this isn't just a NYC problem, it is everywhere.

    Feel free to browse my archive of this madness: http://theconmom.wordpress.com.....-your-kid/

  • Hyperion||

    Someone set their stop watch ...

  • Jayburd||

    Send your kids to Catholic school.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Yes, at least you'd be able to collect a large damage award if the teacher messes with your kid.

    Try collecting a large damage award from the state based on misbehavior by a public-school teacher.

  • John||

    Send your kids to private school or better yet educate them yourself.

  • Hyperion||

    educate them yourself

    Isn't that illegal yet? How can you expect a child to receive the proper amount of feminists/progressive indoctrination if they aren't educated by an official state employee?

  • John||

    They are working on it. If it wasn't for those damned Rethuglicans on the Supreme Court, they could end the scourge of home schooling.

  • Acosmist||

    Homeschooling is a thing I would seriously consider, and I'm not a homeschooling guy. The amount of BS and wasted time in school is stunning.

  • LifeStrategies||

    Now if only they could implement the North Carolina system. see:

    http://reason.com/blog/2013/07.....jobs-north

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