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Legislation sheds light on dangerous sexual abuse in the schools

When school administrators discover that a staff member has been having an inappropriate sexual relationship with a student, should he or she be allowed to resign instead of facing punishment? Nearly every parent in Albany would say "no," but this practice of "passing the trash" has been a serious issue of sexual abuse in the schools.

Imagine a staff member at the school discovers that a teacher or principal had been having a sexual relationship with a student. In many situations, it would be that staff member's duty to report the relationship to administrators. Many people in Albany would assume that the administrators would then contact police and the offending teacher would be the subject of a criminal investigation, but many schools are allowing the teacher to resign in lieu of punishment.

Sadly, many of those teachers then cross state lines and end up in a new school. Should someone who was under investigation for sexual abuse of a student be allowed to teach in New York schools?

One state is looking to end this practice of "passing the trash." The bill has entered both houses of the state legislature and is being discussed. These bills have both been introduced in April, which is Child Abuse Prevention Month. Sadly, there are new statistics out that say that almost one in 10 children will be abused by a teacher before graduating from high school.

While a criminal investigation and conviction is important for getting some of the worst offenders off the street, only a civil sexual abuse lawsuit will get the victims of sexual abuse in the schools with the money they need to move forward in life.

Source: Springfield Patch, "Superintendent Advocates Legislation To Stop 'Passing the Trash,'" April 19, 2012

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