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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Federal report examines school hiring of sex offenders



A Florida case is among 15 listed in a new federal report that examines how sex offenders got jobs at schools.

The report, released Dec. 16, is a followup to a controversial 2004 U.S. Department of Education report that estimated – and we’re not making this up – that “millions” of students are subjected to sexual "misconduct" by school employees at some time between kindergarten and 12th grade.

The Florida case involves an unnamed coach at an unnamed Florida high school who was convicted in 2008 of engaging in consensual sex with an underage male.

According to the report, the man worked as a volunteer coach at the school and did not receive a criminal history check, even though school policy requires it. In 2009, he was arrested and accused of having sex with another underage male he met through his coaching position.

Now he’s in jail awaiting trail, the report says.

The report cites four factors behind similar incidents: “1) school officials allowed teachers who had engaged in sexual misconduct towards students to resign rather than face disciplinary action, often providing subsequent employers with positive references; 2) schools did not perform pre-employment criminal history checks; 3) even if schools did perform these checks, they may have been inadequate in that they were not national, fingerprint-based, or recurring; and 4) schools failed to inquire into troubling information regarding criminal histories on employment applications.”

There have been plenty of sexually charged cases involving Tampa Bay educators, but not many that we can think of that involved educators with past arrests, convictions or complaints. There was this recent story in Pinellas, but it did not involve charges of wrongdoing against students.

Click here and here for news stories about the federal report.


[Last modified: Monday, December 27, 2010 12:47pm]


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