(RightIsRight.co) – Hundreds of K-12 educators were arrested for child sex crimes throughout 2022, underscoring the threat from sexual predators American students are exposed to, according to a report.
No fewer than 349 educators from the kindergarten to the 12th-grade level were arrested during 2022 on child sex crimes, which range from grooming and child porn to rape of minors, Fox News reported.
Those arrested included 290 teachers, five principals, three assistant principals, 26 substitute teachers, and 25 teachers’ aides. There were arrests of K-12 educators almost every day last year in practically every state.
At least three-quarters of the arrests – or 262 cases – were over alleged crimes against students. Only 54 cases, or fewer than 16%, didn’t involve such crimes, and in 33 arrests, it is unclear whether they were over crimes against students. Almost 82% of the detainees were men.
The list compiled by Fox News may not be exhaustive since it relied on local news stories, thus excluding cases of educators’ arrests over sex crimes covered by the media.
“This [large number] isn’t surprising or new though it is hard to accept. Since the dawn of time, sexual predators have found a way to embed themselves in child-rich environments, and schools are no exception,” commented Erika Sanzi, director of outreach at Parents Defending Education.
“Smartphones and encrypted apps have increased access to young children and adolescents, and while it is a tiny fraction of educators who engage in this predatory behavior, we must do a much better job protecting children while also respecting due process,” she elaborated.
According to Corey DeAngelis, a senior fellow at the American Federation for Children, the Department of Education should draft a new report on child sex abuse in schools.
In its last report, which is from 2004, the DOE estimated 10% of students in public schools would be affected by sex crimes by the time they finish high school.
“These findings are likely lower bound estimates of the actual amount of sexual abuse occurring in public schools because the analysis only includes publicized arrests and cannot count undetected or unreported forms of abuse,” DeAngelis said.
The Fox News report cites some “especially heinous” alleged crimes by K12 educators against students.
In one such case, 57-year-old Eugene Pratt, a former elementary school teacher, coach, and principal, is accused of sexually assaulting at least 15 boys over several decades.
“Individuals like Eugene Pratt put themselves in positions of authority over others in order to act on their prey and to find and identify vulnerable people,” Michigan’s Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson said.
In another case, a 31-year-old former science teacher in Fayetteville, North Carolina, William Landon Smith, was charged with “27 counts of first-degree sexual exploitation of a minor, 28 counts of indecent liberties with a student, and one count of secretly using or installing a photographic imaging device to arouse or gratify sexual desire.”
In yet another case, John M. Doty, a 35-year-old former biology teacher in South Bend, Indiana, is accused of repeatedly raping a 16-year-old girl and threatening to kill her.
Nearly 350 K-12 educators arrested on child sex crimes in 2022 https://t.co/0O3VI85rED
— Fox News (@FoxNews) January 10, 2023