Skip to comments.Forgotten Study: Abuse in School 100 Times Worse than by Priests
Posted on 04/01/2010 12:35:40 PM PDT by topher
Thursday April 1, 2010
Forgotten Study: Abuse in School 100 Times Worse than by Priests
By James Tillman and John Jalsevac
WASHINGTON, DC, April 1, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) In the last several weeks such a quantity of ink has been spilled in newspapers across the globe about the priestly sex abuse scandals, that a casual reader might be forgiven for thinking that Catholic priests are the worst and most common perpetrators of child sex abuse.
But according to Charol Shakeshaft, the researcher of a little-remembered 2004 study prepared for the U.S. Department of Education, "the physical sexual abuse of students in schools is likely more than 100 times the abuse by priests."
After effectively disappearing from the radar, Shakeshafts study is now being revisited by commentators seeking to restore a sense of proportion to the mainstream coverage of the Church scandal.
According to the 2004 study the most accurate data available at this time indicates that nearly 9.6 percent of students are targets of educator sexual misconduct sometime during their school career.
Educator sexual misconduct is woefully under-studied, writes the researcher. We have scant data on incidence and even less on descriptions of predators and targets. There are many questions that call for answers.
In an article published on Monday, renowned Catholic commentator George Weigel referred to the Shakeshaft study, and observed that The sexual and physical abuse of children and young people is a global plague in which Catholic priests constitute only a small minority of perpetrators.
While Weigel observes that the findings of Shakeshafts study do nothing to mitigate the harm caused by priestly abuse, or excuse the clericalism and fideism that led bishops to ignore the problem, they do point to a gross imbalance in the level of scrutiny given to it, throwing suspicion on the motives of the news outlets that are pouring their resources into digging up decades-old dirt on the Church.
The narrative that has been constructed is often less about the protection of the young (for whom the Catholic Church is, by empirical measure, the safest environment for young people in America today) than it is about taking the Church down," he writes.
Weigel observes that priestly sex abuse is a phenomenon that spiked between the mid-1960s and the mid-1980s but seems to have virtually disappeared, and that in recent years the Church has gone to great lengths to punish and remove priestly predators and to protect children. The result of these measures is that six credible cases of clerical sexual abuse in 2009 were reported in the U.S. bishops annual audit, in a Church of some 65,000,000 members.
Despite these facts, however, the sexual abuse story in the global media is almost entirely a Catholic story, in which the Catholic Church is portrayed as the epicenter of the sexual abuse of the young.
Outside of the Church, Shakeshaft is not alone in highlighting the largely unaddressed, and unpublicized problem of child sex abuse in schools. Sherryll Kraizer, executive director of the Denver-based Safe Child Program, told the Colorado Gazette in 2008 that school employees commonly ignore laws meant to prevent the sexual abuse of children.
I see it regularly, Kraizer said. There are laws against failing to report, but the law is almost never enforced. Almost never.
What typically happens is youll have a teacher whos spending a little too much time in a room with one child with the door shut, Kraizer explained. Another teacher sees it and reports it to the principal. The principal calls the suspected teacher in and says Dont do that, instead of contacting child protective services.
Before you know it, the teacher is driving the student home. A whole series of events will unfold, known to other teachers and the principal, and nobody contacts child services before its out of control. You see this documented in records after it eventually ends up in court.
In an editorial last week, The Gazette revisited the testimony of Kraizer in the context of the Church abuse scandal coverage, concluding that the much larger crisis remains in our public schools today, where children are raped and groped every day in the United States.
The media and others must maintain their watchful eye on the Catholic Church and other religious institutions, wrote The Gazette, But its no less tragic when a child gets abused at school.
In 2004, shortly after the Shakeshaft study was released, Catholic League President William Donohue, who was unavailable for an interview for this story, asked, Where is the media in all this?
Isnt it news that the number of public school students who have been abused by a school employee is more than 100 times greater than the number of minors who have been abused by priests? he asked.
All those reporters, columnists, talking heads, attorneys general, D.A.s, psychologists and victims groups who were so quick on the draw to get priests have a moral obligation to pursue this issue to the max. If they dont, theyre a fraud.
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Your posting history paints a much different story.
Even if no public school teacher ever did a single thing wrong, the abuse of students *by other students* would be sufficient reason to shut them down. Why is it horrific for a 24-year-old teacher to sexually assault a student, but perfectly all right for a 17-year-old fellow student to do it?
really? it seems you’ve looked at the article headers rather than reading my comments
In public school systems it is worse. It is called "pass the trash" unless there is a 30-20A filed there is no record at all. I personally know of one incident where a high school principal got a student pregnant, and drove her to get the abortion.
She had been bullied [and sexually assaulted] by some of the students involved in the bullying.
Because of the bullying there are criminal charges against the students [4 girls and 2 boys, as I recall].
I saw some of the articles about the students who were charged. Nobody would hear about it if she hadn’t killed herself. “Just kids being kids; she shouldn’t have been so sensitive. It was all in fun.”
“A few priest have gone to jail too but not enough of them.”
Do you know how many there are...? The DoE has stated they expect at least 10% molesters this year. The priest scandal was 2% - yes - I said WAS...I wish I could say the same for some Protestant Churches and Teachers. That’s if it’s the kids you’re really concerned about. I suspect you’re on the side of the NYSlimes which is just to blacken the name of the Catholic Church. They have their reasons - what’s yours?
And for every other protestant taking a self-righteous stance. Take the plank out of your own church eye. Thanks.
the problem in the Catholic Church with priests was homosexuality and the pederasty that accompanied it
rather then the church deal with it prperly we now have folks “claiming” evberyone else did it too and by gosh those protestants were worse
show me where Baptist preachers did it the same to their kids in their congregations and the deacons then banded together and protected them and just sent them to other churches period....forget even trying to compare on the magnitude of the priests
you guys are still in denial and the church has never adressed it for what it is ...a homosexual scandal
what percentage of priests are homo?
does anyone know?
i fear a heck of a lot
i have seen a few fathers speak out about this sickness but precious few
there was no excuse for what was allowed to go on for decades and the cover up
“Protestant numbers are harder to come by, the AP reported, because the denominations are less centralized than the Catholic Church. Many churches are independent, making reporting even harder.
“This bad news for Protestant Churches is sad news for all of us,” Father Morris wrote. “I would prefer the problem be limited to any one church—even if that church were my own—because it would mean more kids would be safe. But as I have said repeatedly over the last few years, the problem of sexual abuse of minors is not an issue of religious affiliation because there is nothing religious about abusing children. The phenomenon of sexual abuse of minors in church settings is the story of sick human beings taking advantage of their position of moral authority to prey on the weak and vulnerable. If Catholic clergy were to be faithful to their church’s teaching, there would be no abuse in the Catholic Church. The same goes for Protestant clergy. The problem, then, is not one of corrupt doctrine, but of individuals being unfaithful to the most basic precepts of their own religious belief.”
Insurance officials told the AP the numbers of sex-abuse cases has remained steady over the past two decades, but churches are doing more to prevent child-sexual abuse by conducting background checks, installing windows in nurseries and play areas and requiring at least two adults in a room with a child.
Still, said Patrick Moreland of Church Mutual, churches are particularly vulnerable to abusers.
“By their nature, congregations are the most trusting of organizations, so that makes them attractive targets for predators,” he said. “If you’re a predator, where do you go? You go to a congregation that will welcome you.”
America’s largest Protestant group, the Southern Baptist Convention, voted last month to refer a motion to study the feasibility of establishing a database of Southern Baptist clergy and church staff who are credibly accused of, have confessed to or were convicted of sexual abuse or harassment to the SBC Executive Committee.
This year’s convention also adopted a non-binding resolution expressing “moral outrage” against the victimization of children.
Bob Allen is managing editor of EthicsDaily.com.
I believe many churches were infiltrated by these monsters over the decades yet the Catholic Church is the only one constantly targeted for constant headline pounding. We have cleaned up the mess yet we’re still being isolated, targeted, attacked, and mocked at our holiest of holidays by the power of the state-run media. This is their third/fourth/fifth round on our priests yet nothing on Protestants or Teachers. Don’t you find that more than a little strange?
I’ll be posting a thread on Protestant Pastors and also Teacher pedophilia when I get time - hopefully you’ll visit the thread so you can offer your grave concerns toward those institutions. I believe there’s been a couple of threads on it before on this forum and can’t remember seeing you posting on them. The socalled balance reminds me of the daily kos, DU, salon, etc., and the state-run media.
Correction: The Catholic Church has been around for 2,000 years and if you want to talk about what Protestants meted out toward Catholics we can get into that bigtime as I’ve experienced it first hand in my own country and something I’m very familiar with...
You can document your concerns about Protestant Pastor child molestors here:
This isn’t an either/or proposition. And I would think that a child would have a much more reasonable hope of not being molested in a church than anywhere else.
To put it into a comparison sounds almost like someone is looking for justification.
you’re taking reports of non Catholic ministers or employed lay people who have been arrested for anything sexual at church or not or anytime in their lives including most that involved underaged 15-17 year old girls with young church employees or any preacher who has any sexual crime on his record from all Protestant denominations and comparing that to the behavior of priests with young boys...boys they were in close contact with or boys in their care at school or orphanages.
the writer you quote is misrepresenting the “charts” to equate as an excuse
there is no equating or excuses
Prod ministers do not have the homosexual pederasty thing going to the same degree nor do they have the private opportunity that do Priests.
and these are pure numbers....Non-Catholics outnumber Catholics 4-1 here in the US
and no I do not think the Catholic Church has dealt with this honestly...they hid it for several decades and still refuse to call it what it is....abuse of young males by Homosexuals wearing robes..sickening
that Prods do it too is bad enough but it’s not quite the level of scandal no matter how much pro Catholic writers try to twist it and even if Prods do it to the smae degree then is it excused or less bad?
my hunch is this....often...men who seek out jobs that will put them in contact with children have sinister motives more often than do general population
camp counselors come to mind too and coaches...of any faith...it’s pervs looking for opportunity
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