Once again with the newspaper related apoplexy:
The title of this article says it all, " Schools Cut Secret Deals With Abusive Teachers."
It talks about how a number of Oregon schools deal with teachers who abuse students by cutting secret deals with these abusers--in exchange for resigning these, I hate to be repetitive but, ABUSERS are allowed to leave the school district with the promise the district will not make any mention of the "behavior" in the future. It's so common that they even have a name for the practice, "passing the trash."
It's a given that institutions protect their own, so while I was disappointed to read about these practices, I'm sad to say that I wasn't shocked. What brought me to a frothing, spluttering, incandescent whirl of rage was the following quote (it was in reference to a particular agreement with a teacher who was living with one of his 17 year old students): "(The agreement) happened in a way that was least damaging to the school district and the kids." That's right, this school district gave a man who abused his students $10,000 in severance, six months of health insurance and a glowing letter of recommendation so he could prey on students in a new school and all for the good of the kids.
I could go on to talk about how the argument that this is the best that school districts can do because they are ham-strung by the teacher's union and the cost of putting an accused teacher on paid leave while they investigate is completely asinine; in 1997 the California Supreme Court ruled that school districts in that state could be sued for making these kind of secret agreements with abusers. I could make a sad but not so funny joke about how some district in Oregon might one day get to join the Portland Archdiocese in bankruptcy. I could rage a little more against the fact that even teachers who are publicly disciplined often get a second chance--because god knows abusers deserve a second shot at unsupervised time with vulnerable children.
But you can read all about it yourself in the article, and then you can get whipped up into a froth of rage too.