A new investigation by the New York City Department of Education has found that there has been at least 104 cases of school teachers and employees being involved in inappropriate relationships with students over the last five years alone.
The investigation, carried out by the Department of Education’s Special Commissioner of Investigation Richard Condon, studied nearly 600 complaints over teacher-student behavior and found that 104 were confirmed to be sexual or “otherwise inappropriate.”
Community Education Council member Laura Timoney says “I’m absolutely stunned at that number. It’s shocking, but what do you do to stop this?”
Of course, even more shocking, is that these only represent the number of confirmed cases. In 2013, Condon’s office received 566 complaints “involving a sexual component.” The department found “substantiated evidence” in a quarter of the investigations it opened, about 56 or so.
Frederick Lane, the author of “Cybertraps for the Young,” notes that “If a kid texts a teacher at 9 or 10 pm asking about homework, the reply goes straight to the child’s bedroom. These one-on-one conversations can turn person, creating a quicker sense of intimacy. The electronics make it easier for a predator to gain the trust of a child and then exploit that trust.”
“These aren’t relationships. It’s sexual predation,” says Terri Miller, the president of Stop Educator Sexual Abuse Misconduct and Exploitation.
These cases also involve school staff, not just teachers. On the same day that the report was released, a Brooklyn school janitor was arrested for raping a woman on campus at a Fort Greene school.