Our nation's public schools have a serious problem with child abuse, and if schools want their children to be safe from predators, they should look to the model of protection implemented by the Catholic Church.
Those are the rarely aired words penned by Wayne Laugesen, Editorial Page Editor at the Colorado Springs Gazette, in a recent editorial.
Laugesen's article is a refreshing diversion from the well-worn "The-Catholic-Church-is-a-harbor-of-pedophiles" narrative that fails to account that abuse in the Catholic Church is a historical problem, not a current problem.
Laugesen correctly points out that in all of last year, there were a total of seven credible and contemporaneous accusations against Catholic priests in the United States, a minuscule number in the context of the country's 41,406 priests and 77 millions followers.
"Statistically, this makes priests the safest professionals in the country to leave children with," Laugesen concludes.
While even one incident of abuse is an outrage, the Church's low number of current accusations is the result of the several aggressive efforts it has taken in the past several years to create safe environments for children.
Our public schools, however …
"Many schools have more credible allegations of abuse by employees than the entire church has nationwide," Laugesen reports. He then cites a rarely referenced 2007 Associated Press study which chronicled the epidemic of abuse and cover-ups currently going on in our nation's schools:
"Students in America's schools are groped. They're raped. They're pursued, seduced and think they're in love.
"An Associated Press investigation found more than 2,500 cases over five years in which educators were punished for actions from bizarre to sadistic …
"Most of the abuse never gets reported. Those cases reported often end with no action. Cases investigated sometimes can't be proven, and many abusers have several victims.
"And no one – not the schools, not the courts, not the state or federal governments – has found a surefire way to keep molesting teachers out of classrooms."
If the mainstream media is really concerned about atrocious child abuse and the protection of children, then why doesn't it report more about this epidemic in our public schools?
The answer seems to be that the media is really more interested in creating a battering ram in order to bludgeon the Catholic Curch.
The time is long overdue for other clear-thinking journalists to pick up on Laugesen's truths. (And this is not the first time he has penned such a column.)
Bravo to Wayne Laugesen.