Kudos: In WSJ, Campbell Brown Says Teacher Unions ‘Go to Bat for Child Predators,’ Cites Lack of Media Coverage

Campbell Brown Wall Street Journal

Campbell Brown: Shining the light on the darkness in our nation's public schools

Public school teacher unions are "being weak on sexual predators," and the effect of this policy is having a monstrous impact on victims, their families, and the well-being of the teaching profession.

So says Campbell Brown in an eye-opening opinion piece in this week's Wall Street Journal.

Campbell reports, "In the last five years in New York City, 97 tenured teachers or school employees have been charged by the Department of Education with sexual misconduct."

Indeed, that facts is very disturbing. However, as we have relayed before, it has been reported that "248 complaints of sexual misconduct involving school employees" just in the first three months of 2012 in New York City public schools. So it appears that only a small fraction of teachers are actually ever charged for their sexual misconduct.

The time has come for the media to step up

The problem of sex abuse by teachers in public schools is epidemic, yet you would hardly know it from the media coverage.

Brown acknowledges in her article, "Local media have begun to get the word out, yet the stories come and go with trifling consequences or accountability."

This is absolutely the case. While innocent students are raped, sodomized, and molested on a regular basis in public schools, the media seems more interested in rehashing decades-old allegations against Catholic priests, even those that involve double hearsay.

Brown concludes, "If this kind of behavior were happening in any adult workplace in America, there would be zero tolerance. Yet our public school children are defenseless."

Absolutely. Where are you New York Times? Maureen Dowd? Boston Globe?


  1. Publion says:

    It is, of course, heartening to see that concern about child-molestation by those in authority it now openly considered in venues other than the Catholic Church.
    I offer a few thoughts after reading the Comments to that WSJ piece TMR links-to in this article.
    The Comments are revealing.
    There are some that quickly react in a familiar way, along the lines of:  ‘the teachers’ unions are Public Enemy No. 1!’. How recently had that assertion been widely made about the Church. Some commenters on the Web seem to have no sense of perspective and simply respond emotionally to the immediate material presented to them.
    And there is the curiously familiar SNAP-like assertion that such teachers are “monsters who crush the souls of children” – which, one would have thought, is an epithet owned solely and totally by Catholic priests.  
    Others speak up for ‘due process’ and worry that the WSJ spoke of ‘predators’ rather than ‘accused’ predators.  And generally that they object to the so-quick use of the dangerously volatile terms ‘pedophile’ and ‘predator’ in the first place. But how much genuine ‘due process’ is left in the general Stampede atmosphere of sex-offenses, especially against ‘children’ (although that term itself covers everyone from infancy to military-recruitment age)?
    Others that since there has been so little proven then it is ‘yellow journalism’. But then, wasn’t it equally ‘yellow’ when deployed against the Church for all these years?
    Or that the teacher-numbers should be taken in comparison with – among other groups – the ‘military’, whose sex-abuse figures are even higher. But, given the elasticity of definitions and the continuously deforming influence of hypothetical  ‘un-reported’ offenses that are always 100 or 1000 times higher, then how many of these figures can be trusted at all any longer?
    Others simply wish to make the crime of ‘child molesting’ (however that is defined) very costly in criminal law. Which is a laudable wish, if it can somehow be translated into workable laws that do not themselves derange the first principles of Western law.
    And there is even one commenter who reports that as a youth and as a teacher he had hugged many persons – including students – without ever intending anything bad, and that you can’t simply declare ‘hugging’ as proof-positive of abusive intent and behavior. And that makes a valid point; how many priests are now liable to utter professional ruin for such ‘boundary violations’ even if no other evidence or inference of sexual-abuse are discernible, even upon careful investigation?
    What I take away from the WSJ comments is this: The general public is now, for the very first time, getting to see how the general dynamics of this sex-abuse Thing works. They had previously seen it only as it was enwrapped in the Catholic clerical abuse scandals and it all seemed like The Thing To Do. But now they are seeing it as deployed against an unfamiliar group (here, public school teachers) and they are beginning to sense the lethal and queasy dynamics and gambits that constitute the Stampede aspect of this whole Thing.
    So this is a valuable and vital development, but also complex. I do not wish upon any professional group the unfettered unleashing of the dynamics that have come to embody the Sex-Abuse Thing, the legal and media derangements that lubricate a justice-corroding Stampede.
     I welcome the possibility that the general public finally has a chance to examine the dynamics of this Thing as it stands now on its own, decoupled from all the decades of ‘Catholic’ encrustation, whereby anybody who didn’t like religion or didn’t like Catholics or didn’t like priests or didn’t like God or simply wanted a good show and maybe also those who figured there was some cash to be gotten out of the whole Thing … could use the Catholic ‘abuse crisis’ as a handy weapon to wield for their own purposes and to their own satisfaction.
    This is a major development and bears careful watching and serious public deliberation.

  2. As I read this in the WSJ, I immediately hoped that David Pierre planned to write about it. I was tempted to fire off a copy to him, but as always David is right on top of things. This is just the beginning of the public school system throughout the United States peeling back the lid to finally expose the very same thing the Catholic Church has been bludgeoned for. However, as this great article alludes, we are going to find a problem in the school system that is far worse, far more virulant, and far more current than anything the Catholic Church and priesthood have faced. It amazes me that this is not coming out now because of media coverage, but in spite of the lack of media coverage. Thank you David for covering this story.

  3. Fitasafiddle says:

    My, My, Publion, are you now rejoicing  that teachers have sex abusers among them? This is so, and that is why teachers are removed IMMEDIATELY when accused of these crimes. Are we all going to pretend that principals and school superintendants keep pedophile teachers in business the way the bishops have with their pedophile priests?   And shall we pretend also that teachers represent Our Lord Jesus and perform religious ritual on altars, hear confessions and bury our beloved dead?
    It is almost comical ( if it weren't so tragic) to read your defense of the indefensable and reminds us all to what levels some will sink to protect the reputation of a corrupt ecclesiastical system which has no resemblance, none,  to the teachings of Our Lord.
    Defending the indefensable