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S.E.S.A.M.E. is the leading national voice for the prevention of sexual exploitation, abuse, and harassment of students by teachers and other school staff. Ending the practice of “passing the trash,” a phenomenon where educators investigated for abuse are able to resign and get a new job at a new school, is S.E.S.A.M.E.’s top priority for ending abuse in schools. Our organization works toward the following goals:

  • Increasing public awareness of educator sexual abuse by breaking the silence in a strong and united voice.

  • Fostering recovery of survivors through mutual support and access to information.

  • Encouraging survivors of educator sexual abuse to report their offenders to local law enforcement officials and state education department credentialing offices.

  • Insisting upon implementation of and adherence to child-centered educator sexual abuse policies, regulations and laws.

  • Directing attention to the maintenance of proper boundaries between school staff and students by promoting annual training, the adoption of professional standards and codes of ethics. 


In memory of

S.E.S.A.M.E. was founded by a courageous woman who had the courage to take a stand and make it count. Mary Ann Werner's concern about educator sexual abuse began in 1991 with the disclosures by family members. Since that time, her tireless efforts have touched more lives than she could possibly count. Ms. Werner has testified at several New York state legislative public hearings, presented at various national conferences, and authored chapters in The Psychology of Sexual Victimization: A Handbook edited by Michele Paludi and Dear Teacher If You Only Knew! edited by John Seryak. Her comments on educator sexual abuse have appeared in dozens of newspapers and magazines across the country.

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