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Schools failing to protect students from sexual abuse by school personnel, federal report says

Originally Posted: February 5th, 2014 on By Jane Meredith Adams

The failure of U.S. schools to protect students from sexual abuse by school personnel is a story of district cover-ups, lack of training, incomplete teacher background checks and little guidance from the U.S. Department of Education, according to a new federal report.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office said the nation’s K-12 schools lack a systemic approach to preventing and reporting educator sexual abuse of students, despite a problem that the report said affects an estimated 9.6 percent of students – nearly one in 10 – who are subjected to sexual misconduct by teachers, coaches, principals, bus drivers and other personnel during their K-12 career. That figure is from a 2004 report made to the U.S. Department of Education and is the most recent estimate available, according to the Government Accountability Office report released last week.

“Although states and school districts are taking some positive steps,” the report said, “current efforts are clearly not enough.”

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