This Sunday Seattle Times editor-at-large Mike Fancher wrote on the protections extended to Washington teachers and coaches implicated in child abuse — and the lengths to which the Washington Education Association is going to keep this information from becoming public. The Times discovered in its investigation the following disturbing phenomenon:
“After facing credible allegations or possible discipline, the coaches would get a job in another district or a private athletic club where their misbehavior wasn’t known to officials. In at least one instance, a coach was paid to quietly leave his district before going elsewhere to molest more girls.”
The WEA took the Times to court to prevent the newspaper from gaining access to records of such shuffling, which would have resulted in the following: “Under the ruling sought by the WEA, The Times would have had no way to know if a teacher was the subject of several complaints or to track an individual from one district to another.”
The “shuffling” of teachers and coaches linked with child abuse is hardly unique to the state of Washington. Our research into tenured teacher termination in Newark, New Jersey, produced just this sort of story. Click here to read the tenure charges against a gym teacher who reportedly made frequent public remarks about his female students’ bodies, including his reported request that his young charges inform him when they were menstruating.
Make sure to read his settlement (signed by the Newark Teachers Union lawyer), in which the district agrees (on page 9 of the PDF) to “provide only dates of employment and title of last position held” to any prospective employers of his looking for a reference.