La Jolla High Teacher Accused of Sexual Misconduct by multiple students

Read the full story from the Voice of San Diego here:

More Students Describe Unwanted Touching from La Jolla High Teacher

As a mother who has been through almost this exact scenario (my daughter's 3rd grade teacher who molested her) and now teaches child sexual abuse prevention, I recognize many common mistakes that were made here.

1) Not trusting your gut instinct, this is the #1 skill I train parents to teach their kids. Trust your gut instincts, your body was designed to warn you of danger.

2) Minimizing the teacher's actions, we all do it because teachers are in a position of trust and we want to believe the best.

3) Reports and complaints should always be in writing and demand that a copy be put in the offenders personnel file. Keep a copy for yourself. Be sure it is dated. Send it certified, signature required and send via email with a request for response.

4) No matter how insignificant you believe the behavior was, file a report with police, be sure to speak to someone in charge of sex crimes. Keep a copy of the report. Never rely on the school to do the right thing and never rely on their internal investigations.

5) Always speak up, there is rarely ever only one victim.

All of those actions reported by the student are acts of child sexual abuse. I hope there is a criminal investigation and justice is served. If I were those parents I would get a good civil attorney that has experience specifically in educator sexual misconduct asap.

1 out of 10 students will be a victim of sexual misconduct by school personnel per the US Dept of Education report:…/rese…/pubs/misconductreview/report.pdf

More than 90% of the time victims are abused by someone they know and trust. Parents and school staff need to educate themselves on child sexual abuse prevention, that is the only way we are going to stop this. This is happening every day in every school and yet rarely ever does a school train their staff. Mandated reporter training focuses on reporting NOT preventing.

#LaJollaHighSchool #Teachworth #Predator #ChildSexualAbuse#Prevention #EducateToEliminate

Family Sues Del Oro High School for Teacher Texting Student

This is the second case in the last month that I have seen where a teacher has been texting inappropriate messages to his student and the school has done nothing about it. You may not consider texting a harmful action, however, it is an easy method for a predator to groom and manipulate a minor. The student is a minor and their brains are not fully developed. The teacher used his position of trust and authority for his own personal gain despite the long-term emotional damage he would create for the student.

Minors are easily coerced into believing they are special and then eventually the reality sets in and they realize what the predator is doing is wrong and by then they feel trapped because they have answered the text messages. They feel ashamed, embarrassed, or at fault. However, the minor is never at fault, the adult always holds the burden of doing the right thing and obeying the law and school policy.

The lawsuit filed in the Placer County Superior Court alleges emotional distress and that Del Oro High School band director Ben Duncan is unfit to be a teacher at the school.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit are Jacob and Heidi B -- leaving out their last name for anonymity in the lawsuit -- and their teenage daughter listed only as Jane Doe.

FOX40 first spoke with Jacob back in May after he discovered what he says were inappropriate text messages from Duncan to his daughter.

"The school district has all this information, they know that he texted my daughter all night long, for months, thousands and thousands of texts -- is that acceptable? Things like I love you, come live at my house," Jacob said.

Read the full story here

46 Victims Reprort Sexual Abuse in One Week against Jehovahs Witnesses

Reclaimed Voices, a foundation set up in the Netherlands to denounce sexual abuse by Jehovah's Witnesses, received 46 reports of abuse in just a week's time. The number of reports is shocking, Frank Huiting, one of the founders and himself a victim of sexual abuse in a closed Jehovah's Witnesses community as a child, said to broadcaster NOS. 

Read the full story here

Poway Unified High School Keeps Teacher after Misconduct with Student


Westview High teacher admitted to sending inappropriate texts to his student for over a year.

What parents need to know is that those messages which you can read in the article from CBS8, were controlling and coercive. The teacher threatening to kick someone's ass if the student went to a dance with a date. His actions were predatory grooming. Even though the minor texted him back, the onus is not on the minor to understand this behavior is wrong. Minors cannot have relationships with adults. Minor's brains do not fully develop until they are around twenty-five years old. The adult is the person who is responsible and is always at fault for any inappropriate behavior. This was clearly a teacher in a position of authority victimizing his student.

Parents should demand that Poway Unified should fire the teacher immediately. There is rarely ever only one victim. The odds are he will re-offend. Poway Unified School District will be liable for each and every victim. 

Parents should also demand that all school staff be trained on child sexual abuse prevention.




Presitgious Private School Settles Lawsuit for Teacher who Molested Students

"The Marlborough School announced Monday that it has reached a settlement with an unnamed former student who was sexually abused by Joseph Koetters, her English teacher.

The settlement, whose terms are confidential, came just before the case was set to go to trial and one month after the school settled with Chelsea Burkett, 33, who also was sexually abused by Koetters when she was a teenager. The women sued Marlborough for failing to protect them from sexual abuse."

In my professional opinion, as someone who teaches child sexual abuse prevention, the most alarming part of this news report is that it appears the school hired the teacher even though they knew he had previously engaged in unlawful sexual activities. Let's call it what it really is which is child sexual abuse. A minor cannot have a consensual sexual relationship with an adult. Knowing he was a predator and hiring him anyway speaks to the lack of integrity of this school and the person in charge of hiring. I am glad these women were able to get justice.

"Marlborough hired Koetters in 1999, after he taught at the private Viewpoint School in Calabasas. The suit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, claimed that Marlborough "knew, had reason to know and was otherwise on notice that Koetters had previously engaged in unlawful sexual activities."

Bullying Lawsuits are on the Rise

Bullying has garnered a lot of attention lately, rightfully so. What is alarming to me is the lack of discussing how adults bully children. Our society is totally comfortable discussing kids bullying kids. Schools are willing to pay for staff training on bullying. Restorative practices have become a hot topic and are being taught all over. Don't get me wrong, this is all good stuff. What is not good is the lack of knowledge and unwillingness to educate school staff on child sexual abuse prevention which is a form of bullying in the worst way. Why are we afraid to question the behavior of adults but not children. Why are we so quick to see how kids bullying kids is so damaging that we are willing to put a ton of money and energy into finding solutions but not when it's adults bullying kids. Our kids' voices matter and whether they are being bullied by another kid or an adult we need to listen. Schools need to listen. The authorities need to listen.

From CBS News:

It's a parent's worst nightmare, their child being teased, even hurt in school.

One in four kids experiences bullying in the classroom.

A growing number of parents are filing civil lawsuits against school districts for not keeping their kids safe, and many end up in court.

“It was horrendous, it was gut wrenching,” mother Tracy Samon said.

Samon says the day she found out her daughter was being bullied in school broke her heart.

“She would be hysterical crying,” Samon said.

Samon said her daughter's classmates would call her names and taunt her. She said her daughter's finger was slammed in a locker.

“No child should ever feel in fear of when they go to school,” Samon said.

Samon said the school did not keep her daughter safe, even after she told them about the bullying on several occasions in person and by email.

“It got to a point where we had to pursue this legally, because they were not taking any action,” Samon said.

And she is not alone. The National School Board Association says there is anecdotal evidence that bullying lawsuits are on the rise nationwide.

While there's no hard data for the number of lawsuits, an advocacy group called Public Justice tracked 128 settled cases since 1996 nationwide. And most often, school districts prevail.

“Bullying cases are very challenging, because we don’t bring a case against the bully, we bring a case before the school for failing to prevent the bullying from occurring,” Samon said.

In another case, attorney Craig Goldenfarb won a civil lawsuit against the Palm Beach County School District, in part because cell phone video was available.

Samon says unless the school is aware of the intention or the bullying before-hand, there's no liability or fault on the school.

The Florida Department of Education has a very particular definition of bullying - covering power, harm and harassment.

“So we usually have to prove there’s something the school could have done, either before the event or during the event, that would have made a difference,” Samon said.

The National Center for Education Statistics finds about 20 percent of kids get bullied at school.

But Florida's most recent data show our area schools reported only 330 bullying incidents.

That's less than one percent.

Samon says bullying is under reported. She hopes her story inspires other parents to speak up.

“You’ve got to stand up for your child, be their advocate. Don’t be afraid by the politics or afraid of what your peers will say,” Samon said.

Samon's case has not gone to court yet.



Sex misconduct revisits elite prep school already under fire

An elite New Hampshire prep school is facing new revelations about another competition of sexual conquest two years after a student was convicted of sexually assaulting a freshman as part of a tradition called "Senior Salute." From ABC News, source

This type of sexual misconduct needs to have swift and significant consequences for the offenders. This is not something to shrug off as another "boys will be boys" moment. These are serious, malicious, and calculated actions. The offenders should be forced to work in a rape clinic for at least 5 years, in addition to other hard labor community service, write a research paper on rape culture and child molestation and pay restitution to the victims. 

3 Victims at Pre-school Bridgewater State University in Boston

According to the Boston Herald (full article, click here)

"Kyle P. Loughlin, who inappropriately touched the children between January and March 2015 while working at the BSU Children’s Center, pleaded guilty in Brockton Superior Court to charges including rape and abuse of a child and indecent assault and battery on a child under 14. Judge Angel Kelly Brown sentenced him to 7 1⁄2 years in prison followed by 10 years of probation."

What you may not understand is that when a criminal pleads guilty he is pleading guilty to lesser charges than the crime he actually committed. There are many reasons why this leads to a false sense of security for the public.


Ex-Substitute Teacher faces Judge on child sex abuse charges

From NECN, read the whole story here.

Blake Rider, 37, of Forestdale, Massachusetts, was arraigned at Barnstable District Court on multiple charges of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14, along with two counts of reckless endangerment of a child, the Cape and Islands District Attorney's Office confirmed

Brian L. Maynard sentenced to 20 years in Child Sexual Abuse Case

I am glad that the Judge imposed a 20-year sentence. It's bad enough that the plea bargains continue to happen, which give society a false understanding of the actual crime committed. I don't know what test they speak of in the article, referenced by the Public Defender but I completely disagree with the results, "tests that found him to pose a relatively low risk to re-offend." There are numerous studies that show child molesters will continue to molest kids until the day they day, having an average of 118 victims in their lifetime.

For the news article, click here.

3 Women arrested for sexually abusing a mentally disabled child

Here is a link to the news story.

Did you know that disabled children have the highest rate of molestation? Disabled children are three times more likely to be sexually abused than children without disabilities. For children with mental health and intellectual disabilities that rate jumps to five times more. I have an autistic brother so this story is particularly scary to me. 

"In addition to contributing to the higher rates of sexual abuse against children with disabilities, ableism has structured our responses and supports for children with disabilities around notions of their dependency as opposed to supporting more independence. This has resulted in a culture of compliance that surrounds children with disabilities. Although all children are trained to be compliant to authority figures in our society, compliance is stressed to an even greater degree for children with disabilities. In this environment, children with disabilities are denied the right to say no to everyday choices such as what they will wear or eat, leaving them completely unequipped to say no when someone is trying to hurt them.

Children with disabilities are systematically denied basic information about sexual health and relationships. This practice can be traced to a desire to shield children with disabilities from the realities of life as well as a belief that people with disabilities are asexual. As a result, sexual education is rarely provided in special education classrooms and, when it is, it is not tailored to the needs of children with disabilities. Moreover, family members may have personal anxieties about their children having sex and therefore will not raise such issues with them or the schools. As such, children with disabilities are not taught about their bodies, do not learn to distinguish good touches and bad touches, and are never given a framework for healthy relationships. Without such fundamental lessons, children with disabilities have no language to describe what has happened to them when they are abused."

Former Cheer Coach gets life sentence for molesting students

Timothy Wells-Lee was sentenced to life in prison without parole for 42 years. All four students were under the age of 16, we know at least one of them was 14. This is one of the longest sentences I have read for this crime and I want to make sure it is well known. We need tougher sentencing for these crimes against our kids. This case also shows the need for youth-serving organizations to be more thorough in background checks and not rely solely on criminal background checks. They need to conduct a thorough check of all previous employment and scrutinize any gaps in employment or frequent employment changes. This coach worked at three different youth-serving organizations who all witnessed questionable behavior, documented here in the Memorandum Opinion from the appellate court.