You’d think that kids would be relatively safe from sexual abuse in elementary schools, middle schools, a high schools. After all, these tend to be crowded environments where there is little privacy, and an abundance of adult supervision.
However, a year-long AP investigation found that sexual assaults between students happen far more often in our schools than previously thought. While most people would assume that there is a greater problem with teachers taking advantage of students (due to how much media attention these events receive), there were seven times as many cases of abuse stemming from students. They found 17,000 official reports of rape and sexual assault committed by kids between 2011 and 2015. Of course, these things can happen anywhere no matter how much adult supervision there is. What’s more alarming is how schools often respond to these incidents.
AP uncovered many cases of administrators covering up these incidents or failing to report them to the police, in an effort to protect their school’s public image. Or when students reported being sexually abused by their peers, school administrators often mischaracterized these incidents as “bullying, hazing or consensual behavior.”
And these incidents could be far more common than what the investigation found. The vast majority of these incidents occurred in secondary schools. However, there aren’t any federal laws that require elementary schools and middle schools to “track or disclose sexual violence.” There are a few states that require these schools to report this kind of behaviour, but they have no uniform standard. Plus, many of these schools “feel tremendous pressure to hide it. Even under varying state laws, acknowledging an incident can trigger liabilities and requirements to act.”
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Contributed by Daniel Lang of The Daily Sheeple.
Daniel Lang is a researcher and staff writer for The Daily Sheeple – Wake The Flock Up!