search
top

Brevard County Schools And Sexual Predators.

Child-in-corner-ROH(Editor’s Note: We cannot express how deeply we despise those who harm children and who are sexual predators. There are times we wish we had a supply of millstones to donate.

“If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” – Matthew 18:6 NIV)

Last week, the Florida Today wrote that a new security system was being “rolled out” in Brevard County schools.

A new security system in Brevard Public Schools will run an automatic sexual predator check when volunteers and visitors sign in on campus.

Individuals will scan their driver’s license, and new KeepnTrack software will run a check through a sexual predator database from all 50 states.

According to the “KeepnTrack” software site, the software is written by COMPanion Corporation and will use another product – COMPanion’s CBC (Criminal Background Check) database.

The KeepnTrack software not only integrates with the CBC database, but also allows for tracking of staff (including teachers,) tracking of students, and tracking of vendors on school campuses.

(One wonders whether the new software will replace current staff and vendor tracking software or whether the school district will keep the current software for staff and vendors as well as paying for the new KeepnTrack software.)

According to the article, the cost of the KeepnTrack software and license scanners for schools is $136,000. The software will also cost the district $31,500 per year to run.

The background check will cost people $20 every three years.

The idea sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?

Let’s say that you want to go watch your child perform in a school play, help a teacher set up for a birthday party, or give a presentation on “parent’s day” or “career day.”

That will run you $20 to help schools and the educational system. You can’t even visit your own child without paying $20.

So while the idea may sound great, the question is if this new system is a “feel good” measure and whether the criminal background checks have any practical value.

The reason we ask is because of the high rate of sexual abuse from educators against students – educators whose background checks are much deeper and more comprehensive.

In the 2000 report, commissioned by the American Association of University Women, surveyors asked students between eighth and 11th grades whether they had ever experienced inappropriate sexual conduct at school. The list of such conduct included lewd comments, exposure to pornography, peeping in the locker room, and sexual touching or grabbing. Around one in 10 students said they had been the victim of one or more such things from a teacher or other school employee, and two-thirds of those reported the incident involved physical contact. If these numbers are representative of the student population nationwide, 4.5 million students currently in grades K-12 have suffered some form of sexual abuse by an educator, and more than 3 million have experienced sexual touching or assault.

That’s appalling.

How bad is it? In March, 2014, a former “teacher of the year” in Florida was sentenced to 40 years in jail for charges of sexual battery on a child younger than 12 and lewd or lascivious molestation.

Christopher Robert Bacca, 27, pleaded guilty to charges of attempted sexual battery on a child younger than 12 and lewd or lascivious molestation. Acting Circuit Judge Russell Healey sentenced him to 30 years for the first charge and 40 years for the second charge, but the two sentences will be served concurrently so he will be in prison for 40 years.

He was designated a sexual predator, and Healey also told Bacca he would be on probation for the rest of his life and could still face civil commitment proceedings under the Jimmy Ryce Act when his prison term ended. Bacca, in a green prison uniform and speaking in a voice barely above a whisper, told Healey he understood.

While we think of sexual predators as being overwhelmingly male, there are far too many cases where female educators have been convicted of sexual crimes with students. WND.com published a list of hundreds of female teachers that have been convicted of crimes against their students.

How often do these attacks occur?

In an article which describes the sexual abuse by educators as an “unreported epidemic,” Renee Nal at The Tavern Keepers lists thirty seven incidents of sexual misconduct by educators in just one week in April, 2014.

THIRTY SEVEN INCIDENTS IN ONE WEEK.

Sadly, Nal says that the list is not all inclusive of all incidents.

The question that must be asked is whether a background check on parents and volunteers is going to do anything when there are so many educators in the who are sexual predators and who have passed a much more rigorous background check. Furthermore, while there are cases where schools have hired as teachers people who have been convicted of sexual crimes against children, most of the teachers and background checks give no indication that teachers will perpetrate such a horrible crime against kids.

Sexual abuse by an adult requires two things – trust and silence. The predator will work to develop trust with the victim and then when the abuse starts, will tell the victim “don’t say anything to anyone – this will be our secret.”

Like it or not, teachers are in the position of trust. Parents want their kids to like and believe in their teachers. It is far easier for a teacher, coach, guidance counselor or school employee to develop trust with a victim than a parent giving a talk, going to a presentation by they kid, or participating in career day.

Will the new security software cut down on sexual incidents within the schools by non-educators? We don’t know. It seems unlikely, but it is possible. Hopefully the school district will release how many predators the new system stopped at the door over the course of the next few years.

We here at Raised on Hoecakes believe the funds would be better spent on continuing to teach and educate kids on appropriate behavior by adults, but the school district wants to appear to be doing something, without any statistical backing at all.



Comments are closed.

top