An analysis conducted by Fox News Digital found that from January 1 to September 30, at least 269 educators were arrested, which works out to roughly one arrest a day.
That is an astonishing number reflecting a dire problem in our nation's educational system.
The 269 educators included four principals, two assistant principals, 226 teachers, 20 teacher’s aides and 17 substitute teachers. Further exacerbating matters, nearly 75% of those arrests involved students.
“The number of teachers arrested for child sex abuse is just the tip of the iceberg — much as it was for the Catholic Church prior to widespread exposure and investigation in the early 2000s,” Christopher Rufo, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, said in a statement to Fox News Digital. “The best available academic research, published by the Department of Education, suggests that nearly 10% of public school students suffer from physical abuse between kindergarten and twelfth grade.”
“According to that research, the scale of sexual abuse in the public schools is nearly 100 times greater than that of the Catholic Church,” he said. “The question for critics who seek to downplay the extent of public school sexual abuse is this: How many arrests need to happen before you consider it a problem? How many children need to be sexually abused by teachers before you consider it a crisis?”
The raw data reveals our educational system is in crisis. However, it doesn't tell us the root causes or the steps that need to be taken to prevent such catastrophic news. For instance, of those 269 arrests, we don't know how many had issues with their background checks and were hired as educators anyway. We don't know if the background checks are thorough or missed "red flags". We need to know the circumstances surrounding these crimes. For example, were the crimes a matter of opportunity ie. the educator was allowed to be alone with the student for significant periods of time?
The Fox News analysis leaves us with more questions than answers. What it is does provide is a clarion call that our educational house is on fire and we need to put out that fire before more of our children are permanently scarred by sexual abuse.