How deranged are public school administrators these days? This deranged.
The Sun Sentinel reports that the Palm Beach County School District is paying a $3.6 million settlement in a case of a teacher who molested four female students … after administrators tried to claim they weren’t to blame because third-graders are “old enough to appreciate the consequences of their actions,” even when following the perverted demands of an adult authority figure entrusted with the poor little girls’ well-being.
In response to a lawsuit from the girls’ families, the district said the children “conducted themselves in a careless and negligent manner” and administrators should not be held responsible […]
The four girls are adults now, but they were third-graders in 2005 when they first accused their teacher, Blake Sinrod, of fondling them in the classroom at Coral Sunset Elementary, west of Boca Raton. Sinrod, who is now 46, pleaded guilty in May 2006 to child abuse charges involving two of the students.
The settlement, one of the school district’s largest, marks a reversal from the district’s claim earlier this year that it wasn’t liable for Sinrod’s actions.
School police investigated Sinrod in 2005, when one of the girls told her mother that the teacher had fondled her during a reading group. The girl said he touched her under her clothing and instructed her to touch his private area over his clothing, according to a police report.
The three other girls painted similar pictures to police. They described Sinrold inappropriately touching them during a reading group or classroom movie. Some of the girls said they gave him neck rubs, and some said Sinrod instructed them to place their hand on his genital area outside his clothes, according to a police report.
The parents of the four children filed a civil suit in 2006. Their lawyer at the time, Charles Bechert, said then that the parents believed Sinrod targeted the children because they were immigrants whose parents may not have known how to report crimes to authorities.
Sinrod was fired in 2006 and his teaching license was revoked in 2008.
The school district also tried to claim that the teacher’s crimes were “unknown and beyond the foresight of reasonably prudent persons,” but another part of the lawsuit is calling out that claim, pointing to a 2003 complaint — to the school’s assistant principal — that Sinrod had committed similar abuse against an even younger girl. The assistant principal allegedly dismissed the accusation as the child making it up, because Sinrod came so “highly recommended.”
The lawsuit maintains, quite reasonably, that the four girls abused in 2005 never would have been victimized if the school district had done its job and taken seriously the original 2003 allegation.
This is just another example of one of the biggest under-acknowledged scandals in America today. Public school districts, and more to the point teachers unions, have been known to protect teachers who abuse children in scores of cases going back years.
In her 2007 book Godless (pp. 167-168, hardcover), Ann Coulter put the problem in perspective with a harrowing comparison to another scandal:
Analyzing the data from a survey by the American Association of University Women Educational Foundation, statistics professor Charol Shakeshaft estimates that between 1991 and 2000, roughly 290,000 students were subjected to physical sexual abuse by teachers or other school personnel. In her report for the U.S. Department of Education, Shakeshaft says that about one in every ten American children has been sexually abused in some way at school.
Compare that with Catholic priests. A study by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said that 10,667 allegations of sexual abuse of children had been made between 1950 and 2002. Multiply that by four to account–generously–for unreported cases and it comes to 821 children abused by priests per year. Priests: 820 abused children per year; educators: 32,000 abused children per year. For those of you who went to public schools, 32,000 is greater than 820.
You want to save America? Start working to take back the schools from this evil.