As I’ve asked before, why aren’t we spitting on teachers?
That, after all, is what has happened to priests, even in Ireland. In the media, priests are continually painted as predators in robes. Jokes about priests and altar boys are the stock-in-trade of every second-rate “comedy” festival (even as they explicitly ban jokes about Islam).
Of course, it’s not hard to see why: revelations of the horrific child abuse perpetrated by some priests have shocked the Western world.
So why doesn’t anyone point out that some teachers are just as awful abusers?
Sure, it’s absolutely true that only a minority of teachers abuse students: but the same was even more true of priests. Australia’s Royal Commission into institutional child abuse had one in three victims testifying that they were abused at school (half of them in government schools). Teacher abuse in the US is described as an “epidemic”.
Yes, the Church actively covered up for abusers; allowing them to go on abusing. So have school administrators.
Now there are reports of paedophile rings operating in Mexican schools.
A study published by a children’s rights group in Mexico Monday suggests there has been a disturbing pattern at as many as 18 schools and childcare centers where multiple adult employees allegedly collaborated among themselves and used eerily similar tactics and practices to sexually abuse pupils between the ages of three and seven.
To a large extent, abusers are in schools for the same reason they were in the Boy Scouts and the Church: predators go where the prey is. But the revelations from Mexico suggest a disturbing pattern that surely amounts to collusion.
In one case uncovered in 2018, 11 adults at one pre-school allegedly abused 49 children aged between 3 and 5, by inserting water-filled syringes into their bodily orifices, a practice found over and over in other cases.
The “11 offenders are accused of committing the abuse in a coordinated fashion,” according to the report by the civic group Center for The Defense of Children’s Rights. Children were forced to watch adults performing sexual acts or touch or abuse other kids. In many cases, the similar use of disguises or specific staging of the abuse suggested a broader pattern.
“The cases identified are notably different from the unfortunately numerous cases of child sexual abuse committed by individual teachers against one or more students,” the report states. “These cases demonstrate patterns of criminal behavior characterized by organized aggressions committed by multiple adults perpetrated in mass scale within the premises of a given school.”
The report identifies “patterns of criminal behavior that raise the possibility that numerous primary and pre-school facilities have been coopted and used to commit on-line child sexual abuse”. The question it raises is: how did so many of them wind up at the same schools? Was someone assigning them to schools in a co-ordinated fashion?
In other words, is this a horrifying ring going to the top of the education hierarchy?
The lawyers were struck both by the brazenness of the abusers, and a pattern that seemed to be repeated at other schools. For example, the report states that in the 2011 case, “those found guilty include the school’s principal, four teachers, and the school janitor. The patterns in the abuse and extreme violence are repeated in multiple schools. The abuse takes place within the school and perpetrators do not seem to hide when committing the repeated abusive behavior”[…]
But the report says that police investigations are poorly coordinated with prosecutors, and tend to prosecute abusers as individuals, without looking at whether even more accomplices were involved[…]
Moreover, many of the victims report there were cameras present during the abuse, raising the possibility the abuse was being filmed or photographed for later distribution.The Washington Post
One or two schools might be a coincidence. 18 schools is damningly suggestive of a conspiracy.
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