by Lou Binninger
In August of 2014, World Net Daily (WND), an online news publication, produced an article “The Big List: Female Teachers with Students.” The piece was updated on 1/25/17 giving 13 pages of accounts (approximately 20 per page) of female school teachers having sex with underage students, in most cases males.
WND has carried numerous stories about what it calls a national epidemic of sexual abuse in schools. The irony is how often the female predator or perpetrator gets off with probation. Similar acts performed by a male teacher with an under-aged female or even by adult non-teachers outside of school would get years in prison.
The joke used to be that in union-controlled government schools it would take a teacher sexually assaulting a student to get fired and lose their credentials. Not so true anymore. And poor work performance or bad character isn’t a job killer because of the cost to prove it is prohibitive.
However, job termination for lustful misdeeds may not be an option in the future as sexual-deviancy interest groups lobby for new consent laws allowing for child / adult sexual relations. Rhode Island (RI) is one of a few states where it is legal for teachers and other school employees to have sexual relations with students once they turn 16.
Rhode Island also received a D grade from a year-long study by “USA Today” for how well states track and share information about teachers who are abusers. In Michigan, sex between a teacher and student is prohibited at any age. Laws vary state by state.
Both the National Education Association and the United Federation of Teachers opposed a Rhode Island bill this month to make it a crime to have sexual interaction with students after their 15th year. Union officials and their members are well aware that sexual predators move from district to district and state to state and that threat of termination and loss of credentials are not sufficient deterrents and do not protect children. A district may get rid of an abuser but they have no ongoing concern for where they end up.
In a 2018 report, NPR’s (National Public Radio) Erin Logan says: “That cycle — abuse, dismissal, rehire and abuse again — is one that experts and researchers say is far too common across the nation. It has long been known as ‘passing the trash,’ and despite years of efforts to make policies to keep it from happening, no one really knows how often it does.”
The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) became law in 2003 setting standards of behavior in lockdown institutions and declaring a zero tolerance for rape. Mandatory trainings are conducted for all employees to prevent fraternization with inmates as well as a sexually charged work environment and harassment. PREA seeks to insure that jails and other correctional settings protect inmates from sexual assault, sexual harassment, "consensual sex" with employees, and inmate-inmate sex.
Yuba County Office of Education (YCOE) placing 41-year-old teacher Heather Frey on administrative leave for an alleged improper relationship with an incarcerated juvenile hall minor raises a number of questions. Do YCOE employees working in detention facilities or at the Thomas E Mathews (TEM) Court school have PREA training?
If not, are there teacher-pupil standards of behavior that instructors agree to when being employed by YCOE? In 2015, a 26-year-old female teacher was arrested for having sex with a 15-year-old boy at TEM.
Is YCOE contributing to NPR Erin Logan’s described cycle of abuse, dismissal, and rehire of predators to abuse again? To fill Ms. Frey’s position, Jim Whiteaker, dismissed by Yuba City Unified School District for repeated accusations from female students of sexual abuse, has been hired by YCOE.