Innocence Shattered: Educator Sexual Misconduct Seminar

By: Muriel Bailey Email
By: Muriel Bailey Email

It's estimated that more than 4.5 million students are targets of educator sexual misconduct at some point between kindergarten and 12th grade.

"The fact that it could happen is huge," said Dothan City Schools Superintendent Tim Wilder.

Dothan City School's Superintendent Tim Wilder, attended Friday's workshop hoping to improve understanding in his school system.

"The reason I'm here is to learn techniques and ideas that we can pass on to teachers to see signs and symptoms on if these things are happening."

Wilder says even though teachers know the law, parents and other teachers still have to watch for signs.

"99.9 percent of our educators know the rules, know the law, and know what to do and not to do but there's that .01 percent of people that step over that line," explained Wilder.

Investigators say the teacher may choose a student who is more on the outskirts of their peers, one that may be needy or open to advances, the teacher could also try to build a relationship through social media.

Social workers say the abuse does have long-term effects on the student.

"They become fearful, sometimes they began acting out, they become withdrawn," said Geneva County DHR Director Sue Hays.

Wilder says if the situation ever came up in one of his schools, he'll be very proactive in handling it.

"We won't tolerate even the hint of it."

A hint he says he'll make sure his teachers know how to spot.

Wilder says he will most likely set up another workshop for his principals and teachers to attend.

Investigators say it is important to recognize that any child can be targeted so all children and young adults should be taught about this potential threat.

If you'd like more information on educator sexual misconduct you can contact the Southeast Alabama Child Advocacy Center.

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