The non conformer's Canadian Weblog

June 14, 2018

Shocking Canadian facts

I have to say I was surprised, dismayed to be informed that school employees have presented a serious risk to children in their care and even  the number of school employees sexually offending against children.  The School employees were not alone in this, it included both male and female educational assistants, student teachers, lunch monitors, volunteers, secretaries, custodians and school bus drivers, the report says.

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K-12 school personnel suspected or found guilty exclusively of child pornography offences included 77 males (99%) and one female (1%). The mean age of these individuals was 47.57 years — noticeably higher than those suspected of contact offences. Their primary occupations include certified teachers (73%), principal/vice-principals (8%), custodians (6%), and educational assistants (4%)
Collectively, the search of disciplinary decisions, media sources, and criminal case law yielded a total of 750 cases of sexual offences against a minimum of 1,272 children, carried out (or allegedly carried out) between 1997 and 2017 by 714 employees working in (or formerly employed by) Canadian K-12 schools
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Among the study’s findings:

  • 87 per cent of the offenders were male
  • 75 per cent of the child/student victims were female
  • 55 per cent of the victims were sexually abused on school property (including field trip locations and school buses)
  • 29 per cent of the victims were abused in the offender’s car or residence
  • More than two-thirds of all victims were high school students
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See the Prevalence of Sexual Abuse by K-12  School Personnel in Canada, 1997-2017,” published in the  Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, accessible at https://doi.org/10.1080/10538712.2018.1477218.
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The frequency of such cases is certainly occurring more than one would expect. While one such case is too many, the fact this study identified 750 Canadian cases involving 714 school personnel from the last 20 years alone is  unquestionably alarming.”
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Many offenders in this study engaged in grooming, a method that involves building trust with a child and the adults around a child in an effort to gain access to and time alone with the child. Some offenders in this study did not appear to employ grooming but instead displayed opportunism. Finally, there was a group of offenders in this study whose offences consisted solely of those committed online against children with whom they had not had in-person contact. This pattern was offending was characterized as online luring.All of this clearly demonstrates the need for enhanced efforts to protect children in schools. elsewhere too.
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 Child sexual abuse includes a range of behaviours, from obvious contact offences,  to less obvious non-contact offences which include exposing a child to sexually explicit material, voyeurism, luring a child online for a sexual purpose, and inviting a child to sexually touch themselves or someone else. Children can experience trauma from both contact and non-contact sexual offences.
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Furthermore, a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal showed that 10% of the population (corresponding to some 3.6 million Canadians) reported having experienced sexual abuse before they were 16 years old.
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The Criminal Code of Canada prohibits the offences  of sexual interference (touching of a child under 16 for a sexual purpose whether directly or indirectly, such as with an object) and invitation to sexual touching (encouraging a child under 16 to touch themselves or someone else for a sexual purpose, whether in person or online). The offence of sexual exploitation applies to children aged 16 and 17.And new offences have been added to the Criminal Code to address online risks to children, including the offence of online luring (which prohibits electronic communications with children that are designed to facilitate a sexual offence against the child), and the offence of agreement or arrangement (when two or more individuals use technology to agree to or arrange for the sexual abuse of a child). The Criminal Code also criminalizes the creation, distribution, possession and access of child pornography.

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Those who pleaded guilty and those who were found guilty following a trial, a criminal conviction was entered for 78% of teachers charged with a criminal offence.
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RECOMMENDATIONS FOR POLICIES AND PRACTICES TO PROTECT CHILDREN FOR SCHOOL BOARDS
-Policies and practices that formally recognize commitment to safe communities.

-Policies and practices for bringing forward and responding to inappropriate behaviour and boundary violations.

-Policies and practices for managing situations when school personnel are criminally charged with sexual abuse, but not convicted.
-Policies and practices for managing situations when school personnel are not criminally charged, but there is still reason to be concerned about the individual’s actions.
-Standards outlining the expectations of school personnel demonstrating appropriate boundaries in their interactions with students.
– Appoint a team of at least two individuals for school districts who handle all incidents and concerns regarding teacher misconduct in an effort to centralize the information reported. This is where all rumours, allegations, or complaints are reported. Having all information centralized allows patterns of inappropriate behaviour to be identified and managed early.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR EDUCATION AND AWARENESS FOR SCHOOL PERSONNEL

– Educate staff regularly about the policies, practices, and guidelines to protect children during staff meetings or in-service trainings.

– Make sexual abuse prevention training mandatory for educators and school personnel. Training should outline the behaviours that are considered inappropriate so that everyone is working from the same set of expectations
– Educate new staff about the policies, practices, and guidelines to protect children as part of their orientation.

-Require new staff to take boundary/child sexual abuse training as condition of employment (with statement of professional standing, criminal record, vulnerable sector, and child abuse registry checks). ;

-Remind staff about policies, practices, and guidelines during annual evaluations, in newsletters, or communications on related issues.

– Include copies of the policies, practices, and guidelines in teacher handbooks.
-Have teachers take an oath as part of teacher certification — an agreed upon credo in which they pledge to their duty of care of children
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Public exposure and full prosecution of the guilty serves everyone’s best interest
See also  https://thenonconformer.wordpress.com/2018/02/11/swxual-harassment/

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