Better tracking needed of sexual predators

Published: July 27, 2012

Regarding “Recent incidents of teacher-student sex prompts call for change” (Tulsa World, July 15): This problem is alarming. Cases range from pornography (the distribution of pictures of third-grade girls in underwear and the videotaping of softball girl players in the restroom), to rape, sodomy and a lewd proposal by an offender who sent nude pictures of herself to three students. The stereotype of a male predator no longer holds: Of the 13 cases described, seven offenders are women!

Sex between a teacher and a student is child sexual abuse; if the student is under 21, it's statutory rape. The social, moral and psychological impact on the student is dramatic; in 80 percent or more of the cases, the victims considered suicide. Contacts between students and teachers should be limited to academic matters using school-approved networks, to avoid social media — text messages and emails accessible to the predators 24/7.

When a predator is quietly allowed to work elsewhere (“passing the trash”) they avoid legal consequences and a criminal record, thus perpetuating the problem; urgent measures to close this loophole are necessary. A statutory requirement that school administrators report these cases to the proper authorities should be enacted at once; it's up to the courts to establish the validity of the claimed abuse.

A federal database, now under consideration, and a similar state database to handle and properly track these cases are urgently needed.

Raoul Carubelli, Oklahoma City


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