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Where is the Deterrent For Teachers Who Have Sex With Their Students?

 

Children at school

One of the problems with the unacceptable trend of teachers having sexual relations with their students is that the penalties are often lenient.  Suspending the teacher is not good enough and this is evidenced by the rise in incidents. Teachers who have engaged in a relationship with their students must spend time behind bars:

Almost 1,000 teachers have been accused of having a relationship with a pupil in the past five years, according to figures from state schools. Of these, just over one in four faced police charges.

The figures, obtained by BBC Newsbeat through a freedom of information request, show that between 2008 and 2013, at least 959 teachers and other school staff were accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a pupil.

At least 254 of these cases (26%) led to a police charge, the findings show, although Newsbeat said it was not clear from the responses how many of these cases led to a prosecution, conviction or the teacher being dismissed.

The data is based on responses from 137 councils who were asked how many school staff had been suspended, dismissed or faced disciplinary action after being accused of some form of sexual relationship with a pupil. The statistics apply to state schools under local council control.

Donald Findlater, a child abuse expert with the Lucy Faithfull Foundation told Newsbeat: “If a child develops the courage to say something, we have to take it seriously.

“That does not mean we have to assume it is absolutely true, but we have to take it seriously and investigate it.”

He said he agreed that a false claim could ruin a teacher’s career, but added that research conducted for the government had shown that just 2% of allegations against teachers were malicious.

Teaching unions said teachers who abused their position should face the full consequences, but they had concerns about the impact of false claims.

Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, told the BBC: “There can be misunderstandings and malicious allegations are made, so it is critical that investigations are carried out quickly with due process.”

 

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