State education number show an increase of teacher/student sex c - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

State education number show an increase of teacher/student sex cases

Posted: Updated:
BIRMINGHAM - AL -
We're hearing more and more about sex between teachers and students. The State Department of Education is investigating a growing number of cases.  We wanted to find out how these teachers end up in your child's classroom.
Since July 2012, the state has investigated 69 cases of inappropriate student/teacher relationships. 53 of them, male, 16 female.  In Shelby County alone there are six pending cases. Something parents are finding frightening.
The number of investigations from the state legal team shows an increase. From July 2008 - 2009 there were 11 cases. Followed by 19 the next year.  The Newton Act which criminalizes certain sexual activity between teachers and students under the age of 19 went on the books in 2010. Despite that the number of cases keeps climbing. Between 2012 and 2013 there were 31 cases and just since July of last year we've had 38 cases reported.  

"Dr. Bice thinks about that and I know he does his best to make sure actions are taken," Malissa Valdes-Hubert, State Department of Education said. "And that the legal team is doing their job in being in tune to what's going on. They listen to tips, they listen to news stories, they keep themselves aware of things."

But how do they end up in class with your children in the first place? The state says any teacher hired must have a clean background check - done at the state level. That's followed by rigorous testing and interviews on the local level.  
"Checking the references, going through the processes, asking where that individual is coming from if they are transferring from another district, making those phone calls," Dr. Craig Witherspoon, Birmingham School Superintendent said of the process.

The American Federation of Teachers says despite all the checks the hiring process isn't strict enough.

"I think we have a problem in our society when it comes to that," Richard Franklin, American Federation of Teachers said. "I don't think we talk about it enough. People go through due process but in our profession it's uncalled for."

 Previously a teacher could have sex with an 18 year old student without facing serious consequences, but new laws make having sex with a student under 19 a felony. If a teacher is convicted, their license is revoked and shows up on their teaching record everywhere in the U.S.
  • Anniston - Gadsden Area NewsMore>>

  • Clean out your cabinets for Drug Take-Back Day

    Clean out your cabinets for Drug Take-Back Day

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 1:38 PM EDT2014-09-02 17:38:07 GMT
    Do you have a drawer or cabinet of medicines? Are any of them out of date? Now is the time to check because you can safely dispose of the medications at the Etowah County Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. It is part of a nationwide effort. The event will be Saturday, September 27. A take-back station will be set up at the East Gadsden Walmart from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.A law enforcement officer will remain with the drug disposal box at all times, and the drugs that are turned in will be tr...More >>
    Do you have a drawer or cabinet of medicines? Are any of them out of date? Now is the time to check because you can safely dispose of the medications at the Etowah County Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. It is part of a nationwide effort. The event will be Saturday, September 27. A take-back station will be set up at the East Gadsden Walmart from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.A law enforcement officer will remain with the drug disposal box at all times, and the drugs that are turned in will be tr...More >>
  • Arrest made in large level extortion scheme

    Arrest made in large level extortion scheme

    Friday, August 29 2014 12:45 PM EDT2014-08-29 16:45:16 GMT
    "Everett Leon Stout, 72 and Miriam Clair Schultz, 67 are charged with 14 counts of extortion.More >>
    "Everett Leon Stout, 72 and Miriam Clair Schultz, 67 are charged with 14 counts of extortion.More >>
  • Gadsden police recover more than 300 stolen items; felony charges against suspected fence

    Gadsden police recover more than 300 stolen items; felony charges against suspected fence

    Thursday, August 28 2014 11:22 PM EDT2014-08-29 03:22:34 GMT
    Joe Walker Pearl (Photo: Etowah County Sheriff's Office)Joe Walker Pearl (Photo: Etowah County Sheriff's Office)
    Police in Gadsden are trying to return hundreds of stolen items to their rightful owners. Captain Paul Cody said officers bust a large fencing operation this week. Joe Pearl, 75, is the suspect in the case. It took a long time to sort through and document a very wide range of stolen property. "We've collected a lot of stuff," Cody said. "Toilet paper. We have non-firearms related weapons, we have karaoke machines, musical instruments, car stereos, underwear."More >>
    Police in Gadsden are trying to return hundreds of stolen items to their rightful owners. Captain Paul Cody said officers bust a large fencing operation this week. Joe Pearl, 75, is the suspect in the case. It took a long time to sort through and document a very wide range of stolen property. "We've collected a lot of stuff," Cody said. "Toilet paper. We have non-firearms related weapons, we have karaoke machines, musical instruments, car stereos, underwear."More >>
Most Popular
Stories
Videos
loading...