Article misleading |

Article misleading

I was disappointed that The Union printed the sensationalist, pseudo-journalistic AP article reporting a “plague” of sexual misconduct on the part of U.S. teachers on Oct. 22.

The article reported a finding of approximately 2,500 cases of sexual misconduct over five years, or about 500 incidents per year. With the number of teachers in this nation numbering about 3,000,000, this means that the number of teachers punished for sexual misconduct constitutes seventeen thousandths of 1 percent of all U.S. teachers.

In other words, parents should rest assured that, according to the statistics reported in the article, the odds of a child being a victim of such misconduct by one of his or her teachers is 1.7 in three-hundred million. This hardly constitutes a plague. In fact, it is well established that most (84 percent) of cases of child abuse occur in the home.

While even one case of sexual misconduct is too many, and it is reasonable to argue that children are the victims of sexual abuse and other forms of violence far too often, the article is misleading and paints a negative picture of U.S. teachers, the vast majority of whom (99.983 percent, according to the article) are dedicated professionals who do not engage in sexual misconduct, and who deserve better than to be characterized in this way. I would challenge The Union to find a profession with a lower incidence of sexual misconduct. The teachers of this community deserve an apology.

Linda Girton

Grass Valley

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