Update: Astrogirlkel has informed me that some teachers have allegedly looked the other way and some were accused of actually passing students along to the pedophile(s).
In a story that demands a second read to be believed, a California school district has removed its entire staff because two of its members were charged with sexual abuse. Apparently, they take sexual abuse so seriously over there that they decided that 99 percent of the staff that was not guilty of abuse should sit through training and be relocated. And we wonder why the California public schools struggle so much financially.
My high school economics teacher once said that you could kill a fly with a fly-swatter or an elephant gun. Both would kill the fly, but one would leave a lot more damage. Well, releasing the staff from the school is the equivalent of killing the fly with our entire nuclear arsenal. Why not burn down the school for good measure? After all, sometimes we must burn down the village in order to save it.
As a former educator I can assure the training will be the state of the art and directly on point. The essential message? Don't touch kids. Wow, and they will probably pay the trainers five figures for that Keebler Tree of truth. Hmmm, maybe if someone had put those two ex-educators in that training before they were allowed to teach children maybe they wouldn't have participated in their abuse. Allegedly.
Thus, we see what is wrong with our society in one flail swoop. Instead of focusing on catching evil doers and idiots in any walk of life, we put the rest of us through training to tell us things even a six year old already knows. Coming soon to the California public schools you can catch these fascinating training sessions:
1) Yes, you really should teach children to read.
2) Recess Safety 101: Get them out of the Rain
3) Don't Shower with your toaster and other safety tips
4) Identifying Bullies: Look for the kids with black eyes
5) Parent Teacher Conferences: Don't call their child a retard
By now, you can tell this whole piece is dripping with sarcasm, so here is the serious point. Child predators come in all walks of life. You can't train the predator out of a predator. The best thing you can do is find better ways to identify them before they strike again. So, you can tell me the whole district has been through training. That's great, but by completely turning the staff over you have effectively increased the odds that there will be another predator on that campus.
After all, the odds of finding one predator in a group of new staff members is greater than finding a third on the old staff. Unless people on the staff knew what was going on and did nothing about it, it serves little purpose to do this now. You cannot fire someone that has done nothing wrong, so you are distributing them throughout the district in the middle of the school year. That's going to do wonderful things for the test scores at that campus and everywhere else.
You cannot send predators through a detector when they come through the building. They don't glow in the dark or come with a name tag. Child predators are good at blending in and they know how to gain the upper hand on a child so that they go on undetected. We like to go through life as if we have control over everything that happens. It gives comfort to think we can control what happens to us and those we want to protect. We can't. All we can do is the best we can and keep our eyes and ears open.
The administrators involved in this decision showed us they have the common sense of a chicked pea. No one wants to downplay what happened and they should have sprung to action. They could have offered counseling to the students and staff that were most affected by the crimes against their fellow classmates and by their colleagues. There could be training done for everyone to learn how to recognize predators among them. There could be a series of meetings with parents to allow them to be involved in the process and to inform them of what the school is doing. Blowing the whole thing up should have been the last option instead of the first.