By all accounts, public schools across the country are losing students. Projections through 2030 by the government expect enrollment to continue to erode. Several factors have influenced this phenomenon, like closing down schools during the pandemic and the rapid growth of homeschooling.
The homeschooling option for families has become a popular choice for several reasons, one of which cited is the realization by parents that what is occurring in schools regarding their child’s safety and well-being are far from the expectations or family values embraced by parents.
Speaking directly to these concerns is a recent report released this month by the Chicago Public Schools Office of Inspector General (OIG), Fiscal Year 2022 Annual Report, painting a dire picture of school-based sexual misconduct, including rape and grooming behavior by educators and school staff.
Illinois’s Chicago public schools are not the only state where schools are failing our children when it comes to providing a safe and protected environment for learning.
In Virginia, a Louden County Special Grand Jury issued a December report following its investigation of how the system’s former superintendent and other officials handled sexual assaults. In Ohio, a grand jury indicted a teacher of sexual assault in April. Two months later, he pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual battery against the victim, a 17-year-old female student. In Wisconsin, a jury found a teacher guilty in October of sexual assault of a child, and in Rhode Island, a June report told a grimy story of inappropriate conduct by teachers and coaches in a local school system dating back decades.
Just this week, controversy surfaced in Michigan regarding roughly 100 sixth-grade students from a middle school attending a November school field trip, where photographs of students “pole dancing” have been posted online.
In addition to the dangers being foisted upon students in classrooms, a 2022 analysis of “Teens and Pornography” in the US found that nearly half of the students who viewed pornography during the school day did so on school-owned devices, demonstrating a further lack of leadership and management of student activity all around.
Whether the projection of decreased enrollment in public schools plays out over the next several years, greater concerns about the safety and well-being of children at school are coming to the forefront. To protect their children, parents must stay vigilant of the culture in their child’s school; stay current with reports of sexual assaults and grooming activities; know the red flags of child exploitation, and make it a priority to get to know their children’s teachers and coaches, as well as other school officials.
To help end child exploitation, abuse, trafficking, and neglect, parents with school-age children, and other community members fighting to protect the children of our great country, please visit America’s Future Project Defend & Protect Our Children (PDPC), and consider joining our PDPC network.