Stop Sexual Abuse in Schools | Teen Ink

Stop Sexual Abuse in Schools

January 11, 2012
By Ashley Slankard BRONZE, Oak Creek, Colorado
Ashley Slankard BRONZE, Oak Creek, Colorado
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

"The idea is to rescue myself from the role of a victim. That I have a choice left. Though I can not change what has happened, I can choose how to react. And I do not want to spend the rest of my life being bitter and locked up." (Unknown). Lately in the news, it has become apparent that we have been inattentive to the sex abuse happening in schools, especially at the college levels. In these past two months, there have been accusations that the assistant football coach from Penn State and the assistant basketball coach from Syracuse University have sexually abused young boys.
During the start of the investigation, Jerry Sandusky, the former assistant coach from Penn State, molested at least 8 underage boys on or near the University’s campus. Since 1994, Sandusky has been accused of 40 counts of sexual abuse. This news was heartbreaking, not only to the football players, but to the fans as well. In an interview Sandusky pleaded “I did not see what I was doing as wrong, because I considered these boys as my family.” (J. Becker, Dec. 2011) His victims had reported that he would take showers with them in the locker room and hug them tightly, or even wrestle with them. Sandusky has not only inappropriately touched younger boys, but a janitor had reported seeing Sandusky give oral sex to a boy in 2000. (J. Becker, Dec. 2011) Every boy that had allegedly accused Sandusky of inappropriate contact had been a member of his nonprofit organization, The Second Mile. After investigating, there were over 100 counts of sexual abuse found; as a result, this man should be locked away for life.
A similar story has been in the news about Syracuse University’s former assistant basketball coach, Bernie Fine. Fine’s wife had hinted to the media that she believed he was capable of what he was being accused. She said: “Bernie is also in denial. I think that he did the things he did, but he’s somehow through his own mental telepathy has erased them out of his mind.” (P. Thamel, Nov. 2011) On the other hand, Fine’s father is saying he does not agree with these accusations, and that he is not what people are saying he is. Fine cannot run away from these accusations. As more people testify against him, he will be portrayed to the public as guilty.

Sex abuse has been a problem at these two schools and many others, and no one said anything when it started. Who knows how many other schools there are where this could be happening. It is apparent that we need to change something in our systems to immediately terminate sexual molestation. Relying on the victim to speak up is not promising because they may feel embarrassed or afraid. I think every school needs to monitor classrooms and hallways all hours until the last person has left campus. Bathrooms and locker rooms are an exception to this proposal. Coaches should not be allowed in locker rooms at any time. There should be a room designated specifically for team meetings during games. This room should also be monitored at all times. Having cameras on all areas of the campus can reduce the amount of false accusations that might be made. The school board should run background checks on all people who are hired, even the janitor. If a student needs to contact a teacher or needs help with something, all blinds and doors should be open at all times. These ideas may seem like an invasion of privacy to some people, but in actuality it is the only way we can protect our students from this. We have not enforced these rules in the past and they have obviously led to heartbreaking situations, so things need to change. In addition to all these proposals, there could be a hotline available for anyone to report sexual abuse. This hotline should be advertised in every class so people are aware of what they can do.

We may not be able to bring sexual abuse to a halt, but there are things that we can enforce that may decrease the percentage of people who are molested. Being molested affects people for the rest of their lives. Applying these rules to all school systems across the nation will allow these pedophiles to be prosecuted sooner. Sexual abuse is something you wouldn’t even wish on a stranger. Providing this feeling of safety can mend the hearts that have been broken, and can prevent more from becoming emotionally damaged.

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