TREND Winter 2017/2018 - Page 41

and Educator Sexual Misconduct flashed (17%), and completed and attempted rape (14%). • In “Child and Youth Victimization Known to Police, School, and Medical Authorities,” school authorities were the officials most likely to know about past-year victimization events (42% of victims had a victimization known to school authorities). • Unlike school officials, medical professionals were not aware of episodes of victimizations at a high rate. Only 7% were aware of sexual abuse by a known a dult and 19% of sexual abuses by unknown adults. • In fact, the recent study performed by OJJP found that, “School officials were more likely to know of sexual victimizations that occurred in school, were committed by an unidentified perpetrator, occurred to a child victim between 2 and 9 years old, or occurred to a child who lived with a stepparent or an unmarried partner of a parent.” JC Bowman, executive director of Professional Educators of Tennessee, pointed out: “We should not be shocked when sex offenders seek employment in jobs where they have contact with children such as churches, schools, youth groups, hospitals, and social services. We have to do a better job of screening applicants in those fields.” That is a critical point. issue we need to address and should be a high priority for our state and society. “If adults can’t recognize abusers, children are even less likely to realize that what’s happening is abuse and that it is doing damage of a kind they can’t see,” added Jennifer Fraser, an abuse survivor. On behalf of my constituents I will continue to reach out to educators, law enforcement and those on the front lines of child abuse to seek their input. I will then bring that information back to my colleagues in the Tennessee General Assembly and hopefully it will spark needed policy discussions on this issue. State laws and district policies must clearly identify expectations and responsibilities in this area. One of my goals as a member of the Tennessee General Assembly is to make sure children and educators in Tennessee, especially in Houston, Humphreys and Montgomery Counties have an advocate fighting for them. Please feel welcome to call, write, or visit the office that is here to represent you at (615) 741-7098 or at rep.jay. reedy@capitol.tn.gov He then added: “We have seen many false claims made by and against a teacher, and once an accusation is made it is nearly impossible to restore a teacher’s reputation. It is a difficult balancing act. There will never be a perfect system. However, we support keeping those who committed sexual misconduct out of our classrooms. ” With legislative session now in process, we must get solid policy recommendations to address child sexual abuse concerns and address educator sexual misconduct. It is an Representative Jay Reedy represents Houston, Humphreys and part of Montgomery County in House District 74 at the Tennessee General Assembly.