Oklahoma Schools Insurance Group
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For All Educators

Promoting Child Safe Environments

This training module is designed to help Oklahoma educators create child safe schools by recognizing and preventing child abuse, neglect, and child sexual abuse.

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  • Sexual Misconduct: How Teachers and Other Educators Can Protect Our Children
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Identifying Perpetrators Without A History Of Abuse

Police arrested and charged a 25-year-old teacher with first-degree sexual assault of a child. She was also charged with enticement by an electronic device.

The teacher was hired as a social studies teacher at her middle school in 2015. Before the arrest, she had been put on administrative leave when school officials found out she had been accused of sending an image to the 13-year-old student "that showed her bare breasts ... with a watch that she consistently wears" next to her breasts in the photo.

The prosecutor said the young boy had been exchanging messages with the teacher through the school email, texts, and Snapchat.

The teacher had no prior record and was planning to marry in the summer. The school principal sent an email to families of the students to inform them about the arrest. Alia Conley and Erin Duffy "Teacher at Morton Middle School accused of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old student" omaha.com (Apr. 07, 2018).

Commentary and Checklist

Many students have been sexually abused by educators. “A Crisis As Millions of Students Abused by Teachers” www.investors.com (Aug. 27, 2014). Illegal physical contact ranges from unwanted touching to sexual intercourse.

As is often the case, this offender had no background indicating she would be a predator. This is exactly why protection of children requires all safe adults to be constantly vigilant of other adults they work with or are around socially, focusing on how other adults interact with children.

What can people who work with or around children do to prevent child sexual abuse?

  • Limit or prohibit one-on-one time between adults and children.
  • Specify what types of verbal communication and touching are acceptable-for example, allow praise, encouragement, and pats on the back, but prohibit racy jokes, sexual comments, pats on the buttocks, or intimate touching.
  • Monitor the workplace for prohibited speech and physical contact.
  • Prevent grooming behaviors like singling out children by showing favoritism, giving certain gifts, or spending more time with one child than others.
  • Train safe adults on what behaviors to watch for and how to steer behaviors if they witness potentially inappropriate, but not prohibited, behavior.
  • Train adults about child sexual abuse and that abuse will lead to termination and criminal charges.
  • Drop in at random times to observe how the adults in your workplace are interacting with children.
  • Require employees to report suspected child sexual abuse to the police and then to the head of the organization.
  • Document all monitoring activities, any inappropriate behavior witnessed, and follow-up taken.
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