Friday, December 17, 2010

Laws fail to keep sex offenders from working in schools, federal report finds

Washington Post

People with a record of sexual misconduct are often able to land positions in public and private schools as teachers, support staff, volunteers or contractors, slipping through a system of background checks meant to thwart them, federal investigators reported Thursday.

Among the 15 cases the Government Accountability Office reviewed was that of former Manassas teacher Kevin Ricks, who pleaded guilty this year to abusing a male student and faces other sex and pornography charges related to his long career in education. The Washington Post in July disclosed questions about Ricks, his school employment record, and allegations against him of sexual advances toward several students in Maryland and Virginia.

Eleven of the 15 cases, the GAO reported, showed that offenders who had previously targeted children were able to obtain positions in schools.

"Even more disturbing," the report concluded, they were able in at least six cases to use those positions to abuse more children. The report found: [...]

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