May 23, 1997
How safe is your child in the public school system? Well, if you have the misfortune to live in a place like New York, probably not very safe.
When a custodian in a Brooklyn middle school reported he saw 41 year-old music teacher Michael Williams having oral sex with a 13 year-old student, the principal ignored the report. In classic bureaucratic fashion, the custodian was told to "put it in writing." A month passed before the allegation was investigated and the teacher was arrested.
Williams has taught in the city's public schools since 1981. Said one 15 year-old student, "He's nice to us, but he used to hug us or grab us or kiss us on the cheek."
In another incident, more than a month passed before an alleged gang rape of a student at a Queens high school was reported to police.
According to special investigator Ed Stancik, "We have had consistent problems with school employees reporting child abuse in the schools."
Defending the schools' actions, school superintendent Eric Ward had the gall to say: "I don't think the child's safety was in danger." This about a 13 year-old sexual assault victim... a victim who was being continually exposed to the teacher -- her attacker -- for an entire month before the school decided to investigate.
(Source: New York Daily News.)
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