15 February 2006

Colorado's Public Schools Don't Coddle Criminals

Unlike the Catholic Church, the public schools in Colorado don't cover up for child molestors

Of 58 Colorado public school employees who lost licenses for sexual misconduct with kids, 47 faced criminal charges and pleaded guilty or were found guilty. A 48th lost his license, although a sheriff found no evidence of physical contact or crime.

Sure, there's room to improve. In one case, a teacher who pleaded guilty to sexual assault only got suspended. And several sexual misconduct cases resulted in suspensions without criminal charges. Also, Nussbaum said, teaching revocation applies only to public schools in Colorado.

Still, the most important words on the list were the ones the conference, which represents the Denver archdiocese and the diocese in Colorado Springs and Pueblo, did not highlight. Phrases like "six years to life," "8 months in jail, probation for 3 years" and "register as a sex offender."

No screening process can be perfect. But, institutions, secular and religious alike, have an obligation not to coddle and cover up for criminals.

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