DALLAS -- A review by The Associated Press shows Texas ranks second nationally in the nation in the number of teachers punished for sexual misconduct.
Texas Education Agency records indicate at least 200 teachers have active sanctions on their certifications for sexual misconduct that occurred between 2001 and 2005. At least 50 more certified teachers faced sex crime allegations, but had their sanctions lifted or have decisions pending.
More than 1,300 certified teachers in Texas received sanctions from 2001-05 because of allegations that ranged from the mundane to the macabre. They included mail fraud and violating open records, as well as kidnapping and attempted murder.
And as Houston lawyer Peggy Bittick points out -- "That's just what we hear about." Bittick, whose represents a girl who says she was sexually assaulted in school, says "there are so many kids who never report what happens to them."
The Texas figures were gathered as part of a seven-month investigation in which AP reporters sought records on teacher discipline in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Across the country, sexual misconduct allegations led states to take action against the licenses of almost 2,600 educators from 2001 through 2005. That figure includes licenses that were revoked, denied and surrendered.
Young people were victims in at least 69% of the cases, and the large majority of those were students. Nine out of 10 of those abusive educators were male. And at least 446 of the cases the AP found involved educators who had multiple victims.
There are about 3 million public school teachers in the United States.
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