Campbell Brown: Teachers Unions Go to Bat for Sexual Predators

Tara Driscoll, 34, was sentenced to 6 years probation for having sex with a 16-year-old student. (AP/Nassau County PD)

Tara Driscoll, 34, was sentenced to 6 years probation for having sex with a 16-year-old student. (AP/Nassau County PD)

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Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Campbell Brown notes that teachers unions have designed a system in which the interests of sexual predators are placed above those of children. Writes Brown:

By resisting almost any change aimed at improving our public schools, teachers unions have become a ripe target for reformers across the ideological spectrum. Even Hollywood, famously sympathetic to organized labor, has turned on unions with the documentary “Waiting for ‘Superman'” (2010) and a feature film, “Won’t Back Down,” to be released later this year. But perhaps most damaging to the unions’ credibility is their position on sexual misconduct involving teachers and students in New York schools, which is even causing union members to begin to lose faith.

In the last five years in New York City, 97 tenured teachers or school employees have been charged by the Department of Education with sexual misconduct. Among the charges substantiated by the city’s special commissioner of investigation—that is, found to have sufficient merit that an arbitrator’s full examination was justified—in the 2012-12 school year. …

Teacher William Scharbach was found to have inappropriately touched and held young boys. “Respondent’s actions at best give the appearance of impropriety and at worst suggest pedophilia,” wrote the arbitrator—before giving the teacher only a reprimand. The teacher didn’t deny the touching but denied that it was inappropriate.

Then there was teacher Steven Ostrin, who in 2010 was found to have asked a young girl to give him a striptease, harassed students by text, and engaged in sexual banter. The arbitrator in his case concluded that since the teacher hadn’t actually solicited sex from students, the charges—all of which the teacher denied—warranted only a suspension.

There’s more where that came from at the Journal.