Tuesday, May 03, 2005

So how much teacher abuse is there?

It must be sweeps time in the television world. This teaser, from the AP out of Nashville, is being reported by WMC-TV in Memphis, and WBIR-TV and WATE in Knoxville and contains just enough info to catch your ear/eye but not enough to satisfy.

Between the three of them there is very little hard information. "Forty six Tennessee teachers have lost their licenses because of sex crimes against students in the past five years. One hundred fifty cases are still pending. " And an unnamed entity is studying the issue.

Parents are trusting the system with their precious children and need the facts about this serious issue not alarmist headlines. How do these reports fill any community need at all? Too many unanswered questions. For some perspective there are some 59,000 public school teachers in Tennessee. Over a five year period46 is a small number. Granted, we need to work hard at getting that number much closer to zero.

These television stations have, imo, been very self-serving in throwing out these headlines. As professional journalists, they ought to know, and do, better.

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