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Parents alarmed at preying teachers report, call for predators' registry

Published:Thursday | May 8, 2014 | 12:23 PM

Jovan Johnson, Gleaner Writer



KINGSTON, Jamaica:

The National Parent-Teachers' Association of Jamaica says it is time to fast track plans for the establishment of a database on teachers who prey on their students sexually.




The urging from the organisation follows an article in today’s Gleaner in which Children’s Advocate Diahann Gordon-Harrison revealed data showing an increase in the number of reports of sexual impropriety by teachers.



She says the reports indicate that teachers engage in sexual grooming by sending suggestive and provocative text messages to their students or even getting involved in physical, sexual contact with them.



President of the Parent-Teachers' Association, Everton Hannam, says the group is alarmed at the reports.



And he says a database of offending teachers would be critical for removing sexual predators from the education system.



Data from the Office of the Children's Advocate indicate that for the last quarter of 2013, there were 14 cases of sexual interference with children, reportedly at the hands of teaching professionals.



For the first four months of this year, figures revealed 22 reports were made to the office in which it was alleged that acts of sexual impropriety were perpetrated against students by teachers.



The Children’s Advocate says is it alarming that school officials are reluctant to make reports or elect to settle the matter internally because of fears regarding the reputations of schools.



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