Nearly 10% of Students Report Sexual Misconduct by School Staff

In a 2004 U.S. Department of Education study representative of 80,000 schools, 9.6% of all students in grades 8-11 reported educator and staff sexual misconduct during the school years, with 7% reporting physical sexual contact. Sexual misconduct included crossing sexual boundaries with students as well as sexual abuse.

The Diana Screen for Schools

Facts & Figures

  • According to an Associated Press investigation, from 2001 to 2005, over 2,500 educators had their credentials revoked, denied, surrendered or sanctioned following allegations of sexual misconduct
  • Educators targeting elementary school children are described as popular, trustful, with good reputations, and are irreproachable
  • Only about 6% of students report sexual abuse by teachers or other staff members to someone who can do something about it
  • Sexual misconduct is the number one reason for coach firings (one in every five)

 Select the best possible people for staff and volunteer positions and screen out individuals who have sexually abused youth or are at risk to abuse.”
-The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Preventing Child Sexual Abuse Within Youth-serving Organizations

Why Schools Must Thoroughly Screen Staff

Boundary violations occur in schools and other youth-serving settings more frequently than people realize.  Some adults fail to recognize adult-child sexual boundaries themselves and some are permission givers who fail to respond appropriately when they witness other adults crossing boundaries with children and teens.

  • At two, multi-state, youth-serving agencies, organization records indicated four official reports of boundary violations by staff over a six-month period.
  • However, in an anonymous survey by Abel Screening, Inc., staff indicated knowledge of 487 boundary violations over the same period. Boundary violations occur quite frequently, but are most often not reported, putting children and teens in youth-serving programs at continued risk.

In addition, an estimated 6% of adults in the general population have a sexual interest in children. These adults apply in greater numbers to work and volunteer with children.

These adults:

  • Hide their sexual interest in children and teens
  • Often fail to protect the children and teens in their care
  • Are equally represented in every socio-economic group and every religion
  • Can’t be detected simply by interviewing them

Without proper screening, adults like these may be hired as educators and coaches. They may end up volunteering with after-school programs or as a coach on a school’s athletic program.

Background Checks Aren’t Enough

Because only 6% of child sexual abuse is ever reported to the police, background screens are largely ineffective at identifying individuals who may have already sexually abused a child. In fact, ChoicePoint reported looking at over 3.5 million background checks and finding only 0.2% that could be identified as sexual offenders.

The Diana Screen®

In contrast to background screens, The Diana Screen® does not rely on public records or criminal histories. The Diana Screen® methodology provides much more effective results. Administered to job applicants and volunteers, The Diana Screen® is a child safety screen that helps identify adults who fail to recognize adult-child sexual boundaries or who are at a high risk for having sexually abused a child in the past. Because The Diana Screen® does not rely on public records or criminal histories, it does a better job of helping to screen out those individuals who may detract from the safety and welfare of the children in an organization. The Diana Screen® is dramatically more effective than criminal background checks in protecting children and teens against this risk.

Using The Diana Screen® accomplishes the following:

  • Helps identify men and women who are most likely to cross sexual boundaries with youth, it helps reduce the risk of adult on child sexual misconduct
  • Acts as a deterrent
  • Helps agencies select the safest adults to work with children by forming a safer pool of prospective hires and volunteers

For more information about The Diana Screen® or the Abel Screening, Inc. line of Child Protection Products, please Contact Us or call at 1.800.806.2235.

For a list of sources supporting the information on this page, go to References.