This one time, at band camp

After the arrest of a man accused of abusing a daughter who had not been in school in five years, Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano said she plans to examine the state’s laws on homeschooling. The Tucson man, who’s name has been withheld to protect the daughter’s identity, was arrested Tuesday and accused of sexually abusing his 14-year-old daughter while holding her captive in his home for more than a year.

KGUN-TV in Tucson, an ABC affiliate, notes the popularity of homeschooling in Arizona, which legally requires only filling out a simple affadavit “With no accountability and irresponsible parents, it’s easy to see how children can get ‘lost,'” said a report by the station. Napolitano said of the case: “The homeschooling aspect is really one of the many aspects I think we need to go back … how could this happen in our town? How could this happen in our state?”

County School Superintendent Kim Fields acknowledged there are states with far stricter rules on homeschooling, with some requiring proof of curriculum, annual testing and professional evaluation. But Fields pointed out there are children in public schools being abused. “You can’t stop abuse by changing an education setting,” Fields said.

The suspect signed the required affadavit in 1999, according to KGUN, but the 14-year-old told police she never was homeschooled.

It’s interesting how stories such as this are covered. The children are, by their own statement, NOT homeschooled, and yet the media inevitably calls them homeschoolers. The truth is that any parent who decides to abuse his child is going to be able to do it and get away with it for a while. Unless and until every child is handed over to robots to be raised in automated creches, abuse of children at the hands of adults will happen.

But as I’ve written in the past, if one divides the number of abuse cases by the amount of time the abusing adult has access to the child, teachers and school employees are far more likely to abuse a child than a parent, especially if one considers how much more private time the parents have with them.

Meanwhile, similar stories from the same Fox News site don’t seem to generate any gubernatorial calls for banning public schools, even when one of the teachers involved had molested more than sixteen students. It sort of puts a different spin on “this one time, at band camp….” And the only reason most of these are being reported is the man bites dog aspect, so you know there’s a lot more male teacher-female student abuse going on.

This week alone, two cases have hit the news: Cops say one Texas teacher, Kathy Denise White had sex with a 17-year-old, and Tennessee teacher Pamela Rogers Turner had sex with a 13-year-old boy.

They join at least three other recent cases: Florida teacher Debra LaFave, 24, is expected to plead insanity to charges she had sex with a 14-year-old student, according to her lawyer; California teacher Sarah Bench-Salorio, 28, allegedly molested two boys when they were 12 and 14; and 33-year-old California teacher Rebecca Boicelli was arrested last month on statutory rape and related charges after DNA tests confirmed that a former student fathered her 2-year-old baby when he was 16.