We all want our kids to be safe from harm. This applies to the home where they live, areas where they play, and most assuredly at school where they learn. It feels like an especially large breach of trust when we think that they may have been the victim of an increasingly alarming problem at many schools across the nation: sexual misconduct/assault.
This at times might feel like fear mongering, taking something extremely rare and using it to capture public attention, but unfortunately in recent years the problem has been identified at more and more schools. Most teachers and school administrators are upstanding people who dedicate their lives to helping children learn and grow and ardently look out for them when they are in their care. However bad actors among them, along with fellow students, are frequently in positions where they can violate the trust given to them by unsuspecting parents.
K-12 programs are not required to track or report cases of sexual assault to the federal government, so finding nationwide numbers can be difficult. Luckily, in California K-12 schools are required to report sexual assault and battery incidents, and recent statewide reporting (from the associated press survey of state education departments) shows that over the last 4 years almost 5,000 such incidents were reported!