Sex Offenders Still Becoming Teachers

Laws against convicted sex criminals working in schools are failing to keep repeat offenders from becoming teachers and using those positions to abuse minors, a report by the General Accounting Office said Thursday. In 11 of the 15 cases the GAO reviewed, convicted abusers were able to obtain jobs in schools after their offense, and in six cases continued to abuse children in their new positions. "This report is horrific and incredibly troubling," said Rep. George Allen (D-Calif.), who requested the investigation. "It is very clear from GAO's work that there was a major breakdown in the schools highlighted in this report, and quite possibly, in many more schools across the country." The report highlighted several reasons that the sex offenders were re-hired: many schools allow them to resign quietly rather than pursue termination. Many schools also failed to perform background checks before hiring, and one did not investigate when a man indicated on his application that he had committed a crime against children.