Brittany Zamora, a middle school teacher in Arizona, has been arrested for sexually assaulting her 13-year-old student. Allegedly she performed various acts on the young child in the classroom and in her car.
Maybe you heard about this case. But you might be confusing it with another middle school teacher arrested this month for having sex with her student. The kid was 14, in her case. And she’s from Florida. It can be hard to keep track, I know.
By the way, don’t confuse these two cases with the other public school sex abuse case from this week. This one is in Maryland. It’s a man this time. An elementary school teacher.
And please don’t confuse that case with the other elementary school teacher, a 62-year-old man, who was arrested two days ago for attempting to have sex with a 15-year-old girl.
And don’t confuse any of those cases with this case or this case or this case or this case. All from the last two or three weeks. All involving public school teachers. All part of the ongoing epidemic of sex abuse in public schools that we’ve decided to ignore.
Our schools are crawling with sex predators. A study commissioned by the Department of Education found that 1 in 10 public school students are “targets of sexual misconduct” by teachers. That works out to over 4 million victims. Out of that number, 3 million have experienced actual sexual assault. The epidemic in our schools is 100 times worse than the scandal in the Catholic Church, though it’s probably gotten about 100 times less attention. And these are numbers from over a decade ago. Do we imagine that the situation has improved or deteriorated since then? Does institutional sexual abuse generally clear itself up if ignored?
So far we have only discussed abuse by teachers. Abuse by students of other students is its own crisis. Recently the AP found 17,000 cases of student-on-student abuse in a four year period. Many of the stories are downright horrific; both boys and girls harassed, assaulted, raped, sodomized.
The schools have done a manifestly terrible job of handling these cases, and sometimes they even cover them up. But what else can we expect? There are hundreds of deviants and perverts working in the system. We cannot very well depend on them to police the conduct of their students when they cannot police their own conduct.
So, why don’t we care? Why aren’t we having a national conversation about this crisis? Why isn’t the government conducting a massive criminal investigation into the sex abuse in its own school system? Why aren’t we demanding such an investigation? Why haven’t the #MeToo crusaders said anything at all about the abuse of our children in school? Why do people still focus on abuse in the Catholic Church and Hollywood while their own kids are susceptible to it in the classroom? Why do we panic over a million stupid things, but the rampant abuse of children in the classroom somehow escapes our attention? How is this the one thing we’ve decided to be calm about?
I think our lack of concern can be explained a few ways:
1) The high volume of female abusers interferes with the feminist narrative that drives the sex abuse conversation.
2) Public school teachers are the fully-canonized saints of our secular society. We may not criticize them, even when they are molesting our kids.
3) A great many of us send our kids to these schools. We would feel guilty if we had to face the reality that the system is a breeding ground for abusers. We defend the system against all attacks because we see them as attacks on our parenting.
4) The attractive female abusers are the only ones that get any media attention, and attractive women get a pass because men — lonely, pitiful men, specifically — see these stories as masturbatory material, not actual crimes.
5) The Catholic Church gets heat because most Americans hate the Catholic Church. Abuse in Hollywood gets our attention because the media and a bunch of actresses told us we should pay attention to it. But people don’t hate the public school system, no matter how hard it works to earn our hate. And there isn’t any celebrity telling us to care about the problem. We are a culture of dumb sheep, led this way and that, never stopping to analyze anything for ourselves.
These five ingredients combine to create a kind of numbing agent. We can see that the school system is a factory of abusers and degenerates, but we don’t react to it. We sit back complacently, and the problem gets worse.
Perhaps one day we will wake from our stupor and decide to do something about it. But when that day comes, we cannot ask how things got so bad. We cannot ask why no one ever noticed. We do notice. We all notice. We just don’t care that much.