Letters to the Editor

Series overstates the danger

It appears The Bee is off on another witch hunt with its printing of "Teacher Sexual Misconduct" (Oct. 21-23, Page A-1). I agree that we need to be vigilant when protecting our children, but this series provides data with virtually no context for comparison. If, of the estimated 3.6 million primary and secondary teachers in the United States, 2,570 over a four-year period had credentials withdrawn due to sexual misconduct -- well, do the math. Relative to other dangers, the odds are not great that a teacher will molest your child.

Knowing the likelihood of an occurrence is critical to deciding where our vigilance is best placed. If you want to play the statistics game, the list of greater threats is extensive, but slipping in the bathtub doesn't rate the front page.

I'm not suggesting we ignore this issue; I'm just pleading that The Bee be more discriminating in its choice of articles. This is a misleading presentation of the data designed to sell papers, not to serve readers.

I hope The Bee's subsequent articles on this important subject appeal to our sense of reason rather than the hair-trigger emotions that kick in when our children are in danger -- real or imagined.