Nearly 350 public educators for grades kindergarten through high school were arrested on child sex-related crimes in 2022, a year-long analysis from Fox News found.
According to the analysis, from Jan. 1, 2022 through Dec. 31, 2022, at least 349 educators for this age group were arrested, including five principals, three assistant principals, nearly 300 teachers, 26 substitute teachers and 25 teachers’ aides.
Seventy-five percent of the arrests involved alleged crimes against students (via Fox News):
The analysis looked at local news stories week by week featuring arrests of K-12 principals, assistant principals, teachers, substitute teachers and teachers’ aides on child sex-related crimes in public school districts across the country. Arrests that weren't publicized were not counted in the analysis, meaning the true number may well be higher.
Only 54 of the alleged crimes, or less than 16%, did not involve students. It is not yet known whether the remaining 33 arrests involved alleged crimes against students.
Men also made up the vast majority of the arrests with nearly 82%.
“While sad, this report is not entirely surprising,” Erika Sanzi, director of outreach at Parents Defending Education, told Townhall. “Sexual predators seek ways to embed themselves in child-rich environments, and unfortunately that includes schools.”
Corey DeAngelis, a senior fellow at the American Federation for Children, told Fox News that the U.S. Department of Education should release a report detailing child sex abuse in schools.
"These findings are likely lower bound estimates of the actual amount of sexual abuse occurring in public schools because the analysis only includes publicized arrests and cannot count undetected or unreported forms of abuse," DeAngelis told Fox News Digital. "In fact, a 2004 report from the U.S. Department of Education estimated that around one in ten public school students will experience educator sexual misconduct by the time they graduate from high school. The Department of Education should update the report as soon as possible to shine a light on this abuse."
Last month, Townhall covered how a high school basketball coach and school monitor in Martin County, Florida, was arrested for allegedly paying underage girls to send him nude photos on Snapchat. The Martin County Sheriff’s Office reportedly got an anonymous tip about the coach, 28-year-old Alton Edwards, and spoke with seven teenagers who claimed they sent him explicit photos.
"Our theory is that he probably [took a] screenshot, saved some of those pictures, and that when we serve the search warrant, we will find them on his camera," Sheriff William Snyder told reporters, adding that it appeared to be a “known secret” among students for years, but no one spoke up.
In a separate incident, an elementary school counselor got sentenced to 25 years in prison for exploiting underage girls through Snapchat, which Townhall also covered. Todd Roatsey, 43, allegedly posed as an 18-year-old boy to connect with the young girls on the platform.
Prosecutors reportedly said that Roatsey confessed to distributing, receiving and owning child pornography through Snapchat, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia. He pleaded guilty to child exploitation crimes last year. In October 2021, DHS agents searched his home and took away his electronics with child porn on them. Roatsey allegedly tried to cover up his crimes by deleting his Snapchat account.
“Apps like Snapchat and TikTok give adults even greater access to adolescents and make it harder for parents to protect their children,” Sanzi told Townhall. “While only a tiny fraction of educators engage in this predatory behavior, we must hold schools accountable and ensure they do everything in their power to protect their students.”