Murder suspect John Mark Karr listens during an extradition hearing in Los Angeles Superior Court Tuesday, Aug. Karr waived extradition Tuesday and will be returned to Boulder, Colo., where he is charged with murdering Jon Benet Ramsey a decade ago. Consider the statistics: In accordance with a requirement of President Bush's No Child Left Behind Act, in 2002 the Department of Education carried out a study of sexual abuse in the school system.
: Why Haven\u0027t Teachers Received Same Scrutiny As Catholic Priests? Most teachers are dedicated, hard-working people who wouldn't dream of hurting a child. If the suspect in the 1996 murder of Jon Benet Ramsey were a priest, there would be a fresh outcry about a decades-long cover-up in the Catholic Church. Hofstra University researcher Charol Shakeshaft looked into the problem, and the first thing that came to her mind when Education Week reported on the study were the daily headlines about the Catholic Church."[T]hink the Catholic Church has a problem? "The physical sexual abuse of students in schools is likely more than 100 times the abuse by priests."So, in order to better protect children, did media outlets start hounding the worse menace of the school systems, with headlines about a "Nationwide Teacher Molestation Cover-up" and by asking "Are Ed Schools Producing Pedophiles? That treatment was reserved for the Catholic Church, while the greater problem in the schools was ignored altogether.
Hollywood's heroic treatment of accused child molesters in "The People vs.
Larry Flynt" and "Kinsey" — not to mention its Oscar for Roman Polanski — doesn't help.
It's good that this ugly problem in the Catholic Church is being investigated, exposed, and dealt with. In the face of the evidence of a widespread epidemic of abuse fed by a new morality that winks at child molestation, why is the Church the only institution under the microscope?
Right now an important story stares the media in the face with the cold intensity of teacher John Karr's eyes. Tom Hoopes is executive editor of the National Catholic Register and, with his wife, April, is editorial director of Faith & Family magazine.
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