The childhood targets of an educator’s sexual misconduct report that they suffer emotional, educational, and developmental or health effects.1 These behaviors affect academic achievement in the following ways:
- Avoiding the teacher or other educator,
- Not wanting to go to school,
- Not talking much in class,
- Having trouble paying attention,
- Finding it hard to study,
- Getting into trouble with school authorities,
- Feeling less likely to get a good grade,
- Feeling afraid or scared,
- Feeling confused about identity, and
- Having doubts whether they can ever have a happy, romantic relationship.
For most children, being the victim of sexual misconduct does damage that lasts well into adulthood, and for most, it is never fully repaired. Child sexual abuse targets lose trust in adults and authority figures, suffer physical ailments and lowered immune systems, and do less well in school. They often drop out of or avoid school.
Sexually abused children are more likely than children who are not sexually abused to be substance users as adults and to have difficulty forming intimate relationships. The same sense of betrayal and shame that attaches to incest is found in sexual abuse by teachers where the pseudo parental relationship that the teacher plays has been sexualized.2
1 “Educator Sexual Misconduct: A Synthesis of Existing Literature,” U.S. Department of Education, 2004