2012 November

Nov 30, 2012: A Sad Day for Child Protection: Bemidji teacher and coach investigated for sexually abusing students

We are saddened and disheartened to hear news of yet anothersituation of a failure of a school to protect its children.   The news todaythat John Wangberg, a longtime teacher and coach at Central Elementary School in Bemidji, is being investigated by police for sexual abuse of children, and that the abuse was reported to police two years ago but that Central Elementary School continued to employ Wangberg, is a sadly familiar tragedy.  School districts and their employees need to be better trained in child protection and prevention of abuse to ensure the safety of our kids at sch…

Nov 29, 2012: Valleynewslive.com: Longtime Bemidji teacher and coach accused of sexual abuse

Valley News Live – KVLY/KXJB – Fargo/Grand Forks
It’s a case that may sound all too familiar. A high profile teacher and coach, for more than 30 years, accused of sexual abuse on a number of victims.It was a case brought to officials two years ago,but nothing was ever done. Now things are once again being investigated in Bemidji, Minnesota.It was here at Central Elementary school in Bemidji,Minnesota where the allegations of abuse took place. A victims mother says she brought her concerns to police two years ago but charges were never filed. Now, more victims have come forward and the case ha…

Nov 29, 2012: Los Angeles Unified School District slow to report on teacher misconduct

Los Angeles school officials failed to promptly report nearly 150 cases of suspected teacher misconduct — including allegations of sexual contact with students — to state authorities as required by law, an audit released Thursday concluded.The findings come 10 months after the Los Angeles Unified School District was rocked by the arrest of a teacher at Miramonte Elementary School for allegedly spoon-feeding semen to students in a classroom.At the time, district officials acknowledged that they did not swiftly send all serious misconduct allegations to the Commission on Teacher Credentialing, w…

Nov 28, 2012: Awareness, enforcement help reduce child sex abuse

NEW YORK — Increased public awareness of how child predators operate, along with better law enforcement and policies to protect children, may be helping to reduce child sex abuse despite this year’s headlines about cases connected to institutions like Penn State, the Boy Scouts and the BBC.A recent report from the University of New Hampshire’s Crimes Against Children Research Center found incidents of child sexual abuse have been declining in the U.S. for 20 years, with some statistics showing decreases as steep as 60 percent.The findings may be surprising given the high-profile cases in the…

Nov 28, 2012: Faribault Daily News: Former Shattuck teacher accused of sexual misconduct appears in Rice County court

The former Shattuck-St. Mary’s teacher accused of sexual misconduct with a student more than three decades ago was seen in court Wednesday morning, just two days after he posted bail.Joseph Carl Machlitt, 63, arrived at the courthouse Wednesday wearing dress pants, a button-up shirt and v-neck vest — a change from the orange jail jumpsuit he sported a week ago for his arraignment. Court records show Machlitt posted non-cash bail on Monday, the same day attorney Anthony Torres faxed a letter of representation to the court.Torres asked for the hearing — scheduled as an initial appearance — to…

Nov 28, 2012: The Case of Shattuck-St. Mary’s: Child Sex Abuse Remains a Systemic Cancer in our Society

Just when some might think that we have heard the last of shocking news reports concerning the sexual abuse of children at Shattuck-St.Mary’s, it was reported yesterday that Joseph Machlitt, arrested and charged last week with criminal sexual conduct involving a student at the Faribault school in the early 1980’s, was recently employed as a substitute teacher at the St. Paul Academy and Summit School (SPA). This recent revelation is the latest in a chain of events that began in early October with former Shattuck-St. Mary’s teacher, Lynn Seibel, being charged with 15 counts of criminal sexual c…

Nov 27, 2012: Task Force Report Fails to Address Statute of Limitations Reform

Today, the Pennsylvania Task Force on Child Protection, formed in the wake of the child sexual abuse scandal involving Jerry Sandusky at Penn State University, issued its long-awaited report and recommendations.  The Pennsylvania General Assembly authorized the Task Force to examine and evaluate state laws and procedures concerning child protection and reporting child abuse.  The Task Force recommended comprehensive changes in the mandatory reporter law, including an increased focus on training and education.  The Task Force’s recommendations, however, do not go far enough. …

Nov 27, 2012: Wall Street Journal: Teen Takes Stand in Abuse Trial Against Orthodox Leader

After months of anticipation, a 17-year-old girl took the stand in the sexual abuse trial of a respected counselor from an ultra-orthodox Jewish community that authorities say has historically avoided such prosecutions by keeping members quiet.In a packed courtroom filled mostly with her supporters, the teen took the stand against Nechemya Weberman, an unlicensed religious counselor in the Satmar community, an ultra-orthodox sect of Judaism.Weberman is accused of sexually abusing the girl dozens of times in his home and office over a three-year span beginning when she was 12 years old. The gir…

Nov 26, 2012: Shattuck-St. Mary’s and the Culture of Denial

Since last month, the tragic history of child sexual abuse at elite preparatory school Shattuck-St. Mary’s in Faribault, Minnesota has unfolded piecemeal. The courage survivors coming forward have empowered others to bring to light the abuse of multiple students by multiple perpetrators, including Lynn Philip Seibel and Len Jones.  New details are emerging of a third perpetrator, Joseph Machlitt, an art and photography teacher, who abused a student “JJ” in 1980.  Machlitt is currently charged with two felony counts of criminal sexual misconduct and Machlitt admitted to his abuse of “…