Why this story matters:
Many German schools are taking measures to stop sexual misconduct within their walls; some federal states, like Bremen, have banned any kind of sexual contact between teacher and pupils, but it is not enough.
To this day, many cases of sexual misconduct go unreported, and many perpetrators are able to continue working with children by simply changing school, and never suffer any consequences. The reason, according to the investigation by ZEIT Online, is the lack of clear guidelines as to how to deal with such situations, and the culture of silence that surrounds it.
Details from the story:
- A 17-year old girl told her sports teacher, Anna Weber, that she had a "relationship" with her 50-year-old Physics teacher. Weber reported the case to the school principal, who suspended the teacher. But afterward, rumors started spreading through the school, and Weber was held responsible for the scandal.
- The physics teacher, Mr. Jung, has found a job in a new school, where he continues teaching pupils of the same age (regardless of the fact that it's not his first "relationship" with a pupil). He never faced any legal charges for his misconduct, since his behavior is not covered by the German criminal code.
- Situations like this -- with middle-aged teachers starting "relationships" with vulnerable teenagers, or even sending them explicit text messages are not that rare, but there are no consequences due to the lack of clear regulations in the schools.
- According to a study by the German Youth Institute, only 13% of schools have a clear sexual violence prevention code, and not many are working on creating one.