Let's ask again: Where is the national media? The sex abuse scandals at the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) continue to grow. Just since May of this year:
- A high school athletic coach was charged with 12 felony counts of sexually assaulting an underage girl, including "five counts of sexual penetration with a foreign object while the victim was unconscious and one count of possession of child pornography." "[P]olice said they believe there may be other victims." The man was also a special education assistant (link).
- A former Special Education high school teacher was sentenced to three years in prison after charges of lewd conduct, child molestation, and abuse. The alleged crimes involved four of his "particularly vulnerable" students (additional link).
- A high school principal was arrested for child pornography on his home computer. Authorities also discovered that he "had posed as a 12-year-old girl in an online chat room and engaged in sexually explicit talk."
- A high school teacher pleaded guilty and was sentenced to six months in jail for having sex with a minor. County deputies found the teacher and the underage female student in the back of a car in a parking lot.
- A band teacher was arrested on charges of possessing child pornography on his laptop computer.
- A high school girls' volleyball coach was fired after a lawsuit surfaced alleging he had a sexual relationship with a female student at his previous school.
But there's more: Steve Thomas Rooney, a former assistant principal at an LAUSD middle school, was arrested last week - again (Thu. 9/18/08). After already being charged for molesting three students, Rooney was arrested on charges for molesting a fourth. Rooney now faces as many as 18 felony counts (LAT/NB). Rooney was assigned to his job at the middle school in August 2007 even though the District knew that police had investigated him about an alleged sexual relationship with a student at his previous job at a high school. That former high school girl has since testified that Rooney impregnated her. (LAT coverage) LAUSD removed two senior administrators from their posts in May for mishandling the case. But guess what? The district quietly returned the pair to work. Then a third administrator, a high school dean, surrendered to face charges that he withheld evidence regarding Rooney and one of the underage female students.
Earlier this year we wrote how KNX reporter Steve Feldman exclusively reported that "21 teachers and administrators have been yanked from [LAUSD] schools in the past year because of allegations of inappropriate sexual contact with kids." That was in May. What is the total number now? We also wrote of how Feldman questioned LAUSD Deputy Superintendent Ramon Cortines over the phone about the scandal. Cortines became agitated by the questioning and actually hung up on Feldman (must-hear audio). In discussing the scandal with KNBC-TV in Los Angeles, Cortines defiantly responded, "This is not out of the ordinary for school districts all over the nation. These things happen."
"These things happen"? Where's the outrage? Where's the media coverage?
Since 2002, the media has frolicked in covering decades-old allegations of sexual abuse by clergy of the Catholic Church. In fact, they still take joy in hammering the Church, even with misinformation and falsehoods (as we've chronicled here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here).
Let's say it again: When it comes to the abuse of children, it sure seems like the national media doesn't get too worked up unless the words "Cardinal," "bishop," or "priest" is in someone's job title.
Previous: Not the Catholic Church? MSM Mum About Huge L.A. School Sex Abuse Scandal (NB, 5/19/08)