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Teachers on (witch) trial

Mar. 21, 2000

While sexual molestation by teachers and coaches has long been an issue in US schools, teachers have recently voiced a concern of their own: children crying wolf, THE GUARDIAN (UK) reports.

Recently, Ronald Heller, a 54-year old Maryland gym teacher, nearly lost his job and his reputation when six girls and one boy — aged 11 and 12 — accused him of sexually molesting them. Two weeks ago, all the children admitted they had invented the accusations, and Heller was fully exonerated.

Since being cleared, Heller has become a poster-boy for teachers who fear that any physical contact, however innocuous, may become a career-threatening mistake. The Maryland state teachers’ union says its members are in constant fear of a false sexual accusation.

Read THE GUARDIAN (UK) story here.

JG

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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