Why KJZZ, The Arizona Republic Reviewed More Than 180 Arizona Teacher Sexual Misconduct Cases
KJZZ and the Arizona Republic have reported on some of the nearly 200 cases where teachers accused of sexual misconduct were disciplined by the state or surrendered their teaching certifications in the last five years.
The reporters behind the series, "A Position Of Trust," talked about how and why they decided to tackle this issue.
Why did you feel like it was important to report this story?
MARIANA DALE: We’ve all heard these cases in the news, seen the headlines about teachers who have sex with their students, but there’s something missing from this coverage. For one, you rarely hear from the survivors. If their case goes to trial they might still be minors, their parents and attorneys want to protect them. And regardless of whether there’s a criminal case, it may take people years to come to terms with what happened to them
LILY ALTAVENA: And what we thought was missing was a comprehensive look at the big picture. We wanted to answer the question: Is Arizona doing everything possible to protect children? The short answer is no. We wanted to open a conversation about what could be done better.
Where is this reporting going to go from here?
MARIANA DALE: We really want to hear from people who may have been affected by teacher sexual misconduct. And we want to hear from teachers too. There’s form in the story where people can share their own stories. And that story is on kjzz.org and azcentral.com.
LILY ALTAVENA: And we’ll be following the Legislature and other education leaders to see if they make improvements to the system meant to stop children from being abused at schools.