To improve hiring practices for teachers, inform policymakers, and ensure student safety, Catherine Robert is developing a database with information about Texas certified educators who have engaged in sexual misconduct during the last two decades.
The ultimate goal is to use the information to describe and predict patterns among offenders.
The assistant professor of educational leadership and policy studies—in partnership with David Thompson at UT San Antonio—is providing empirical
data on educator sexual misconduct that can help policymakers. The goal is to use the information to describe and predict patterns among offenders.
“This data can directly inform how we prepare new and current teachers to ensure the safety and well-being of students,” Dr. Robert says.
For example, she and her team have already found that 36% of sanctioned teachers were in their first year of teaching in their school districts, and more than half were coaches, band directors, or extracurricular sponsors.
The grant also entails the development of training programs for staff in maintaining appropriate boundaries with students and identifying so-called “grooming” behaviors.