The Why Behind the Teacher Sex Scandal Outbreak

Both DGF and Grand Forks high schools were rocked by back to back allegations of teachers preying on students last month.

It’s not just the latest cases – there was also the high–profile teacher of the year trial in West Fargo last summer.

Rape and abuse counselors say behind the scenes, demand for their help has risen steadily for the last three years.

It’s the kind of story that fuels conversations across dinner tables region wide – a respected educator accused of the unthinkable.

That’s part of why child abuse experts say it seems there are so many such cases.

“It becomes far larger than a single event. So in spite of their rarity, it seems to be happening more often,” said Lt. Derik Zimmel of the Grand Forks Police Department.

Rape and Abuse Crisis leaders say all that talking is doing some good.

Shining a light on the problem gives victims permission to come forward.

“Twenty years ago, we didn’t even want to talk about this huge problem in our community,” said Chris Johnson of the Rape and Abuse Crisis Center.

Police say kids also have it easier when it comes to how to report abuse.

They see school resource officers at school every day – and that can increase reporting rates.

Now they’re so accustomed to seeing them, high–fiving them in the halls, being receptive to their messages in the classroom.

So when your kid sees stories like these – remember.

It might be a sign that things are changing – for the better.

Police and counselors also say social media plays a big role.

Rather than creating pathways for teachers and coaches to prey on kids – it’s actually been useful in helping authorities trace an electronic paper trail to help prove criminal conduct in many cases.

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