This is a great article, I am thankful when anyone on the AP notes that this is happening. The only thing I don't like is the figures used. They naturally encouraged comparison but were not on the same scale. The article says that there were 2,570 teacher who were punished for sexual misconduct in the years 2001-2005. The number given for the Church was 4400 priests accused from 1950-2002. The first problem is comparing punishments to accusations since obviously there are more accusals than punishments. The second problem is comparing a 4 year span to a 52 year span. The yearly rate of abuse is 662 punishments/year for teachers versus 89 accusations/year for priests. That means for every 8 teachers who are found guilty of abuse, one priest is accused.
I know that number is this field are hard to acquire and difficult to trust and I don't fault the AP for reporting what it did, since I'd rather some news about this come out as opposed to the media blackout which is the norm. It would be nice for a follow-up article to go into the governmental protections afforded to public schools (for example, a cap on potential awards in a trial) and the lack of protections afforded to private schools and the Church since this disparity is why so many sharks circled the Church yet none feast on public schools.
CHT: Curt Jester