The national volunteer group Stop Educator Sexual Abuse, Misconduct and Exploitation keeps a copy of Charol Shakeshaft’s report on the warning signs of abuse on its website. Shakeshaft, a professor of educational leadership at Virginia Commonwealth University, offers these warning signs of educators who might be abusing students:
• They spend one-on-one time with students that isn’t authorized by the school. That includes after-school tutoring or home visits. This aims to build trust with the student and parents, who might feel flattered.
• They single out a particular student for compliments and give him or her special rewards, like class monitor or class helper.
• They spend a lot of time around groups of students, talking with them and going to the same places they go. They often know much more about the personal lives of students than other teachers.
• They work hard to be likable because many people then wrongfully believe they’re also trustworthy.
Keep Kids Safe, an education and advocacy group, also advises parents to be wary of educators who give presents, cover their office windows or doors, tell dirty jokes or use personal emails or social media to communicate with students.