RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — In the past three weeks, law enforcement officials have arrested two local teachers accused of having inappropriate relationships with students—Amanda Doll and Jasmine Murphy.
CBS 17 has been digging deeper, looking into the number of teachers in North Carolina with revoked licenses after being accused of similar crimes, through the state’s public database.
From 2019 to 2021, 52 teachers have had disciplinary action taking against them.
“It’s always tragic when you hear about a child being taken advantage of in inappropriate ways, particularly by people who are supposed to be looking out for their best interests,” said Cristin DeRonja, the Executive Director of SAFEChild NC.
She told CBS 17 most children who are victims know their abuser, including teachers and coaches.
“There’s just more opportunities to access relationships and connections with children,” said DeRonja.
On September 2, Doll, a West Johnston High School teacher, was charged with indecent liberties with a child, sex act with a student, and statutory rape of a child under the age of 15.
That same day, Murphy, a Northwood High School teacher, was charged with indecent liberties with a student, attempted sex act with a student, cyberstalking and extortion.
People in the communities were shocked that the two women were accused of such crimes.
“That’s a stereotypical thing, as far as gender,” said DeRonja. “And that goes into who might abuse a child.”
CBS 17 took a look at the Department of Public Instruction’s Database of Revoked Licenses.
In 2019, DPI took action against 22 licensed teachers accused of inappropriate relationships with students.
Four of them were female.
In 2020, 15 licensed educators suffered consequences for their alleged actions with students. Five were women.
In 2021, 14 teachers either surrendered their licenses or had them revoked by the state, for similar allegations. Three were female.
So far in 2022, only one teacher has had their license revoked for having inappropriate text messages with a student.
Deronja is concerned that stereotyping offenders can prevent awareness that any adult can take advantage of a child.
She hopes more school districts take background checks seriously and have plenty of safeguards in place to help.
“Nothing is foolproof, but there are definitely measures and policies that all organizations serving children need to have,” said Deronja.
Currently, North Carolina law does not require background checks for educators. It is up to each district to do so.
Deronja told CBS 17 it’s important for students to keep their relationships with teachers at school, and it’s also important for parents to encourage children to speak up if something doesn’t seem right.