31-Year-Old NYC Teacher Charged with Abuse of Two Female Students

NYC Police - Photo by Jeff Mendoza on Unsplash

A NYC teacher, Shannon Hall (31) was charged with forcible touching, endangering the welfare of a child and other crimes after he allegedly engaged in aggravated harassment and sexual abuse with two female students.

Hall was arraigned on charges of forcible touching, endangering the welfare of a child, aggravated harassment and sexual abuse. He faces up to one year in jail.

District Attorney Katz said, that according to the charges, the defendant allegedly grabbed and squeezed a 14-year-old female student’s breast, sent inappropriate text messages to a 16-year-old female student, and threatened to kill her if she showed anyone the messages.

The 31-year-old teacher at a Queens high school is accused of harassing two female students in the matter of a couple days.  He was threatened with death if the 16-year-old showed the texts to anyone.

Sexual Harassment within Education in the United States is a Big Issue but it is not always Adult Male Teachers, it seems to evolve in almost every direction from Male to Female Staff Towards Students and Vice Versa.

It can be perpetrated by both peers and individuals in a position of power relative to the victim.

The American Association of University Women reported that 81% of students had been sexually harassed, and 78% of boys had been harassed.

The AAUW claimed that while both men and women were targets of sexual harassment at colleges and universities, “women are disproportionately negatively affected.” 62% of female college students and 61% of male college students report having been sexually harassed at their university.

According to surveys conducted by the AAUW in 1993 and 2001, female students reported experiencing sexual harassment more than male students, but male students reported experiencing sexual harassment more than female students.

In surveys, white male students reported inappropriate touching more than African American male students, and white female students reported inappropriate touching more than Hispanic female students.

There are three types of sexual harassment in schools: verbal, physical, and visual/non-verbal. Verbal harassment is the most common type, followed by physical and visual/non-verbal.

Most sexually harassing behavior is student-on-student. One of the most common reasons reported for sexually harassing behavior is because the harasser thinks it is funny to do so.

In late 2006/early 2007 a study revealed that more than 20% of all boys had been harassed by a female student. In 15% of all cases the girl admitted to sexually harassing the boy.

Students who are unprepared to interact with others of the opposite sex may engage in sexual harassment.

The AAUW reported that 38% of students who had been harassed by teachers or other school employees had experienced sexual interaction with their educators, and 13% of educators reported sexual interaction with their students.

A secondary analysis of surveys conducted for the AAUW showed that 9.6% of students reported experiencing sexual harassment by teachers. Girls were more likely to report experiencing sexual harassment by teachers than boys.

Regional studies found different prevalence of sexual harassment by teachers. In a survey of 148 high school graduates in North Carolina in 1989, 43% reported inappropriate comments, looks, or gestures by a teacher, and 17.5% reported sexual touching.

Most complaints about a teacher’s behavior center around inappropriate speech in a class or discussion, but close relationships can form between teacher and student beyond class discussions. Such relationships can blur professional boundaries.

A teacher who harasses a student may be experiencing stress from various personal problems or life traumas. The behavior may stop if the situation changes or the pressures are removed.

While sexual relationships with pupils is illegal in the U.S., higher education professor Jane Gallop argues that students learn more effectively in a sexually charged atmosphere. However, there has been controversy over consensual sexual interactions between students and teachers, especially within the last decade.

Many experts argue that sexual interactions between students and teachers constitute sexual harassment, even when they are consensual.

A dean at the University of Texas at Austin said he’d like to crack down on consensual relationships between professors and students. These relationships “poison the whole academic well” because they betray the students’ trust.

When sexual relations between teachers and students are common, it is difficult for students to raise concerns about sexual harassment.

The trust associated with a professional relationship is destroyed when a teacher engages in sexual relations with a student.

Conflicts of interest can arise when a teacher shows favoritism towards a sexually involved student, or hostility towards a student due to a past relationship.

Students with disabilities could experience sexual harassment in school as victims and perpetrators. Positive behavior intervention plans are often put in place to help prevent sexually harassing behaviors.

While Title IX has made sexual harassment something that can’t be ignored, independent schools have created a report to provide guidelines.

Sonoma Academy was represented by the same law firm as University High School and Branson in California that had investigations that found educator sexual misconduct.

The AAUW found that 68% of female students felt very or somewhat upset by sexual harassment they experienced, and that 55% of female students reported feeling angry.

16% of female students who have been sexually harassed find it hard to study or pay attention in class.

The 2006 AAUW report found that 35% of male college students felt very or somewhat upset about being sexually harassed. 60% of LGBT college students who had been sexually harassed tried to avoid their harasser.

A national advisory report found that sexual harassment is rampant in academic science. It should be treated as seriously as research misconduct.

Studies show that both male and female victims of sexual harassment experience behavioral problems, but if the perpetrator is a female, behavioral problems occur less. Students who have experienced sexual harassment often stop going to school, get into trouble, and stop doing activities and sports.

A reanalysis of AAUW data found that victims of sexual harassment by teachers reported experiencing adverse health effects, embarrassed, afraid, confused, and less sure of themselves or less confident as a result of the abuse.

Some sources have discussed a double standard regarding the conduct of female versus male teachers. In some cases, male teachers are given severe punishments for sexual harassment or sexual abuse of female students, while female teachers are given lighter sentences and lower amounts of compensation.

In 1999, 14% of complaints to the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights involved sex discrimination. However, many harassed women fear to make reports because of the possible repercussions.

The Supreme Court decided in 1992 that students who were victims of sexual harassment could seek monetary damages from their school district.

In 1994, a judge ruled that a school district was not liable for sexual harassment, but in 1999 the Supreme Court decided that they must be.

A sixth grade girl was sexually harassed by some of her male peers and sued her school district, teacher, and assistant superintendent for damages.

College students are reluctant to report sexual harassment incidents, and 54% of female students listed this as a reason not to report.

79% of college students know their schools have policies against sexual harassment.

A school can prevent sexual harassment by issuing a policy against sex discrimination, incorporating grievance procedures, creating specific investigation plans and timelines, and identifying a Title IX coordinator.

Schools that receive federal funding must designate a coordinator to whom victims can go to report sexual harassment, and who can also receive suggestions for improving the school’s handling of sexual harassment.

Prevention is often used to eliminate sexual harassment before it begins, particularly in schools. Training is provided for faculty and teachers, and students are provided with classroom resources to make them aware of what constitutes sexual harassment.

Blue Angel by Francine Prose is a satire of college English and writing departments, Camille Claudel by true-life inspired film, Wild Things by 1998 movie, The History Man by Malcolm Bradbury, Notes on a Scandal by Zo Heller, Oleanna by David Mamet, Pretty Persuasion by Evan Rachel Wood. A satirical film about sexual harassment in schools and attitudes towards females in media and society, based on Muriel Spark’s The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Michelle Pfeiffer’s What Lies Beneath, and Sidney Sheldon’s Nothing Lasts Forever.

John Nightbridge is a veteran reporter, researcher, and economic policy major from UCLA. Passionate about world issues and potential ways to solve them is a significant focus of his work. Writing freelance and reading the news are John's passions at work. Outside of work, it's all about sky diving, surfing, and stock market modeling.