Editorial: Abuse in Plain Sight

Buffalo News

September 7, 2019

By News Editorial Board

Child-abuse lawsuits involving the Catholic Church dominated the initial headlines when the Child Victims Act opened a window for filings on Aug. 14, but it was always clear that the problem was much more widespread.

The accusations brought against a former social studies teacher in the Kenmore Tonawanda School District are not only especially loathsome, but hint at a possible wave of future suits against teachers in schools of every kind.

The case of Arthur F. Werner, a former social studies teacher at Herbert Hoover Elementary School, is particularly unusual. Rather than assaulting young boys in a secluded place, the victims — then fifth- and sixth-graders — accuse Werner of calling them up to the front of the classroom and groping or fondling them through their clothes, in view of the other students.

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