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Recent Study Shows PA Tops List For Teacher Abuse Claims

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A recent study ranked Pennsylvania as second in the nation for claims of sexual abuse and misconduct among teachers.

Texas ranked first and then Pennsylvania, with 24 claims this year of inappropriate teacher conduct and sex abuse.

"I'm very surprised because you would think that, you know, moving away from all the city and so far that there wouldn't be so much corruption in schools," said Miriam Buchhalter of Trucksville.

"Finding out that it's in the schools is scary, yes, and unfortunately, things like this seem to be going downhill," said Matthew Caruso of Wilkes-Barre.

Recent statistics show claims of abuse and misconduct against Pennsylvania teachers are among the highest in the nation.

In Luzerne County alone, prosecutors said there have been 3 cases so far this year.

Edward Evans, a teacher from Hanover Area, was found not guilty by a jury last week after he was accused of molesting a student.

Lauren Harrington-Cooper, a former teacher in the Wyoming Valley West School District, is facing trial on charges she had sex or inappropriate relationships with four students.

Coughlin High School administrator and coach Stephen Stahl is facing trial for allegedly having sex with a student.

"We've seen so much of it that it is sort of common-place now here in Luzerne County. It's sad for the nation to be seeing such an increase and the state to be one of the highest," said Luzerne County District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis.

Gary Buchhalter is a former teacher from New York City who moved to Luzerne County's Back Mountain area.

He was shocked by the statistics.

In addition to those cases in Luzerne County, there are more cases in Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania this year.

"With all the cities and larger areas in the country, populated areas, it's a little surprising," said Buchhalter.

Experts said social media is perhaps one reason for the rising number of cases against teachers in NEPA and across the country.

"Social media, it's a dangerous one, for teachers. I tell them all the time, you need to be professional with these students. I know you want to be their friends, but you just can't. You have to have that professional relationship," said Salavantis.


  • DMichaels76

    Keep in mind that these are claims, not convictions. Also, consider that thete are approximately 120,000 teachers in PA; this means that the percentage of teachers who had claims filed against them was .0002. These 24 claims, even if they were legit, hardly represents teachers in general.

  • Me

    Pa ranks high in ALL negative things.

    Corruption , greed , slander, thieving, it’s all here in Pa. Now everybody is getting in on it because the politicians get away with it,…why can’t we ?????????
    This country is so screwed up. But that’s what you get for electing a black foreigner to run this country.

    To the people who vote,…..put the crack pipe down !

  • K

    ““I’m very surprised because you would think that, you know, moving away from all the city and so far that there wouldn’t be so much corruption in schools,” said Miriam Buchhalter of Trucksville. What an ignorant statement. That’s why every other day we read about peddies and other assorted dirtbags such as perve teacher, donkey killers, and rock throwing terror teens in NEPA in the news. What makes you people think your exempt from having both good and bad in your communities?

  • Fratboy

    Who conducted this study? How legitimate are the findings? Who are these social media experts? Sarah, what are your sources? Name names. More and more garbage stories.

  • Single mom in pa

    Seriously what does Facebook or Twitter or any of those kinds of sites have to do with these kinds of actions. These are grown people who know better than to have inappropriate contact with students. An older student propositioned by a teacher, they know it isn’t appropriate. The student reports the teacher. Teacher removed students safe correct? The older student who propositions a teacher, teacher should report it, again problem solved. Those sites certainly don’t contribute to the teachers or students behaviour. The teachers and the older students already had some kind of mixed up notion that this kind of behaviour was ok. Now mind you in the case of a child who by age is considered unable to discern right from wrong. that is a totally different matter. Seriously is social media now going to be blamed for actions or behaviour of other kinds too? We already blame way too much on T.V and video games when in reality parents need to be responsible for their children and what they are doing. Much of the horrible stuff that happens in this world could be prevented if we all paid more attention and report things that just don’t seem right instead of pretending it is none of our business. Generations ago they were too embarrased to discuss things of a sexual nature with anyone. That is for the most part no longer the case in most of the country. Wake up and start getting more involved with each other, You may just end up saving someone from ruining their life. You may even save the life of a child.

    • Heron

      Well, the social media contributes because it gives them more time to interact in a nonacademic setting, and also with much privacy. Teachers give students their numbers if they need help, and it probably turns into a friendly conversation which can be had out in the open through texts. If we didn’t have all these new ways to communicate, the students and teachers would probably only see each other during school in the presence of others. I’m not saying the internet is at fault, but it is a tool for people who want to corrupt it.

  • Details

    I’d be interested in a follow-up study detailing how many of these claims are found to have merit and how many are found to be unsubstantiated. Does PA rank as high in confirmed cases of abuse or just in claims?

    • Lloyd Schmucatelli

      I’d be interested in a study of about how many of those older boys ENJOYED their hot blonde teacher and how many of their buddies were jealous!!!! I’d also like a follow up study of how many of the investigating officers are jealous regarding that blonde teacher. Just sayin…..

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