Students at at a Michigan elementary school didn’t think much of the black gym bag their teacher carried until federal agents discovered its mesh pocket concealed a video camera, the Detroit News reports. The kids learned he secretly filmed boys in locker rooms, showers, and the bathroom. Brevik, sentenced to 5-20 years in prison, is among at least 35 Michigan school employees or those recently employed by schools charged or convicted of sexual misconduct in the last 15 months.
A Detroit News investigation found that inadequate tracking of teachers, incomplete criminal background checks, and poor communication among schools, courts, and law enforcement agencies have allowed potentially abusive teachers to slip through the cracks. Thirty-nine percent of 641 teachers whose licenses have been reviewed for revocation since 1986 were accused of sexual misconduct — more than any other crime. The Department of Education never revoked the certification of some of these teachers, as required by law. It says it never heard of the convictions from local prosecutors. Until procedures were changed in December, employees hired before the 1993-94 school year had never been checked for a criminal history.