IT HAS been repeated ad nauseam that one can tell how civilized and moral a nation is by the way it treats its children. It has to be added that the same applies to how it treats its other most vulnerable members.
Schoolchildren are particularly vulnerable to the influence of their teachers whom they have good reason to expect will act as their guides for the duration of their school day.
That is why sexual malfeasance by teachers involving children is so revolting.
There can never be a justification for teachers and their learners to be involved in sexual relations.
As with statutory rape, teachers must as adults and figures of authority know right and wrong and not allow themselves to be "seduced" by the innocence of children in their care.
This is why we are glad that the South African Council of Educators has finally launched a website where the sex pests posing as teachers and molesting South African children entrusted to their care will be named and shamed.
It was about time.
Though the national roll has 75 names, we know from anecdotal accounts that the sexual exploitation of schoolchildren, mainly girls, by their teachers is extremely widespread.
With access to the internet remaining a privilege that only a few enjoy, we hope that the state will come up with ways of ensuring that all schools are able to determine any teacher's prior sexual offences before giving them jobs.
We expect the next step to be the total flushing of these miscreants out of our public sector.