To gauge the scope of educator misconduct in Nebraska, World-Herald reporters had to conduct an investigation.

There is no detailed, complete, real-time database tracking all misconduct across the state.

This count relied on publicly available records.

Reporters compared certification records with court records to determine whether people who committed crimes against children were were licensed as teachers, coaches or administrators.

But, since not every instance of educator sexual misconduct results in a criminal charge, reporters had to examine every disciplinary record available.

In addition, The World-Herald had to come up with parameters for what misconduct would be counted.

It was determined that the perpetrators had to either be convicted of certain crimes or disciplined by the Nebraska Department of Education for misconduct of a sexual nature involving a student — or both.

Their victims had to be students or recent high school graduates. There are more than a dozen statutes of crimes that would prevent someone from obtaining a teaching certificate in Nebraska. The search looked for people who had violated those statutes.

Reporters had to make some judgment calls, particularly where an educator's behavior suggested possible manipulation and grooming, yet the behaviors outlined in documents had not advanced to the stage of actual sexual contact. In some cases, specific details of what occurred between educators and students were unavailable. In those cases, The World-Herald did not include those educators, so the final count may be on the conservative side.

The World-Herald screened out other educator misconduct that, while disturbing, did not fit the parameters. The count does not include educators who molested their own kids or foster kids, of which The World-Herald discovered several during the period.

Nor does the list include educators who were caught in other sex-related crimes, for instance sexually harassing colleagues, looking at porn on school computers, soliciting prostitution, engaging in lewd conduct in public or possessing child pornography.

A bus driver, janitor or cafeteria worker would not appear in the count because our investigation only considered certified employees: those licensed to teach, coach or work as an administrator.

Perpetrators whose behavior was never discovered, of course, were not counted either.

joe.dejka@owh.com, 402-444-1077

Joe covers education for The World-Herald, focusing on pre-kindergarten through high school. Phone: 402-444-1077.

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