Women shed light on alleged practice of passing the trash

"Passing the trash" refers to when teachers accused of sexual misconduct are allowed to quietly leave and get a job at another school.
3:27 | 04/11/17

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Transcript for Women shed light on alleged practice of passing the trash
We are back now with that stunning new report about schoolteachers and sexual misconduct. An investigation by "Usa today" finding that administrators often shift problem teachers, that's what they call them, to other schools. Families may have no idea. You have much more on this, Amy. That's right. It's called passing the trash. Moving teachers while hiding their alleged misconduct and it's allowed some bad teachers to become repeat offenders. For over a decade Chelsea kept her harrowing memories about Joseph koetters private. You told no one what was going on. I hated myself. I hated myself. And it was my fault. You know. You blamed yourself. 100%. Reporter: It wasn't until years after graduating from a prestigious all girls school in Los Angeles Chelsea found the courage to report her abuse prompting the school to launch an investigation into koetters which found a long-held pattern. You're stepping forward for the first time. Why are you doing that? I can't describe it other than, you know, feeling so viscerally what I went through and wanting so viscerally to not let anyone else go through it. Reporter: The department of education estimates that 4.5 million students experience sexual misconduct at the hands of school employees, sometime between kindergarten and 12th grade. Another government report found that in its study on average one child predator in schools had as many as 73 victims. Sometimes without ever being caught. It's referred to as passing the trash when administrators unload problematic teachers onto other schools by hiding alleged misconduct through confidential agreements and other means enabling them to look for other jobs as teachers. There's no way to know how pervasive it is. Reporter: In a year-long investigation by "Usa today" reporter Steve Riley, he found that despite laws in most states requiring schools to report suspected child abuse it was extremely rare for administrators to be held criminally accountable for turning a blind eye to teacher misconduct. Once he started abusing me it was just like accelerated very, very quickly. Reporter: Chelly believes koetters is another exam of what it is to pass the trash now alleging in a civil suit his was a pattern of bad behavior that began when he taught at another private school in the area. In 2015 he pled guilty to four counts of sexual abuse and received a one-year jail sentence. It'll never be okay. Never be right but I don't feel like I have to hide anymore. Reporter: Now both schools issued statements to ABC. The school that previously employed him said he was terminated in 199 9 for shoving a student. The high school Chelsea attended denied knowing about his sexual misconduct until 2014 after Chelsea and another alum came forward. He resigned voluntarily just a year before in 2013. I know this is opening a lot of eyes. I know a lot of people here. A lot of parents. Watching this because we often talk -- there's so many great teachers. We often talk about those wonderful teachers in our lives and not knowing the other side like this. Exactly. Parents need to know that they have to be vigilant and so do their children. Yeah, they do too. All right, Amy. You can see more of Amy's report tonight on "Nightline" at 12:35 A.M. Eastern.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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