Blog


January 3

New Feedback

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all enjoyed a wonderful holiday season and are ready for a fantastic 2015!

I’m excited to start the new year off with some positive feedback I received about Invisible Target. I asked John Seryak, vice president of S.E.S.A.M.E., if he would kindly review my manuscript and share with me some honest feedback that I could share with readers. His response overwhelmed me.

When I made the tough decision to write this book, the driving force was the desire to make a difference and prevent educator abuse from affecting so many students. The writing process was arduous, lengthy, and insecure most of the time. I had hope upon hope that I could effectively convey my story, but I never knew if this task at hand would be successful. John provided me with powerful feedback that Invisible Target may just hit that mark. I pray every day this this will be the case. Here are John’s words that I wanted to share:

Invisible Target is a compelling story from a very courageous woman, Andrea Clemens. This is a story of survival and victory over a great many adversities that came from people who held positions of sacred trust… the trust of caring for and protecting a child and later a young woman.

     Invisible Target cries out to be read. Andrea’s story gives every reader an intimate view into the epidemic of ESA – Educator Sexual Abuse. Andrea is not alone in her story. This story is one of thousands past, present, and regrettably, the future.

     It is a painful view – one that will cause the readers to cringe, especially classroom teachers. How is it possible that a state licensed teacher chooses to cross professional boundaries to ‘groom’, abuse and rape an innocent student?

     Andrea speaks to the reader about things ‘unspeakable’, but things all students, parents and educators should and need to hear. As it took great courage for Andrea to write her story, so it shall take courage to read this book. Being aware, acknowledging, and understanding ESA is the only way to prevent and stop it.

     As a life-long educator, veteran classroom teacher and vice-president of SESAME- Stop Educator Sexual Abuse, Misconduct, and Exploitation, I highly recommend Invisible Target to be read and discussed in every school community in the country. In doing so, many students can be protected from the heinous crimes of educators who prey on our children.

     Thank you, Andrea, for having such great courage to tells us your story.

 

John M. Seryak, M.Ed.

Vice-President – SESAME: Stop Educator Sexual Abuse, Misconduct, and Exploitation

 

Category: Latest News

Blog


Blog


October 28

An expert weighs in…

Well, now that the excitement of this campaign has started to simmer down, I am about to gear up on the serious editing phase prior to getting Invisible Target out into the public. I have also reached out to experts in the field to review my manuscript and provide me with some feedback for the book. I am so happy to share with you all the first comments I received today.

Dr. Robert Shoop, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus, Kansas State University, is a nationally recognized forensic expert in the area of legal issues, with a focus on sexual harassment and abuse prevention, employment law and risk management. He is the former director of the Cargill Center for Ethical Leadership, and founder of Kansas State University’s School of Leadership Studies. He has served as a forensic expert in over 100 educator abuse cases. Here is the feedback he has written for Invisible Target:

“Invisible Target is an important book. It is an honest and compelling memoir that takes the reader inside the mind of a young girl who was molested by her teacher and vividly describes the psychological and physical trauma she overcame to tell her story. It embodies the triumph of the human spirit.

In the past most targets of educator abuse have been unable to tell their stories. Some were convinced that they were at fault, that they will not be believed, or they were unable to talk about the horror they experienced. Andrea describes how her teacher groomed her, how the abuse began, and how she found the courage to share her story. Invisible Target will help other youngsters in similar situations know they are not alone.

Tragically, Andrea’s story is not an aberration. Hundreds of teachers are molesting hundreds of children on a daily basis in our nation’s schools. Although the topic is obviously very disturbing and disheartening, Andrea’s story is one of hope.”

I am so grateful to Dr. Shoop for spending his valuable time reading my manuscript and sharing his kind thoughts with me and with the world. I hope that his words will lend important credibility to Invisible Target, so that we may gain an even broader audience and raise greater awareness. Thanks again, everyone, for all your continued support. I’ll keep you posted!

~Andrea

Category: Latest News

Blog


Blog


October 15

Pennsylvania school districts stop “Passing the Trash”

I have been waiting and waiting to write this blog post for months, and the time has finally arrived. After years of SESAME’S tireless efforts and advocacy with Pennsylvania  Senator Williams, a major hurdle was overcome today. Please read below: news release

Sen. Williams’ Leadership Helps PA School Districts Stop ‘Passing the Trash’ 

HARRISBURG, Oct. 15, 2014 — Under state Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams’ leadership, the House of Representatives today sent legislation to the governor’s desk that, if signed into law, would prevent schools from quietly transferring or hiring teachers, coaches and staff who have sexually exploited, abused or harassed students.” 

House Bill 1816, a proposal that started with Sen. Williams’ Senate Bill 46 in January 2013, won the lower chamber’s final approval this afternoon, 195-0.

“Too many of our daughters, sons, relatives and neighbors have fallen victim to teachers, coaches and administrators disguised as people our children could trust,” Sen. Williams said following the House vote. “We’re just one step away from closing a bad loophole in Pennsylvania law that has allowed educators to find employment elsewhere, despite their criminal past.” 

HB 1816 includes “passing the trash” language from Williams’ SB 46, as the senator amended the bill last week to include his proposal and move it to the governor’s doorstep.

Williams said school districts will have a much clearer picture of an applicant’s past under the new law. 

Before a school entity or independent contractor offers employment to someone who will have direct contact with children, they must receive:

·         A list, including name, address, telephone number and other relevant contact information of the applicant’s

·         The applicant’s current employer

·         All former employers that were school entities

·         All former employers where the applicant was employed in positions that involved direct contact with children

·         A written authorization from the applicant’s current and former employers 

Pertaining to applicants’ possible criminal past, the new law would require a written statement highlighting if he or she: 

·         Has been the subject of an abuse or sexual misconduct investigation by any employer, state licensing agency, law enforcement agency or child protective services agency

·         Has ever been disciplined, discharged, non-renewed or asked to resign from employment, resigned from or otherwise separated from any employment while allegations of abuse or sexual misconduct were pending or under investigation

·         Has ever had a license, professional license or certificate suspended, surrendered or revoked while allegations of abuse or sexual misconduct were pending or under investigation 

“Any teacher, coach or administrator who lies about their past can rest assured that you, one day, will be caught,” Williams said. “And, when you are caught and held to public scrutiny, you will lose your job, be denied employment and will be turned over to the police. 

“Our children go to school to learn, grow and become productive human beings; the friends, neighbors and community leaders who we look to to lead us forward.

“The adults they entrust to help them get to those pivotal moments in life should never be allowed to walk the halls of our schools and darken the dreams of innocent students. 

“This has been a long legislative journey. I am grateful for the help of so many Democrats and Republicans in both chambers to get us to this point, and I am looking forward to Gov. Corbett’s consideration and approval of this law so schools everywhere will be able to stop passing the trash,” Williams said.

Sen. Williams also thanked the president of the national SESAME group, Terri Miller; teacher abuse survivor and author Andrea Clemens; Dr. Chester Kent, a member of the SESAME Advisory Board and a former western PA school district superintendent; and Lebanon County District Attorney Dave Arnold, the secretary-treasurer the PA District Attorneys Association.

 

Category: Latest News

Blog


October 14

8 days and counting…

There are a little over 8 days remaining in this Kickstarter campaign. With the generous support of so many, we have unlocked that first stretch goal, and now I can donate $1,000-worth of books to SESAME and KidSafe. I’m really excited that  this stretch goal was reached, because Invisible Target will now be available to many more people who can help protect children.

I’m thrilled to say that we are only $1,002 away from unlocking the 2nd stretch goal  – having Carol Benanti-Nowlin  adapt Invisible Target into a screenplay. Carol is an extremely talented writer who approaches everything with heart-felt honesty and passion. She placed in the top ten in Final Draft’s International Screenwriting Competition out of 3500 scripts! I will be incredibly honored to work with Carol on this project, and the possibility of a screenplay being adapted into an actual film is almost too much to take in. Think of how many people we could reach and raise awareness with a film.

The nice thing about this stretch goal is that anyone who pledges $15 or more will receive a copy of the screenplay as well as a digital copy of Invisible Target (as well as thank you’s on social media and on this website). So please…consider pledging before October 23rd, and share the Kickstarter link if you can. You never know who may need to learn more about this epidemic. Thank you very much everyone!

Kickstarter Project

 

Category: Latest News

Blog


October 4

We did it!

103_Goal

We did it!  For all my beautiful backers, please enjoy this moment with me. We did it – we surpassed that goal in only 12 days. If this is not confirmation that Invisible Target needs to be out there helping to protect our children, I don’t know what is. I am so grateful and humbled by the amount of support I have received – I am running out of words to describe my feelings!

There are 16 days remaining in this campaign, so we’re not stopping here! I’ve created stretch goals where we can raise additional funds and gain a greater reach with this book. Click here to learn more about the stretch goals and the donation plans I have, as well as a little screenplay in the works…

Thank you so much, and please keep sharing this to raise awareness!!

 

Category: Latest News

Blog


October 2

Kickstarter Update Video – 73%

I filmed an update video last night for my many amazing Kickstarter supporters. This early momentum is the most exhilarating experience I have encountered in a very long time. When you get this close to your dream, it’s pretty hard to focus on anything else. I wanted to express my gratitude to so many out there who have helped me achieve 73% of my goal in such a short time (and as of this writing, we are at 78%!). Please watch this video and share it with anyone who you think could benefit in any way from watching. So close!!!

Kickstarter Update Video

Category: Latest News

Blog


September 28

We’re getting it done!

 

So, I woke up this morning and saw that we are at 56% of the goal. I still can’t find the words to express my reaction and feelings to this number. 56%, with 25 days remaining in this campaign, is something I never imagined. I am so filled with gratitude to all the people who have either backed this project or shared it with others. I have had many important conversations with people this week, and it’s clear to me that I am on the right track with this campaign as well as this book.

I wanted to share something as well with all of you. The last thing I have ever been comfortable with is asking for money. I have always been fiercely independent and determined to make it on my own. However, this project has taught me that I cannot accomplish this goal by myself; it’s going to take a really large community to make it happen. Slowly throughout the week I have been pushing through my comfort zone and asking people to back the project, not just share it. Honestly, it’s not an enjoyable experience! But you know what? This is not for me or about me – this money is dedicated to producing a book that I truly believe will ultimately help protect our children. I can get behind that any day or night. So remembering the true reason for this whole project is the key to break out of my old comfort zone and go for it. I am not going to be smooth or overly confident in my efforts, but I’m going to do it nonetheless.

Thank you again to all of you who have supported Invisible Target. To those of you who haven’t yet backed this project…(gulp)…please choose a reward and back this! There, not so bad :-)

Click here for Kickstarter page

 

Have a great day everyone!

~Andrea

Category: Latest News

Blog


September 26

34% and going strong!

We are at day 4 of my Kickstarter campaign, and I am at 34% of my goal already! I am so grateful for all the support Invisible Target is receiving so quickly. Thank you so much to those of you who have already pledged to this campaign and chosen rewards. I am excited so many of you will receive a copy of the book, provided this campaign is successful!

I have had some confusion expressed to me about how Kickstarter works, so here is the simplest explanation I can come up with to share:

Kickstarter is a crowdfunding site to help people raise money for their projects. When someone backs your project, they pledge to receive a reward (in my case, to get a copy of my book or some other fun reward they choose from). They will not get charged for their pledge unless I hit my $ goal. Kickstarter is all or nothing, which means if I reach or exceed my goal, I get the money and publish my book (yay!) and everyone gets their rewards fulfilled. If I do not reach my goal, I get none of the money, and none of the backers lose out on anything.

I’m including the link to my Kickstarter page again, praying that I reach this goal so I can get the book into the right hands and help keep kids safe in schools! I have 26 days left and am already at 34% of my goal, so it’s going amazingly well so far!  For those of you that have an interest in seeing this book get published, please check out the rewards on my page. and choose one. Please also share the page with others so we can raise awareness and meet this goal and get this book out there! Thanks a million everyone! On a mission!

Click here for Kickstarter

Category: Latest News