According to the website, dictionary.com, Paternalism is: A policy or practice of treating or governing people in a fatherly manner, especially by providing for their needs without giving them rights or responsibilities.
For many years, many deaf schools were practically ruled by hearing administrators, houseparents, teachers, maintenance men and even, kitchen staff. Even they hired some deaf people to work at deaf schools, they tend to be very passive in order to keep their job security going on. So their voices in shaping Deaf children's lives were largely muted for more than 100 years, thanks to the god-damned Milan Conference of 1880.
Naturally, over the long period of time, the seeds of darkness were planted. The powers that the hearies has over deaf children often led to different types of abuses. Be it physical, verbal and yes, sexual. It hindered many deaf people to perpetuate the problems onto each other for the rest of their lives -- because it is the only way they knew how to deal with each other through that manner.
My deaf school was not different from any schools, really. I am not aware that a hearing person taking advantage of a deaf child. It is more of deaf student on deaf student. I suspected it began in 1940s when someone (probably a hearie) touched or molested a deaf child -- then a deaf child thought it was OK as he touched the other kids at my school -- so the cycle of "touching, forelpay and eventually, anal sex" has whirled for 40 years. I asked my father about this, he was quick enough to deny this -- that "quick enough to deny" is the reason why I strongly suspect it occured during that period ...
In 1988, the Deaf President Now Movement exploded in Washington, DC -- its ripple effect in Deaf empowerment shook the foundations of Deaf schools' systems across the nation. The social impact from the Movement jolted the Deaf communities across the globe that one has to stand up and kick the hearies back to the corner and take over what is rightfully ours.
More and more Deaf persons are taking over the higher positions and changed the policies that meets the deaf students' needs, not hearies' needs. Slowly, the secrets of the abuses began to emerge from the darkness. It is not pretty sight.
But at least, Governor Baxter School for the Deaf in Portland, Maine is doing something about it.
Check this link. Dr. Robert Kelly I s Going To Hell!
It is interesting to see the picture of cheering alumnus. Very liberating experience, I bet.