EDUCATION
03/19/2012 01:09 pm ET

High School Exchange Students Housed With Murderers, Sexual Predators (VIDEO)

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Allegations have surfaced against a foreign exchange program -- overseen by the U.S. Department of State -- that foreign teens coming to the U.S. to study were repeatedly housed with a convicted murderer.

The placement organization wasn't terminated by the State Department until a year after the incidents were discovered, according to information released to NBC by the agency's Inspector General. Additionally, around 50 foreign exchange students reported being sexually abused in 2010-2011 by their host parents.

The State Department regulates more than 80 organizations that place foreign teens in American homes while they study at American high schools.

This information comes after a Rock Center report revealed that high school foreign exchange students were housed with sexual predators.

The Inspector General's report listed 118 allegations between 2010 and 2011, which contradicts State Department spokesperson Toria Nuland's assertion that the agency had taken necessary steps to protect those students.

These reports come in the wake of the U.S. State Department turning away from motions that sought to further protect foreign exchange students. The rejected initiatives would have required fingerprint searches for potential hosts for foreign high school exchange students, according to the Associated Press.

Advocates told AP that by not mandating the fingerprint background checks, the government is sending the wrong message during a time when many allegations of sexual abuse have risen.

One of the most shocking cases alleges that at least four exchange students suffered sexually abuse over the years by the same host father -- even after the first student to stay with the host reported the incidents, NBC reported.

“He said ‘this is American culture,’ and I should get used to it,” Christopher Herbon of Germany told NBC News.

The organization that placed Herbon was later accused of attempting to cover up any alarming reports in attempts to protect the host father.

Public school districts across the country have recently been recruiting students from overseas in the hopes that their tuition would help bridge the gaps in declining district revenues.

Superintendent Kent Smith from Millinocket, Maine told AP that he hoped to have at least 60 Chinese students, each paying around $13,000 in tuition and another $11,000 in board, by next year.

The school district ultimately fell short of that goal.

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