Recently, in the Times-Picayune, we have had headlines about people in the school systems getting arrested for “inappropriate & sexual” contact with minors. I will put my humor aside for this post and would like to give big kudos to everyone who is helping taking these predators down. There is the Destrehan band teacher in the news today, the Kenner teacher/ tutor from yesterday and the custodian from Slidell reported last week.
Are parents too trusting, too busy to care or has this always gone on and now we are just doing something about it? I think the latter. This has been going on forever and now we are taking action against those who prey on minors and children. Many may disagree with me on this one, and that is fine, you are entitled to your opinion. Yes, we expect schools to raise our children these days, but I personally do not believe that is the entirety of the problem. I think there have always and will always be people in positions of power that take advantage of children or those under them, whether children or not. There will also always be pedophiles and that scares the hell out of me.
When I was an athletic trainer for college students, I recall several cases of coaches having relations with players. The coach suddenly “left” their position and everything was brushed under the table (not going tabloidish on you here & will not give specifics). Even though these were 18-22 year olds, it still happened and it was WRONG!!!
What do we as parents do? Well, first off we must all be smart enough to realize that it could be our child. We all know the parent who says that their child never would lie. Yes, they would if they had to and yes, they would lie to you about an incident with a person of power. No child is immune to other adults or even young adults that could harm them or touch them. I guess the trust no one or trust your instincts is important here. Do we keep the kids home and place them in a bubble which will prevent them from having close contact with anyone else? NO. Am I wrong for telling my husband that a former co-worker raised the hairs on the back of my neck when he was around my children? No! Instincts and erring on the side of caution can’t hurt! We must at the very least talk to them! Will that guarantee their safety? No, but it can’t hurt. Children are our most valuable assets and we must be prudent to protect them!
The Slidell janitor case really freaked me out, because the boys molested were around the age of my 2 boys. I sat them down yesterday and had a short talk with them about people who want to touch boys their age and that no matter what they promise or threaten, their job is to tell mommy. I also told them that they would never get in trouble for telling. Did this sink in? I hope so. Is that the end of the dialog? NO! My oldest even told me he heard about the story. Not talking about it won’t make predators go away. I guess the best thing I can do as a parent is provide them with the tools necessary to handle things like this and try and keep a close relationship with them. And hell no, I am not the perfect parent, just trying my best and stumbling along the way like the rest of us.
My responsibility as a parent is to keep my 3 children safe and help them grow to be responsible adults while giving them tons of love along the way. If nothing else from this post, I hope you at least talk to your kids and if anyone has any good advice, I am certainly open to it! As for internet safety, Uncle Pervy is watching your kids. Assume that and take it from there. Do not hand your kids to these sick individuals in society by posting pictures of your kids on the internet or allowing them to do the same!
As for what should happen to these 3 sick individuals – I hope they get sent to the general prison population with a sign that says “I molested underage children.” Unfortunately, that won’t happen and we can all only hope that our justice system keeps them off the streets forever!