Secrets in our Midst
It starts with the arrest of a respected teacher for a crime of unspeakable horror. Child molestation. First, shock sets in. Then the Facebook comments begin. A line is drawn in the sand. Those who believe in the teacher and this is a horrible mistake and those who want this monster behind bars forever and away from their children.
After the shock has worn off, everyone begins to wonder who? Second, speculation runs rampant. People follow the court docket to see when arraignment will be. Morbid curiosity sets in. The teacher gets out on bail but cannot be anywhere there are children; schools, parks, etc.
Third comes the wait. When is the trial, who will be picked for jury duty? For some reason there is a delay. So waiting begins again and the interest dies down for the moment. Life goes on in the sleepy little town.
Fourth, trial date is set. To everyone's shock, the teacher pleads guilty. He is immediately taken into custody. He is shocked believing he would still be free on bond. Again, the community is shocked and awaits sentencing. Sentencing is postponed. Life again goes on.
By now, the community is pretty sure who the victim was. The parents are devastated. They now understand why their happy son turned on them and tore the family apart. They are trying to cope.
Finally, sentencing day arrives. Imagine the victim's family's shock when other teachers and colleagues of the victim's parent come in and sit with the child molester's family. Not one word of sympathy for the victims. To compound the shock, these same teachers have written letters to the judge asking for leniency for a pedophile.One of the molester's supporters was a school board member. Nope, it's not over yet. The mother speaks about how this has torn her once close, loving family apart. How her son will never return to the community because of his shame. Then the pedophile speaks about how he made an error in judgement, and how his family will be impacted by his incarceration. It was all about him, not about the victim. He cried because his teaching career was over.
Thank goodness for an intelligent judge. He saw the crime as heinous. He scolded the teachers for asking for leniency and being there to support such a crime. The sentence was a mandatory 15 years to a possible 30 years in prison to be served in a maximum security prison elsewhere in the state. Justice has been served.
Drawing a Line in the Sand
The Fall Out
The victim's parents went to a school board meeting the following Monday. They ask the school board member to resign. They saw his presence as a conflict of interest. This happened to a student. They also asked the supporters be removed from their jobs. The board member said he didn't need to explain himself and he would not resign.
The community is outraged. A support page has been started for the family. Parents don't want people who support a pedophile to teach their children. They are organizing. The motto is "When We Stand United." The media is giving this story full coverage.
Then comes the next blow. Someone firebombed the garage of the victim's family. Luckily the garage was not attached to their home and their cars were not in it. No one was hurt. This was totally unnecessary.
This has only rallied more people to their cause. The group will be addressing the school board. They will show a united front wearing blue the victim's favorite color. T-shirts, yard signs, and decals are being made and donated to help raise funds for the family.
Did I mention the mother was diagnosed with breast cancer this year? Oh, yeah and Dad, has MS. In this day and age they are a family without insurance. There have been a couple fundraisers this year to pay for her surgeries and treatment. She should be in a stress free environment. This is not helping her recovery.
Stay tuned I'm sure there will be more on this later. Be aware of your childrens' teachers. They should be role models and held accountable for their actions. If you suspect something, report it. Learn what a child molester looks like. I was totally blind-sided by this man. I'd known him as a colleague for 17 years. I never suspected. When I was told he was being arrested my first thought was embezzlement. So, imagine my shock. I decided I would not pass judgement. I'd wait and see what happened in the courts. I was doubly shocked when he admitted to this. I suspect this is not the first student, just the first time he got caught.