Thursday, August 27, 2015

I'm embarrassed; I should have Googled first

Commenter Valigator chided me for not doing enough research before I posted a library can't be too safe...or can it?

She posted a list of ten news stories about sex offenders and libraries. Ten!

She says:
Want more? There are pages and pages of what you describe as a rare occurrence. Don't you people "google" before you write these long drawn out BS opinion pieces??
As much as it pains me to admit this, she is right. A little more research before clicking the Publish button would have been a good idea.

The list as she posted it contains broken links so I found working links and am reposting them here with a brief explanation of each news story:
  1. 2014: The man who molested two little girls in a Cincinnati library was not a registered sex offender.
  2. 2014: A Scottsdale library aide molested children and possessed child porn, though not in the library. He was not a registered sex offender.
  3. 2015: A sex offender was arrested in an Indiana library for failure to register. (Valigator included a link to a YouTube video.)
  4. 2014: A man committed a terrible sexual assault against a three-year-old girl in an Australian library. The article is not clear about whether he was a registered sex offender or not. It refers vaguely to his "20-year history of crimes against children," but it details only one conviction for a non-sexual assault on an adult.
  5. 2013: A  man was accused of watching child porn in a New York library and then arrested on molestation charges, though that crime happened elsewhere. He was not a registered sex offender.
  6. 2014: A man, awaiting trial for child molestation, was seen in an Indiana library. He was not a registered sex offender.
  7. 2013: A man molested a boy in the restroom of a California library. The man was not a registered sex offender.
  8. 2013: A registered sex offender groped a girl in a Washington library restroom.
  9. 2013: A teacher molested six children in a Shanghai school library. As far as I can tell, the teacher was not a registered sex offender.
  10. 2008: A man raped a little boy in a Massachusetts library. The man was not a registered sex offender.
Some of these stories are of terrible , terrible crimes. The families of the children involved must have gone (or be going) through hell, trying to make sense of what happened and trying to help their little ones to get through something so difficult to explain. My heart goes out to those families.

Attacks on children in airports or sports stadiums or department stores can be just as horrifying but it is sickening to think that crimes like this could happen in a library, a place that we want to be a peaceful refuge. A library should be a place for Dr. Seuss and the Berenstain Bears, Nancy Drew and Junie B. Jones, Little House on the Prairie and the Little Engine that Could. Not for terrifying assaults.

The ultimate refuge for children ought to be their homes and, sadly (sometimes tragically), that is where most sexual assaults against children happen. Not in libraries. At home or in the home of someone trusted by the family.

The assaults are most often committed by someone not on the sex offender registry.

The list of articles above include only two examples (3, 8) that are about a registered sex offender, and only one of those two (8) was about a sexual assault in a library.

Six of the articles (1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 10) are about someone not on the registry.

The remaining two stories (4, 9) are not clear about whether the perpetrator was on a sex offender registry.

Sexual assaults can happen anywhere, registry or not. The sex offender registry did not protect the girl in the Washington library.

The sex offender registry certainly did not protect anyone from the assaults perpetrated by people not on the registry.

It is abundantly clear that if you want to protect your children against violent assaults or even against inappropriate touching, you cannot look to the registry. You must pay attention and learn how to identify signs of abuse.

This article might be all about needlessly frightening the reader (I blogged about the story here) but the graphics that accompany the article offer excellent tips for how to spot signs of abuse and how to prevent it.

Thanks again to Valigator for providing such valuable help. Those ten articles helped to make my case even stronger:

The registry protects no one.

1 comment:

Ethan Edwards said...

I hadn't been over to read this blog in a while, and when I stopped by today I was really impressed. You've been posting a lot of interesting stuff. I suppose I could go to each post and say, "Cool!", "Wow!", "Interesting!", but that would get tedious. I do know as a blogger myself ( that it's kind of discouraging not to get any feedback, but here's a reminder that lots of people read and never comment. I just made a post to our internal Virtuous Pedophiles group ( about all the great stuff you're posting over here.

To admit -- in a post title no less -- that you made a mistake is a sign of integrity and increases your credibility, at least as I see it.