Thursday, October 1, 2015

what does this hysteria teach our children?

A 74-year-old grandfather was denied entrance to a school where he had been invited to have lunch. His step-grandson had invited him to celebrate Grandparents' Day.

The hangup? The school uses Raptor, a system used to check identification; it alerts the school when it identifies a sex offender. The grandfather's crime was 16 years ago and he has committed no further crimes since then.

Listen to the hysterical tone of the article:
A Rutherford County elementary school was put to the test two weeks ago when a registered sex offender attempted to get inside Brown’s Chapel Elementary School during lunch. 
...attempted to get inside... 

Was he trying to break in through a window or picking a lock?

No, he was entering the school just like all the other grandparents were.
The man never made it past the front office on Sept. 11, thanks to a computer software system designed to keep sex offenders out. 
...never made it past the front office...

This old Hertz commercial comes to mind. The grandfather wasn't trying to get away with anything. He just came for lunch.
The incident occurred on Grandparents Day at the school. 
He was invited by his step-grandson. The grandson had not been told that sex offender grandparents were not welcome and there is a very real possibility that the boy did not even know about the crime that occurred years before he was born.
“An elderly person not really the standard that you would think you have to be concerned about,” said Principal Kellye Goostree.
Consider this: The person who made that unbelievably stupid statement is the principal of a school.

School personnnel should be better educated about sex offenses. 

Does the principal not know that a third of sexual assaults against children are perpetrated by children...whom her school welcomes with open arms? Does she not know that it is more likely that her students will be molested by someone on her staff--someone who has daily contact with students--than by a one-time visitor who stopped by for some chicken nuggets?

Schools accept those risks without blinking an eye and yet the risk of someone on a list--a list with an extremely low rate of reoffense--is seen as so great that it requires large investments in hardware and software.

The clueless principal blathers on:
“How amazing that we were able to prevent a convicted sex offender from having lunch with people’s children,” Goostree said.
Not "with people's children". With his grandson.
So far, Raptor has been a proven success.
How so?
“We’ve had four hits in the seven years,” Goostree said.  “It’s a huge safety feature for our students.”
If Raptor costs $6,000 per year (an estimate drawn from this), the school has paid $10,500 to catch each registered sex offender. Not to detect a sex offense, mind you; to identify someone on a list.

Was it worth $10,500 to single out this boy and make him known as the kid whose dangerous grandpa is not allowed in the school?

In all the years the school managed without the wonders of Raptor, how many times did a visitor to the school sexually assault a student or a staff member? 

What does the hysteria about registered sex offenders teach children? 

It teaches children that people on a list are the ones to fear. When over ninety percent of sex offense arrests are of people not on the list, we are directing children to be wary of the wrong people.

It teaches children that they are wrong to love and admire a grandparent who has come through a difficult time and has lived a law-abiding life since.

It teaches the community that it is acceptable to single out and embarrass children who love sex offenders.

Raptor stopped a man from having lunch with his grandson and the principal crows about the great success, without a single thought about the effect on the grandson.

Not a single thought that the boy might be hurt or confused by this turn of events. Not a single thought that exposing the grandfather as a registered sex offender may also expose the child to details of a crime he is too young to understand.

Instead of encouraging pointless hysteria, we ought to be upset about school boards deciding to throw away taxpayer funds on wrongheaded nonsense.

We ought to be upset about thoughtless principals who think it is acceptable to treat the children and grandchildren of registered citizens as if they do not matter.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

There must be a science explaining why most of the registered sex offenders are middle aged, i wish i could know why.
And im sure that if Jesse timmendequas were on the run, at large for the murder of Megan Kanka, there would not be the infamous Megan´s law.