Butterfly Cauldron

Friday, February 09, 2007

Children + Sex = Instant Outrage

For very different reasons, alas. My first serving of outrage comes to us courtesy of Allentown, Pa. where a school system covered up the rapes of four first-graders.

Short version: An older child was found assaulting a younger child in the bathroom. Instead of, oh I don't know, calling the police? The school decided to keep it all quiet. They didn't notify the victim's parents, it appears, much less the rapist's parents. Instead, they move the older child to another classroom. Said nothing and guess what? He did it again. Three times.

The district denies wrongdoing and has asked a judge to dismiss the lawsuit. But it has not disputed that assaults occurred, and its legal response has only further inflamed public opinion in one of the state’s poorest school districts.

In federal court last month, the district’s lawyer, John Freund III, argued that under the Constitution school officials cannot be held responsible simply for failing to protect youngsters from assaults by other students.

He cited federal court rulings that say school systems are generally immune from paying damages unless it can be shown that they actually took “affirmative” steps that put youngsters in danger, and that the action taken “shocks the conscience.”

Keep children safe? The school's responsibility? Oh no. No no no. Sorry, can't do that. And exactly how is not 'affirmative' to know there's a sexual predator on campus and do nothing about it? Doesn't that automatically endanger every child on campus? I mean, if the school knew one of it's teachers was a pedophile, they'd be held accountable if he molested a child while at work, so how is it different when the attacker is a child? And well, MY conscience is certainly shocked. How 'bout yours?

Second dose of outrage comes from Boston. (Boston? Really? *sigh*) This time, no children were actually harmed. This time it was the parents' oh-so-fragile sensibilities.

Short version: Elementary school teacher reads a book to his/her class. The book is about a prince who finds love. With another prince. Oh, dear. Mustn't let those innocent children hear about that! Never mind that Mass. is the only state in the country where two men can get married and it's likely that those children will, sooner or later, have a classmate with two daddies or two mommies. Let's just go about denying reality. Let's go about denying the law, while we're at it.

I mean, I highly doubt this book was giving any play-by-play on hawt boyfucking. It's probably Cinderella with a prince cast in the princess role. Wow. So very shocking and damaging to the psyche! The parents may have to actually answer some questions. They may have to come up with answers. They may have to --gods forbide!--actually think through their position on same-sex marriage. And we can't have that, can we?

Look, if you believe in something and you're raising children, things like this are going to come up. If I ever have a child, I'm going to have to find a way to keep him/her from being indoctrinated with redneck values. It's just how life works. You're parents, so parent, dammit. Stop trying to get the whole world to cater to you and teach your children how to have their own beliefs and how to stand by them. You're doing them a disservice, and pissing the rest of us off, when you don't.

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posted by Zan at 5:07 PM


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