‘Fight for the innocence of the young’

By Jonathan Barnett
November 8, 2007

It horrifies me to know there are individuals out there who see no need for alarm when sexual violence takes place in schools, or anywhere for that matter.

Have we become so calloused that we no longer feel the need to put an end to such horrible actions?

I find it hard to have hope when I see the things that are going on around me.

It’s even harder to understand the lack of concern being shown towards such despicable acts of sexual violence against minors.

I surely can’t be the only one who sees that this is an issue that must be dealt with. It could begin with people actually giving a damn about the youth of this country.

It’s shocking when adolescents go to extremes, break the rules, get diagnosed with depression, commit suicide and decide drugs might be a good way to cope. So shocking indeed that adolescents might possibly have worse problems than adults.

If people took the time to have some compassion then maybe something could actually be done to prevent young boys and girls being tricked, seduced, molested or raped by the very people who are trusted to teach them how to become a more educated person.

I feel physically ill when I hear about another child being subjected to the disgusting and disturbing things that only a malicious and sadistic person could think up.

It disturbs me even more to read a Web posting in response to an article trying to raise awareness of this issue.

A response that states that articles such as these are a waste of time and how it was just a way to distract us from oil prices.

A response that tries to show that the numbers are not as overwhelming when looked at differently.

So my question for this wonderful human being would be this, “Is it OK if only one 5th grade girl had her breast fondled by her teacher? Should we let it slide when a school gym teacher hides a camera in his bag to film boys in the locker room and showers?” I guess that’s OK; it’s only one child, who cares, right?

Your lack of compassion for the innocent nauseates me. God help us if people like this actually held some position of power. Oh wait.This seems to be the problem that is going on: People are actually directly or indirectly allowing sexual violence in schools to continue.

The idea that it’s not a big deal is absolutely absurd. These people should be brought to justice; people need to stand up for those that have no power to stand up for themselves.

A good way to start would be by keeping an eye on your children. We live in a world where the television and the computer are the babysitter. Just stick your kid in front of some type of entertainment and then they will be out of your hair for a while, then you won’t have to worry about them.

Maybe if people learned how to communicate better then these things will not continue to happen.

If people take the time to see how their child is doing it wouldn’t take some therapy session 10 or 20 years down the road to figure out why Johnny is so dysfunctional.

Unfortunately sexual offenders in schools go unchecked, unnoticed and ultimately unchallenged all the time.

Sometimes it is the administration’s fault for not doing a good enough job on the background check or by letting a teacher who has been accused of sexual misconduct go quietly as not to give the school a bad name.

Other times it is the fault of other faculty members who may notice things are going on but they do not want to be caught in the middle of a confrontation so they cower away from the situation altogether.

A lot of the time things like this could be stopped if people looked out for warning signs like when their children start to become disassociated, removed or begin behaving differently.

One thing is for certain, sexual violence against minors is a horrible offence and those found guilty should pay for their actions. It is a horrible thing to lose one’s innocence and it is even more horrible to have it ripped from you in an act so unspeakable.

One of the worst things I found when looking into this issue is the realization that there are more people than I would have ever thought that feel this issue is unimportant and not worth our time or consideration.

I hope that one day people will realize that when you hear stories like this on the news, it is not supposed to go in one ear and out the other. We should be outraged, we should not be so desensitized that it doesn’t bother us.

Then maybe, just maybe, people will decide to take a stand and fight for the innocence of the young before it will disappear forever.

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Jonathan Barnett

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