The state of California is moving to shut down nine day-care centers after it emerges that sex offenders were living or otherwise present at those locations. The state is shocked, horrified and amazed they didn't know this before because applicants were supposed to let 'em know who was there:
"The Department of Social Services needs that information to conduct background checks on the license holder and others living at the home or child care center. Had the department discovered that a resident was a sex offender, the license would have been denied or suspended, Wagner said."
... Had the department "discovered" a resident was a sex offender? You mean, like, were the information handed to it on a silver platter containing a signed affidavit (notorized twice) from the registered offenders attesting to the fact that they're sick puppies who shouldn't be allowed within 50 feet of a child? Hey, morons, do you think an applicant is going to just TELL you a sex offender is living there so that you can deny the application? Do you?
This article tells parents just enough to freak out. WHO are the sex offenders, what crimes were they convicted for, which day care centers are affected, and why wouldn't parents and law enforcement officers have figured this out long ago? Are the registered offenders not on a website? Can't you just type up an area and see all the offenders within a certain radius? Did no parent think to look it up? And are cops never aware of the "people in your neighbourhood," you know... taking their jobs seriously and figuring out where potential problems might occur? Or were they too busy writing tickets and dealing with crimes AFTER they happened? Hmm? How about parole officers? Think they might have a clue there's a problem if their clients live in some house that consistently seems to have 20 kids in the back yard?
Remember, these are the REGISTERED offenders, mind you. The people who have been through the legal process and deemed required to register. Juuuust think a minute about all the people who took a plea bargain and do not have to register. Think of all the people who have not been caught. Oh, and let's also remember before we all flip out about this, that some people have to register for asinine reasons like having sex with a 16-year-old girlfriend when you're 18 or 19. NOT the same thing as harming a little toddler during a rape, IMO.
Can I say, though, that home is the best place for a little kid?
This is NOT a high-horse post, because I know lots of parents don't feel they have a choice. But don't you think parents should keep their little ones home if they possibly can? Tiny people are so defenseless, and they can't tell you what really happens at day care. A lot of sickos are out there and you really can't fully trust anyone. I have known people who have had childcare as a "calling" and been wonderful to their little charges, but these are the exceptions. These are the special people.
News like this makes me so sad, because there were so many people who should have figured out there was an offender there. And... these are the ones that bothered to register! Imagine how many more there really are. :[