12 February 2009

A Few Rotten Apples.

... spoil the whole bunch.


I don't think that people are apples, though. We talked about this idea of the state making too many laws that are intrusive into the average person's family life. I think that having a few bad parents out there doesn't mean we ought to view every parent with suspicion.

As of yet, I have not heard of any broad proposal to require preschool attendance from every child over the age of one. However, I have heard from several places over the years that the second year of life is the most problematic for children abuse-wise. Is there a way to know for sure? Probably not, but I would imagine that to be the truth because of the nature of the two-year-old. The kiddo is getting into everything, telling you NO, making you tired, and pooping on the floor. In short, the kid is a mini-teenager who can't rat you out to the fuzz. :p

WHAM! upside the head isn't the answer to that, obviously, but neither is assuming that there is this vast undercurrent of head-bashing pedophiles whose lusts would be totally gone (*poof!*) if only we had preschool for children over the age of one. I'm going to go ahead and guess that if preschool were required for one-year-olds, it would give some potentially abusive parents a break BEFORE they hit the snapping point. It truly could save a life here or there; who knows?

BUT

I remember putting Elf in preschool when he turned two. It will be GREAT for him to socialize rather than being BORED with old Mom who couldn't possibly give him all the social interaction he needs, right? Ok, well, that's what I thought at the time.

A strange thing happened, though. Elf would run away. From a playground. The workers never thought to put a lock on the gate leading OUT of the playground or even latch the door at all. No kid is going to leave a playground, right?

Wrong. He did this sort of thing for a while and I THOUGHT that the workers knew what to expect and would have things under control after we talked about things, made plans, etc. But before you know it, they went and lost him again and he wound up within 30 feet of a major highway.

Now, what if I were REQUIRED to put Elf in such a school? I'd submit to you that that would be like requiring him to be sent to school to be abused. JUST like he was abused in public school later. Not that I'm bitter or anything. And not that I think for one second that any one of these people woke up on a given morning with an evil cackle and gleefully plotted against him. But Elf is still negatively affected by his experience regardless.

Hey, there *are* truly some great programs out there. If you can get into them and live nearby. Sure. Public school is not the Great Satan, even if it ACTS that way as an organization sometimes.

And there *are* truly some parents who "homeschool" to cover abuse or, as it appears in the Benita Jacks case, to cover up a murder or four. I think we should be careful before putting constraints on the parents, however. Even with the Benita Jacks case, social workers, school officials and other folks were well aware that this was a family in some serious trouble. The rules that WERE in place at the time of the murders weren't even followed, so I'm not really sure what putting MORE laws down on the books is gonna do.

Perhaps because lax enforcement is expected, lots and lots of laws need to be passed so that someone looks into suspicious stuff *sometime* before someone's killed the next time?

I could link this idea with the several situations I know of REAL children who were abused by their "parents" while attending public schools. It is NOT the school's fault. It is NOT the social worker's fault because she assumed that most parents are going to love their children. It isn't fair to cry for the social worker's job on a platter if she truly showed up and did her job but reached the "wrong" conclusion as evidenced later. The abuse is NOT her fault.

Abuse is always, always, always the fault of the abuser and should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. I'm going to leave my opinions concerning the role of the posse in regards to the repeat sex offender for the sake of brevity here. Let me just say these people are nasty, nasty, sick and gross and too many of 'em never get caught. Too many "plea bargains" out there. They are someone's children, though. When they've served their time, is there any place that wants them? I'd ask my Christian friends reading if they TRULY TRULY believe that a child molester can be transformed and repentant. And if they do, whether neighbourhood watch lists are an appropriate deterrant. I'm genuinely really, really not sure. I do know that I wouldn't want, for my child's sake and others', for them to work in the church nursery or the local schools because of the temptation factor.

More on this later. God bless you as you read and respond.

7 comments:

  1. You said, "Abuse is always, always, always the fault of the abuser and should be punished to the fullest extent of the law."

    I say "Amen" to that!

    When I start hearing about how kids are going to be so much safer and better off in day care/pre-school I can't help but feel a bit cynical. A close and dear relative of mine was molested in day care at the age of three. Her parents put her there in good faith. It was a day care at a large church. The man who did it was the husband of one of the workers. The truth is that there is no way to make sure every child everywhere is safe. In general, though, most parents are going to love and care for their kids more than anyone outside the family.

    That's my 2 yen.

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  2. "Abuse is always, always, always the fault of the abuser and should be punished to the fullest extent of the law."

    Amen!

    Otherwise, the law is just trying to strike a balance between protecting those who do not have good, protective parents *while* respecting the rights of the good apples. It's a really, really tough job. I hate to be a cynic, but I don't know how there will ever be a system that perfectly balances safety with liberty.

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  3. I have dear friends who lived & worked in Belgium for a while where children are institutionalised from about 3 years old so they won't cause any social waves in a very small crowded country. Even though they weren't citizens & didn't speak the language they weren't allowed to homeschool. The kids struggled. Now they have returned to their native Ireland where Gaelic is compulsory & the kids, who are not gifted in languages, are struggling again but no~one calls this abuse. I happen to think it is. Nothing good ever comes of forcing everyone to conform to the same pattern. I've travelled in those countries that are very conformist & require a high level of conformity from their citizenship & I find it truely frightening. It stifles creative thought & true reaoned thinking but because it is government endorsed no~one calls that abuse either. And don't get me started on how Hitler gulled an entire nation or Stalin & his chicken. I would much rather run the risk that some people will be bad parents & some parents will be abusive than have the government dictate how our children are to be raised.

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  4. Sue, compulsory, mandatory anything is really scary to me for just the sort of situation you discussed.

    A, I agree. And it's truly SICKENING to read about abuse or know what's going on in the world through your friends (that will never make news!). It really makes you want to go WHY DIDN'T ANYONE do something?

    But often schools do not. They really don't see it. Nor do neighbours or friends or sometimes even the SO of the abuser. People can put on a good con. Bet in some ways the abuser is even conning himself that he's a good guy and if only the kid obeyed or whatever, this wouldn't have happened...

    Liberty, though, implicitly implies lack of safety. I don't think we should be "free" to let our kids carsurf, but eye exams?? Does the state need to get that involved in our lives???

    Ganeida, those poor little kids will wind up knowing zero languages well! Here in the US, we have similar laws in *some states* mandating classes be in English. Which I support, but I also understand there needs to be a transition time as well.

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  5. Glad you're not bitter ;)

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  6. You mean against the abusive goose-stepping Nazi "special ed specialists" at (name) Elementary in (City Name) who should be forced to pick raspberries with their toes ten hours per day for the rest of their lives? Them? Nawww. I've totally forgiven them. :]

    Ok. Really? Some have been promoted to positions where they oversee every kid's IEP at several elementaries. I can "get" that they should be forgiven b/c I am a Christian, but still not trust them or want my Woodjie to go to elementary school even though they can "help" him there.

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  7. Can a child molester be transformed and repentant?

    I believe that, yes, they can. I believe in the transforming power of God. I believe in redemption.

    ...but I do not believe I have the ability to see the condition of another's heart, and so I would be very wary of letting real sex offenders near children.

    ~Luke

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Non-troll comments always welcome! :)