Saturday, October 20, 2007

Yet Another Reason to Homeschool

If: Pedophiles are attracted to places where they can find children.

And: Schools are full of children.

Then: Pedophiles are attracted to schools.

This article describes in nauseating detail how pedophiles work within the school system. True, they are only a small percentage of the total number of teachers and other personnel, but if your child was the victim of one of them, you would consider that percentage is far too high. (Be sure to click on the accompanying graphic to see where your state ranks in terms of sexual abuse in schools.)

You cannot guarantee that your child will not be the victim of a sexual predator working in a school unless you keep him or her out of that system: just one more good reason to homeschool.

I'm sure this girl wishes she'd been homeschooled:

In Hamburg, Pa., in 2002, those "red flags" should have been clear. A student skipped classes every day to spend time with one teacher. He gave her gifts and rides in his car. She sat on his lap. The bond ran so deep that the student got chastised repeatedly — even suspended once for being late and absent so often. But there were no questions for the teacher.

Heather Kline was 12, a girl with a broad smile and blond hair pulled back tight. Teacher Troy Mansfield had cultivated her since she was in his third-grade class.
(BF: emphasis mine)

"Kids, like, idolized me because they thought I was, like, cool because he paid more attention to me," says Kline, now 18, sitting at her mother's kitchen table, sorting through a file of old poems and cards from Mansfield. "I was just like really comfortable. I could tell him anything."

He never pushed her, just raised the stakes, bit by bit — a comment about how good she looked, a gift, a hug.
She was sure she was in love.

By winter of seventh grade, he was sneaking her off in his car for an hour of sex, dropping in on her weekly baby-sitting duties, e-mailing about what clothes she should wear, about his sexual fantasies, about marriage and children.

Mansfield finally got caught by the girl's mother, and his own words convicted him. At his criminal trial in 2004, Heather read his e-mails and instant messages aloud, from declarations of true love to explicit references to past sex. He's serving up to 31 years in state prison.

..... In Pennsylvania, after news of teacher Troy Mansfield's arrest hit, girls called Kline, his 12-year-old victim, a "slut" to her face. A teacher called her a "vixen." Friends stopped talking to her. Kids no longer sat with her at lunch.

Her abuser, meanwhile, had been a popular teacher and football coach.

So, between rumors that she was pregnant or doing drugs and her own panic attacks and depression, Kline bounced between schools. At 16, she ran away to Nashville.

"I didn't have my childhood," says Kline, who's back home now, working at a grocery cash register and hoping to get her GED so she can go to nursing school. "He had me so matured at so young.

"I remember going from little baby dolls to just being an adult."

The courts dealt her a final insult. A federal judge dismissed her civil suit against the school, saying administrators had no obligation to protect her from a predatory teacher since officials were unaware of the abuse, despite what the court called widespread "unsubstantiated rumors" in the school. The family is appealing.


Anonymous said...

With homeschooling a pedophile need not hang out around other people's kids any longer.

He just has to have his own. Many do and now there will be many more since he can keep the kid at home for a very long time without authorities ever knowing in most states.

We really require some supervision of this phenomenon.

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Barbara Frank said...

I hope you're kidding. What you're suggesting has nothing to do with homeschooling. There are kids within the school system who have verbally or physically abusive parents, much less sexually abusive ones. Being in school where you can be observed by school staff is no protection from that. I was referring to protecting our children from abusive strangers.