Tuesday, February 08, 2005

#146 - "Arrest of the [insert chronological unit here]"

More years ago than anyone cares to think about, sports reporters on local and national sports shows began "Athlete Arrest of the Week" features. The title varied, of course, from reporter to reporter, but the substance was the same. Far too many professional (and not a few amateur) athletes were getting arrested on a variety of charges, up to and including murder. It may have seemed like a joke in the beginning, but courts quickly began working overtime to handle these celebrity cases.

After hearing about yet another teacher being arrested for chicanery of one kind or another involving one or more students today, I decided to see just how many other stories of this kind were currently being reported across the country. The answer is depressing.

Following is a list of teachers who have been arrested sometime in the last couple of months. In all fairness, none of these has, to my knowledge anyway, been tried and convicted, so innocence is still presumed. Still, the fact that these represent a mere fraction of the stories found on Google News is sobering. Any one of these charges, if true, carries with it not only the censure called for by law, but also the potential for ruining the lives of the individuals involved.

I really don't think I want to feature a "Teacher Arrest of the Day" as a regular part of this blog, but I wanted you to know that I've already got the material to do it. Yes, I'm a homeschooler, but this is not about some smug arrogance on my part. This is about warning parents to watch out for their kids. The list of people with whom we can safely entrust them is growing ever shorter.

Christopher Ryan Davis, sexual battery by an authority figure, Tennessee
Katherine Tew, sex offense with a student and indecent liberties with a student, North Carolina
Pamela Rogers Turner, sexual battery by an authority figure and statutory rape, Tennessee
Wayne E. Christopherson, first degree child molestation, Washington
Peter Ziskin, molestation, California
Joseph Conte, lewd conduct involving children under 16, Florida
Daniel Wayman, exposing himself and soliciting sex, Florida
Karri Suzanne Olmstead, drug charges, Indiana
Todd Christensen, endangering welfare of child and drug possession, New York
Chad Denis Maughan, third-degree child rape and second-degree sexual misconduct with a minor, Washington
Rebecca Boicelli, lewd acts with a minor and unlawful intercourse, California
Robert Gang, unspecified (used computer to correspond with minor, invited her to his home), New York
Dale Monnin, public indecency, Ohio
Jeffrey Brent Baber, child molestation, Indiana

I get queasy just thinking about this. Gotta go take some Tums.

UPDATE: Reader Scooter makes the case that any one of these individuals could be someone you know, or a family member. They may attend your church, or could be a co-worker. They may be completely innocent - victims of a "witch hunt" mentality. I'm not trying to be judge and jury in this case. I merely call attention to the need for parental vigilance, no matter what age the child.

I have every confidence that justice will be served in each case. If not, there's still one tribunal where mortal mistakes can finally be sorted out.

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