Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Preying on our children

Kiss My Gumbowrote a post today about child predators and some local happenings with school employees taking advantage of children in the school.

It burned me up so much I had to post about it.

Back in the early 80s I was in grade school. The thing to do was going roller skating at the town rink on Friday and Saturday nights. Our parents would drop us off and pick us up after. So basically, it was a bunch of kids there (grades 2-8th?) all the time and the owners and workers were the only adults.

Well, there was this guy who had to be in his 50s that used to hang out there all the time. He would come by himself. No kids in tow. Not sure he was even married. We called him Grandpa. He had curly red hair and we thought he looked like a clown. When my mom found out about him she warned me about him. Told me to stay away. Looking back I know he befriended many of the kids. In fact, I remember a few less fortunate female friends of mine, the kind with broken homes and not so great parents really took to him. He brought them gifts and sometimes gave them rides home. I remember heeding my mother's warning and wanting them to as well. But being naive I don't think I mentally had the ability to grasp what was really going on. Today, it makes me sick to think about it. Shame on the roller rink owners (a family-owned joint and they were always there) for allowing him to hang out there!

Then, in 10th grade my friend confided in me during history class that she was "dating" the athletic director! I will never forget that moment. I was so shocked I didn't know what to say. Did I mention how naive I was? Anyway, I don't know if she ever told anyone else. But I do know she never told an adult. And when he broke it off, it messed her up so much. She was emotionally a mess and had not recovered by the time we graduated. It really did a number on her emotional stability! To add salt to the wound, he married another athlete in our school 1 month after that girl graduated. If the school didn't figure something out then . . . well, let's just say he continued to work there.

And finally, yesterday I got a call from a friend. She said there was a attemped kidnapping in the Woodlands Subdivision yesterday. The story I heard was that a white van was driving along side a 10 year old boy. He slowed down, the van slowed down. He rode faster the van sped up to keep up with him. He finally rode his bike to the house of someone he knew and ran up to the door or the person. (Not sure how it ended). The kid was fine. I don't know that they were able to catch the potential perpetrator. And whether this story is true in its entirety - not sure. Doesn't matter. The point is something scared this kid and the word got out quickly!

It is a reminder to us all to watch out for suspicious behavior, vehicles, people in our neighborhoods. KMG is right. These people who prey on our children have always been here and will, unfortunately, always be around.

1 comment:

Lanny said...

Hey, I'm going to send you an email if you have that enabled. If not, will you email me please?