OUR VIEW: Parents are the first line of defense

Published on Friday, 20 April 2018 22:01
Written by Staff

A Berlin teacher suspended in February for an alleged inappropriate relationship with a student.

A theatre professor on administrative leave from Central Connecticut State University after the student newspaper revealed allegations of inappropriate behavior with students and staff.

An exclusive private school in Greenwich now dealing with allegations that two staff members allegedly molested students as far back as the 1960s.

Of course, there are other schools and school districts that have seen incidents of alleged criminal conduct on the part of students and staff including sexual abuse, bullying, cyber bullying, suicide, drug dealing, assaults, stabbings and shootings.

Such incidents aren’t exclusive to public schools in urban communities. Tony private schools and small public schools are not exempt from illicit activity.

But we have to ask: what has happened to our society, and our schools that have left education officials dealing with more than changing curriculums, graduation rates and standardized tests? According to “Psychology Today,” crimes, especially those that involve sex abuse or sexual assault, are more about power then the act itself. While student bullying can be a reaction to a lack of attention at home. And, children who intentionally inflict violence on others may have themselves been abused or suffer from mental instability.

Unfortunately, parents today cannot send their children off to school secure in the knowledge their youngsters will not encounter a bully or a possible predator on campus.

It is equally unrealistic to expect school administrators to assume the roles of social workers, police officers and psychiatrists.

So, how do we protect students from sexual abuse and violence?

We must demand school administrators do a better job of screening teachers and staff and enforcing school policies for the safety of everyone.

Schools are supposed to be institutions of learning, not magnets for predators.

But if we want children to be safe, it’s up to parents to teach their kids how to survive in an ever-changing world. Moms and dads must always be the first line of defense.

Posted in New Britain Herald, Editorials on Friday, 20 April 2018 22:01. Updated: Friday, 20 April 2018 22:03.