Needed: sexual offense facts. Hype? not so much

By Sandy . . . News bulletin: Sex offender arrested for violating his conditions and going to a school. The original header for this — and what search engines “hit” on — is “Sex offender arrested after trying to pick up children at Heber School.”

The facts: A guy on the sex offender registry in Utah went with his girlfriend and her daughter to the girl’s school to see her teacher and turn in some homework.

Now, this guy had done this previously, allegedly twice, and had been warned, so — is he the brightest bulb in the box? Probably not.

However, this being treated like a potential child abduction by the more sensationalist-inclined media outlets is just nonsense. Encouraging parents to feel their children were at risk of harm is beyond nonsense; it is irresponsible. It feeds into the myth that individuals on a sex offender registry are roaming the streets and the halls of academia ready to snatch whoever crosses their paths, and it obscures the facts about actual child molestation.

After learning of the non-incident, one mother of two students at the school said she “felt sick” and credited the office staff as heroes for recognizing the man and saving the children. And an officer with the Heber City Police Department, bless his little heart, agreed. “The school staff around here, all of them are absolute rockstars at keeping our children safe,” he said.

Part of the police department’s statement to the media was this: “Because of the quick actions of the school, we believe no students were ever in harm’s way.” New flash again: no students were in harm’s way due to the presence of the registered citizen in the school. All the school’s quick actions did was panic the parents.

The fact of the matter is that incidents of former sex offenders abducting children from schools are rare as hen’s teeth. In fact, when I did a search for “sex offender abducts child from school,” I got five hits of actual incidents spanning from 2007 to 2017, and only one of them occurred inside a school or even, as far as I could tell, on school property, and that was a situation in 2007 where a youthful-looking man actually enrolled in a school as a student. In none of the situations were children actually abducted or molested.

Are children molested in schools? Yes, we all know they are, and we all know who the perpetrators are. As sad as it is true, those who use the school setting to sexually abuse or manipulate students are those to whom their parents entrust with their care and safety. And they are not found on the sex offender registry.

There are fact-based prevention programs that teach children what to do if they are being molested or abused by adults that they trust. These are what the media needs to focus on.

Help us reach more people by Sharing or Liking this post.

Sandy Rozek

Sandy is communications director for NARSOL, editor-in-chief of the Digest, and a writer for the Digest and the NARSOL website. Additionally, she participates in updating and managing the website and assisting with a variety of organizational tasks.

This topic contains 14 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Avatar Nathan 4 months ago.

  • Author
    Posts
  • #37209 Reply
    Sandy Rozek
    Sandy Rozek
    Admin

    By Sandy . . . News bulletin: Sex offender arrested for violating his conditions and going to a school. The original header for this — and what searc
    [See the full post at: Sexual offense facts needed. Hype? not so much]

  • #37228 Reply
    Avatar
    Maestro

    The media sold their story. They are happy. They care absolute ZERO about such a follow up to their “heroic school staff” story.
    How about NARSOL file a suit against th school and the media outlet who ran the story?
    Or maybe send the school and the media outlet a nice little pamphlet about how they are being fear mongers? And keep sending (may cost you a few stamps) until they speak to someone at NARSOL and give an interview where they can be taught to keep a closer eye on their teachers rather than registered parents.

    • #37232 Reply
      Sandy Rozek
      Sandy Rozek
      Admin

      I did send information to them.
      As for a lawsuit, we would have to prove that we have standing to file such a suit and that there has been harm done to us in either financial loss or to reputation due to their actions.

      • #37257 Reply
        Avatar
        Facts should matter

        Just a suggestion, but why don’t we start having quarterly “sit ins” during school hours in the parking lots? We can hold up snarky signs like “I’m not the ‘bad guy,’ but I’m made out to be one on the Internet.” or “Not a legitimate safety threat.” or. “Amazing how you’re children are still safe while we’re here.”

        The public’s misguided and misdirected reliance on Megan’s Law (to “protect” their children) needs to discouraged, discredited and devalued at all costs. Nothing will change unless we show the public that we’re not afraid of them getting outraged and offended.

  • #37240 Reply
    Avatar
    Phys Ed

    All these sex offender laws are just a bad infection finally catching hold on the entire body politic from a disease of legislative origin in the deep south. “Jim Crow” was instigated to get around Lincoln’s 13th Amendment guaranteeing freedom and full rights citizenship for former slaves immediately following the Civil War and demonstrably not buried until the 1960s with the civil and voting rights act of 1964. Here it is… IT’s BAAACK!!! reincarnated and virulent now all over the country as Sex Offender laws!!

  • #37306 Reply
    Avatar
    Nancy Galuppo

    From the history that i have read … the restrictive multitude of laws against one group of people…reminds me of the concentration camps (during World War II.) and how the people ended up there.

  • #37641 Reply
    Avatar
    NH Registrant

    I was recently watching the show ‘Daredevil’ on Netflix. But, I think I will stop watching it altogether. In BOTH of the 2 seasons I’ve been watching, they shoe-horned in a sex crime story. It made no sense to the plot or continuity. They just had to include it. I watched the entire season of The Punisher and there wasn’t a single reference to sex crimes in the whole season. But, yet, they just HAD TO put it in the Daredevil show.

    This isn’t the first time I’ve been irritated by some show or movie that shoe-horned in a sex crime story. It’s SO irritating! It’s like the country is so completely obsessed with molestation and/or rape stories being included in TV and movies. I hate it. I don’t want to see it anymore. I already know it happens. I don’t excuse it. But, I am sick and tired of seeing it in everything I watch! WHY do they have to keep doing this? To keep the hysteria alive and well? When are we going to grow up as a species instead of always demonizing a specific group of people while excusing another? In these stories, it’s never a cop or a politician doing it – it’s always some poor person or a regular parent. I’m SICK of it!

    • #56987 Reply
      Avatar
      Nathan

      I feel like many people have a deep desire to see and highlight bad things. It’s dramatic, exciting, and maybe sometimes people feel more secure when they can point a finger. Possibly people can even relate to a sexually oriented crime better than other crimes. I think current laws and restrictions have little to do with safety and much more to do with our social and political climate. It’s sad.

  • #37648 Reply
    Avatar
    Tammie Leigh Lawson

    I Absoulty can not understand why people are so quick to judge a RSO when they have no idea why they are labeled. Recently I was beckoned to come onto school property for an IEP meeting by staff if the school, I refused the offer the meeting was to have taken place at a church across from the school but somehow the keys to the church were lost needless to say we help an IEP meeting on the hood of my car in freezing temperatures outside in a off street parking area. I feel staff was ready to break a rule at their conscience and let it slide or maybe they needed a reason to violate me either way I stood firm in my decision to stay off school property. When will people realize that we are normal people and are productive citizens?

  • #37649 Reply
    Avatar
    Tammie Leigh Lawson

    When can someone contact me I’m interested in advocacy groups in my location. I’ve sent multiple request. Maybe I could be in charge of answering emails and providing information to those seeking change.

    • #37698 Reply
      Sandy Rozek
      Sandy Rozek
      Admin

      Tammy, we apologize. To where have you sent multiple requests? Have you filled out a volunteer form? If not, please do; if you have, I doubly apologize; please let me know that and I will figure out where things went awry. Go here to fill out the application. https://narsol.org/volunteer/
      You may email me directly at communications@narsol.org. And tell me what state you are in.

  • #38428 Reply
    Avatar
    John Gibbs

    I am in Virginia and begun contacting my governor and Senator trying to understand the logic behind these laws. I am not anticipating much of a response, fingers are crossed. I have called NARSOL and emailed several times to no avail.I want to set up an affiliate group here in Virginia and will fill out the volunteer form. Is there is anyone from VA reading this, please contact me.

    • #38434 Reply
      Fred
      Fred
      Admin

      When did you last email or call NARSOL? I have no recent records of someone with your name contacting us.
      We do have an affiliated group in Virginia, but we are looking for a new leader for it and a new contact person. And you would be welcome to start a second group in Virginia if you prefer.
      Please send us an email by clicking the link at the bottom of this page, and we will put you in touch with our regional coordinator for Virginia.
      Also please fill out the application at https://narsol.org/volunteer-application/
      We will look forward to hearing from you.

      • #38750 Reply
        Avatar
        Saddles

        Hey John give me a shout out at magic357@comcast.net I would love to get together with others in VA about this sex offender ordeal since each state’s laws seem to different as we all need to stand up to this dark area that those seem to say its for public safety. Public shaming is basically what it is and thru an internet device how cleaver.

  • #39414 Reply
    Avatar
    Tim L

    Maybe SO protests at public school entrances would make the point. All holding signs ANTISOR. The press would run with it.

Reply To: Sexual offense facts needed. Hype? not so much
We welcome a lively discussion with all view points provided that they stay on topic - keeping in mind...

  • *You must be 18 or older to comment.
  • *You must check the "I am not a robot" box and follow the recaptcha instructions.
  • *Your submission must be approved by a NARSOL moderator.
  • *Moderating decisions may be subjective.
  • *Excessively long replies will be rejected, without explanation.
  • *Be polite and courteous. This is a public forum.
  • *Do not post in ALL CAPS.
  • *Stay on topic.
  • *Do not post links to other websites
  • *Do not post contact information for yourself or another person.
  • *Please enter a name that does not contain links to other websites.
Your information:





<a href="" title="" rel="" target=""> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <pre> <em> <strong> <del datetime=""> <ul> <ol start=""> <li> <img src="" border="" alt="" height="" width="">