Hi Readers! What kind of society are we going to have when anytime anyone volunteers to do anything with kids, we treat them as pedophiles until officially proven otherwise?
Probably the kind of society they have now in Tenafly, N.J., where Little League is requiring all adults who work with the team — from coaches to t-shirt vendors — to get fingerprinted. According to this bnatdtttay
article from NorthJersey.com:
“It’s time to make sure everybody’s covered and we know the children are safe,” said Recreation Department Secretary Lisa Sherman said. “It’s something that a lot of towns in the area started instituting.”
I’m sure they are. But there is an alternative, and it actually ensures safer kids all around. Teach your kids “the three R’s” of abuse: Recognize, resist and report. That is, teach them how to recognize what abuse is (“No one can touch what your bathing suit covers”), and resist and report it. And vis a vis reporting, as I’ve said before, tell your kids that even if a grown up tells them not to say anything, they should always tell you and you will NEVER BE MAD.
Basically, the same way we teach kids to stop, drop and roll on the off-chance they are ever in a fire, we should teach them to be aware of the possibility of abuse. That makes kids safer because now they know what to look out for and do in any situation. Because the chances of an actual pedophile having a police record are pretty slim anyway. So the fingerprinting isn’t doing much.
Ah, but what does it hurt to ask volunteers for their fingerprints if they, as one dad told CBS, have “nothing to hide”?
It changes the basic fabric of society from one of trust to distrust. It’s the difference between the United States and the former Soviet Union. It makes us think we should look askance at all adults who love children. In fact, just typing that sentence made me realize how far society has already changed. It felt a little weird to write about people who “love children,” because immediately it brought to mind pedophiles.
That’s a perverted way to think, and yet that’s what’s being encouraged. How ironic. — Lenore