Community needs this info

-A A +A
By The Staff

Dear Editor,

Thank you very much for publishing the 2/26/09 article entitled “Six local residents appear on state sex offender registry.”  This is important information for me as a parent involved and working with youth.  I’d like to share some thoughts on the article.

Sex is a basic, driving force among humanity.

Our culture puts a lot of emphasis on sex.  From selling toothpaste to selling pornographic magazines – and on and on and on and on.

Any form of inappropriate compulsion is bad; sexual predation and exploitation and molestation is reprehensible; and even more so when the victim is a child or youth exploited by anyone.  Why?  Because of the damage it causes to the victim, to her or his family, descendants, community and nation.

It is incumbent on all who work with youth to diligently and meticulously assure this does not happen under their watch.  Observation of basic rules including 2-deep, trained adult leadership always present, as required for one example in the Boy Scouts of America “Youth Protection Training” program (perhaps readers can supply other approaches) can provide one good level of deterrence.  It is not good enough to say, “Well I know I’m not one so being in a risky (to the youth) situation is OK.” Alertness by good people can provide another.  Awareness – fostered by means such as the the Monitor article provide another.  Parental attention can provide another.  Concentric rings of protection tend to lead to the best defense systems and defending our young is no exception. 

There are other undiscovered and unconvicted men in Los Alamos guilty of abuse and sexual exploitation and molestation, including of youth.  Perhaps dozens.

The men in this article may – or may not – still be dangerous to potential victims today.  Men can change.  Some will and some will not.

There are (at least) two sides to every story.  While it does not lessen the terrible damage done by abuse, sexual exploitation and molestation, it is germane to remember that often – perhaps even usually - perpetrators have been victims themselves.  And that within each of us are the seeds of exploitation of and predation on others for our own benefits, including sexual.

These men live in our community.  They have paid a high price, including public humiliation, for the terrible mistakes they made.  Is it my business to go about making sure they are sufficiently punished to my satisfaction?  The answer to that question is mine to act out and that answer will reveal a lot about who I really am.  Likewise, dear reader, for you. 

In summary, it is our duty to provide defense and protection for our young people from predation. It is not our duty to continue to punish those who have been apprehended and punished.  However, forewarned is forearmed.

Los Alamos