Wednesday, November 9, 2011

What if we All Watched Out for Children?

I like to go to the mall with my daughter. We don’t clothes shop. We eat cheap Chinese food at the food court and then go to Barnes and Noble cafe to share a cappuccino or Frappuccino and read books.

Browsing through the bookstore before retreating to the cafe, I saw a book entitled True Police Stories of the Strange and Unexplained by Ingrid P. Dean. The book included stories of encounters with angels, encounters with ghosts, intuition saving lives, and odd coincidences and twists of fate. I browsed through the until I chanced upon one particular story about a police man stationed at a high school. He was assigned once to show a new student around the school. She wore her hair piled on her head, a sun dress, and oversized high heels. He worried that she would be bullied by other students because she dressed oddly, so he sought out the student twice a week or so after school and between classes to ask her if she was OK. She repeatedly replied that she was doing fine. Over time he sought her out less and less, because she always insisted that she was fine. Eventually he stopped seeking her out.

Then one day, he saw her again. He asked her one more time how things were going. One more time she replied that things were fine, but this time she handed him a letter. He put the letter in his pocket and forgot about it until he was driving home from work. His car was held up by a train, so he took the time to read the letter.

The girl wrote in detail about the sexual abuse she was suffering at the hands of her mother’s boyfriend. He turned his car around and headed back to the police station and did not rest again until that man was behind bars in the county jail.

Reading Abuse Tracker this week as well as listening to the ordinary news on the radio (I don’t own a television), I heard over and over about how Penn State football coach, Joe Paterno, and his superiors in the administration of the University did not report to the police eye witness accounts of child sexual abuse perpetrated by Assistant Coach Jerry Sandusky.

I wonder what would happen if all adults took the sexual abuse of children as seriously as this police man whose story is told in the book, True Police Stories of the Strange and Unexplained?

We should all watch out for children.

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