Most people who attend church with children, naturally assume that their kids are completely safe when left in Sunday School classes, or in the church nursery. As in all situations though, parents cannot just blindly trust people that they do not know with their children simply because they are on church grounds. The fact that someone attends church does not miraculously make them people who are safe to leave your child alone with. Just as there are Pediatricians, teachers, and daycare employees who are dangerous to children, there are undoubtedly individuals sprinkled throughout churches in this country who are also dangerous to children. In case there are still parents who exist who have not yet heard the phrase, “Pedophiles go where children congregate”, please consider this fact very seriously now. Pedophiles hang out at places like parks, near schools, playgrounds, public swimming pools, Chuck E. Cheese, Golf’N’Stuff, your local skating rink, video arcades, the toy stores, toy departments, and Disneyland. And of course, church. They enter into professions, vocations, and volunteer opportunities in order to be near children, such as teaching, Boy Scouts, sleepaway camp, and any other place where children gather. And whether you believe it or not, in some churches around the country, pedophiles teach Sunday School.
Of course, we have all heard the news stories of adults now coming forward with their personal accounts of having been sexually abused as children by the priests that their families trusted. However, what many people may not realize, is that the Catholic church is not the only one plagued by this awful trend. And if it isn’t bad enough that these predators are making their way into positions of authority and leadership in churches around the country, abusing, or planning to abuse, the children of church members, what’s worse is that the offending adult is not always turned out by the church when they are caught.
Case in point – several years ago in a Southern California city, a twenty-five year old man was under investigation for the sexual abuse of his biological daughter during a court ordered unsupervised visit. Although the examining physician, child protective services representative, and a court recommended child therapist all agreed that the child had been sexually abused during this visitation, and that the father was either the offender, or had allowed another individual to sexually abuse the little girl, he was not charged with a crime because the child was too young to testify in court. Just weeks before this abuse was found to have occurred, this same man began teaching one of the Sunday School classes at a church he had been attending for just a short time. The class he was allowed to take over, was that of the three and four year old girls. When the Mother of the abused child, feeling it was her responsibility to warn the people of the man’s church so that they could properly protect the children of their church members, it was she who was turned away! Not only did church officials completely ignore the threat to the children of their church, they in fact, fully embraced and supported this pedophile, and assumed he was innocent simply because he said he was! What did they expect him to say? Who knows how many little girls he has victimized over the years? And he has done so, basically with the blessing of church staff and officials! It is highly possible, even probable, that he is also still teaching Sunday School classes, full of tiny little girls, in that same city. Perhaps even in the same church.
For those who entrust their children to Sunday School teachers and nursery supervisors at their own churches, it is absolutely necessary to know for sure that your children are safe when left with them. You can’t just assume because they have been allowed to take over the responsibility of monitoring or teaching tiny children in church, that they are safe individuals. Further, you cannot assume that church staff and officials will dismiss an individual with child sexual abuse allegations against them. In fact, you can’t even be certain that church officials would notify you if they had been given information that your child’s Sunday School teacher had previously sexually abused a child. Are your children safe at church?
Labels: Are Your Children Safe at Church?