Archive for October, 2011

From time to time, when I really get to thinking about all that has happened with the school district as it relates to my husband’s ex, my mind wanders to the “mandatory reporters.”  Where are these people?  Who are they required to report to?  Why have they gotten away with NOT reporting?  So many questions, so few answers.

When my daughter was in high school, what caused her so much grief was that SHE was reporting a teacher who was known to have sex with students.  She told the administration on many occasions.  She told the Superintendent straight to her face about this teacher.  She sat with my attorney as I stood in front of the district Board of Education and not only told them, but we provided documentation from this teacher’s own testimony in family court about her relationship with one young man.  In the end, my daughter was the one punished.  Ostracized.  Alone.

The man who was the principal at that time has since retired.  He knew.  He had been this teacher’s principal when she was in high school.  They had been friends for many years.  His wife, also a teacher at this same high school – both when the ex was in high school and at the school my daughter attended where the ex was (and still is) a teacher – was also a close friend.  Can one honestly be expected to believe that neither of them knew about this woman’s history with students?  Especially with as much time as they spent together both in and out of the school setting.  Impossible.  Regardless, they were both mandatory reporters.

What about this teacher’s sister?  Once again, also a teacher at this same high school.  For many years their classrooms were right next to each other.  Is it possible that this sister was unaware of her sisters sexual habits with students?  Possibly.  But I find that unlikely.  The teacher and the student would often make trips to the home town of these sisters, visiting a family member, to spend together and avoid being seen in this area.  This sister is also the woman who called my husband the day after he got the test results that the third child wasn’t his and tried to shame him for uncovering that truth.  She is still a teacher at the high school and she is and always has been required to report suspected abuse.

Years ago, when my husband was first told about the rumors of the ex having sex with some of the football boys, he went to the administration of that small school.  Once again, mandatory reporters.

So what I wonder about often is exactly WHO is it these mandatory reporters are supposed to report suspected abuse to?  What happens to them if they don’t?  Clearly the list of people who stood by, knew this was going on – or strongly suspected it – and did nothing.  Actually, that’s not true.  What they did was allow countless students to be sexually and emotionally abused.  They promoted the exploitation of countless students by keeping quiet.  They are guilty of professional misconduct too.  But what happens to them?  In the case of the former principal and his wife, both are now retired.  Drawing a pension from teaching.  Personally, I don’t care how many years they taught, I don’t believe any of them should get one red cent of that State retirement.  They shirked their responsibilities to the students, their parents, the tax payers.

And what of the teacher who has sex with students?  What will the school district and the state board of education say when it is made known that the father of one of her children was a student of hers at the time of conception?  In this state, she cannot be prosecuted as the boys are all now over the age of 21 and the statute of limitations has expired.  Will she have her teaching license revoked?  Or will they try to quietly urge her to move to another district?  They did this before (she actually called my husband and told him that!) but she wasn’t smart enough to go. Maybe they will put another note in her personnel file that says she is not allowed to be around male students outside of the school setting?  (yes, she told my husband about this too and it was even discussed in family court.)  What is their liability in all of this?  What I really want to know is how do they live with themselves?

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” (Edmund Burke)

He finally appears.  After having cleaned all the flower beds and raked all the leaves.  The six-foot long black snake.  There all along.  Lurking.  Waiting for an opportunity to slither right through all your hard work.

Have you ever had a friendship like that?  Someone you thought stood beside you through the trials, only to find out they were part of the trials?

It’s heart breaking, isn’t it?  To think someone is on your side.  To think your secrets are safe.  To think someone truly understands you.  And then to have them turn on you.  Like a starving wolf after its prey.  Has this ever happened to you?  It has happened to me.  More than once.  Most recently in relation to my real estate career.  Actually more in my real estate career than at any other time in my life.  At the risk of giving my own profession a big, black eye, I will state that I do not find this surprising.  For although there are some absolutely wonderful, professional, people in real estate, it is also chock-full of people who are virtually unemployable in any other setting.

You would think it would be easy.  Spotting them, that is.  The back-stabbing, lying, two-faced leach that has attached itself to you and/or your business, but it’s not.  Perhaps that sounds a little bitter.  I really don’t mean for it to, it’s just I have little tolerance for this type of behavior.  You put yourself out on a limb to help someone, and they take advantage of you.  Is it that sometimes we are just too trusting?  When we put ourselves out there, helping others, offering our support, are we leaving ourselves open to be easy prey?  Would we be doing ourselves a favor to withdraw?  Is it better to just let every person fend for themselves and not get involved?  This has been a question I have asked myself often.  It has been a vow I have made to myself after every hurt and heartache I have experienced from those I once called friend.

But is it really any way to live?  All shriveled up inside of ourselves.  Afraid of putting ourselves out there for fear of being taken advantage of or having our feelings hurt.   The way I see it, that’s when they win.  That’s when the snake wraps itself around you and chokes the life out of us.  We must never consent to being anyones victim.  Yeah, we are gonna get knocked down, and you bet, sometimes it’s gonna hurt.  But we have to pull ourselves up and put ourselves back out there again.  Anything less and we lose.

It’s my belief that the people we attract into our lives – the good, the bad, the ugly – are all there for a reason.  Maybe we have to learn from them; maybe they have to learn from us.  I don’t believe in accidents.  I am, however, a firm believer in “what goes around comes around.”  And I believe that the “what” picks up speed as it is going around.  Sometimes, at least in my own personal experience, it seems we make the same mistakes with the same types of people.  I have a soft heart.  I am a sucker for a sob story.  I have faith that everyone CAN achieve their dreams.  What I have had to learn the hard way are the hard truths that not everyone wants to WORK for their dreams.  Sure, they sound good out loud, maybe even look good on paper, but in reality, it’s just too much work for some people.  That’s okay.  That’s their decision.  And it’s their problem to figure out how to make it work.  I really cannot help.  I can encourage, but it stops there.

Even after all the heartache, headaches and money spent, I am thankful for the experiences.  I’ve learned a lot more about character, a lot more about human nature.  I’ve learned a lot about myself and gained an even greater appreciation for the amazing people I have in my life who have loved and supported me with friendship for many, many years.  Like the black snake above, some people will slither through my life; others are the rocks that hold everything in place.  Thank God for them.

The key is to get to know people and trust them to be who they are. Instead, we trust people to be who we want them to be- and when they’re not, we cry.”  Anonymous

You may be deceived if you trust too much, but you will live in torment if you do not trust enough.” – Frank Crane