Protect children with truth

  • Follow Letters

Dan Hillman’s repeated insistence in his June 17 guest column (“Why media – and we – don’t grasp scope of abuse”) – that every “suspicion” of child abuse be reported instantly and that we should “be ready to believe what (we) hear” from the mouths of children – is a frightening aspect of our societal obsession with child abuse.

No one would deny the seriousness of this problem, or our need to be vigilant in preventing harm to children and thwart the real perpetrators of abuse. But as any parent will tell you, a young child’s veracity requires constant scrutiny. And there are adults who will use the voice of a child to further their own, sometimes evil, agenda.

Witness Brian Banks, a young, promising California high-school athlete who spent five years in prison for rape before accuser Wanetta Gibson recanted her story, admitting that her mother concocted the tale to successfully sue the school, where the alleged crime happened, for $1.5 million.

It was the voices of children that sent people to prison and the gallows in Salem, Mass., in 1692-93. The Innocence Project found recently in its exoneration directory that most false convictions in sex-offense cases are about crimes that never happened.

Other examples abound. As responsible adults, we must be vigilant about our children’s welfare, but also strive to verify truth. Acting hastily on mere “suspicion,” as Hillman would have us do, is a police-state tactic that can have its own dire consequences.

Wesley Ross

Augusta

Comments (16) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
specsta
8378
Points
specsta 06/22/12 - 02:33 am
5
3
Great letter, Mr. Ross. All

Great letter, Mr. Ross. All things must be weighed through the aspect of wisdom, not paranoia.

myfather15
59559
Points
myfather15 06/22/12 - 05:23 am
6
3
Oh my goodness. What is this,

Oh my goodness. What is this, support Sandusky day at the AC? Bla, Bla, Bla!!!! Yes, there are mistakes made in every justice system. Based upon the PEOPLES dishonesty most of the time as in the case cited here. What caused that person to spend time in prison, another persons GREED and dishonesty. With the technology we have today, the cases of someone going to prison, wrongfully convicted are extremely rare. Yes, innocent people have been convicted and sent to prison. No, I wouldn't want to be that one person, it would be awful. But there is NO justice system in the world perfect, NONE. But we have the best right here in America, period.

So, I shall stay faithful, give time every day to God and I know I will be ok. I will not put myself in situations where I could be accused of such behavior. You make good sound choices and decisions in life and you will be fine as well. Give God your time and He will give you time also. You ignore Him, and He WILL ignore you and you will be on your own.

InChristLove
22487
Points
InChristLove 06/22/12 - 06:46 am
8
0
myfather15, unless I read

myfather15, unless I read this article wrong or maybe I read your comment in a different light than what you meant, I don't see any place in Mr. Ross's letter where he (or the AC) mentioned or support Sandusky. I reread Mr. Ross's comments and don't think he's denouncing our justice system either. I got from the letter that we as adults should be extremely aware to protect our children but also be mindful that sometimes, things are not as they seem.

Yes we have a great justice system, imperfect as it may be, it's still the best, but just because something is great does not mean we should not be reminded occassionally of those flaws, so that we do not begin to think there are no flaws at all.

myfather15
59559
Points
myfather15 06/22/12 - 07:01 am
8
0
I could have been wrong but I

I could have been wrong but I took it as the person trying to throw doubt as to when a child is accusing someone of inappropriate behavior. No, it didn't mention Sandusky, but I just thought the timing funny on the heals of a very famous child abuse case going to the jury yesterday. But like I said, maybe I took the article wrong and shouldn't have made the earlier comparison. Yes, there are times when children may have been coached and told to lie. I've actually worked several of those cases personally. Where an ex-wife was angry and tried to get the children to accuse the father of inappropriate conduct to further her custody case. I've actually seen several of them but thank God on each one, the truth finally came out. But mistakes are made sometimes.

Gary Ross
3358
Points
Gary Ross 06/22/12 - 07:41 am
6
0
As a semi-retired

As a semi-retired Scoutmaster, I recall many years ago where the United Way was pushing to allow gay adult leaders into the program, and were even threatening to cut financial support if they didn't. Even recently, I have seen stories on the "gay pride" thing downtown. My point is, how can we as a society support and openly advertise this kind of immorality, yet at the same time be posed to punish anyone who is tempted by it?

KSL
175051
Points
KSL 06/22/12 - 09:57 am
3
1
Myfather, there have been

Myfather, there have been several items in the news lately that could have evoked that letter to the editor. One that comes to mind is that a victim in a recent trial has lied before.

Iwannakno
1533
Points
Iwannakno 06/22/12 - 10:52 am
1
0
More uneducated people on homosexuality...
Unpublished

Priests and scout leaders are most likely to be hetereosexual males when they are molesters. But it's easier to make homosexuals evil wrong doers when you can throw children in the mix.

avidreader
3950
Points
avidreader 06/22/12 - 11:28 am
7
1
Inside The Circle

As an educator, I live inside the circle of teen minds. I could fill this blog page with volumes of examples of children who "bend" the truth, even in matters of extremely serious proportions that deeply affect other's reputations.

Mr. Ross's letter is not about Jerry Sandusky, nor any other pedophile. It's about vigilance -- PERIOD. Always scrutinize; always question!

Good letter, Mr. Ross.

Fundamental_Arminian
1981
Points
Fundamental_Arminian 06/22/12 - 12:10 pm
7
0
Malicious Witnesses

Mr. Ross has identified a terrible flaw to our justice system: our failure to adequately punish malicious witnesses. Being a malicious witness is as wrong as committing the offense in the accusation. Thus, the woman who falsely accused the young athlete of rape should be punished as though she herself were a rapist, and her daughter should be punished as an accomplice.

"(16) If a malicious witness arises to accuse a person of wrongdoing, (17) then both parties to the dispute shall appear before the Lord, before the priests and the judges who are in office in those days. (18) The judges shall inquire diligently, and if the witness is a false witness and has accused his brother falsely, (19) then you shall do to him as he had meant to do to his brother. So you shall purge the evil from your midst. (20) And the rest shall hear and fear, and shall never again commit any such evil among you. (21) Your eye shall not pity. It shall be life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot" (Deuteronomy 19:16-21 English Standard Version).

Our justice system desperately needs to administer this kind of punishment and to adopt a system of loser pays for vexatious lawsuits.

David Parker
7925
Points
David Parker 06/22/12 - 04:29 pm
3
0
Out of the mouth of

Out of the mouth of Babes

it's that pure quality of innocence that we are all born. Parents will apply it to their child past the "babe" stage. It happens.

itsanotherday1
54308
Points
itsanotherday1 06/22/12 - 07:29 pm
2
0
^5 avidreader

"As an educator, I live inside the circle of teen minds. I could fill this blog page with volumes of examples of children who "bend" the truth, even in matters of extremely serious proportions that deeply affect other's reputations."

As serious and repugnant as child molestation is; your observations and past history are the parts that bother me. Once accused, it is like trying to unring a bell; people heard it and some will always have doubts regardless of the truth, forever tainting the individual accused.

This why when the Sandusky case broke, I defended Joe Pa for not going directly to the police when the assistant coach told him what he "thought" happened. (I did fault him for not following up to ensure the incident was fully investigated). These things need a full and thorough investigation before rocks get thrown publicly just due to the damage that can get done just going on a child's word.

KSL
175051
Points
KSL 06/22/12 - 07:34 pm
2
0
I am sorry DM.

I am sorry DM.

DMPerryJr
1698
Points
DMPerryJr 06/22/12 - 11:40 pm
1
0
Thx

'Preciate it, KSL.

avidreader
3950
Points
avidreader 06/23/12 - 01:49 pm
1
0
Misunderstanding!

anotherday, I think you have misinterpreted my message. I will always be the first to listen deeply to a child's complaints. All I am saying is be careful and thorough when examining critical details.

itsanotherday1
54308
Points
itsanotherday1 06/23/12 - 03:05 pm
0
0
No misunderstanding

No misunderstanding avidreader. I agree with your last post 100%; maybe you misunderstood my post.

itsanotherday1
54308
Points
itsanotherday1 06/23/12 - 03:11 pm
1
0
No misunderstanding

For clarification: I was saying that your observations of teens bending the truth support my worries about people knee jerking on a child's word, putting someone in the jackpot for life. Any claim of abuse should be taken seriously, but without a rush to judgement considering we know children can be manipulated by adults, and sometimes are manipulative themselves.

Back to Top
loading...
Top headlines

Davis seeks storm fee break for schools

Mayor Hardie Davis' proposal, distributed to the 10-member commission this week, says the fee could result in furlough days and lost instruction time for the school system.
Search Augusta jobs