What is to come is a sensitive topic. Please stop reading if you are offended by talk of underage sex, pedophilia, or other such topics.
You have been warned.
So it's been a few days since we last wrote. We've been trying to figure out where we are going with life in general, and with Analee's schooling in particular. Today, we were given a big shove regarding Analee and school.
At school today, teachers and administrators came to the knowledge of somebody having chicken pox. I don't know how they found out, but apparently some children at Analee's school showed up with chicken pox. I'm not a hippy spreading chicken pox around (I find "pox parties" abhorrent, and the data suggests their danger), but I'm not afraid of chicken pox. It's a disease. One of many. Most likely, my kids will get over them if they get them.
The school decided to check the students for signs of chicken pox. That's a great idea! Stop the contagion before it gets too far in a confined population. One problem:
They never told the parents.
So what's the problem? Not telling the parents isn't that big a deal, is it?
I think so.
Here in Buena Vista, sex offenders abound. We've had at least two within a block of our home, and likely more, but we try not to look because I would have to stay up all night with a shotgun in hand to protect my family if we knew the real numbers. I would never let my children play outside.
More to the point, one of our neighbors was a sex offender. The guy lived right next door! We tried to let the kids play, but couldn't let them outside without keeping an eye on them. Or two. Or four. They never got to go to the neighbors' yard. The neighbor seemed to be a nice guy trying to overcome his past, but doesn't a parent have to question motives around children, especially with past experience suggesting a likely outcome?
Furthermore, BV's school system isn't the safe place it should be. At the high school, a football coach was arrested and booked for an international child pornography ring that he was part of. At one of the elementary schools last year, a counselor was arrested for looking at pornography just after his wife gave birth to a child. In public. (It happened at a local university.)
Fast forward to today. According to the school's principal (who got a call from a freaked out mother), numerous adults were in the room when all of the children were checked for chicken pox. Analee says that one of them (her clues suggest it was the school's nurse) looked under her dress to see her belly and back.
Luckily, Analee was wearing pants under her dress and a shirt on top.
Even so, we are quite freaked out by the utter lack of decorum spread by the school. Multiple adults are not a sufficient barrier against pedophilia, as adults have been known to gang up to assault children in the past. They should have done two things, and failed completely on both accounts:
1. They should have looked at Analee's immunization record. While no immunization is 100%, Analee has been immunized against chicken pox. They utterly failed to do that, according to the principal. (Why do we even send immunization records to the school if they are not going to be consulted?)
2. WHY IN THE WORLD DIDN'T THE SCHOOL CALL US FOR PERMISSION?!? Nobody should have carte blanche permission to look under a little girl's clothing in any way, shape, or form. Using the excuse "an adult was in charge of the situation" ignores the fact that child pornography is generally perpetrated by adults on children. It's assigning the teachers a never-can-fail fallacy that leads to a furthering of the laxity of society in public. It's the wrong message to give to children. "Here, kids, trust all adults who say that they have superiority over you, whether you have met them before or not." (Analee didn't recognize the nurse.)
Ultimately, it doesn't matter if the school people were looking up her dress (Analee's claim) or down her shirt (the principal's claim); without our permission, what they did was wrong. It was the wrong message to send to my girl, and it was the wrong message to send to my wife and me.
So now, Anika and I are seriously considering home schooling our daughter. We worry about the social aspect of home schooling, but feel that it is what's best for our child. We're going to give it a few days to make up our mind. In the mean time, we've instructed Analee to fight back against anybody who tries to get into her clothes without her seeing us give our permission. She'll kick, punch, scream, or do what it takes to get away.
I hope this never happens again. I feel violated. I can only imagine what my wife feels.
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