Saturday, February 19, 2011


by smf for 4LAKidsNEWS

19 February 2011 - Today's LA Times has a story EX-PRINCIPAL GETS PRISON IN MOLESTATION':

A former principal at a Lynwood high school who allegedly had a history of inappropriate behavior with young girls was sentenced Friday to eight years in prison for sexually molesting four students. >more>

The school is in Lynwood USD; the story gets wide coverage elsewhere - it could happen here – and has.

The story is a familiar, pathetic and tawdry one - with a backstory of intimidated young women and girls and imitations of coverup and defending the indefensible - some sloppy reporting and recordkeeping - and the truly angering information that the offender had a prior conviction for unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor.

How did such a person get his job or a credential?

The answer is well explained in an article from two years ago in the Los Angeles Wave: QUESTIONS RAISED ON SILVERIO’S CREDENTIAL - a tip o' th' 4LAKids cap to writer Marisela Santana for a excellent piece of journalism. Also see her current story: SILVERIO SENTENCED TO EIGHT YEARS IN PRISON

All of this said, there is an important lesson to be learned here - and while the Wave article concludes that the sort of thing that happened here probably can't happen again - it seems obvious to me that the actual thing that happened here: a prior child molester getting a teaching credential after his or her record has been expunged in the past - can happen again. Pleading no contest, serving probation and behaving oneself for a year is not rehabilitation for this offense. Children need more protection than that.

The power of a judge to expunge the record of an offender is greater than that of a governor or the president to grant a pardon - and perhaps it should take more than a judge to expunge the records of those who prey on children?


from WikiPedia: When an expungement is granted, the person whose record is expunged may, for most purposes, treat the event as if it never occurred. A pardon (also called “executive clemency”), on the other hand, does not “erase” the event. Rather, it constitutes forgiveness. In the United States, an expungement can be granted only by a judge, while a pardon can be granted only by a governor (for state law offenses) or the President (for federal offenses).

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