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?