Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Virtus Training Program

Last week Sister Harriet Hamilton came in to our class and showed us two videos about sexual abuse/harassment through the Virtus training program.  The videos had heartbreaking stories about victims, their experiences and had interviews with those who committed the horrific crimes.
As future teachers we can never learn too early on how to protect our students, our selves and our fellow faculty in any form of harassment.  It sickened me hearing how the sex offenders spoke so nonchalantly about the matter.  We were informed that one of the abusers said that he had to go through seven years of treatment under the impression that he will be cured from his desire or need to sexual abuse children.  The man was asked after completing the course if he had the opportunity to be around children again would he be able to conduct himself in a professional manner and he said no.  It is so true because no program can truly stop someone from committing an act that they truly desire.  It really upsets me to know that there are so many children out there that have been abused and have not spoken about it.  I want my future students to know that if something is bothering them that they can talk to their parents, me as their teacher, a social worker in the school, or to call the child abuse hotline.  There are so many resources available that some people many not know exist.  After going through this program really opens my eyes on how to protect my students and myself.  I have to remain professional twenty-four seven and catch the warning signs as early as possible and acting upon my instincts if necessary.
There has been many different cases regarding sexual harassment in the media lately and one in particular is the case at Penn State.  Former Penn State football assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was arrested and charged with over forty counts of sex crimes against young boys.  There is no one else to blame except for Sandusky for these heart wrenching stories.  Jo Paterno was to blame for a lot of this because he was informed about this once before.  In the state of Pennsylvania he was not mandated by law to report these cases.  Although if his child was apart of the many victimized, I believe he would feel that the person first notified should have contacted police or the child abuse hotline.  Either way I feel that Jo Paterno was wrong in not following up on this because he is a role model to many aspiring football players and fans.  Many people at Penn State should have been more involved in the programs to protect the children coming and I feel that this could have been stopped even if Jo Paterno did not do anything about it.  But there is no one more to blame than Jerry Sandusky and he should be severely punished for hurting these boys in more ways than can be imagined.  I cant even imagine finding out that information and keeping it to myself.  It is just mind boggling!
For more information on the Virtus program click here.

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