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You Just Never Know


Jeff Swensen, Getty Images

Wow. This was a shock to my system. As a reporter, you often find yourself confronted with the worst society has to offer.

Details of crimes and misdeeds that would send shivers up the spine of anyone. Unfortunately, we see and hear so much of it, we often become jaded and numb to all but the most hideous stories. The recent sex scandal at Penn State would qualify as one of them. Have you read the Grand Jury report? Don’t.

I opened my local paper to see the face of a man I know from the halls of the my sons’ school. It was a mug shot. He had been arrested and charged with sexually assaulting a “school aged” child in his home. Did I read that correctly? I did. My heart skipped a beat. That’s not supposed to happen in my schools. The whole reason I live where I live, and pay the property taxes I pay, is so that my kids get a great education in a clean safe school. Now I’m reading a teacher’s aide is an alleged child molester.

When my kids came home from school, we talked about it after dinner. Did you know him? “Yes, Dad.” Did you ever have him in one of your classes? “Yes, Dad.” And then (gulp), did he ever….. “NO WAY!” Whew.

I don’t blame the school. I don’t really believe my kids are at risk. What I think it does prove, however, is this: You. Just. Never. Know.

Do we ever need another reason to hug our kids, tell them we love them, and pray they stay safe? I guess not. But I did it anyway.

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