The issue is about the kids

Recently I saw an article on a Facebook page featuring a headline in the Palm Beach Post News. A woman who commented on the Facebook page made the assumption that the content of the article was a slant against sex offenders and she began a tirade of “statistics” that sex offenders can be rehabilitated. The host who posted the article commented back that not all offenders can be rehabbed. I for one, have serious doubts about rehabilitation of child molesters, especially those with track records. For every statistic out there, opposing numbers exist but that is neither here nor there in this conversation. The issue is about the failure in protecting homeless kids from a nightmare worse than just being homeless.

What’s interesting in this article is the statement made by the director of Palm Beach County’s division of human services, Claudia Tuck. She plainly stated that her office wanted the state to impose stricter background checks but when asked to provide a list of names of camp employees who had contact with the children, she could not. It seems that no one bothered to keep track and why didn’t they?

As an advocate for the homeless, I have met quite a few that were convicted felons but none of their crimes involved the predation of children. The folks I met just wanted a second chance in life and understand that society isn't always inclined to do so. Many are living in tent cities while working to save enough money to get out of homelessness however a felony on your record eliminates you in the screening process landlords use to determine whether or not they'll let you rent from them. It may even surprise some of you that many tent cities do not allow sex offenders in their midst.

As a mother of two, I am sickened by this story because regardless of where a child comes from, that child has the right to be safe no matter where they are. The communities I have stayed in have often offered summer camps for my kids but I did my own checking on the staff and organizations as any responsible parent would and should. I have also looked after the homeless children of others and treated them as my own so I question whether or not the woman who commented on that Facebook page is a parent because I doubt any parent would trust a convicted sex-offender with their children. Would you?


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