Our Not So Happy Valley...

You knew it was coming. (I just can’t keep my mouth shut.) I have been a teacher for 24 years. I have been a mother for 22 years. I have been a person with a beating heart for 52 years. I have had a conscience and a high level of empathy for at LEAST 30 of those years. (Let’s just forget about those teenage years, shall we?) As a teacher, mother, and most importantly a person who CARES for the welfare and well being of children, I am both horrified and heartbroken over what is transpiring tonight over there in the happiest of valleys. Yes, I’m talking about the scandal that has finally been uncovered at Smith and Wesson University. It’s not one of embezzling; it’s not one of money laundering; it’s not one of forgery; or even gambling or paying off recruits. It’s a scandal that hits to the heart of what is evil in this world. And you know of what I speak. I am not going to go on and on about this person or that person. I am not going to blame a young assistant who was listening to the advice of the very men he trusted and respected. I am going to talk about what we can all learn from this horrific turn of events, and how we might be sure that each of us is vigilant when protecting the youth of our community. THIS is our most important charge: protecting those who cannot protect themselves. We cannot cover our ears when we hear something that we don’t want to hear. We cannot harden our hearts when we think that surely an accusation against someone we have come to trust cannot be true. We cannot pass the buck and purge it from our hearts and minds. Yes, we must be careful to weigh the facts to ensure that people are not unjustly slandered or wronged. We must allow voices to be heard and decisions to be made, but it must be done in the proper venue- and I don’t mean behind the closed door of an office in the middle of a university. And when it involves a child? A CHILD? We must use our best, most incredible due diligence to ensure that what is whispered about behind closed doors is brought to light. But that cannot happen if the most horrific of crimes are locked in a closet: a closet that is only opened when the long and heart-wrenching distant cries of a mother are finally heard. May God help those children who have suffered; may he wrap the children, the mothers, and the families in comfort and love. And I ask that we find it in our hearts to keep from pointing at others, and that we remember that truth begins in our own hearts. If you see a wrong, it is your responsibility to try to make it right. It begins right here. Right. Here. (And you know where I’m pointing, people. It’s big, red, and beats a billion times a minute.) Let us pray.

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