Republicans Raucus Debate, Teacher Sex Offenders, and Adventures in Babysitting

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Good Morning….

It was a great weekend! I really felt rested by the end of it. I hope you’re waking up feeling the same way. Sally and I spent Saturday night babysitting for our nephews for the first time. It was an adventure. I’ll get to that in a minute…first the news

Republicans
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee summed it up well this morning, the Republican presidential candidates had a demolition derby on stage again last night. The front runners (who is that again?) spent time talking about why they were the “real” conservative in the group. Everybody attacked Hillary Clinton, the Democrats front runner.
Teacher Sex Offenders
An Associated Press investigation that took almost seven months is set to be released this morning. We’ll get more details later, but essentially it finds the incidents of teachers sexually abusing students or having inappropriate relationships with students is at an alarmingly high number. The AP looked at records from all 50 states and DC. This is how the AP reported it’s initial findings over the weekend:
There’s a dirty secret lurking in America’s schools: sexually abusive teachers who prey on the very students they’re supposed to be nurturing.
Students are groped, raped, seduced and think they’re in love.
And very often, their abusers get away with it.
Most of the abuse never gets reported. Often, cases that are reported end with no action. And molesters are allowed to keep teaching, because no one has found a surefire way to keep them out of classrooms.
In a seven-month investigation, The Associated Press examined disciplinary records from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Reporters found more than 2,500 cases over five years in which educators were punished for actions from bizarre to sadistic. And young people were the victims in at least 1,801 of them. And more than 80 percent of those were students.
The investigation turned up a variety of efforts to stop individual offenders, but also found a deeply entrenched resistance toward recognizing and fighting abuse.
Fellow teachers look the other way. State efforts to strengthen laws against sex abuse by teachers have run into opposition from school boards and teachers unions. In Congress, a measure that would train investigators and create a national registry of offenders hasn’t even gotten a hearing.
Every school has rules governing teacher behavior. Every state has laws against child abuse, and many specifically outlaw teachers taking sexual liberties with students. Every district has administrators who watch out for sexual misconduct by teachers.
But legal loopholes, fear of lawsuits and inattention all have weakened the safeguards, and the system fails hundreds of kids each year.
It’s not just teachers, to my mind, there are too many organizations that protect themselves or their members when something like sex abuse is involved. We’ve done stories here before about teachers being passed along to other districts, quietly dismissed, after administrators find out they’ve been sexually involved with a student. It’s just wrong. There should be a national registry and those people should never be allowed to teach again. I know there will be people, especially members of the teachers union, who will say teachers are accused falsely all the time. I think you can be careful about what you do and say to students and not put yourself in a position where anyone can accuse you of misconduct. The unions should be the organization LEADING the charge to have harsher penalties on teachers convicted of abusing students.
Marathon
The marathon looked like a big success this weekend and I’m glad. It would not be something I think I’d ever want to do, but I really admire people who take the time to set a goal like that and accomplish it. If you finished, I’d love to know what you think about the course and the event.
Adventures in Babysitting
Saturday night Sally and I got5 our first taste of what it would be like to be parents. She passed with flying colors, I’m not sure I am qualified.

My brother and his wife had symphony tickets so Sally and I volunteered to take the boys. We had a great time at the park before dinner. Sally and I decided man-to-man defense was best in this case so she took Henry and I took Elliot. We had a great time running around. and Every time Elliot would go down the slide he’d yell, “see ya”.
Back at the house Sally made dinner while I tried to entertain the boys. Now, it wasn’t until dinner was done that I really screwed things up. I was trying to get Elliot out of his chair when we was done…he’s just got a booster seat. I went to go put my glass down on a table in the living room and I swear in the second and a half I turned around, he had climbed up on the booster seat, lost his balance and fell backwards on to the floor. That’s it, I thought…they’re never having me back again….the kid is going to have nightmares about having his uncle come stay with him and DHS is probably outside right now ready to slap the cuffs on me.
Not so. Elliot recovered quickly…I wish I could say I did too. When we were getting ready for bed, we split up for the man-to-man plan again. I took Elliot and when I got into his room, realized…there’s no diaper here. “Where would I get a diaper” I asked out loud, mostly talking to myself. Elliot, in his 2 year-old wisdom looked at me like I was crazy and said, “it’s in the closet”. No joke, clear as day, a two year-old is looking at me like…”it’s so hard to find good help these days”.
We all survived and had a good time doing it. They’re good boys, a fact I attribute to their wonderful parents…it certainly doesn’t have anything to do with their Uncle.

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