To the editor:
I have been reading the stories in your newspaper regarding the allegations brought against school guidance counselor Howard J. Kasper. It is my understanding that before being accused, he was a respected and valued team member at Rockport Middle School. How quickly that changed as parents met and one parent referred to him as a pedophile and another parent said her child was terrified. To date, what we have are only accusations which may or may not be true.
I think this situation is a prime example of a teachable moment for all of our children. Children need to be told that there are people who might take advantage of them and that there are people who might accuse people falsely. If the adults are doing their job, they will have discussions with their children about this and about our system of law. A person is innocent until proven guilty.
Please sit down and explain to your children that the adults are working to protect them and keep them safe. The lessons they learn now will have an effect on them for a lifetime, including perhaps when they become parents themselves.
I am the grandmother of 14 grandchildren, four of my own and 10 of my husband’s. I have had to deal with these types of issues with two of my grandchildren. In one case, the abuser was punished and in the other case the allegations proved to be false and that individual was reinstated in his position. We need to remember that anyone can be accused.
There are people who are concerned about working with children for fear of being accused. It is sad that we have to think twice now before hugging or touching a child who is not our own when they need our comfort. The individuals who are so sure that Mr. Kasper is guilty should consider the fact that their husbands could be accused in the same way if they have any contact with other people’s children. That could be as simple as having a child visiting in their home. Please keep in mind that family members are suffering along with the accusers and the accused. This is a complicated issue and needs to be left to the authorities to get to the truth. In the meantime we can be level-headed and more loving toward one another.
Ruth Janet Taylor