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TACOMA: School district’s boundary invasion policy not working

Letter by Colin Guthrie, Puyallup on Feb. 21, 2012 at 3:50 pm with 11 Comments »
February 21, 2012 3:51 pm

In 2008, the Tacoma School District implemented a boundary invasion policy, which prohibits interaction that is deemed a personal or one-on-one form that includes face-to-face, phone call, email, social networking or written letter forms.

Restrictions like these only permit interactions between school staff and students/parents of what is deemed educational or within the approved curriculum and school-related business. If students bring up personal issues, staff are required to refer students to the counselor/guidance staff.

However since the policy’s implementation, staff members still violate conduct laws as Donte Lipscomb and other staff allegedly have done. The policy does little to prevent such acts of impropriety and misconduct.

What can prevent such misconduct is a tool that tests people for abnormal attraction to children that often becomes a sexual manner. This brings a question whether we need to assess potential staff for psycho-sexual issues. It may be necessary to do this.

Leave a comment Comments → 11
  1. Before we get hysterical about preventing such things from happening, which by and large are rare, I know of a better way. We already require fingerprinting and background checks of all school personnel. In the past twenty years, the results have yielded less than half a dozen. The actual results are a great boon for fingerprinting and background check revenues. Being an involved parent and shining a spotlight on the fact that you are there and present is the key to not only academic success, but keeping that less than one in a million chance encounter with a predator at bay. Suggesting a psycho sexual exam of teachers and staff is rather extreme and paranoid.

  2. itwasntmethistime says:

    Frida, that is a great idea. I know some elementary schools have a large volunteer parent presence in the classroom and on the playground. What about in the middle schools and high schools? Are parent volunteers welcome to be present in the hallways and lunchrooms? Not to interact, but just to be there? Could parents who need to read or study do it in their local high school library instead of at their own kitchen table?

  3. cclngthr says:

    Fingerprinting and background checks only discover assaults after the fact people who already have assaulted/targeted children. We need to discover people who are sexually attracted to people who have not been caught by law enforcement yet. This is called prevention because preventing means discovering people who are prone to see kids in a sexual way that have not been caught by law enforcement.

    Donte Lipscomb has not been previously charged with a sex crime; although he has had signs which he is a predator. Same issue with Jennifer Rice and other teachers who see kids in ways that are not normal. By requiring a psycho-sexual exam of all staff in schools, we would be discovering the motives of people so we can decide not to hire them legally.

    A psycho-sexual exam would discover people who have not been charged with a sex crime because it targets behaviors of predatory and unnatural (sexual) attraction to children.

  4. itwasntmethistime says:

    And by the way, Colin, you’re failing to realize that there is no way the majority of normal adults would subject themselves to the indignity of psycho-sexual testing. We’re short on foster parents because people find the weeding-out process too insulting to endure. Don’t think a lot of great teachers wouldn’t draw a line like potential foster parents have.

  5. cclngthr says:

    The problem with parents watching is sometimes they have records that prevent them from being in the school.

    Lowell Elementary in Seattle (where Greg King, who was supposed to be hired at Bryant) had an incident last spring where a parent volunteer was a known felon and was on WAAMW on Q13. No background check was done on him, even though he was a parent, he should not have had the ability to volunteer at the school.

  6. cclngthr says:

    I think people would realize the need for such psycho-sexual examinations and close scrutiny. Those people who worry about being discovered or being insulted by the process are afraid their behavior they want secret would be discovered.

    A lot of foster parents (which my parents were for over 40 years) don’t want their discipline practices and other personal issues being discovered; which are being scrutinized. A lot of people believe in spanking kids, and with foster parents, spanking is outlawed since the late 70’s. People also don’t want their sexual habits being discovered either, which the foster care system also scrutinizes, for a good reason.

  7. itwasntmethistime says:

    The good part about parents watching is that most of them DON’T have records that prevent them from being in schools.

    cc — According to many posts you’ve written in the past, your mother was quite eccentric. She thought everyone was a sexual deviant. It makes sense that you would think that as well, since she raised you. My mother, however, had completely different eccentricities, and none of them involved paranoia about pedophiles. She used due prudence to effectively keep us safe without going overboard.

    Soooo, back to what Frida was saying, since most of us parents aren’t felons or into kiddie porn, perhaps our increased presence would help curb future incidents.

  8. cclngthr says:

    People are not realizing that something can be used to discover certain behaviors to make a judgement on hiring a person. This means we need to discover behaviors we do not want in people.

    If we do not want people targeting kids and seeing kids as a sexual plaything, we have to look at that behavior and discovering the signs of that in people prior to hiring them.

    Let me use Jennifer Rice as an example. She played with students beyond the job, and probably thought that was OK. Her unnatural attraction to kids made her do things with kids that are not normal. Should she have been hired at Bethel? In my opinion, no because she exhibited the behaviors prior to that. Her intent on being a teacher was getting as close to children as possible for her own personal issues; which ended up being sexual. That is what the test finds out.

  9. cclngthr says:

    My mother was concerned with sexual deviency because that was her job to discover that; as a caseworker and foster parent, it was her job to figure that out. Sexual deviency, unfortunately is high in my family as well, my older brother and uncle were charged (brother was convicted of it) with sex crimes andother people in my family have oddball habits that I stay away from. She felt that sexual behaviors should be minimal and not out in the open. I feel that way in a similar manner.

  10. itwasntmethistime says:

    cc — If you try hard enough to find something, you’re likely to find it, even when it isn’t there. It still makes sense that you think sexual deviancy is everywhere because it’s prevalent in your family. You think it’s typical. Not normal, but typical. We don’t have that in my family so I think it’s absolutely horrid, but not typical.

    Your blanket screening idea is just plain stupid. First, deviants will skew their answers to skew the results. There’s probably a book in that Dummies series already on how to pass a psych eval. Second, you can’t assume that just because someone likes kids they are sexually attracted to them. I love kids. I play with my kids and their friends every chance I get but I’m not sexually attracted to them.

  11. cclngthr says:

    I love kids as well, but I do not see kids as a sexual object. However, there are people in the system who sees kids as sexual objects and there are ways to prevent them from entering that system.

    I would not have a problem taking such exam because I don’t have a predisposition to have that type of behavior, or viewing such behavior as a normal thing. Those who have that disposition would be afraid of it because they don’t want their secretive sexual desires from being out in the open.

    One problem I do have with the boundary invasion policy is it prevents a teacher from dealing with issues (I think) they could be dealing with; particularly if a child is having trouble with issues dealing with a personal issue. With the boundary invasion policy in place, we can’t even bring it up. Another issue I see with the boundary invasion policy is where teachers are residing in close proximity to students, and frequent contact with that teacher is made outside school. At one time, I lived 2 houses from a student and he and I saw each other very frequently. My mother also lived in an apartment complex where a lot of students I worked with also lived and I interacted with them frequently. According to the policy, both situations are prohibited.

    I think the boundary invasion policy is a incorrect method to solve a simple problem because it does not target the behaviors the school system wants to eliminate. The behaviors we don’t want is an unnatural sexual attraction to children. We already have identified the behaviors, but we need to focus on identifying the people who posess such behaviors. This is where the psycho-sexual exam comes in because it sees this unnatural behavior and identifies people who have it; where it would not identify people who don’t have such predispositioned behavior.

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