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KayB
Jun. 10, 2000, 10:46 PM
It has been a recurring headline in the news that sexual offenders must
give notice to a community before they move into a new area. This allows
parents to know that a sexual offender is in the area and they can take steps
they feel to keep their children safe. While certainly many sexual offenders
do not repeat in there malicious ways, many do because some feel it is a form
of mental illness. These flyers that are sent to new areas that a sexual
offender moves to are a great idea in my opinion. If they can save one
person from becoming a victim then they have served there purpose. The
Internet has provided for a great way for sexual offenders to pray on
unsuspecting victims. A pedophile has access to people in a WORLD WIDE
community. There is no way to send notice that a sexual offender has moved into the
Internet, because there are millions of members.

There is one person that comes to mind when I say all this. He is a
famous horse show announcer. He has started a site geared mainly towards
juniors. People that show often will come across with this person, as he is
at many of the more prestigious shows. I think that parents need to know. He
seems like a nice guy, by WHY would a convicted sexual offender start a website
geared towards kids? I will leave that for you to answer. www.Towerheads.com (http://www.Towerheads.com)
is the website I am talking about.

http://www.fdle.state.fl.us/Sexual_Predators/OffenderFlyer.asp?keys=5647


Written by Dk

[This message has been edited by KayB (edited 06-11-2000).]

KayB
Jun. 10, 2000, 10:46 PM
It has been a recurring headline in the news that sexual offenders must
give notice to a community before they move into a new area. This allows
parents to know that a sexual offender is in the area and they can take steps
they feel to keep their children safe. While certainly many sexual offenders
do not repeat in there malicious ways, many do because some feel it is a form
of mental illness. These flyers that are sent to new areas that a sexual
offender moves to are a great idea in my opinion. If they can save one
person from becoming a victim then they have served there purpose. The
Internet has provided for a great way for sexual offenders to pray on
unsuspecting victims. A pedophile has access to people in a WORLD WIDE
community. There is no way to send notice that a sexual offender has moved into the
Internet, because there are millions of members.

There is one person that comes to mind when I say all this. He is a
famous horse show announcer. He has started a site geared mainly towards
juniors. People that show often will come across with this person, as he is
at many of the more prestigious shows. I think that parents need to know. He
seems like a nice guy, by WHY would a convicted sexual offender start a website
geared towards kids? I will leave that for you to answer. www.Towerheads.com (http://www.Towerheads.com)
is the website I am talking about.

http://www.fdle.state.fl.us/Sexual_Predators/OffenderFlyer.asp?keys=5647


Written by Dk

[This message has been edited by KayB (edited 06-11-2000).]

Jo
Jun. 10, 2000, 11:14 PM
KayB, just so you know, someone has posted this on the Equisearch board... Give credit where credit is due... You might want to check it out.

Jo
Jun. 10, 2000, 11:30 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by DarkerHorse:

we know =)
its posted on AOL boards as well.. just letting KayB know<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Perhaps you should accredit the message as being posted by "KayB, member of Chronicle horse boards" or some such notation, instead of taking credit for someone else's work.

heelsdown
Jun. 11, 2000, 12:50 AM
I'm speechless. What is the story behind the conviction? Geezus XXXXXXXXXX.

CarrieK
Jun. 11, 2000, 05:41 AM
Before anyone slams Portia for possibly having a conflict of interest on this issue, let me state that I agree that the inital post in this thread is a violation of the board's rules and I, too, wish to see the post deleted.

I have visited that particular website and I have found nothing offensive or misleading or dangerous about it. To imply here that the website is being used for nefarious purposes is a gross libel which could have legal repurcussions for KayB. And any resulting problems could cause the Chronicle to close down these discussion boards.

There have been many discussions as how best to broach these topics, how best to disseminate information about things which impact our sport without violating either the rules of this board, the rights of those involved, or the laws of our country. I hope those who visit here are mature and responsible enough to understand and accept these terms. And if they are not, I hope they will leave.

luckyduck
Jun. 11, 2000, 08:32 AM
Isn't "Megan's law" public information for a reason?

Fivensevn
Jun. 11, 2000, 08:35 AM
The law is the law.... and what is being stated here is FACT, not rumor. Last time I noticed it's not against the law to state facts!

luckyduck
Jun. 11, 2000, 08:52 AM
Whether you find the information offensive of not....FACT IS FACT....and not to mention that the "law of the land" has spoken out to insist that sexual offenders....no matter how minor (if any offense can be considered minor) be public information. Ever look into the eyes of a child who has been assaulted? Ever live the nightmare? Until you've walked a mile in their shoes.....keep your offensive feelings in check!

wadino
Jun. 11, 2000, 09:11 AM
I am glad that KayB posted that.

Erin
Jun. 11, 2000, 09:18 AM
When this topic came up before, I kept the information identifying the person off the board and told people that if they were concerned for their children's safety, to email me directly and I'd provide them with the name, official information from the sexual offenders database, etc.

Interestingly enough, I received ZERO requests for that information, which tells me that this thread has more to do with gossip than with actual concerned parents.

I also emailed KayB directly after she posted a question regarding this on the board, told her to contact the person involved directly, and told her my understanding of the conviction. Apparently she doesn't believe that explanation (which I received directly from the person in question), which is fine. But I would hope that before anyone posts about this topic, they'd have the courtesy to find out what the explanation is.

I've edited KayB's post because there was ONE conviction for a sexual offense in this case. That by no means constitutes a pedophile... that term suggests ongoing and disturbed behavior, and I'm quite certain it's slanderous to slap that label on someone. As I've said many times, a sexual offense covers a very wide range of charges.

I still don't think this board is the appropriate place to discuss this topic, but since the edited version of the post does constitute fact, I'm not going to delete it. But I don't think people have any business posting about this topic unless they've emailed the person involved directly and asked for an explanation.

luckyduck
Jun. 11, 2000, 09:32 AM
Erin...I am so dissapointed....as a mother...and a victim of a serious sexual offense....I can not believe that hiding these facts can be "helpful" to those who have suffered the crime...and if the offender wished to "defend" his side...I have seen nothing on HIS web site...I am glad that KAYB posted this inforamtion...people are not convicted for the "Hell of it"
AND ONE MORE THING>>>>>>> whether it was one conviction or a hundred.....does it make it any easier to swallow?
Slamming this person on these boards is not going to change ANYTHING... and from what I have read so far...NO ONE has stepped in that direction.....

[This message has been edited by luckyduck (edited 06-11-2000).]

[This message has been edited by luckyduck (edited 06-11-2000).]

Becca
Jun. 11, 2000, 09:46 AM
Its your own choice which story to believe. But really, if your concerned, or worried, or want to know- direct your questions and concerns to the person involved, not like this. Rumor and gossip can destroy someone, as sad as that may be. I know where I stand o nthis, what I believe, and what I think.

One thing I can't figure out however is how the site is directed to Jrs? I would be willing to believe that the number of adults and children visiting, using, and enjoying the site are equal, if not greater adults to children.

Erin and many of the other moderators have done an excellent job with this board, for all of us. Lets not make their job any more difficult, and start anythign which may lead to the demise of these boards which we all enjoy so much. Please.

Duffy
Jun. 11, 2000, 09:54 AM
Thank you Becca. . .You said what I was trying to say. . .

Richard! :D
Jun. 11, 2000, 09:58 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by RagsRules:
I am glad that KayB posted that.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


that was really mature of you ryan to say that =)

Richard! :D
Jun. 11, 2000, 10:01 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Portia:
KayB -- I, as a moderator of these boards, am warning you that you have directly violated the rules of the boards. You have specifically named an individual and maliciously characterized that person as a pedophile. You clearly do not know the facts, and you run a substantial risk of civil liability for libel and defamation of character. Delete your post immediately.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

me thinks portia has a cross in intrerests

Louise
Jun. 11, 2000, 10:09 AM
Becca, thank you. I think that you have said it all. So, I just want to add my request. Please, if you have any questions, contact the person involved directly. To make a reasoned decision, you need to know as much as you can.

Policy of Truth
Jun. 11, 2000, 10:31 AM
How Naiive can you be to DEFFEND a convicted child molester???? Get over yourselves! Have you ever heard of Megan's law?
Where is the gossip? IT'S PUBLIC RECORD!!!!!!
I am sickened that anyone on this board would even consider defending a CONVICTED felon especially one that their crime was
"Status supervision, Dept of corrections inmate #463041, DOB: 3/22/1950, race:white, sex:male, height: 6' hair: brown, eyes: blue, weight:230lbs. Last reported address: 12705 West Hampton Circle, West Palm Beach, FL. 33414-5547, County: Palm Beach, Date address entered: 1/12/00 Qualifying offences:
"Lewd, lasciviuos child under 16, victim, gender unknown, minor, yes. [name of convict]is a SEX OFFENDER under Florida law. Positive identification cannot be established unless a fingerprint comparison is made"
For further information contact the Florida dept of law enforcement sexuall offender/predator unit at 1-888-357-7332.
Information in quotes recieved from web address posted by Kay B for sexual offenders.
This is only what the State of Florida has said about him and convicted him on...I do not know HIS side of the story, but I'd be happy to listen if he would like to share with us why we should not worry about our children making contact with him.
Now that Florida's side of the story has been posted, why is everyone so quick to deffend him?
Should we be accusing Florida for improperly convicting someone?
And what about the parent's side and MOST importantly, the CHILD'S SIDE??????
Will we ever know that side?
How sad that people condsider a person's status over a child's safety. If this man is not the same as the man listed with Florida, I apologize in advance.

[This message has been edited by pacificsolo (edited 06-11-2000).]

Becca
Jun. 11, 2000, 12:21 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by DarkerHorse:
me thinks portia has a cross in intrerests<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I daresay it Portia's, and only Portia's business where her interests lie. I also am pretty certain that in her directly inforcing a RULE of the board, a conflict, or so called cross in interests had nothing to do with anything other than fulfilling her duties as a moderator.

On another note, perhaps someone could fill me in on "Megan's Law?"

[This message has been edited by Becca (edited 06-11-2000).]

Richard! :D
Jun. 11, 2000, 01:01 PM
KayB, do not delete your post ... just change the bottom part to the member of www.towerheads.com (http://www.towerheads.com) that you are talking about if that's what Oxer wishes. No one ever mentioned the name Vanessa symmons in conjunction with any convictions. ONLY the one person who is involved at this website was mentioned. It is not libel to state facts which are a matter of public record...... As for "Rumors" destroying a persons image, I see only facts in the original post posted by KayB. The picture on the Florida site is 2 years old. That means that the 'person' couldn't have been convicted that many years ago. Sorry, but if that 'person' who we all know now has nothing to hide then no one should be upset. Only facts have been stated. The boards are still free for anyone to post on, correct? Well, then he should post his side of the story and clear the air if he so desires. People here are insinuating that the Florida Police department convicted this person falsely. This should be taken up so his status as a sexual proditor can be removed.

Snowbird
Jun. 11, 2000, 01:12 PM
I think we need to consider that "Megan's Law" is the law of the land. That we do have freedom of speech. The sponsor of that opportunity does have the right to withdraw our privilege, however since our right to use these boards is provisional we should respect their concerns.

As long as what is published is public record and no more, I don't think it should be construed as gossip. I would beg to disagree that any post which simply reflects the record needs to be deleted or that the Florida Law Enforcement Department has ever convicted anyone wrongfully.

The basis of this country is the LAW. When we undermine our confidence in that authority I think it is a bigger damage than that of anyone who chooses to publish what is public record of a offense, even when it is a single offense.

I agree totally that the person who believes he/she has been wrongfully accused has the right and the opportunity to set the record straight. They should publish the truth of the case. And, that person should be in the avante guarde of those opposed to any kind of sexual transgression against our children.

The "TRUTH" will set them free. The lack of response publicly permits the continuous revival of the issue and is really caused by a lack of information other than the public record.

ErinB
Jun. 11, 2000, 01:40 PM
I am seriously in shock. I won't name names, but we all know that this person runs this site, and seriously I think we've all been to it, and even conversed with the person in question. He seems perfectly nice, but I'm confused. Is he a perky announcer that runs my favorite site or an alleged criminal? Scary...

Policy of Truth
Jun. 11, 2000, 01:44 PM
Oxer,
I do not believe that your name has ever come up in this issue. The matter is between the person on your site, and the state of Florida, which convicted him of the crime mentioned in my post, which I got DIRECTLY from the Dept. of corrections in Florida.
As for who asked the question on Megan's law, this is a new law that gives the public the right to know and spread the news of a convicted felon of a sex offence w/ a child..in this case, a child under the age of 16, sex is not given.
When one of these people move, it becomes the public's right to know of their whereabouts...they always have to register in the new town as a convicted sex offender if they choose to move...as I have continuously mentioned, this is PUBLIC INFORMATION, therefore, we CAN mention his name because it has been printed by the state of Florida a TRUTH!! I will not mention his name because I think we can all use our "mouse" and come to the same conclusion.
As far as I understand, we still are under the U.S. constitution, and Bill of Rights..I believe freedom of speach is still one of them..ironically, this bill isn't even NECESSARY for me to be allowed to share this information or anyone else who wants to because IT IS PUBLIC DOMAIN!!!!! Get it? Nobody can be accused of spreading rumors about this person because it has already gone to court and Megan's law gives EVERYONE the right to know his name as well as his address!
I understand that some of you may believe that he was wrongly accused, and I am really sad for him if in fact he was. But I need to also say that as a person studying counseling and knowing the ins and outs of the law in regards to children, you have to understand that convicting a person of something of this nature is not easy.
I hope that when this person was in jail,they reformed their ways and have been counseled properly so as to never do this crime again. Also, if this person believes that they are wrongly accused, have they begun an appeals process yet?
Megan's law began because her convicted molester was let loose and Megan's parents had no idea he had moved close by..this time, Megan was killed. That's why the new law is the way that it is, and that is why all this information is public..to protect children from being molested or worse, killed, by the same predator without knowing where they moved to after they were released on probation.

[This message has been edited by pacificsolo (edited 06-14-2000).]

luckyduck
Jun. 11, 2000, 02:00 PM
Well said PacificSolo! I have e-mailed several of the posters to the board personaly...including OXER. Megans Law will prevail...no matter who thinks they can hide from it! AND if this person was wrongly accussed...then an appeal should be under way????????????? Otherwise guilt lies with the holder.

luckyduck
Jun. 11, 2000, 02:13 PM
http://www.llrx.com/columns/megan.htm http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/Lobby/6027/research.htm
just a start........... aol users ...look up keyword "megans law"

horseshowdad
Jun. 11, 2000, 02:52 PM
I was shown this board by my daughters and have been reading the messages with growing horror. I have always felt safe in dropping my children off at their barn and picking them up when the day's showing is over. I expect the horse show managers to hire officials who will provide a safe environment for my children.

As a father, I believe their is no more heinous crime than a sexual "contact" with a minor. I have researched the "cure" and recidivism rate with convicted sex offenders. The rate is not good, and most authorities advise removing the offender from close contact situations.

I find it terrifying that the "good old boys" network has closed ranks to protect this individual and not only permitted but ENCOURAGED his contact with children.

luckyduck
Jun. 11, 2000, 03:03 PM
Thank you horseshowdad! And Kudos to your daughters for pointing this out to you. I am contacting the State of Florida tomorrow morning first thing...that is my right...I will know both sides of the story....one way or another....

horseshowdad
Jun. 11, 2000, 03:16 PM
Notice how much kinder the terms "lapse of good judgement" and "misbehavior" sound, than what the facts state are a CRIME.

The Florida State Sexual Predators Data Base does not post pictures of individuals who merely "misbehave" or have "lapses of good judgement". They post pictures of individuals whom are CONVICTED OF CRIMES and could be considered dangerous.

Check this URL: http://www.fdle.state.fl.us/Sexual_Predators/index.asp

luckyduck
Jun. 11, 2000, 03:18 PM
Well at least some of us get the point.....

buryinghill2
Jun. 11, 2000, 03:18 PM
Maybe this isn't relevant, but Bill Redfern states in his letter that the person in question is "dedicated" to Towerheads.com, and has received no financial compensation for his efforts there. In his last column, this person stated that he hopes Towerheads.com continues to be successful, because it will enable him to substantially cut back on his announcing commitments. These two statements are in direct condradicton to eachother.
In twenty years on the A circuit, I saw several horse show management employees who I thought were acting inappropriately around junior riders. Not one time, but every day, over and over. The last junior rider I worked for and I spoke several times about people we both agreed had said things to her and acted in ways we both felt were out of line. She learned to avoid those people. In hindsight, I realize now that I probably should have approached management with my concerns. My advice to horseshowdad, stick close around.

SoEasy
Jun. 11, 2000, 03:25 PM
I think people who are posting here about the ‘rights’ they have under ‘Megan’s Law’ need to slow down a bit.
The original ‘Megan’s Law’ is the sex offender notification law that was passed by the State of New Jersey, in response to pressure from the parents of a tragically murdered child.
Since then, many other states have passed similar laws. Many of these laws have been challenged in the state court systems, and modified to be in compliance with individual state constitutions.
I do not believe that there is a federal ‘Megan’s Law’ that applies uniformly to residents of the entire country, or to offenders in every state.
While I find offenses against children heinous, and know the rate of recidivism for such offenders, I also cannot condone a witch hunt based on rights to information that do not exist.

luckyduck
Jun. 11, 2000, 03:29 PM
I am just so sad that around every corner there is a boogie man. Children are so precious....and as parents we try to shelter them form the "evils". Hold tight to those angels.....you can never know when ones judgement might be more "slack" then our own /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

luckyduck
Jun. 11, 2000, 03:36 PM
AND because there was pressure from the parents of Megan......that makes it wrong? Their daughter was murdered by a convicted child molester.....I think I would have been a bit motivated myself....Florida as well as North Carolina....where I am from...have a form of "Megans Law" which makes the information VERY public....as a parent, being informed helps me decide the "action" I will take to protect my kids. Just because others feel safe with an explaination doesn't mean that I have to....

SoEasy
Jun. 11, 2000, 03:47 PM
NO - I did not say that the parental pressure made the bill wrong!
I said that the rules are different in each state that has passed such a law, and that there is no federal right to know. Pennsylvania is still struggling with the form that parental notification should take, and has not chosen to post names/pictures/addresses/convictions on a web site. I just want people to understand that they may well not have a RIGHT to information, and that if they do, it most certainly was accompanied by a set of responsibilities ... If you have a right to know something about your neighbor, you may well also have a responsibility to not spread the knowledge without genuine need, to not infringe on the remaining rights that person has ..... in NJ, when the first notifications were given, MOBS attacked peoples homes - in some cases not even the homes where the offenders were living.

luckyduck
Jun. 11, 2000, 03:54 PM
Point Understood.....So Easy
People should inform themsleves....and this offender lives in Florida...and is required to "registure"....he claims residence in Florida...but travels all over the US......if he can do this...what about all the OTHER offenders out there....who then without one parent to another...will inform the unexspecting parent who sends their daughter...or son to a horse show...thinking all the people there have been chosen wisley....or to a cub scout event...or a summer camp.....

[This message has been edited by luckyduck (edited 06-11-2000).]

Goodmudder
Jun. 11, 2000, 03:54 PM
This whole thread makes me sad, and mad. The piety and self-serving do-gooders who have not a CLUE as to the truth are making me almost physically sick. People - examine your true motives here, and really ask yourself what you seek to gain through these attacks. Is there a child abuse problem in this country? Undoubtedly, yes, there is. Is this the proper forum for all of you generally anonymous perfect people to attack one individual? No, I believe it is not.

If you want to truly work to solve real problems, there are better ways to do it. And, to repeat what I've said in earlier threads, this person owes NO ONE an explanation, in my opinion. He's already paid. This site, at this point, is accomplishing nothing except possibly satisfying the prurient interests of its contributors. If you don't like Towerheads, don't go there. But, again, examine your TRUE motives here. You might just find that you're disappointed in yourselves.

luckyduck
Jun. 11, 2000, 03:59 PM
Who is "attacking" please go back and read who exactly is posting names....

Goodmudder
Jun. 11, 2000, 04:02 PM
P.S.: If you don't consider this thread an attack, you're fooling yourself!

Louise
Jun. 11, 2000, 04:21 PM
A parent's desire to protect his child is a laudable thing. Those who have questions should ask them. Ask all sources and make a decision based on what you learn.

However, a public forum like this is not the place to discuss this type of thing. Most of us have no "need to know" and the widespread furor this causes does no one any good. It becomes, in spite of the good intentions of the few who are honestly concerned, a very vicious form of gossip. How many people reading this forum will not take the time to look for the facts and make their decisions based on those fact, but will simply say, "Look what was discussed on this BB?"

Lily has stated things very clearly. Look at the facts, look at the site in question and decide if you like what you see or not. If you don't like that site, don't go there.

I stand with her, completely, when she indicates that this is not the place to discuss this, however. If you have concerns, take them off of the forum.

pwynnnorman
Jun. 11, 2000, 04:23 PM
I'm not sure I'm going to get this right, so please bear with me if I can't quite communicate it the way I want to...

If you love horses and love the lifestyle associated with them, what would you do and how would you feel if you were ostracized to the point of having to leave all that behind? What would you do if you couldn't be involved in what is, basically, your life? And would that be a fair punishment for your what MAY be a single transgression? Is it even right to ASSUME, given the damage that can be done to the poor individual's entire LIFE, that "they'll just do it again," especially if you or your children have no direct connection to that person or his activities?

I see two problems here: one involving disproportionality and the other, parental responsibility and maybe a bit of guilt.

People who kill other people are treated better than individuals involved in a single incident of child molestation. People who beat and torture their wives and children are also treated better...and you can take this situation all the way up to capital cases and the unfair "justice" they represent.

However, just as with pornography, a "community" (be it a horse show circuit or a housing neighborhood) has a right to determine what it considers reasonable and unreasonable, so I respect those of you who are in horror about this, just as I respect those who choose to give a guy a chance to prove recidivism ISN'T a 100% thing.

But I do wonder just what it is those of you who are outraged want people to DO about it? Some of your posts imply that he shouldn't be allowed to announce or run the website. But Barney Ward could buy a horse tommorrow if he wanted to. Men who abuse their wives can still marry. Child molesters even have their own children. There is no LAW that says they can't work around children--it's just a matter of the employers choice. So what exactly is it that you WANT the man to do? Disappear?

I think that is indeed what you want because then you will be able to think that your problems are over: you won't need to worry about sending your children down to Florida without proper supervision. Subconsciously, I think you also may believe that if you can just make this type disappear, you won't have to feel any responsibility for what happens when you let your trainers babysit for you--and even raise your children for you.

What, after all, does the law mean when it established age 16 as the cutoff point for criminal offenses against minors? It means that kids UNDER 16 are different...

And yet I see over and over again parents treating 12-year-olds like they ARE 17-year-olds. Is it no wonder that such children become the targets of predators? Sure, the criminal is at fault when the child is molested, but so is the parent, IMO.

I think a lot of the outrage on this topic is based in some measure on guilt: some you don't really know what your kids are doing or with whom because you are so wrapped up in your own lives that you can't find the time to understand and supervise theirs. I share that sentiment with a lot of people, and yes, many of them are educators like myself.

Keep your kids in school, participate WITH them in their extra-curricular activities, take the time to check out the adults they interact with, etc., etc. Do YOUR duty as parents instead of expecting the system to do it for you. And think twice before becoming enraged when the system "fails" you by allowing bad/once-bad people to make you "uncomfortable" by continuing to live their lives in your midst.

[This message has been edited by pwynnnorman (edited 06-11-2000).]

SoEasy
Jun. 11, 2000, 04:44 PM
Yeah PWynn!
I was trying not to open the topic of parental responsibility ... but now that it has been, I want to address the issue of 'dropping the kids off at a horse show, ... or cub scout event ... '
I raised two children (now 18 and 21) We went to the barn together. We went to horse shows together. We went to Scouts together. One of the favorite sayings of the Scouters I know is "BSA does not stand for Baby Sitters of America". It is an organization that promotes, and at some points REQUIRES parental involvement. I taught Cub Scout leaders for years. BSA does enormous amounts of work to ensure the safety of kids in the program - and the rule that applies from the day you join is 'Two Deep Leadership'... there is NEVER an appropriate time for one Scout and one Scouter to be completely alone ... even in a private conversation, it should be conducted in full view of other people.
My kids grew up knowing that their parents were there if they needed us, but able to think for themselves. We were there to see who they were hanging out with, and what kinds of decisions they were making.
I am proud of the independant young adults I have set loose (more or less)in the world.

luckyduck
Jun. 11, 2000, 04:58 PM
pwynnnorman- You did a wonderful job at stating and not pointing....I will defend myself as a parent....I own the barn, my children ride at home...and they go to shows with myself or the other parent. BUT as for the "babysitter" thing...yes...you are 100% right....many kids parents don't run/own the faciltiy, and they don't go to the horse shows.....and participation would protect the kids from some "unknowns"


As with movies stars and famous people...we the public do not see "the other side"..... of the commentators, moderators, officials ect...ect... we see the side they want us to see....so to speak for both sides of the coin....what we read on a web site...may not actually be what is going on behind closed doors...and visa-versa.


And the murderer vs. child molester idea....I personally don't know why murderers are not required to "registure".... I would want to know if one moved in next to me....


And as far as "Is it fare to run someone away from the sport that they love so much?" Is it fare to exspose our children to a potential threat? To take them out of the sport? Run them off?

Everything is a matter of choice. I wish people would realize it may not just be the man that was pointed out on this board....he is just one of thousands that are listed.... In an above post I posted the web address of a site that will take you in and show you all of the people.....not just one man...who works with one sport on one web site.....ect...ect...

TequilaSun
Jun. 11, 2000, 05:02 PM
Wow. I'm shocked and stunned. Oh my gosh!! This really is a scary world that we live in.

The man of discussion... who I will not name, frequently states on his website's BB's to "come stop by the tower, and say hello!" to all visitors, juniors and adults alike...

G2G will continue later..

Calico
Jun. 11, 2000, 05:07 PM
Is this truly a public forum? Louise, you told me not long ago that we were here by TCOH's invitation and must abide by their (your) rules, that this was NOT a pubic forum? I'm confused.....

SoEasy
Jun. 11, 2000, 05:12 PM
Calico - this is NOT a public forum. This BB is owned by TCOH, and could be pulled at any time. There are rules that we all agreed to abide by when we registered to post. The rules are there to protect the posters, and the owners of the BB - from legal complications.

Bethe Mounce
Jun. 11, 2000, 05:38 PM
"Let ye who are without sin, cast the first stone."

wadino
Jun. 11, 2000, 05:50 PM
I find this absolutely horrifying.


Ryan

Louise
Jun. 11, 2000, 05:53 PM
Calico, sorry if I confused the issue for you. SoEasy is right this is NOT a public forum, for the reasons that were stated. It is public, only in the sense that it is open for all to see, not open only to members, a fact of which we must be constantly aware. We bear a responsibility for what we say that goes beyond the limits of those that actively post on this forum.

Calico
Jun. 11, 2000, 05:53 PM
Yes, SoEasy, that's why I'm so worried. Louise had stated this was a public forum. I like this BB, willingly respect the rules, I like the moderators, and I'll really miss it if it goes away.

TequilaSun
Jun. 11, 2000, 06:07 PM
Ahem... to continue on with what I was saying earlier... I can't remember the point I was trying to make, but I *do* believe *strongly* that this is an issue that needs to be talked about.

I know that if my Mum and I were at a horse show, and I told her "Mum, I'm just going to go up to the tower and visit the announcer!" then she'd say "OK dear, go ahead". I think it would be nice for her, and other parents, to know who this man is that their kids are so fond of... and fond of him I am, or was, until I read this. I look forward every day to reading his columns and visiting his sites, and if I were to ever go to the same shows he's at, (B4 I found out about this) I'd probably go up to visit him.

Could someone who knows the 'story', email me privately? I'd like to know what his offence was, and when it happened. My email is tequilasun@gurlmail.com

I totally respect that everyone makes mistakes in life... but there are some mistakes that cannot be forgiven, and that's why we have to live conciously and carefuly, to make sure that we don't make one of those mistakes.

Becca
Jun. 11, 2000, 06:19 PM
So true. Do we all not have shadows in our past? Have any of you ever been hurt by rumor, or even just hurt by your past? We all make mistakes. I'm only 16 and I've made more mistakes than I can count! I just know that if someone were discussing me, and the truth was uncertain, I'd rather have it be asked of me to tell you personally the story, or my side in the least, even if that means I have to go back to something painful. And I KNOW this person would rather have your questions directed to him rather than such a large community.

If none of you have ever ered before, than this is most certainly out of line, and holds true to no one. But if you'r as human as most of us, you know how much it can hurt, and understand how rumor can create pain, and you know the way people see something grab it and run.

Like Portia, I know what happened. I stand by my decision to continue to visit the site, and will still consider him a good friend. I will not hesitate to speak to him at shows, and I will not have a spark of worry when I do. But thats merely my opinion. Make yours accordingly, but i simply can not concieve being able to formulate an educated and honest opinion of someone or something without being educated in the matter, and incident. Perhaps I just am yet to have learned, but if thats the case, I hope I never learn to prejudge a situation or person based on rumors, or something someone else has said- fact or falicy- until I have heard it from the person, and know what I'm basing it on, and thinking of, and why I am doing so.

As for Pwynn, I agree with you as well. My parents rely on our legal system, but not soley. They take it, as their responsibility as my parents, to know the situation I am going into, and to be certain that they place me under the care of someone they trust, and I am in a situation they trust me in. I'm only 16, but I'm highly, highly capable. I hold the flaw so many teenagers do, I view myself as invinceable. But my parents are there to make sure I am as invinceable as possible. Theres threat everywhere, and dangers lurking around every corner. It lies in our parents hands to educate us enough, and safegaurd us enough to prepare us and protect us from those dangers. Certainly the law is there to help, but it is impossible for everyone to be protected at every second by the law itself.

AS Luckyduck said, it IS a matter of choices. And it lies in our hands to make the correct ones.

Policy of Truth
Jun. 11, 2000, 06:20 PM
I am soooooo confused as to why those of us who care about the safety of children are all of a sudden the bad guys. None of OUR faces are posted on a police file that is on the world wide web for all to see! Why is it that whenever someone tries to call a problem to the attention of the people on this board, that it is immediately faught against? The reason I believe that this topic IS relavent to this board is that this person DOES go to the same shows some of our students attend. This person has ACCESS to minors.
Since it is public information as far as the state of Florida is concerned, who are any of you to say it is wrong to discuss?
Go ahead..keep turning your backs on the horrible things that go on in our industry,(and world) and our industry (world) WILL fail. A lot of the same peole defending this man are people that I believed to be of moral and reasonable character. What I believe now is that they are argumnetative to the point of arrogance and lack of knowledge of this type of conviction. And contrary to what you might think, Portia has told me what happened. I thought long and hard about it. Yes, he deserves to be forgiven IF he confesses his sins AND repents of his sins, and if he is not a Christian believer, this will not apply to him. (Forgiveness is a Christian concept for those who want to try and argue THAT point). However, even forgiving someone does NOT imply that they do not have to take RESPONSOBILITY FOR THEIR ACTIONS (for instance being forced to register). Those who truly care about this person ought to HELP him in his struggle with sexual immorality and can do-so by holding him accountable(i.e. help encourage him to not engage alone with a minor, and encouraging him to talk about his strugles with a trusted friend).
I will pray for this man. I am disgusted by this topic, but according to scripture, to which I adhere to, his sin is NO DIFFERENT in the eyes of the Lord than mine are. Nobody is claiming to be better than him. But, we have the right to know if a person such as himself are in places we might have our children.

Goodmudder
Jun. 11, 2000, 06:38 PM
pacificsolo, I may get blasted for this, but I find your last post incredibly offensive and arrogant in the extreme. Who ARE you to judge what struggles he may or may not have, or to assume that these supposed "struggles" continue today? Or to judge who will be forgiven, and how? I would only hope for your sake that if you ever, god forbid, make a mistake, people around you will choose to treat you better than you are treating others.

Policy of Truth
Jun. 11, 2000, 06:48 PM
That's funny..seems like you are the one judging me! As far as my beliefs go, I KNOW what Christ says about forgiveness and I know what it means to make mistakes and be forgiven for them. You obviously did not read my post thoroughly, because I made a big deal of saying that sin is the SAME in the eyes of the Lord. If you choose to not believe that, that is YOUR choice. I have not suggested that this man is still doing what he was convicted of..I was merely showing my concern for his struggles..I have recieved the story from Portia, remember? Just because a person asks for forgiveness does not mean they might not struggle with the desire to commit the sin yet again! I know first hand! I struggle daily to walk the Christian walk!

Jo
Jun. 11, 2000, 07:03 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by TequilaSun:

Could someone who knows the 'story', email me privately? I'd like to know what his offence was, and when it happened.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Me too... My E-mail is SenoritaMargarita@addictmail.com. Thanks.

SoEasy
Jun. 11, 2000, 07:24 PM
RagsRules - please email me or Moderator LOUISE!
April (flipse@voicenet.com)

luckyduck
Jun. 11, 2000, 07:26 PM
In your quest for the "offenders" side please be aware of the "State of Florida's" side....contact 1-888-357-7332 tomorrow between normal business hours.

wtywmn4
Jun. 11, 2000, 07:28 PM
In every post, people have a right to their opinion. This thread is about to take a direction which none of us wants. No one says we have to agree, but lets not take people to task for their thoughts on this subject, good or bad.

As a parent, and grandparent, my feelings on this subject have been posted on other threads. We need to allow people the right to their opinion, whether we agree or not. This is a serious subject, and we all have rights.

Pwynn, in many states convicted "child molesters" are not permitted to work anywhere near where children might be involved.

luckyduck
Jun. 11, 2000, 07:31 PM
And this goes back to the point...if the employers know..then it is THEIR choice to keep that person "in their company" so to speak....and that goes back to....thank GOD for public information so that we as parents can make OUR OWN CHOICE'S...because OTHERS may not share the same concern.

Becca
Jun. 11, 2000, 07:35 PM
I HONESTLY feel that anyone in search of the story should not seek it from anyone but the person, or in the very least consult them first-facts get fuzzed, adjusted, and mulled over. I know its childish of me to say, but its not fair to do that to anyone, according to my morals and beliefs. Make you own decision of course, but its a curtesy I very strongly feel should be paid. I'd hate to see 'Telephone' be played in such an enormous way.

[This message has been edited by Becca (edited 06-11-2000).]

[This message has been edited by Becca (edited 06-11-2000).]

Snowbird
Jun. 11, 2000, 07:35 PM
Whoa! Let's just cool this down. Being Christian is not the only route. It also says in the Bible that "my father's house has many doors". I think intelligent people can discuss an issue without calling each other names or attempting the cast stones at anyone.

The issue here is really quite simple, because of Megan's Law the word is out and a warning has been legally published. I have heard at least three versions of the tale and they do not agree with each other on any details. In which case we don't any of us know which is the correct version. The one thing they all have in common is a reason for the conviction. Therefore we have no right to discuss the guilt or comparative remorse of anyone. We can discuss the fact that there may be many other predators and convicted felons at every horse show and we are not aware of their history or presence.

Are we better off knowing? Yes, every predator has 100's of ways to seduce children. They spend their time figuring out ways to satisfy their warped and perverted needs. Even if we got rid of one we have no way of knowing if there are 10 whose names we don't know.

The issue for me is the ways to advise and protect our children without turning them in paranoids that are afraid of everyone. It is true that as a parent I have always attended every event with each of my children. In spite of my over-protective attitude they seem to have become successful independent adults. I would not presume to say that every parent must do the same, nor that any parent was a worse parent because they chose another route.

I hope that this discussion will take a form of cautions that should be applied. I take particular note of the message which said that particular youngster would not go to visit in the tower. That is a good solution.

As to Wynn's comment we can also have a dialog as to the equality or inequality of punishment under the law. Megan as I remember was taken from her own home for illicit purposes. I think that perhaps a first time offender should be granted some lee-way, but I cannot make that judgement without full knowledge of the case.

We can use this topic also to discuss the purposes of the law and arrests, is it for punishment or is it for rehabilitation? How successful is it for rehabilitation?

We have children being arrested for similar crimes in grade school. Do they have the right to be accepted later because this was just experiementation?

If a person has been convicted of a sexual act with a minor and been sentenced to probation where they are supposed to stay away from children then where is the logic to solicit contact with children? I think that is an issue which must be addressed. Whatever, the circumstances intelligent caution should prevent an honorable person from such a possibility if they really regret their error.

We on the other hand can and must react if that person chooses not to exercise that caution when we do not know the "real" story.
My only question is what is the best way to accomplish this?

As to Wynn's point about being deprived of the opportunity to participate in any attivity to which children are the major audience. I think that for example it was blatantly foolish to assign the girl who admitted she killed her baby, to be an advisor for unwed mothers.

I can be sympathetic to the loss of a favorite hobby or job, but that decision was made when the crime was committed. The fear of such losses is what keeps most of us from exercising our immediate urges for instant gratification. I believe the idea is basic to "civilization".

pwynnnorman
Jun. 11, 2000, 07:47 PM
Thanks for that correction, wytwmn. It does make sense.

Pacificsolo, I'm not advocating ignoring the issue or the individual. I think this thread is a healthy and beneficial one. Such things should NOT be swept under the rug.

But I still have to ask YOU: what do you want the man to do? Move to Tibet and become a monk? I respect your religious convictions, but I don't see any contructive guidance in your statements. Prayer isn't going to put food on his table. What is he supposed to do? What do YOU WANT from him?

Finzean
Jun. 11, 2000, 08:06 PM
I have read this entire post with great interest. I do not personally know the gentleman in question and I'm sure I'm not alone. The facts are the facts with regard to the charges and the sentencing, but like Snowbird, I've heard several different renditions of the circumstances regarding this incident and the stories are all very different. The point is, yes, we need to be certain our children are protected from predators of every kind and parental responsibility is a huge part of that. Instead of using this bulletin board to discuss one particular event or person, I think everyone's time would be better spent educating themselves about the issue of child abuse/sexual predation and ways to prevent that. As is stated above, how many unamed dangerous individuals attend our horse shows, sit at playgrounds, observe our children in their daily routines, etc. Wouldn't we be better off educating our children as to how to avoid these people and informing ourselves as to the warning signs? Sure, knowing sexual offenders is important but I don't think any more time should be spent arguing about this one particular incident. This situation is so well known, I'm more worried about the faceless, nameless, stranger lurking in the shadows that has yet to be identified.
Thanks for letting me have my opinion.

Bertie
Jun. 11, 2000, 08:54 PM
Finzean is right. The nameless, faceless danger is much more worrisome than that which we are aware of. And that is because we can take precautions when we are aware of a dangerous situation.

I have no problem with the known person continuing with their job. If they have paid their legal debt, I believe they have a right to continue to earn a living. And I am speaking as the mother of a daughter who is at the same shows. She's older, (18) but will always be my child.

She will, however, be aware of the history of this person, and will never be in a situation with that person that could compromise her safety. And this is because of the awareness we have gained from this thread.

I had no idea about this, and I don't know the whole story. But I know that there are so many dangers out there, that we must take advantage of an individual warning, and take precautions when we have an indication of a danger, especially where children concerned. I hope these will be logical, humane precautions.

Erin
Jun. 11, 2000, 09:26 PM
As I said once before, an 18-year-old boy who has consentual sex with his 17-year-old girlfriend can be convicted as a sexual offender. No, that's not the case here, but it does demonstrate that "sex offender" DOES NOT automatically equal "monster who I shouldn't allow near my kids." Find out the real story, and make up your own mind.

If you're posting on this thread condemning this person without having emailed him to ask what the story is, do it now. It's ridiculous to make blanket statements about a person you've never met when you know nothing about the situation.

Policy of Truth
Jun. 11, 2000, 09:37 PM
pwynnnorman,
I don't think it is up to me to find this person a solution to their problem. It is their responsibility, however, to not place themselves in a tempting situation. I really don't think that any of us could decide what this person needs to do, but I know what is done in the state of NC with people like this, and it is to counsel them and encourage them within groups who consist of sexual offenders. One of my colleagues is currently interning at such a place, and she says that it is the most effective way to work with sexual offenders that she has seen as of yet. I'm really glad that some counselors have a heart to work with sexual offenders. Being a victim, I am not yet ready.

[This message has been edited by pacificsolo (edited 06-11-2000).]

Jo
Jun. 11, 2000, 10:34 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by pacificsolo:
I don't think it is up to me to find this person a solution to their problem. It is their responsibility, however, to not place themselves in a tempting situation.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Pacific, how can you know whether this person is putting themselves in a "tempting situation" if you do not know the whole story? You do not know what the "offending person" considers tempting or not.

Becca
Jun. 11, 2000, 10:54 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by pacificsolo:
pwynnnorman,
I don't think it is up to me to find this person a solution to their problem. It is their responsibility, however, to not place themselves in a tempting situation.

[This message has been edited by pacificsolo (edited 06-11-2000).]<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


How is it possible that you can even suggest that what this person should or shouldn't do? How can you justify even suggesting that you know what tempts a person, or what type of situation could be tempting to them? Or even if they are "tempted" at all? I should certainly hope you don't think its up to you to find this person a solution. It would be far beyond your realm. It is NOONE's job to find a solution to another person's problem should there be one unless THE PERSON asks for help directly. And I don't believe such a request has ben made.

What people need to do is find ways to0 protect their children, and children in general from dangerous situations, and always be on your gaurd, assume potential dangers exist, and take proper precautions. Not fix the worlds problems through one person's mistake. Just because many of us believe in the concept of a mistake, and will allow such occurences to take place, our world will not be pulled out from beneath our feet. There are productive ways to address issues, and there are slanderous, unproductive and viscious ways to aproach them. One way works, and one way does not. I should hope that the answer is self evident. Sometimes people amaze me by their humanity and sheer wonderfulness. Sometimes they apall me with the direct opposite.

Policy of Truth
Jun. 12, 2000, 12:09 AM
OK! ROUND TWO!!!! I know the story that Portia has shared with me!
With the information given to me, regarding the offense, I would DEFINITELY say this person needs help! I have the right to my EDUCATED opinion, and I have got the facts! That's what you wanted, right, Becca? So are you upset that I got the facts and continue to feel the same about this person?
Will those of you so quick to deffend him let me know when you have contacted the proper authorities in Florida to get THEIR side of the story?

[This message has been edited by Erin (edited 06-13-2000).]

[This message has been edited by pacificsolo (edited 06-14-2000).]

CarrieK
Jun. 12, 2000, 12:30 AM
I've edited this because devildog pointed out something I missed--that KayB added a link to her original post that wasn't there when I first read it, and I didn't re-read it. I apologize for the rant, then.

Although I still contend that this bulletin board is not the place for this. We can discuss this issue without violating the rules of the board. Concerned readers could email Erin for particulars.

I still believe that it is wrong to imply that the website is being used to bait potential victims.

Again, I apologize for the rant. I'm still reeling, you see, from the vile gossipy hate-filled crap from a few months ago.

Sorry for not re-reading, or reading more closely.

[This message has been edited by CarrieK (edited 06-12-2000).]

Becca
Jun. 12, 2000, 07:18 AM
PacificSolo- You have EVERY right to your own educated opinion, and I am very much glad that you have formed in the least an informed opinion. However, be that as it may, it will have no effect on my opinion, nor will it change the facts. I know the story, and my opinion stands as is.
I am not upsett in the least by the way you feel about ANYONE. That is your choice,aqnd yours alone. WHat upsetts me is the manor in which your acting due to your feelings. I certainly don't appreciate being "spoken" to in such a way- I'm sorry, but if I grow up anymore, I'd be a 50 year old 16 year old- it would make for quite the difficult adolescence. As for looking at the bigger picture, I am confident that the picture I see is the bigger picture, and will remain so. This is fairly exactly what I was speaking of, and I would hate to see such a wonderful board go down because of it.

Goodmudder
Jun. 12, 2000, 07:40 AM
Pacificsolo: Sorry if you think I'm judging you - it seems to me that you can certainly dish it out, but maybe not so good at taking it? First of all, a lot of us have talked to Portia, and somehow don't come away with the "suppositions" that you do. No information on multiple "offenses," etc., no speculation such as you have.
Here I go again: I don't wear my religion on my sleeve, but I guarantee you that my idea of Christian charity is a WHOLE lot different than yours. I don't believe in public stoning.

Lil
Jun. 12, 2000, 07:52 AM
This is a very interesting thread. I'd like to learn more about the circumstances in which this person was convicted. Does anyone know where I can find this information?

luckyduck
Jun. 12, 2000, 08:47 AM
As I said yesterday I have contacted the in question persons probation officer. I will also say that my opinion has not changed and will not change.....especially now!

wadino
Jun. 12, 2000, 08:49 AM
I think that this man should come here and explain. Maybe not what he did, but why he did it or whatever.


Ryan

Goodmudder
Jun. 12, 2000, 09:25 AM
Ok, again - I'm going to say just a few things and then leave this post. First, I am grateful that there are a number of people here who are fairminded and logical. But, once again, I am astounded at the number who, I believe, are not.

Yes, there are problems with this issue. And yes, luckyduck, we are all entitled to our opinions. But the number of you willing to condemn on very little information (yes, pacificsolo, I do mean you, too!) is appalling. You have a right to your thoughts, and feelings, etc. - but I still maintain that you DO NOT have a right to blast away at an individual, unknown to you, in a "public" forum such as this. Do you have a legal right? Unfortunately, yes. Does that make it right? NO.

I will repeat - what are you trying to accomplish here? Honestly, tell me, 'cause I don't get it. Examine your motives - does it make you feel superior, or do you gain satisfaction from the failures of others? Beats me.

Ragsrules- unless you have direct involvement, I would respectfully suggest that this person owes you nothing. The legal system has taken care of that.

And, by the way, I am in no way defending what this person may or may not have done. But I am defending his right to attempt to live a peaceful, lawabiding life, without interruption by forces such as anonymous gossip on the internet.

[This message has been edited by Goodmudder (edited 06-12-2000).]

[This message has been edited by Goodmudder (edited 06-12-2000).]

luckyduck
Jun. 12, 2000, 10:02 AM
Goodmudder.....I really think that you need to consider that I DO KNOW BOTH SIDES NOW! and I am more concerned now then I was yesterday....I am not on "Witch hunt" I am a Mom who wants to know who her children are being exsposed to...and I truley beleive that if this offender was truthfull to the people close to him.....we would not be discussing this now.

I have heard all the stories...and I do know now that the only story that has the same solid "ring" to it...is the state of Florida. NO this man was not convicted of a violent sexual crime....and I guess if you want to give scales to crimes...he would be on the bottom end for what he did....not at the top like the man that killed Megan....however....I cannot see past the "stories" that are being passed around as to his account of what happened. AND THESE "STORIES" ARE BEING PASSED BY PEOPLE WHO HAVE HEARD THE STORY DIRECTLY FROM HIM!!!!!!....I am still waiting for MY direct response from him.....
YOU as well as anyone else can find the State of Florida's side the same way I did.... it was not hard...

wadino
Jun. 12, 2000, 11:31 AM
I find this very scary and unfair. This man encourages junior riders to come see him at shows. He has access to young riders, but he is still aloud to take his part in the show. But Barney Ward kills a horse and wants to see his son ride, and he won't touch a horse, and he isn't aloud to go to shows. I see no fairness in that. Does anyone know if the AHSA took any action when this happened years back?

Moesha
Jun. 12, 2000, 11:57 AM
When is someone's punishment over? Are there some things that are unforgivable? Can one crime outweigh another? Can one act of indiscretion or violence or stupidity be righted and another cause an enternity of injustice? This situation is far more complex than probably any other discussed on this board and yet it is by far one of the most important because it deals with consequences, unspeakable horror against innocence and punishment which may or may not fit the incident or crime, whichever way you look at it. I am by no means defending the atrocity of child abuse, it is a blinding horror to think of a child at the mercy of such monsters that prey on naivity and the beauty of childhood and its unguarded innocence. But what I am confused about is what actually took place, it sounds from the posts that the incident was verbal? Am I correct? That no "physical harm was done." If so, what on earth could have been said to a child to warrant a conviction of "sexual Predation??" It must have been horrid and most likely leading to what could have been a much worse scenario?? And if so what undocumented "acts" could have occurred??? I see the fear of this person as having shattered a taboo, that he has crossed a line that once done takes away the "hesitation" to commit another or worse acts. I have never met the person involved but have gone to the other web sites and have enjoyed his documentaries and am shocked to hear of this. However, if someone does something like this no matter how close or dear they may be to you, you cannot blindly turn your back on the "Crime" just because the person involved is a "good person" with "their side to tell." Of course everyone has a side and true friends stand by each other during such times of crisis, but you cannot turn from justice or the victim, and condone or feel the situation warrants special circumstance when you would not support the same in another case? This is not about some mistake or petty crime this is the life of a child we are talking about not someone's half chaps or purple polo wraps or famous ponies, or who the cutest rider is, this is about a persons life, something that can't be traded or replaced, the only one both the victim and the criminal have.

Erin
Jun. 12, 2000, 12:00 PM
People, if you haven't gotten the full story, please don't make guesses as to what it's about. That's what gets us in trouble.

Email the source to find out what happened. I'm not sure if the state of Florida can give you information like that, but feel free to do that too. Just don't wonder out loud about what might have happened.

Goodmudder
Jun. 12, 2000, 12:06 PM
Regal Means, you're right and I offer my apology. The post I was referring to in terms of an individual owing nothing was actually put up by RagsRules. I will be more careful in the future, and I really am sorry.

MBS
Jun. 12, 2000, 12:10 PM
Erin I just want to say interview the SourceS. (Yes the State can give you the facts of the case.) And then judge. The stories are Very conflicting.

[This message has been edited by MB Stark (edited 06-12-2000).]

3DogNight
Jun. 12, 2000, 12:44 PM
I am very appalled by the tone that is present on this thread. I do not personally know the gentleman in question, nor do I compete at a level which would allow me to attend the shows at which he works. I have, however, visited the website to which he contributes and have read many of his commentaries. I did, and still do, believe that he truly loves the field in which he works and strives to make it accessible to everyone. As far as any offense he may have committed, I do not know what it is nor do I have any desire to know. Based on an earlier post, it seems that he was judged by a court of law, sentenced, and paid the debt handed down to him. This man has a past - everyone posting on this BB has a past. Your past may contain good, wonderful deeds or deeds which show a lack of or lapse in judgement. If we were all judged on our pasts, I doubt there would be very many of us posting here right now. I don't care if you're Christian, Buddist or Athiest - I don't believe anyone has the right to sit in judgement of this man other than the judicial system, which has already done it's job. Everyone makes mistakes, of all sizes and degrees. The important thing is learning from your mistakes. Did you ever think that maybe this person has learned from his mistakes and is attempting to give something back to the industry? I think everyone should take a good, hard look in the mirror before continuing with such accusatory, holier-than-thou attitudes.

Flash44
Jun. 12, 2000, 01:03 PM
"The issue before the courts was something that was said, not physically enacted." Bill Redfern

I will call FL and see if I can find out exactly what happened.

horseshowdad
Jun. 12, 2000, 01:24 PM
I do not understand the rush to defend an individual whom the state of Florida has CONVICTED of a crime against a minor.

This individual has great admiration from his followers who seem unwilling to admit that there is no rumor involved, but only facts.

I believe that horse show officials should be held to a high standard. Show managers who knowingly hire an individual and place him in the company of children are not only irresponsible but implicitly approving of his actions.

How the moderator of this board can suggest that anyone, PARTICULARLY a minor, contact the individual involved to get "his side of the story" is unbelievable and horrifying to me.

Prisons are FULL of convicts who have "their side of the story" and deny guilt.

At issue is not whether he enjoys his work on the website. At issue is the danger of placing children in close proximity with someone who has been convicted of a crime against a minor. Statistics show these types of crimes have extremely high recidivism rates.

horseshowdad

Trooper
Jun. 12, 2000, 01:54 PM
Since I've become a member of this board I have been humbled by the vast amounts of knowledge and advice so freely and graciously given.

Since I read this thread, however, I am very concerned with the sportsmanship of our members, and I believe we ought to keep several things in mind:

1) We ALL have a responsibility to keep our fellow competitors, children or no, safe if we can

2) If we have a concern about someone convicted of a crime, we should share that concern by encouraging others to seek the truth

3) Flaming one another for differences of opinion has made this a really ugly thread (and frankly I would have accorded this issue a much greater level of importance if posters had not continually flamed one another - hint: IT DOESN'T MAKE YOU MORE PERSUASIVE)

3) Showing valid cocern is laudable, trashing someone without the facts is deplorable

4) We must be aware that the the barn is no different than the rest of the world - children and adults who deal with them should be supervised.

Please forgive me if my soapbox is rather high. I do not believe that spreading bombastic statements regarding this issue will make either the issue more clear, or the larger problem of protecting our children go away.

Flash44
Jun. 12, 2000, 01:56 PM
I called the criminal records division of the West Palm Beach County Court. The case number is 942302CFA02 and was filed on 3/23/94. He was charged with 1 count of lewd assault and pled guilty on 12/16/94. He is on probation for 15 years.

To get a copy of the probable cause (what happened) you must submit a written request to the court. The fee is $1 per page and will most likely cost no more than $4. To get a copy of the disposition, you must submit a written request to the court. Again, the fee is $1 per page and will most likely cost no more than $5. Send the fee and request to Clerk of Court - Palm Beach County, 205 N. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach, FL 33402. Include defendant's name and date of birth as well as the case number.

P. S. - There are no other criminal cases involving him on file in Palm Beach County.

luckyduck
Jun. 12, 2000, 02:09 PM
I don't know why people keep hitting dead ends when calling the State of Fl to find the much needed info to become informed....I started with the 1-888-357-7332 and they gave me the probation officers name AND number. I had to pay nothing....and I was told the exact conviction, cause for conviction and all the details......

PepTalk
Jun. 12, 2000, 02:23 PM
Thank you Heather, so much! You took the words right out of my month!

And another thing, I WANT THIS THREAD DELETED AT ONCE!! I AM ASHAMED OF YOU PEOPLE!!!!! THIS IS A HORSE, I REPEATE HORSE BB, NOT A JUDGEMENTAL, BLAME SOMEBODY, ATTACK ON RELIGIONS, ATTACK ON ANYBODY, SAY WHAT YOU WANT AND GET AWAY WITH IT, BB!!!! IF THIS IS SUCH A BB, THAN I AM TRULY SORRY I EVER CAME TO SIGN UP ON THIS BB IN THE FIRST PLACE! WHAT THE POOR HORSES HAVE TO PUT UP WITH! AND, I THOUGHT YOU GUYS WERE GOOD PEOPLE TOO!!!! HAHAHAHA!!!! I WAS WRONG, DEAD WRONG! /infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

IF YOU CAN'T TELL, I AM REALLY P***** OFF WITH YOU GUYS RIGHT NOW!

[This message has been edited by Weatherford (edited 06-12-2000).]

MBS
Jun. 12, 2000, 02:43 PM
Heather and Pep talk get over it. Bottom Line a Convicted child sex offender should STAY AWAY FROM CHILDREN PERIOD!!!!!!!!

N&B&T
Jun. 12, 2000, 02:44 PM
IMO, the discussion of this person and incident, as well as the issues surrounding both, are actually quite civil and impersonal in comparison with previous threads concerning the Wards and the metal pole incident in Palm Beach...and others.

Also IMO, discovering the person's inclusion on the FDLE listing previously posted is naturally quite disturbing, and to be very concerned is an appropriate reaction. I definitely agree that concerned individuals--not necessarily limited to parents--should seek to discover as much as possible about the incident before acting on/posting a final opinion (or judgement, if you like). That would include both the individual's account, AND that of the state of Florida and the court system.

Many, many valid issues have been raised, too many to respond to without a printout! Portia, while you know that I respect your opinion extremely highly, it is possible that the individual under discussion is not in fact the type of person (I'm referring to inner qualities) as your friend. As you also know, I too am acquainted with a person who I believe to be a very good person, but about whom similar things could be said.

Moesha asks a number of VERY important questions which, IMO, reach to the heart of this discussion. I don't know the answer to the question of when loyalty becomes over-ridden by commission of acts (words are deeds as well) which are "unforgiveable"--too, "unforgiveable" will vary from person to person in different situations, and society's definition will vary as well (different state laws for the death penalty, for example).

For myself, it's disconcerting--to say the least--to find substance possibly at great variance with appearance, i.e., product and public persona. Perhaps it was a mistake for this individual, who was not in fact shunned or shut out of the equestrian community, to become more of a public figure; or at least, optimistic to expect there would be no re-surfacing of an act which is in fact public knowledge. Many believe it's best to ignore false accusations or misguided interpretations; but interpretation is a tricky thing.

Finally, the pluses and minuses of being a public figure have been discussed on this board in many other contexts.

I hope this will add something that you all will find useful in determining your reaction to this topic and its wider implications.

Janet
Jun. 12, 2000, 03:09 PM
I don't know, or want to know the details of this case. But I have thought about the subject in relation to another person I know in another sport. This is someone I have known for over 35 years, since I was about 10 and he was about 20. I am not going to go into details, but I reached two conclusions,

1- "Hate the sin but love the sinner" is a good attitude to take.

2- As a child, as a parent (and even as an adult), never assume that anyone, no matter how well respected, is "safe". Even if he/she is a friend of your parents.

I think it is much more important to be "careful" about everyone, than to have a list of people who have been convicted.

Snowbird
Jun. 12, 2000, 03:26 PM
Like Portia and most of you I have had personal experiences which affect my opinions. None of us is capable of total objectivity. Our own environment, education and experieinces have led into our point of view.

In my case A dear friend in high school was solicited and seduced into a homo-sexual event. He was so shattered by the fact that he had consented that he could not live with it and wound up committing suicide. He was just a teenage boy who trusted someone and didn't know how to get out of the situation.

Granted that 55 years ago the world was totally homophobic, and someone could say that as the cause and not the unexpected sexual encounter, but the fact is that he was seduced and he was a child and he couldn't cope with the circumstances. Therefore, I am very sensitive to the possibilities. This young boy was my best friend at the time and talked with me. I tried to help but I also was only a child and didn't have the answers for him.

We as adults in a very confusing world where gender identity has been grayed need to be wary in order to protect the next generation which is our only hope for the future.

This does not justify "witch hunts" nor persecution of any innocent person, or any one time offender who is genuinely remorseful and understands the damages that may have been incurred by an innocent victim.

We are all involved in different religions, we all have a different point of view because of that. Some may not not believe in organized religions at all and this is not the place to attempt conversions.

We have an issue which is pretty clear cut. It is not a question of innocent until proven guilty, if a person has been convicted.

IF that person is on probation for 15 years, this cannot be such a marginal situation. It certainly, warrants our attention.

We are in a position where we should consider the welfare and safety of the naive children who "may" be involved, in at least equal a value as to the needs of the perpetrator.

We have a conviction, we need a means by which we are assured that there is sufficient remorse to be content that the risk no longer exists.

This perspective does warrant discussion and consideration not only for this situation but for any further that may be disclosed. For example does the AHSA have any authority in a case like this one? Is show management responsible for the character and history of all their employees? Since probably the answer to these questions is NO, then how do we protect those who are not yet mature enough to protect themselves.

I am reminded of some shows on TV which showed how these predators approach children so innocently. One man who simply says can you help me find my little dog? He has run away and then leads the child into the woods. Or, the ones who offer an opportunity for a modeling career and say just come out to my van for a test picture.

As civilized adults we need to be aware and we need to make some system available to protect these children.

wadino
Jun. 12, 2000, 03:44 PM
I was not saying he owes anything to me or anyone else. I was saying he should come here and defend himself. I no where in that message said he owes me anything.

Colin
Jun. 12, 2000, 04:27 PM
He has no reason to come here and defend himself. He is a very highly respected gentleman in a highly critical horse world. Get over it, people. This is a wonderful gentleman we are taking about here!

[This message has been edited by Colin (edited 06-12-2000).]

Goodmudder
Jun. 12, 2000, 04:33 PM
RagsRules and others: Respectfully, I disagree that this man should defend himself. As Colin says, he has no such obligation to address a relatively rabid group of anonymous internet chatters. And I think it has become increasingly clear from some posts on this thread that people really will continue to believe WHATEVER THEY WANT to believe, despite whatever arguments may or may not be made. I firmly believe that for him to dignify this with an answer would be useless.

Garcon
Jun. 12, 2000, 04:36 PM
Get over yourself PepTalk. How dare you tell us what to do and think! I could care less who you are pissed off at! Everyone has a right to their opinion-just because you don't happen to agree doesn't mean you can come here and demand a post to be deleted. Have your tiny tantrum somewhere else-the ADULTS on this board are trying to have a discussion.

Moesha- great post! Thank you for you MATURE insight.

Regalmeans
Jun. 12, 2000, 04:52 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Goodmudder:
Regal Means, you're right and I offer my apology. The post I was referring to in terms of an individual owing nothing was actually put up by RagsRules. I will be more careful in the future, and I really am sorry.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

It's okay. I was just a little shocked to find that there /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif Thanks then, sorry if I overreacted - glad we're both okay w/ this then.

BTW I am the only one having trouble reading this - this page (and ONLY the THIRD page of THIS thread) gets really really wide in BOTH my browsers and is really hard to read!!

Sarah

Calico
Jun. 12, 2000, 05:42 PM
No Reagal, you're not the only one having trouble reading this. This 3rd page is really wide on my browser, as well.

Richard! :D
Jun. 12, 2000, 05:44 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Colin:
He has no reason to come here and defend himself. He is a very highly respected gentleman in a highly critical horse world. Get over it, people. This is a wonderful gentleman we are taking about here!

[This message has been edited by Colin (edited 06-12-2000).]<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I mean if a person commited murder but was a nice guy should we not post about him?

[This message has been edited by Erin (edited 06-12-2000).]

Policy of Truth
Jun. 12, 2000, 05:49 PM
First, for all of you who have commented regarding my convictions as a Christian, I am sorry that you are unwilling to read my posts for what they are. I NEVER condemned anyone (it is not my place) and anyone who knows me or isn't so quick to judge will know I am a FIRM believer in love the sinner hate the sin.
As a counselor in training, I can assure you that what this man did was wrong!
I know this story much better than any of you think.
Becca, when I was your age, I thought I was mature too, however, I realized soon enough I had (and still have) much to learn. Please consider your safety, and please don't assume that he is telling you or anyone else the truth. I emplore you to speak with the State of Florida on this.
I have been contacted by em from this person, and he and I are currently dialoging.
I have recieved other information that continues to contradict his story. If you would like to get the details, please call my best friend, Nicole (AKA Luckyduck) who DID the research! EM me if you desire to get her number.
Just for your information, I never tried to convert anyone. Please re-read my posts and stop condemning me for my beliefs which I do NOT impose on anyone else. I mentioned the issue of forgiveness because I get tired of people throwing the term around without understanding its basis, which, as I said, is a Christian concept. If that offended people, I'd be glad to talk with you about it privately. And I am proud to wear my faith on my sleeve! I am not ashamed!

[This message has been edited by Erin (edited 06-12-2000).]

[This message has been edited by pacificsolo (edited 06-13-2000).]

Ben and Me
Jun. 12, 2000, 08:22 PM
Same here Regal and Calico-Can Erin explain why this happens? I've been away for a few days and trying to catch up. If I remember correctly, the same thing w/ the wide screens happened with the Metal Pole-GM-Palm Beach incident.

Flash44
Jun. 12, 2000, 08:39 PM
The facts are available and public knowledge. fortunately, someone has gone to the effort of obtaining the facts from someone who has direct access to the file. If you do not know what happened, you should find out before you post.

I for one am both sad and upset about this whole thing. I am upset because formerly, my opinion of this person was of a friendly, outgoing, helpful person. I am upset that I was, once again, so fast to think the best of someone. This goes to show you that on the Internet, it is EASY to present yourself to the world in a way that you want to be perceived. It is a bit of a rude awakening for me, but I feel like I will walk away a bit wiser, if sadder.

Speaking as a woman and a parent, I don't feel like this is a "forgive and forget" situation. This is not a person who got into a little financial trouble and wrote some bad checks, or fudged his tax return, or was involved in questionable business practices. What I learned made my heart stop and my skin crawl.

[This message has been edited by Erin (edited 06-12-2000).]

Becca
Jun. 12, 2000, 08:58 PM
Pacific Solo- If I ever even thought I had nothing more to learn, I would be in a very sorry boat. Very fortunately I am not of that belief, nor have I ever been. However, I find it condescending, and ludicrous for someone to tell me to grow up because of my belief. Despite what you think or believe, it gives you no right to treat me in any different manner, and I resent your doing it.

It is, and always has been in my power, and my power alone to make my decisions, and it will continue to be so. I will decide what I consider the truth, and I will also hope that you don't think I am passively accepting one side of this story, and that is the final word. You must realize, certainly, that this board is not the only means of interaction many of us have and use. I will continue to believe what I think is right, not what anyone else thinks is, or tells me to think is. I would in the very least expect everyone here to be a decent enough person to respect that of every single person here.

Policy of Truth
Jun. 12, 2000, 09:33 PM
Becca, I am sorry if I offende you, but the way you have presented your position says to me that you have not checked out the full story. If you will recall, you assumed a lot about me without even knowing me. I have been recieving em's all day from people who are encouraging me in my posts. This is not to "one-up" you, but to point out that very few have been as offended or taken my posts as harmful to others as you have. I do not know you, and I do not intend to insult you..I merely made an observation, and believe it or not, I tried to show concern for you. I understand that you are very upset about the news, and I feel bad for you and everyone else who considered this man safe and a friend. I know what it feels like to be betrayed, and I wouldn't wish it on anyone. I hesitated to write this because I feel that no matter what I say, you will attempt to turn it against me in your next posts, but I CARE about you even though I do not know you. I cannot decide for you what to do, say, be or believe. I just felt and still feel very strongly about the act that was commited..I've counseled those effected by abuse..it's a long road to health from there, and I abhor the thought of him having the opportunity to do it yet again.
Again, if I hurt your feelings, I apologize.

Erin
Jun. 12, 2000, 09:52 PM
All right, folks... LISTEN UP!

I've just done some heavy-duty editing and deleting on this thread, and my patience is running thin. Therefore, I'm going to set some very strict ground rules. If they're not followed, the thread is gone... I can't monitor these threads 24/7, and people obviously aren't using their heads when they post.

There is to be no discussion of what did or didn't happen. The official information is available on the Florida database, and that's where it's going to stay. I don't want to hear any inferences about what the charges do or don't mean. They are what they are. Don't analyze them, or the thread will be shut down.

Do not make personal attacks on those who don't agree with you. Some of these posts are just utterly ridiculous. If you can't have a discussion with respect, you're not welcome here.

Do not make any inferences about the "real" story. If the information isn't on the Florida site, don't post it here. Share it via private email.

I know this topic is about a specific person, but I would much prefer that you guys try to keep it general. I think a discussion of how to protect children is a hell of a lot more important than screaming back and forth about what is, essentially, a difference of opinion. Some people think there's cause for worry in this case, others don't.

I don't think this board is the place to debate this particular case. Take it up with the individual, with show management, whatever. But if this thread doesn't settle down, it's gone, and that's that. I don't work for the Chronicle full-time anymore, and I don't have time to babysit all of you.

wtywmn4
Jun. 12, 2000, 10:26 PM
Maybe the reason we are all up in arms, is that we all feel violated in some form. Our faith in humanity, horse shows etc. has been broken into. I truly do not believe the posters on this thread do not care about what happened. Nor do they believe in their heart of hearts that it was okay. It was NOT. The facts are available for anyone to see. Upon further investigation you can find out more.

Both Moesha and Snowbird possed some very good questions. How do we make our children aware and safe, without making them paranoid? How do we police our horse shows and barns to see this does not happen there? How do we get our penal system changed so that the punishment does fit the crime. How do we incourage parents to become involved, when their work days are so busy they hardly have time to sleep. These are serious subjects, with no easy answers. All of us have to take responsibility, even those who are young enough to be in the junior ranks. There is just too much at stake not to.

So, my question to all of you, is how do we change this? Something that is doable for all of us involved in this industry.

heelsdown
Jun. 12, 2000, 11:22 PM
Here's one idea:

Well when I volunteered with the Boys and Girls Clubs I had to pass a background check as a matter of course, I'd be working with and around kids. I don't think this would work for all shows, especially the small ones but certainly the large shows (or their management companies) could do this. I think barns should do this for their help as well, and for any trainer instructing on their property. You wouldn't catch everyone, but at least you'd get the ones with a record. These kids spend as much time at the horse shows and at the barn with their trainers as they do in school (and there's probably more opportunity at the barn).

Maybe the AHSA could require it for in some manner? Since this is a sport with a large percentage of minors I'd think that it would be a good idea.

me-again
Jun. 13, 2000, 01:29 AM
okay---its late and like many of you i am confused about this entire thread. have a three year old daughter that attends daycare and am VERY sensitive to what goes on in everydayday american life. yeah---its scary.

appreciate and respect everyones concern for children. we need to keep that a number one priority.

i personally feel that the towerheads.com website is professionally done and appreciate hearing/learning from the best. its MY/OUR responsibility, as parents to moderate/nurture.

did you know that jerry springer was once the MAYOR of a major metropolitan city. PLEASE---be mature when posting.

here and now is what matters. gather the facts you need and move on.

Lil
Jun. 13, 2000, 09:07 AM
This entire thread smacks of a witch hunt. There's lots of emotional posturing and that's scary. Take a deep breath and calm down, then get on with your lives.

CAH
Jun. 13, 2000, 09:22 AM
Isn't it interesting that in New Jersey (which is where Megan's Law originated) it is not GENERAL public knowledge about convicted offenders. Many, many safeguards have been built into what is now a complicated system which includes a tier rating. Bottom line, depending upon the offense, a Tier One rating which require registration with the police only; Tier Two will allow the County Prosecutor to release the info to local schools/daycare centers, and Tier 3 (High Risk) will allow neighbors to be notified. ALL INFO must be kept confidential - if you as a neighbor or teacher receive the info, you MAY NOT discuss the info with ANYONE outside the household.
Now, that being said, allow me to comment about some important issues raised here. A good point was brought up about background checks. Quite frankly, the only comprehensive way to perform a background check is to fingerprint an individual and run the prints through NCIC/SCIC. I can't comment on other other states, but locally, it usually costs in the area of $50.00 PER PERSON to have this type of background check done. Multiply that by the countless number of staff at a show (and lets be clear here - these issues are not gender specific) and you see the potential nightmare. Adding to the problem are the number of spectators attending a show. Lets face it...if you are comfortable dropping off your kids at a horse show all day unsupervised, will you also drop them off at the local mall, theatre, or any other public place all day with no supervision???
Another note regarding safety...I enjoy this board very much, and reading posts from many people around the country. But in reality, the Internet is full of people that are occasionally less than truthful. Many people make friends through the Internet, but for every happy ending I can tell you stories about predators who posed as someone else. There are some well known safety tips about protecting children online - if you would like to receive a copy please email me.

Flash44
Jun. 13, 2000, 09:44 AM
The problem with doing background checks is that the individual is usually charged in the county (or state) in which the offense took place. You would need to know all of the past addresses of the individual, check those counties, and surrounding counties and still miss something because you did not check the right court.

Inverness
Jun. 13, 2000, 10:06 AM
The fact that accurate information is difficult to obtain does not excuse anyone from the obligation to verify the facts before making public statements.

I'm not here to express an opinion on this topic, just to caution everyone that you MUST understand the potential legal consequences of posting information that you have not personally verified. Don't allow your emotional reactions to an issue to jeopardize your own best interests.

PepTalk
Jun. 13, 2000, 10:22 AM
I am sorry, Garcon, if I offended you. I have been having a hard week because of finals and I just needed to vent. Guess, I vented a little too much. I shouldn't have said what I said and I agree but, you didn't have to insult me the way you did by impling that I am NOT mature. That hurt, that REALLLY HURT. I will make sure I have a "clear" head the next time I post something.

On a note to everyone else on this BB, espically to Erin and the moderaterers to this board. I am ashamed of myself for the way I acted yesterday and I apoloigize. I didn't mean to blow up like that and I should have been more considered of other people's feelings. Obviously, I was not. And for that I am sorry. You guys have been great people to conferse with and I am sorry that I took advantage of you, which I didn't mean to do.

Will you guys forgive me for my actions yesterday and permit me to talk about the number one true love in my life, besides my family, horses?

I hope so.

pwynnnorman
Jun. 13, 2000, 10:25 AM
I while back, I started a thread on something like an equine Better Business Bureau. I'm thinking that something like that--where individuals "in the business" could become members because they choose to do business in a professional way, abide by a code of ethics, and allow for the recording and arbitration of complaints against them--would at least enable parents to check out the records of pros their children may interact with and/or simply choose to use only those who meet the association's high standards. I think, but I'm not sure, that there is an organization like that in the AQHA industry. Membership wouldn't be required, but it might become desireable by those who WANT to be associated with high quality and trustworthy, professional business practices.

CAH
Jun. 13, 2000, 11:18 AM
I would like to share some valuable web sites for parents and teens regarding safety on the Internet (and other issues regarding safety).
Please visit them.

www.missingkids.com (http://www.missingkids.com)
www.getnetwise.org (http://www.getnetwise.org)
www.safeteens.com (http://www.safeteens.com)
www.safesurfin.com (http://www.safesurfin.com)

A Parent's Guide to Internet Safety
www.fbi.gov/library/pguide/pguide/htm (http://www.fbi.gov/library/pguide/pguide/htm)

Parents Guide to the Internet
www.ed.gov/pubs/parents/internet/html (http://www.ed.gov/pubs/parents/internet/html)

Hope this helps!

Policy of Truth
Jun. 13, 2000, 01:04 PM
I like the idea of an equine Better Business Bureau. I wish one had been est. a few months ago, as I purchased a "brood" mare, and found out she is NOT a broodmare! Anyhow,I think a lot of us are overwhelmed by the news, but there has to be someway of helping kids to learn what to recognize as innapropriate behavior from adults as well as teaching them that it is ok to distance themselves (boundaries) from people they don't feel comfortable around.
I think it would also be of help for people to learn what the deffinitions of these types of behaviors are, the probable outcomes, as well as the treatments available. I am of the belief that the more you understand the componebts of an issue, the better you'll be at evaluating it.
I do not have children, but as one friend pointed out in a private em, we are a village, and we are all responsible for helping to raise children in our "village".

luckyduck
Jun. 13, 2000, 01:58 PM
I think the other thing we have to remember here is that there are a lot of "others" that have had their world turned upside down in this situation.....trust in friendships is the foundation of a friendship and when that is comprimised.....all kinds of serious questions run through peoples minds.

I too think that raising and protecting our children "in the village" is the objective...not focusing on one man with a public life. We are loosing the battle if we are that blind.

All the people that post on these boards, act as moderators, own the web sites or are the master minds behind the Web....open doors for everyone who participate.....using that to the negative will only crush a valuble tool.

In the past four days....I have gained incredible respect for several posters on this board. A few of which are "bigger", braver, people than I will ever be.

And on another note.....the Better Horse Bureau.....great idea!

Garcon
Jun. 13, 2000, 02:12 PM
Hey PepTalk-
Now that was a mature post, and not easy to do! Of course all is forgiven, everyone has a bad day now and then! /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Policy of Truth
Jun. 13, 2000, 02:54 PM
What would it take to create a Better Horse Bureau? Do we need capitol or help, both? What?
So far, this is the best suggestion I have heard in a while..it seems that it would enable us to cover a wide section of issues that directly or indirectly effect us in this industry. Maybe it would be something those of you who are more business oriented could comment on.
On another note, I have been typing my little fingers off in response to a lot of questions, and I have truly enjoyed getting to know some of you in a very special and meaningful way. I hate that it was under such sad circumstances, but my respect for many of you has increased ten-fold, as my prayers have for those of you hurt personally in this situation.
I am really interested in this idea mentioned regarding the BHB...let me know what it would take..maybe a group of us could research it and bring it for review on this BB in the future..any ideas?

laura
Jun. 13, 2000, 03:06 PM
pacificsolo, check out this old thread, some of the info may be of interest to you.
http://www.chronofhorse.com/ubb/Forum2/HTML/001741.html

The one thing that all of my research stressed as the most important point is that in GREAT majority of abuse cases, the abuser is a close, trusted adult and not a stranger.

Also, I think the BHB idea is a good one.

Policy of Truth
Jun. 13, 2000, 03:26 PM
Laura,
I just got finished reading your post..WOW!!!! I'm going to show this to my colleagues as a quick reference, if that's ok by you!

laura
Jun. 13, 2000, 03:29 PM
pacificsolo, feel free to share with anyone and everyone, thats what its there for!

wtywmn4
Jun. 13, 2000, 08:25 PM
Boy two thumbs up for the "Better Horse Bureau"! That would be a wonderful way to start clearing the decks, so to speak. It would be nice to have someplace were you could take your complaints. Also, maybe someone could come up with a "type" of Interpol in the horse world. A clearing house, that would allow potenial employers a ways and means to check people out.

[This message has been edited by wtywmn4 (edited 06-13-2000).]

Ghazzu
Jun. 13, 2000, 09:55 PM
Although forgiveness may be a central issue in Christianity, forgiveness is not the sole province of Christians.

The concept existed before Christ, and it exists elsewhere than in that one world view.

Policy of Truth
Jun. 13, 2000, 10:14 PM
Gazzu, per Erin's request, we have moved away from that subject and we are now working through the idea of what we can do to help in this type of situation as well as a myriad of others. If you will em me privately, I will help you to see my side of this argument.

N&B&T
Jun. 13, 2000, 10:15 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by luckyduck:
I think the other thing we have to remember here is that there are a lot of "others" that have had their world turned upside down in this situation.....trust in friendships is the foundation of a friendship and when that is comprimised.....all kinds of serious questions run through peoples minds.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Absolutely agree with the above, luckyduck-- and, again, without full information, people are going to be pretty vehement looking at the title and contents of the site originally listed, at least in their initial reaction.

Pwynn, that equine/equestrian BBB was a good idea the first time around. Tricky, though...

Snowbird
Jun. 13, 2000, 10:49 PM
Actually, from past experience the PHA is the best source for such an agency. Professional Horsemen should be in the front of any such concept. They have the credentials and history.

pwynnnorman
Jun. 14, 2000, 07:05 AM
Yeah, Snowbird, they SHOULD. But where the heck are "they"? (In other words, TODAY'S "professional horseman" WON'T, friend--recall the microchipping and registering horses will never happen arguments I made a while back). There are too many out there who are afraid of accountability. That's one group which is highly unlikely to initiate something like this. Solid-citizen individuals may jump on the bandwagon once it has been set up, but to expect them to actually get together and ORIGINATE it? NEVER HAPPEN! For one thing, that would require someone(s) to actually stick his/her/their neck(s) out and LEAD the way... Outside of the show ring-show thing, have you seen anyone "in the business" leading the way lately?

Policy of Truth
Jun. 14, 2000, 09:33 AM
I agree, "PWY"! I think if we want something to work, we can't rely on anything that is already established...why? Because it's NOT WORKING!!!!!! Thus all the threads that mention and desire the need for some house-cleaning!
Snowbird, I am not downing you at all...I just think that if we want things to change (which seems to be the concensus) we have to do something that has never been done...i.e. the BHB...

PepTalk
Jun. 14, 2000, 10:07 AM
Hey, Garcon, thanks for the post! Monday was just NOT one of my better days recently, that's for sure! I am MUCH more happier, but, nervous now because I show in my first "A" rated show in TWO days! Ahhhhh!!!!
Talk to you later! /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Snowbird
Jun. 14, 2000, 12:44 PM
I wonder if it possible for an association like the AHSA to refuse to grant membership to someone who is a convicted felon or predator?

And, if it were possible, would it be possible to have them listed on the list of suspended persons?

Would we all be willing to pay a registration fee of $50.00 with our membership to guarantee a background search?

Ghazzu
Jun. 14, 2000, 12:54 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Snowbird:


Would we all be willing to pay a registration fee of $50.00 with our membership to guarantee a background search?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

No.

Pewter
Jun. 14, 2000, 12:59 PM
Yes, Snowbird...and while we're at it, why don't we do something to ensure that everyone in our workplace has a completely clean record. How about our neighbors??? Can we pick and choose neighborhoods to live in by background checks? What about when we go out to dinner -- can we have the restaurant check everyone else out before we sit down to eat? What about the parks and other public places???? Can we make people go through a check in station to ensure that they have never/ever done anything against the law in their life before?

I have been arrested before -- for a DUI -- I could have killed someone. This was many years ago - I made a mistake - I have not repeated that mistake. Is a DUI a lesser crime than predator? Gee -- I think I would rather be molested than killed....hummm????

THIS IS LIFE, PEOPLE...NOT EVERYONE HAS A COMPLETELY CLEAN RECORD>>>>YOU WILL NEVER BE GUARANTEED SAFE ANYWHERE.....NOT EVEN IN YOUR OWN HOME --

Let's just all try to do the best we can with the lives we have...that's all we should expect from one another.

Yng Amateur
Jun. 14, 2000, 01:19 PM
Well said, Pewter. You are right -- everyone has made mistakes in their lives - some worse than others. We are not perfect creatures. That doesn't mean that I have to respect or like someone that has done something that I consider to be AWFUL in their past. It simply means that I am not there to judge this person. The person we are all talking about does not scare or intimidate me in the least. I'm not saying that I would let him babysit my children, but I am saying that I don't feel him to be any sort of threat to anyone at the horse shows. Hey - -what about the water boy or jump crew person that has been convicted of molestation.....we're not jumping all over those people.

jch
Jun. 14, 2000, 05:09 PM
I just sat and read through the four pages of this thread. I am struck by the complexity of the problem, the natural concerns, as well as the the "yankee ingenuity" which seeks to find a solution and the generous spirit of the posters who are so quickly willing to put aside differing views to work together. This is really sportsmanship in the highest degree. I do not believe that even finger printing and background checks will guarantee safety from predators. But, I do beleive that the spirit of concern and caring that is expressed here can make the difference if carried to the barns and show rings (and every where in between). We are responsible to take action when we think there's a problem. If we see something that we think looks "off", it probably is. Make your presence known, maybe by excusing yourself to ask a question of the person. Let someone know, tactfully, that you have a concern. ("I know X would never mean to harass anyone, but they may not realize that saying thus and so is not appropriate"). It certainly takes up some of our time and courage, but in the end, a little action taken on the spot can be so much more effective than allowing ourselves to be lulled into a false sense of security.

CAH
Jun. 14, 2000, 06:03 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Snowbird:
I wonder if it possible for an association like the AHSA to refuse to grant membership to someone who is a convicted felon or predator?

And, if it were possible, would it be possible to have them listed on the list of suspended persons?

Would we all be willing to pay a registration fee of $50.00 with our membership to guarantee a background search?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


I don't think it is a matter of would we be willing to pay the money; IMO is it more what would it accomplish? Would it prohibit non members from showing at AHSA shows? No. Would it prohibit shows from hiring non AHSA members? No. Would it protect our children? Probably not. There is a fine line here between intervention by an Association and the right to privacy. What if someone committed a crime 20 years ago? Lets face it, there are individuals out there in the equine business with less than stellar backgrounds. Some just relocate from one part of the country to another...and it takes some time for their reputation to follow them. But, if anything, this post and others HOPEFULLY have opened the eyes of those who walk around thinking "this sort of thing can't happen here...". Guess what, it does. Now, lets deal with it. There have been some very good ideas shared here from various posters...and hopefully we have learned from this. Educate yourself. Educate your children. If you are an adult, keep a watchful eye out for activities you may deem suspicious. As a parent, don't expect the barn trainer, owner, and/or adult boarder to babysit your kids 24/7. And most importantly, lets not bury our heads in the sand...and hope all will be well.

wtywmn4
Jun. 14, 2000, 06:07 PM
Here's a question for you Pewter, do you still drink and drive? If you're clean and sober, bless you! Thats a very hard thing to do.

And no, no one is perfect. Being killed or molested? Lovely, what a nice choice. Let's hope you were trying to make a point. I think you were, but people are tired of all the tirads, and making the best of one's life does mean IMPROVEMENT.

Wojjie
Jun. 14, 2000, 07:05 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by CAH:

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
As a parent, don't expect the barn trainer, owner, and/or adult boarder to babysit your kids 24/7.

I recognize that my post will be going off in a different direction, but what CAH says is true. Parents could always offer to pay the adult boarder $6 - *8 n hour for babysitting services. (I have experienced times when I felt submitting a bill for sitting services was warranted.) I know my barn's manager gets frustrated with the kids at the barn all the time now since school is out. Parents, please don't assume I (an adult boarder) or the barn manager will know (or care!) what your kids are up to at the show, the barn, in the tack room, out behind the indoor arena, or in the jump filed on their horse unsupervised trying the preliminary level bank without a helmet.

A poster very early on in this thread said he always felt comfortable dropping his children off at the show and picking them up at the end of the day, but was having second thoughts about that plan. I waded through 4 more pages of the thread to arrive here and plead with parents on the heels the post I quoted above - don't just drop the kids off and disappear for the day - for whatever reason: fear of child molesters, or a the common-sense approach of being responsible for your children and their activities.
Okay, I'm off the soap-box.
Thanks, and I'll listen again now.

Flash44
Jun. 14, 2000, 07:28 PM
Pewter, I think that a DUI is slightly different than what the charge was in this instance. Neither is good, but one is understandable and the other defies comprehension.

CarrieK
Jun. 15, 2000, 12:38 AM
Just a clarification on background checks...(I work for the state police and have some knowledge in this).

One can go to their local department and get a "background check." At the smaller department where I first worked, this was done all the time. And all we could check were any records our department held. Many small child-care businesses used this method to satisfy "criminal history" checks, even though it is relatively useless.

One can request a "criminal history" check. Fingerprints are submitted and that, with the personal identification information (and proper Freedom of Information Act paperwork), is run through the state and the National Crime Information Center computers. This will check the person's criminal history nationally. (The only problem is that until recently not all states were automated so there is a chance of older convictions not being accessible. Also there are many cases of incomplete information, i.e. the arrest info is there but not the charge and conviction info, and the charge and conviction info is the more important info.) It takes from 4-6 weeks to process these requests. And there is a cost.

From my knowledge of the law, I believe it would not be possible for the AHSA to prohibit people with any type of criminal histories from joining the organization. I believe it would be proven unconstitutional.

And I'm only speaking in general terms, but I believe it would be difficult to bar someone with a history of an assault against a child --I'm speaking generally here--from working at horse shows. It could be argued that working with children is not the same as working in a place where children may be. For instance, working with children could include being a teacher, a 4H leader, a school bus driver. Working where children may be could include being a store clerk, a waiter, a horse show attendant. I'm thinking that because most horse shows are attended by adults as well as children, this could sway an argument againt it being a situation of working with children. Of course, the opposite argument could be made.

I don't want to marginalize anyone's experience, or diminish the importance and impact of the type of crime we're discussing, but in this thread there is talk of only one person with this type of history in our sport. Yet from the hysteria here it would seem that every other person is a predator. Of course I know that there are many people in the world committing these type acts--believe me, my years in law enforcement have given me an added insight to this problem. But my experience also tells me that hysteria will not and does not ever help or mend a situation. Suggesting that this person come to this board and explain and repent {to a bunch of people who don't even use their real names! http://www.chronofhorse.com/ubb/rolleyes.gif } will serve only as a good platform for a virtual stoning, but not a good platform for anything else. Trying to get the sport to regulate itself in this area--a sport that cannot or will not regulate itself in so many easier areas to regulate, so many sport-specific areas as opposed to regulating broad societal problems--is noble but will be ineffective.

This thread can aid in bringing this topic to the forefront, and some posters have added links to informational sites which can increase awareness. And that's the most we can do--open lines of communication with the children: a simple word or gesture from them can clue you in on a problem (body language may not tell you exactly what's wrong, but it will tell you that something is wrong); read literature on the crime and its perpetrators to become aware; keep vigilant.

For those with direct contact with the person in question: you have the information, now you can decide whether to interact with this person or not. And now you can decide whether to share that information with stable-mates and show-friends and other people who will have contact with this person.

As for me, well, I run in different circles from this person. I don't find the website to be improper in any way.

I'm glad to see this thread has moved from its initial ugliness to a more constructive
tone.

But I wonder what will be next? We've had the nastiness a few months ago. And this. What will be the next reason--excuse--for us all to jump on our high horse and spew invective on someone else, and the members here.

I know, I know, don't let the virtual door hit me on the way out.....

N&B&T
Jun. 15, 2000, 08:50 AM
CarrieK, I respect your opinion enormously (and wish you would give it more /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif). One thing, though...while you are correct in saying this thread deals with one individual, it MAY be that the problem is a little more endemic, I don't know. I'm thinking of the post by laura, which was either on the old "abuse" thread, or the old "drinking/drugs" thread. Perhaps people's vehemence also stems from having a "target" rather than a vague sense that this sort of thing exists where undetected until WAY after the fact? And then that accentuates the impression several posters have mentioned of the "witch hunt" aspect of this and other discussions.

I don't think any issue is taboo PER SE, but agree that HOW things are discussed is extremely important if we are to use the amazing tool of the internet to its best advantage.

Thoughts?

laura
Jun. 15, 2000, 09:42 AM
Nancey and CarrieK, I couldn't agree more. I think that this definitely is an insiduous problem, in the horse world just as in the larger world.

I think that the bext thing we can do is educate, and our time is best spent discussing ways to do just that. Websites, pamphlets at shows, any other ideas???

luckyduck
Jun. 15, 2000, 09:56 AM
Apparently this is also something that the AHSA is already looking into.....guess I just didn't think they were paying attention.

Goodmudder
Jun. 15, 2000, 10:14 AM
CarrieK - your post was so right on, and very thoughtfully written - I only wish I could have controlled my emotions more and been as articulate as you were. (Thank you.
I would have emailed privately, but I see you don't have your address up.)

wtywmn4
Jun. 15, 2000, 10:14 AM
Laura, you just stated a very good idea! Pamphlets included with horse show packets. Granted it would only be to exhibitors, but maybe it's a start. Just reminders to both adults and children in general terms.

CarrieK thank you for the imformation. It is much needed, and appreciated. Nancy, I ditto what Laura stated.

N&B&T
Jun. 15, 2000, 10:37 AM
We all read and contribute (boy, do we contribute /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif ) to this bb--and given the membership numbers, a fair amount of other people lurk--BUT, 1500 is a LOT different than 25,000 (or 75,000 for that matter...).

So--what does EVERYBODY "look" at? There may be several different "categories" of various media that appeal to or are paid attention to by various types of participants in equestrian sports as well as those who ride for their personal pleasure. Remember that not everyone is showing, or, showing at the "big" shows along the east coast. If you want to get everyone, it might be best to identify who's looking at/taking in what.

Granted this is very general, but hopefully will help with a starting point or points. And, while I'm responding on this thread to laura, I bet the approach could be used to gain support for a number of worthwhile efforts (say, didn't someone start a thread about that kind of thing a week or so ago? /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif ). Please let me know what you think...

laura
Jun. 15, 2000, 11:09 AM
Nancey, I think there have been a whole slew of them lately! How about putting info in publications like (hint hint) the COTH, Yankee Pedlar, etc. There are so many equestrian magazines and papers out there, wonder if they'd be interested? Check out CTT's website ideas on the BBHB thread too. Maybe provide tackshops with pamphlets for distribution with purchases?

Policy of Truth
Jun. 15, 2000, 11:28 AM
I think that the idea of pamphlets is really good. But as you said, we need to get an idea of what type of media the public is actually looking at. This could easily be accomplished by the larger orgs. in our industry. In fact, this type of information would benefit the orgs. in more ways than just this one!(i.e. commercially).
I hope that because of the "fire" on this post, that people are more aware than ever as to the serious nature of this subject. I am not saying people were not before, but I know several em's I recieved were people on this board asking everything from what Megan's Law is to the psychopathological details of this subject in general.... and for those of you NOT well versed in psychology and it's terms, the word "Psychopathology" means "the manifestations of mental disorders" (Maxmen & Ward, 1995). And for those of you who are interested, this type of disorder falls under the "Sexual & Gender Identity Disorders"(1995),specifically "Paraphilias" (1995).
This is in NO WAY an implication on the part of the person we had previously been discussing, but rather some information that I HOPE will be helpfull to somebody on this board.

laura
Jun. 15, 2000, 11:57 AM
In addition to what types of media people are looking at, we need to figure out what types of media are accessable for us to use to get this message across. The internet and print media immediately jump to mind. Maybe set up one main site, and a graphic/small public service announcement/link to the site and ask alot of horse related sites to include it. Also, we could have printable one page fliers on the site for tack shops/parents/kids or whoever to print out and distribute.

Snowbird
Jun. 15, 2000, 12:56 PM
I think the first point is that most horse people look at things that affect them personally. If there is one consistency it is that until it comes down your driveway you're not aware of a problem.

I also think that most of us are so busy we don't have time for anything else much more than horses, "our" horses.

So how do we get them to read? The Chronicle was built on the fact that people like to see their name in print. Publishing show results gave everyone the opportunity to read about the show they were at, and what others in their choice divisions was doing at other shows which they did not attend. A very personal and introspective view of the sport.

We make the visual media like TV only when there are tragedies or some one is involved in criminal activity.

"It won't happen to me", is the excuse for not being interested in the wider world. So the question is how do we get a story published, get fliers circulated is some way that people will be made aware.

I can visualize many situations where a youngster will want to know how to I get to be a catch rider for someone with a fancy pony or horse. Then, a person who wants to seduce this child makes the offer. Pretty hard to turn down, when it's your dream come true. Propositions and circumstances get out of hand due to innocent trust.

So perhaps, the approach should be to explain how this sort of thing really happens, what the normal terms and conditions should be, and therefore the parents and childrens would be made aware. I don't think our children would be seduced by someone to go off with them without such a promise of success.

Perhaps, we can learn what the normal propositions are like and describe and explain them.

[This message has been edited by Snowbird (edited 06-15-2000).]

Policy of Truth
Jun. 15, 2000, 01:52 PM
I would be happy to help in any way I can. As a horseman as well as someone studying for their masters in counseling, I can assist with the technical and clinical specifics of what it means to be a "sex offender", although I will need the support of people like Jennifer (aka Portia)and Carrie to help me with the legalities of such an issue.
I would suggest several books to those of you wanting to learn more, and after I finish 7 papers which are due tomorrow (YUK!), I will post more.
First, the primary source would be our industries diagnostic manual titled the DSM-IV. This gives the specifics used to diagnose such a person. The second would be a text titled Essential Psychopathology and its Treatment,2nd ed. written by Jerrold S. Maxmen and Nicholas G. Ward, which further elaborates on the DSM-IV in a more conversational and clinical manner.

Flash44
Jun. 15, 2000, 04:45 PM
How do you educate your children about getting themselves out of a potentially abusive situation? I'm sure that they are, for the most part, blindsided by these people. I am Catholic, and grew up thinking that sex was BAD, unless you were married and trying to have a baby. I really think that I would have been too ashamed and guilty feeling to go to my parents about someone who was acting improperly towards me. It's a lot easier for adults to find help than children.

Policy of Truth
Jun. 15, 2000, 04:57 PM
Flash, that is indeed understandable. I also grew up in a Christian home, and was never taught sex was bad, but that it was reserved for marriage. I never liked taliking with my parents about sex even then! I would say that parents can help children understand what is private and what is innapropriate to be touched or discussed in certain ways. Instead of telling them they have to inform their parents, they can be told that people who do such things like that are wrong and "bad" and if they are not told on they can't be told to stop by the police. By saying all of this, you are getting on their level of understanding as well as offering a solution by saying that the police could help the person in question to stop, as well as letting them know you as their parent care about protecting them. I think the worse thing would be to keep silent and thereby say by proxy that it's not ok to talk about or to report.
I would suggest to anyone that learns of inapropriate contact with their children to contact a therapist at once. You would be surprised as to how much dammage can occur from just a sexual comment made by an adult to a child. It's a lot easier to help a child handle it at an early age than for them to have to handle it at a much older age.

laura
Jun. 15, 2000, 04:58 PM
That is why it's important that parents talk to their children about these issues specifically. Teach them what is improper, and that they should not be embarrassed and TELL about it no matter what. Teach kids they have nothing to be embarrassed about and that no matter what, no matter what anyone else tells them, its NOT their fault. It seems to me that alot of times this subject is viewed as taboo, so kids dont know what to do if they are abused. Also, alot if times it is a trusted adult or parent that is the abuser, and when that trust is abused kids don't always know where else they can go. I'm not at all sure how this subject is approached in elementary and pre-schools these days, if at all.

Snowbird
Jun. 15, 2000, 10:53 PM
An important thing is to make the children aware that the "evil" stranger may look kind and gentle and be very polite.That's they're strength they seem very nice and very friendly and attractive, not at all like a "monster".

We teach them not to go with strangers, not to talk to strangers but the predator may not seem to be a stranger.

Weatherford
Jun. 15, 2000, 11:47 PM
Thanks for posting Foxhunter!

One of the things discussed on previous threads (sexual abuse, abuse, weight, etc) was giving young people places to go/people to talk to if and when they are not heard by their parents. We have posted links to the numerous self-help groups (such as Alanon) as well as various abuse sites. Some members of this BB have already opened their ears and minds to some of the kids already affected by these columns. (Our own Equine support system!) Check out the previous threads (email me directly if you can't find them)!

Thanks again for posting - it takes courage.

CarrieK
Jun. 16, 2000, 03:08 AM
On my screen, Nancey's last post (06-15 at 10:37AM) stopped dead in the middle [much like my old 4H pony used to do /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif] ... if anybody posted after that, it hasn't come up on my screen [which will teach me to use the state's equipment for my personal pleasure /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif] so, sorry if someone's comments to me go unacknowledged.

Thanks for the kind words, everyone, but I'm not as even-keeled as this most recent post suggests. Apparently--hopefully--devildog was the only one subjected to my previous-but-since-edited rant..well, it was more of a sanctimonious lecture [who am I to talk about others being on their high horse?
http://www.chronofhorse.com/ubb/rolleyes.gif ] than anger-fest, but long and tedious and painful just the same.

But yes, Nancey, I'm certain you're right: people here focussed all their fear and anger onto the very real image of the very real person in question as opposed to some vaguely human-looking, police sketch-artist rendering, or some "boogey man." And it really is understandable, in a way, if we were all together in a room--the barn office--and involved in a heated, immediate, face-to-face discussion.

But although heated, the Internet isn't immediate--it takes most people a bit of time to type out a response. Even if one can zip off a post before the anger cools, you'd think they'd come back the next day in a calmer mood--like Goodmudder has--and think, "oops, that really didn't help things."

As to being pro-active: the only thing about suggesting pamphlets at horse shows is that--and please don't think I'm dismissing this issue or anyone's ideas--is that it could lead to a, well, panic is too melodramatic a word. But say that you don't come to this site or read whatever magazine in which this particular situation was addressed (if it was ever addressed that way; I don't know whether it was or whether word just "got out"). Anyway, you get your show packet and among the various papers is a pamphlet on sexual predators. So you think: why this, why here, and why now? And you look around and wonder what's been going on that you're not aware of. And you think, this must be one huge, pervasive problem if "they" feel strongly enough to put out flyers. Are "they" looking for someone, a serial rapist, maybe? And you look at the men--because men are perpetrators more often than women, although women, of course, can be predators--is it him? Did he do it? And you keep the kids on a short leash, and the whole thing creeps you out--something must have happened; "they" wouldn't have put anything in the show packet for no reason--so maybe you'll just skip the next show at this farm, just to be on the safe side.

Of course, it may not play out that way. If some group--the AHSA, just as an example--issued literature with a type of statement: "another in our series of informative articles" that could lessen the panic, for want of a better word.
(But then I'm sure people would complain: what's the AHSA using our money on that for? Why not something more horse-related?)

Uh-oh, long and tedious again. Sorry.
]

CAH
Jun. 16, 2000, 07:05 AM
The Junior issue of the COTH was one of the best issues I have read in a long time...the article from the juniors talking about drinking and the circuit was well prepared, well written and I am sure opened some eyes. Maybe an article on children, safety and the equine world would also impact readers. There have been some excellent tips provided here, to both adults and children. Perhaps an article on how to protect your children at the barn/show arena would serve the same purpose. Just a thought...

N&B&T
Jun. 16, 2000, 08:41 AM
CarrieK, long but NEVER tedious...and your points are VERY pertinent and well made. Calm and balanced discussion of the ISSUES, of factual and reliable information, and of practical ways to deal with problems, from ALL viewpoints will, IM(H)O, allow this group to proceed in the most effective manner to the best end.

I'm not advocating sitting back and doing nothing, or losing the energy that is generated in initial discussions; but rather, remembering the tortoise and the hare--if that's not too light an analogy for so serious a topic (and of course, this is not entirely theoretical, which is why we are all so concerned).

Maybe we need to restrain our very natural impulses to leap into the fray to allow time to hear suggestions like CarrieK's, which will permit us to present our view in a way that will be helpful and not alienating...the best way to get people to give you a hearing (I've tried the other way, doesn't work so well, have references LOL).

[This message has been edited by Nancey Phillips Fisher (edited 06-16-2000).]

Snowbird
Jun. 16, 2000, 11:48 AM
Losing confidence in your parents is not a "little" thing. It affects the way you live your whole life afterwards.

Yes, it's been going on for thousands of years all the while that children were simply viewed as the property of adults. I said earlier to someone that I have had many "almost" situations and yes it did affect me. I am suspicious in all circumstances now for my children and my grandchildren.

The changes can be very subtle or very obvious. The idea that a child consents has "enjoyed" or "wanted it" is created in the sick mind of the perpetrator.

A child has no idea of the implications and is YES! trying to please someone who they respect, someone they think is an authority figure, or someone they think has their best interests at heart. The incestuous father says he is doing his child a favor, he is preventing them from having to learn about sex the wrong way!

But our issue here is HOW? Do we make parents aware? How? Do we protect the children from innocent looking situations that might scar their lives.

So far we have the idea of a flyer that can be printed out for parents that all barn managers and trainers can make available.

I do agree whole heartedly about the News Articles in the magazines. Can we find enough juniors willing to talk about how and why they were seduced or solicited? Then perhaps there could be a story written and sent to all the publications. Do we have any volunteers for writing the story? Do we have any volunteers for telling their story?

Black Market Radio
Jun. 16, 2000, 01:03 PM
Carrie, refresh me for what I was attacked by you for? If it was on this thread, you have me mistaken for someone else as I havne't posted on this thread until now! (If you tell me, I promise I won't get mad, I am just curious since my name was brought up! /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif )

jch
Jun. 16, 2000, 01:14 PM
I don't know how helpful this information will be, but I know that most of the schools in our area start programs for even the very young elementary school children to help them learn that if someone makes them feel bad, they should tell an adult right away. If the first adult doesn't listen, they are told to keep talking (parents, teachers, adult relatives, friends) until someone does listen. School counselors are trained to listen to children and help them talk to the adults in their lives when necessary. Teachers (elementary through secondary) attend workshops and seminars to help them recognize and direct children who are having any one of a multitude of problems. Schools really are a good resource for information on lots of problems which involve children.

CAH
Jun. 16, 2000, 01:40 PM
As I commented earlier, perhaps an article in a major magazine would be a great way to bring this out into the open...BUT there are issues on this post as well as other posts (what comes to mind is the discussion on " verbally abusive trainers") that could/should be incorporated into one article. Abuse takes on the form of physical, emotional and/or a sexual nature. Neglect is also a form of abuse. An article could take on several forms depending on the audience...advice for new parents looking for trainers/barns for their children (and lets face it - most parents new to the equine world look for LOCATION); safety tips; what to expect from a barn/trainer; etc. For those deep into competition, an article could be geared towards the competitors (young and old). Yes, schools often have programs for children, but primarily the YOUNG children. I would sincerely hope that we are not finding seven year olds UNSUPERVISED at horse shows. I think we are talking about older youth (13-17)...maybe I am wrong but it is the group that I worry about the most.
Okay, I'm done now /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

AMom
Jun. 16, 2000, 04:35 PM
I hate to say it CAH, but I have been to plenty of shows where there were lots of 10 and unders running around unsupervised or under the "supervision" of a 12-13 year old. At the end of the day you hear a lot of, has anyone seen "Susie" lately? from the kids' mothers! http://www.chronofhorse.com/ubb/eek.gif However, that aside, I think you make good points!

Snowbird
Jun. 16, 2000, 08:37 PM
New Jersey has just passed a law that all convicted sexual predators must register if they come to New Jersey and they will have their names addresses and history published.
That's a start!

heelsdown
Jun. 16, 2000, 08:46 PM
I can't help but think this is a good thing. I have to say that prompted by this recent incident I went to the State of Florida site and put in my own zip code (they have a multi search feature, by name, county, or zip code) it was staggering how many there were in my own "neighborhood". It is my true hope that these offenders are undergoing treatment for their "condition" and that they will not repeat their prior offense(s) BUT more importantly it is a reminder to never let your guard down. Teach your kids to be solid and strong, teach them about the "snakes in the grass" as well as the "lions at the watering hole." I hope I make my point clear. I have another post to follow.

CarrieK
Jun. 16, 2000, 11:43 PM
devildog--you didn't attack me. After a very long post of mine, your post merely pointed out that I had misread or overlooked something. My post was based entirely on my mis-reading. Your gentle reminder caused me to re-read, become embarassed, and then to edit. That's all. /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Unless I misread again and it wasn't you? /infopop/emoticons/icon_redface.gif The post which immediately followed mine has since been deleted.

Snowbird
Jun. 17, 2000, 01:05 PM
The simple fact is that all perpetrators seem to explain their fall from grace by blaming other people, other circumstances. There is no evidence that they are remorceful for the damages they may have done but regret it solely for the inconvenience it causes them. There is no evidence that any have ever been cured by therapy, and while some have responded to various drug therapy, there is no way the guarantee that they will be maintained on those drugs. It is not uncommon for many psychotics to believe that the drugs are not necessary.

So, the issue we need to decide is whether the rights of the accused are more valuable than the rights of the victims. It seems to me from studying the statistics that these perpetrators just escalate their crimes in order to hide their offenses, rather than to attempt to control their perversions.

We have many cases of murderers who were the receipients of generous liberal interpreatations that freed them from their punishment only to have them kill again and again.

Rehabiliation seems to be a double edged sword. It is a kind concept unless it is a member of your family that is the victim. Then, we call it revenge and punishment.

Black Market Radio
Jun. 17, 2000, 03:32 PM
Oh yeah, now I remember! I had deleted it as a test because for some reason I couldn't edit or delete posts. I thought that one was of little consequence, so I tried deleting it and I guess it finally did! Ok! Now we're clear! /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Snowbird
Jun. 17, 2000, 08:05 PM
New Jersey Assembly Clears Plan To
Put Sex Offenders On Net
A proposed constitutional amendment designed to
allow the state to post the names and faces of
dangerous sex offenders on the Internet easily
passed the Assembly yesterday. Without debate, the
Assembly passed the proposed amendment by a vote
of 72-2, with Assemblyman Wilfredo Caraballo
(D-Essex) and Assemblywoman Nia Gill (D-Essex)
casting the only negative votes. By Robert
Schwaneberg, Star-Ledger
Prisons & Corrections

Snowbird
Jun. 17, 2000, 08:10 PM
Florida High Court Rules `Sexual
Predator' Term Can Be Used
How inflammatory is the term "sexually violent
predator"? Not enough to keep it off the printed
instructions jurors receive when they hear arguments
on whether sex offenders who have completed their
prison terms should indefinitely be held in treatment
centers. That's what the state's year-old Jimmy Ryce
Act is all about. By Marcia Gelbart, Palm Beach Post
Florida

Florida To Probe Escape From Privately
Run Sex-Offender Center
A Florida legislative committee has ordered a state
investigation of last week's escape from the Martin
Treatment Center for violent sex offenders and of a
private Pennsylvania company that operates the
facility west of Stuart. By Pat Moore, Palm Beach
Post
Florida

Ben and Me
Jun. 17, 2000, 08:23 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Snowbird:
I do agree whole heartedly about the News Articles in the magazines. Can we find enough juniors willing to talk about how and why they were seduced or solicited? Then perhaps there could be a story written and sent to all the publications. Do we have any volunteers for writing the story? Do we have any volunteers for telling their story?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

What if the Chronicle did another article like they did in the Junior/Pony issue on the Drug thing? That might work....A lot of people I know read those essays and enjoyed them. Just an idea...Dont know if its already been posted-I saw this and had to reply! /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Weatherford
Jun. 17, 2000, 11:53 PM
Working on it Becca /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

ponykid
Jun. 18, 2000, 05:11 PM
Weatherford, I was trying to think of a way in context for COTH to inclue mini-essays on tough issues like these. I was thinking, what about having a "Tough Issues Facing Equestrians" editorial focus issue, including articles on everything from this to the ethical use of training devices, NSAIDS, and everything and anything in between. Just a thought..

Erin
Jun. 18, 2000, 05:32 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by ponykid:
I was thinking, what about having a "Tough Issues Facing Equestrians" editorial focus issue, including articles on everything from this to the ethical use of training devices, NSAIDS, and everything and anything in between. Just a thought..<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well, that's kind of what our Horseman's Forum is supposed to do... it's an open invitation for anyone to comment on issues they think are of importance.

I haven't yet heard back from the main office about the general public's reaction to the drug/alcohol article in the Jr/Pony issue. I think that will have a lot of impact on the way we approach topics like these in the future. I'm not sure the mini-essay format is necessarily applicable to every topic, though.

I have spoken with Weatherford about the possibility of an informational article about protecting children from sexual abuse, so we'll see what happens with that. And an article on eating disorders is still planned, but it'll have to wait another few months until my life has calmed down enough for me to write it /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Duffy
Jun. 18, 2000, 06:42 PM
There was an article though AOL today entitled: "Internet game teaches kids to avoid sex predators". It was very interesting. It's copyrighted, so I'm not sure yet what I can post from it. . .I'll check w/ Portia this week. But those of you w/ AOL can go look at least! I will say that the game is called: "Missing" and is written by a Canadian company called LiveWires.

[This message has been edited by Duffy (edited 06-18-2000).]

CTT
Jun. 19, 2000, 02:39 AM
hay erin good to know that the weigh issue essay is still on your mind. Just curious but did jon say anything about what I sent in. Have not heard anything except thankyou. just wondering. Im meeting with weatherford on tuesday ( one more day ) maby if you have time come and go to the festival with us. Im glad to see that there is alot of talk about these things and that they are discussed in the open public. Im so excited cause Im realy cracking down on things and now have the chance to talk with others face to face. Should be eventfull and once again if you want to get to gether with me, laura, MB( I forget your whole screan name), weatherford and pwynnnorman ( if she can make it and I hope she does) and a fue others out side of this board pack your bags. We will find a way to make room. so contact me or weatherford. I just hope all that realy want to do something about all the topics that we have talked about try to make an effort to come. for all who can not email weatherford and regust an update on the gathering and what we have come up with. It may be a fue days but we will get out the info. I would post it here but im afraid there may be too much info to post. If you are at the festival or lake placid and see a red bookbag with ctt on it or anything else most likely it will be me so don't be shy to stop me. Hate to say it but have a load of packing and cleaning to do so I must run.

Lil
Jun. 21, 2000, 07:09 AM
For God's sakes I can't believe all the fuss over this untimely issue when there are so many other things worthy of your outrage right now. What about HB590 in Pennsylvania? It's real and it's IS happening right now - not seven years ago.

Flash44
Jun. 21, 2000, 08:26 AM
Protecting children from sexual predators is always a timely issue.

Black Market Radio
Jun. 21, 2000, 11:22 AM
This may be a dumb question, but what IS HB590? Also, I am sure there are children getting molested right now too.

dublin
Jun. 21, 2000, 12:02 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by devildog20:
This may be a dumb question, but what IS HB590? Also, I am sure there are children getting molested right now too.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
It's the "Three-legged Horse" bill.

Twister
Jun. 23, 2000, 03:30 PM
What is the 'three-legged horse' bill?

Black Market Radio
Jun. 23, 2000, 04:29 PM
Twister, there is a whole thread on it!

pwynnnorman
Jun. 24, 2000, 03:27 PM
Well, I hope you guys are enjoying Gladstone. I've been out of touch this week because I had a foal born three weeks early (she's fine), have been driving 6 hours roundtrip every other day to my new farm and am stressing out about moving 14 horses (three mares-with-foals, two stallions, and a herd of run-first, think-later exuberant types--and no barn to put them in due to construction delays!) all at one time (via a 15-horse hired van). Telling you this so you know why I couldn't follow through.