Sodomy hazing…some have called it normal, run-of-the-mill behavior…
Perhaps boys will be boys, wouldn’t you agree?
I didn’t think so.
But parents, you need to know this: Acceptance of this perverse act is gaining ground.
I was absolutely outraged at this story about a 13 year old western Colorado boy and his family. The young athlete, a son of the school principal, was "hazed" in a shocking criminal act.
The perpetrators, who were upper classmen, cornered their victim on a school bus after others had exited the bus at a wrestling tournament.
When the horrified father worked to protect his son, he was met with a coach who said "This happens 1,000 times a day around the U.S."
The school superintendent gave the perpetrators a one-day, in-school suspension.
The community rose to defend not the victim, but the ones who attacked him. He was teased repeatedly. One mother paid for T-shirts with a slogan using the initials of the suspects.
Angry that the father had reported the crime to the police, parents demanded he resign his position as principal.
This is outlandish! Blaming the victim? Treating a brutal, perverse act as if it were a childish prank? Ostracizing a family for reporting dangerous, illegal behaviors?
We could just conclude it is an isolated incident of one mean-spirited community. But I don't think that is the explanation.
On the same day that I read that awful story, a mom contacted me who had faced a similar bullying problem. Her 14 year old daughter had been sexually attacked by a 20 year old man who had been seen hanging around school events.
The school officials said the sexual encounter was "pretty normal" and accused the mother of being over protective. Her daughter was displaying severe symptoms of post-abuse trauma. And the daughter’s friends were bullying her for reporting the crime!
Parents, I think we are entering a new season of escalated danger. As sexual perversion has been "normalized," we are losing our ability to protect our own kids!
Here are three suggestions we, as parents, need to consider.
1. Parents MUST speak up! Take this story to your school officials and ask: What safeguards are in place to prevent this from happening in our school? Is "hazing" normal here?
2. Talk with your kids' coaches. Explain your concerns about this incident and ask the same question. What are their views on "normal" team teasing/bullying behaviors?
3. Recognize the danger. Pray for wisdom of how to safeguard your child's participation in activities.
What other suggestions would you have for your fellow Frontline Parents?
Will you join me in praying for the two families I mentioned above.....and for the thousands of others their stories represent?
(If you have not read our book, Unmask the Predators, we encourage you to get a copy. Parents are the best defenders of children and teens!)