|How can we know our kids are safe when it comes to organized sports? Do you take everyone's word for it as long as they present themselves well? Do we size them up by what sort of profession they've upheld for the past 10 years? Unfortunately, in this day and age, it's not that simple.
Written by: Jordan Creson | fullidentity.com | (214) 331.2551
I recently read an article about the AAU, one of the largest youth sports organizations in the nation, implementing mandatory background checks for the first time since the organization was founded. The risk of child molestation has always been there, however, within the last few decades it seems to have only gotten more severe. The national president of AAU, Louis Stout, said he knew that background checks needed to be a mandatory implementation but found solidity in the idea when former president Robert Dodd was investigated on allegations of molesting 3 boys back in the 1980’s. Several boys, now adults, came forward with accusation of being molested. This catapulted AAU into taking steps to make background checks mandatory. Fortunately those men came forward; otherwise the board members would have never known to take action. This is one occurrence that came to light, but how many more have yet to be discovered? How many of those crimes could have been prevented?
As someone who works in the industry of youth sports, I see how important it is to make sure our kids are in good hands. You can’t be too careful anymore. Background checks should be mandatory in every youth sports organization. Realistically, it should be mandatory for any organization with volunteers that are working with children of any age. There have been far too many instances where adults, or even teenagers, have preyed upon the naive, innocence of a child to take this matter too lightly.
A background check isn’t a sure thing when it comes to protecting our children, but it can certainly help weed out potential offenders so that our kids can grow in an environment where the possibility of an offense is significantly reduced. It’s pertinent that every step is taken to diminish the risk of crimes likes these against our children. If you and your children participate in organized sports, I suggest that you only affiliate yourself with organizations that care enough to take these precautions.
I’ve personally seen the effects that child molestation can have on a family. It’s devastating, to say the least, and resonates throughout a family’s morale for decades. It’s a developmental blocker that causes shame, embarrassment, depression, feelings of fault, etc.. I don’t think anyone wants that for their child, or even someone else’s child. We need to do all we can to prohibit these crimes from happening right under our noses. Help make a safer environment for your children. Make background checks mandatory for coaches and volunteers!
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