Media frenzy over Penn State scandal misses point

Letter to the editor

November 10, 2011

The emotional and media hype over the career of a college football coach is misdirected attention away from a pandemic problem occurring in this country and around the world, and that is the sexual exploitation of children.

The U.S. Attorney General submitted a report to Congress in August 2010 that defines the scope of this global issue ( which involves sexual abuse of children and infants. If you believe that Howard County is immune to this problem because you checked the Sex Offender Registry site before moving here, you are naive.

As the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children will tell you, the registry only provides the names of those who have been caught, and most sex offenders of children are those known and trusted by the child, as with the case in Penn State.

We need to increase awareness and encourage open dialogues in the community. Talk to your kids about Internet safety (after you get better informed by reading the report). You'll be amazed at how little you really know. Trust your gut and speak up if you see something. And let's start talking openly about this problem.

Juanita Walker

Ellicott City

Juanita Walker is a consultant to the U.S. Dept. of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

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