Ignorance is No Excuse

Some may think our lead story, Is Your Child Safe, is an unusual one for Fort Worth, Texas magazine, as we rarely address issues like this on the cover. I chose to make this our cover for January because in researching this topic, I read too many stories where parents became educated on the risks to their children of being molested after the damage was done. Unfortunately, too many parents have a false sense of security. 

With conservative studies showing that one out of four girls and one out of seven boys is sexually abused before reaching 18, there is no reason to feel secure about the safety of your children or grandchildren. School children are at risk of sexual abuse like never before. In public or private schools, urban or rural, reports continue to indicate that teachers, coaches, volunteers and even other classmates victimize children at school.

Our children are surrounded by danger virtually unheard of a generation ago. In turn, parents are faced with fears about their children’s safety that can leave many feeling utterly helpless. We called on Greg Love and Kim Norris, local attorneys who specialize in child sexual abuse litigation and prevention, to write this story. Love and Norris are co-founders of MinistrySafe, an entity dedicated to sexual abuse awareness and prevention. This article will provide you with crucial information that will alert you to the possible risks that face your children or grandchildren and show you what you can do to avoid those risks. 

Finally, to better inform you of what our Fort Worth area schools are doing to help safeguard our children, we conducted our own child protection policy survey utilizing questions provided to us by Love and Norris. The results of the survey are posted on our website at fwtexas.com/sexualabusesurvey. Each school was contacted at least three times. If after reviewing the results of the survey you don’t believe your school is doing enough, contact them about it and hold their feet to the fire until you’re comfortable that they have an effective safety system in place. 

While we’re on the topic of educational facilities, you’ll also find in this issue our 2013 school guide that includes a comprehensive list of private schools and colleges and universities. From registration dates and enrollment size to student/teacher ratio and annual tuition, our guide provides you with useful information to help you in your quest toward finding the right school for your child.