Fri, 04/05/2024 - 1:17am

Editorial: April 5, 2024

It’s 10 p.m. Do you know where your child is?

An alarming question for some, and an easy answer for others. As we digest the recent news of pedophilia that has taken us all by surprise, we have to ask ourselves some hard and fast questions about where to draw the line on allowing our unattended minor children to travel with adults. That question is valid no matter what the circumstances, where it be with a relative, friend, neighbor or, yes, someone in our purebred-dog community. It falls strictly on the parents. To quote the late president of the United States, Harry S. Truman: “The buck stops here.” Parents need to do the work, investigate and ask tough questions before putting their child in a situation. Of course, there are circumstances that are unimaginable, like the recent disclosure of alleged acts and planned future ones. Minors, while innocent, are not thinking of traveling with an adult as a potential risk, and none of us wants to think the worst of some well-meaning individuals. It would be an unfulfilled life to question everyone’s ulterior motive. We all take risks, but when it comes to the safety of children and young adults, it’s up to the parents to inquire about former employees, mutual friends and the like to learn about the person they are sending their child off with to travel the country. We neither condone nor accept this deviant behavior, but circumstance and opportunity play a large part in this happening. Children idolize those whom they want to emulate, whether it be athletes, politicians, rock stars, actors or the like. So imagine a youth traveling with someone they put on a pedestal. They share life experiences firsthand, becoming one of the intimate circle of their friends, hearing confidential conversations, experiencing their highs and lows, wins and losses, sharing motel rooms. An adult away from home, unable to share those experiences with their significant other, and a young listener eager to help any way they can. It’s a very problematic scenario. As has become a business model, employees are required to take workplace sensitivity courses. As result of these recent revelations, Mary Dukes and several other women have established “Show Safe” as a vehicle to get training from “SafeSport,” an organization established for the United States Olympics and Paralympics. While it is not the American Kennel Club’s sole responsibility, as some have suggested, they might offer a course to those children in Junior Showmanship to teach them how to deal with proper and improper behavior from adults. That would be a life lesson worth taking so that you can be at ease when someone asks … It’s 10 p.m. Do you know where your child is?



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