Thursday, March 16, 2006

Kensington mom 'haunted' by fear

Superintendent Weast's favoring of illegal workers over child safety has upset many parents who fear sexual predators against their children. "It is a fear that has haunted Melissa Andersen, a 42-year-old Kensington resident who has two children in the Rock View Elementary School," writes Washington Times columnist Tom Knott.

"Hers is a fear that haunts all parents.

"'The point is, when a superintendent is hired, you would think the safety of the students would be one of the primary concerns,' Mrs. Andersen said. 'It's just kind of disgusting.'

"It is unacceptable, is what it is, that a school superintendent would be more concerned with the plight of illegal aliens than the prospect of innocent children possibly being put in harm's way of a sexual predator. And that is not a hypothetical prospect," according to Knott.

"Mrs. Andersen tells the story of a parent volunteer who recognized a construction worker at Rocky Hill Middle School last year from a photograph posted on the Maryland Sex Offender Registry. The principal, of course, responded accordingly and had the sex offender banned from school grounds.

"But that prompted many of Montgomery County's parents to wonder how this could happen, only to discover an unsettling policy that asked too few questions and left a gaping hole in the system's security apparatus.

"The county public school system was functioning with a double standard. It required its employees to undergo background checks but waived that requirement for the contractors it employed."

Knott adds, "Mrs. Andersen knows that being tarred as an anti-immigration zealot, or worse, is intended to silence otherwise lucid views."