You knew it was coming. (Things aren't so happy in the valley.)

I have been a teacher for 24 years.

I have been a mother for 22 years.

I have been a person with a beating heart for 52 years.   I have had a conscience and a high level of empathy for at LEAST 30 of those years.  (Let’s just forget about those teenage years, shall we?)

As a teacher, mother, and most importantly a person who cares for the welfare and well being of children, I am both horrified and heartbroken over what is transpiring tonight over there in the happiest of valleys.

Yes, I’m talking about the scandal that has finally been uncovered at Smith and Wesson University.   It’s not one of embezzling; it’s not one of money laundering; it’s not one of forgery; or even gambling or paying off recruits.  It’s a scandal that hits to the heart of what is evil in this world.  And you know of what I speak.

I am not going to go on and on about this person or that person.  I am not going to blame a young assistant who was listening to the advice of the very men he trusted and respected.  I am going to talk about what we can all learn from this horrific turn of events, and how we might be sure that each of us is vigilant when protecting the youth of our community.

THIS is our most important charge: protecting those who cannot protect themselves.

We cannot cover our ears when we hear something that we don’t want to hear. We cannot harden our hearts when we think that surely an accusation against someone we have come to trust cannot be true.  We cannot pass the buck and purge it from our hearts and minds.

Yes, we must be careful to weigh the facts to ensure that people are not unjustly slandered or wronged.  We must allow voices to be heard and decisions to be made, but it must be done in the proper venue- and I don’t mean behind the closed door of an office in the middle of a college town.  And when it involves a child?  A CHILD?  We must use our best, most incredible due diligence to ensure that what is whispered about behind closed doors is brought to light.

But that cannot happen if the most horrific of crimes are locked in a closet: a closet that is only opened when the long and heart-wrenching distant cries of a mother are finally heard.

May God help those children who have suffered; may he wrap the children, the mothers, and the families in comfort and love. 

And I ask that we find it in our hearts to keep from pointing at others, and that we remember that truth begins in our own hearts.

If you see a wrong, it is your responsibility to try to make it right. 

It begins right here.  Right.  Here.   (And you know where I’m pointing, people.  It’s big, red, and beats a billion times a minute.)

Let us pray.

(We are crying for many reasons, here in Smythe, Oregon.  Crying, Reeling, and searching for ways to reach out to those who really need our comfort. )


Chrisy said...


Sue said...

Well said my friend!


Pent-Up Photos said...

I have been thinking about you since this information made the news. I know your loyalty to Smithville College but I also know your monumental dedication to children! I'm glad you addressed the problem here on your blog. Glad you didn't stick your head in the sand like some others in Smithville!

Love you, girl!


Anonymous said...

I can't even begin to imagine what goes through a person's mind when they KNOW children are being abused and they fail to report it - or worse, take action to cover it up.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men fail to act." ~Edmund Burke

Just Two Chicks said...

It absolutely begins with us...

noexcuses said...

I'm sending my prayers.

Brian Miller said...

when you see a wrong it is your responsibility to make it right...true that...nice write VM

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this -- it is a horrible situation which gets worse every time I read about it. Children are to be treasured and protected by all. "i did all that was legally required" doesn't sound true in this case and is a horrible excuse no matter what. Especially from someone in his position.

Hope said...

I just looked this up online (it hasn't made news here) and am shocked, but not suprised that things were kept hush-hush. Athletic depts are infamous for such behaviour. My heeart breaks for the porr kiddos that were abused. Let's hope that justice will be served.

MaryBeth said...

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Very well said....thank you.

Cora said...

It's horrific and unforgivable. Those poor children and their families!

Joanna Jenkins said...

Thans VM and AMEN!
xo jj

Mya Maternity said...

Amen.. Well said.

Anna Whiston-Donaldson said...

this is so very, very sad. why do so many people act as if children are not valuable and important? i am praying for healing for those little ones.

Sherri said...


Honey said...

I'm sad about this, too. Passing the buck to the worst degree... so sad. How much could have been stopped if someone had just done what is right and done something?

RottenMom said...

Thank you for writing this. Every time I hear another news snippet my heart breaks even more for the victims and their families.

How could this happen? How could people know and not protect those children? How do they sleep at night?

So today we hear that someone will retire at the end of the season? How about immediately, that would not be a second too soon.

Alexis said...

As always - well said my dear. VERY well said.

I believe to a large degree its the institutions that enable these things to go on unchecked. So many systems. So much bureaucracy that a child's voice can get stilled in all the clamor.

And, you're right - then we have to be their voice and keep yelling for them.

When a child speaks, listen - and believe.

♥ Braja said...

wtf happened???

Sharon Rose said...

I am so sad for the victims and their families. I am so sad for the community who will have this as part of their history.

My prayers are will all.

Julie D said...

Amen, sister.

Jeanne Estridge said...

Tough times there in Smith, OR. I've been thinking about you and hoping your town comes through it okay.

Deb said...

Child abuse is everybody's problem. It can happen to anyone, or to anyone's child, or anyone's friend, family member, etc. It happened to my older sibling when he was a kid, while being cared for by a friend of the family (at the hands of the friend's sixteen-year-old son.)

That's why it's crucial that we're ALL aware of it, and other forms of abuse as well, no matter where we are from, or who we trust.

Excellent article.

Alexandra said...


Just this morning, I thought, I know Deb is going to post.

How could she not? The way you love and foster children, how could you NOT?

I could talk forever on this horrific betrayal of trust and confidence that only a young child gives.

This beyond is the devil on earth.

My eyes are red from the thought of little boys, my youngest's age...being betrayed like this.

And the nerve of the campus to call this a sex scandal. As if it's an affair.

IT IS RAPE. Worse than rape.

It is little children.

Thank god guns are outlawed, b/c I don't know what I'd do as a mother.

Judi said...

You have shared this all so eloquently. This morning I tried (on my blog) but I am not sure if I hit the mark.
I just don't know how all of you are getting through this all....
God Bless....

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