Posts Tagged ‘international schools’

I don’t usually repost. And this one is not out of laziness. It is out of concern.

Reading the newspaper is never uplifting. And sometimes the articles hit a little close to home. I have been following two news stories that are really bothering me.

One is about a little boy who was raped in a bathroom by the janitorial staff (5 suspects) at the Jakarta International School. I read that the poor little fella now has herpes and a bacterial infection as a result. And who knows just how much emotional damage.

Another case is about an international teacher who abused kids under his charge for forty years in about nine different international schools. He killed himself but the devastation he left behind is mind numbing.

I am now part of an international school community and most of our kids (mostly expat children) roam freely down the hallways or spend days away on community service or sporting trips. Yeah, so this is hitting home.

But it should hit home wherever you reside. Sure, some communities are more vulnerable than others but any newspaper opened will show crimes against children everywhere. And the abusers usually hold positions of power and/or access. It’s not just priests, coaches or boy scout leaders. It could be anyone.

In many countries it is a huge problem. Underreported. Ignored. Doesn’t get any light or attention until a white or wealthy child becomes victimized.

My point in this is we all need to be vigilant. For all of the children.

Ask questions of your school. Are security measures in place? Are your children as safe as they can be?

Ask questions of everyone and anyone. It’s not always easy and sometimes uncomfortable. But we have to do it.

And if something doesn’t feel right or look right then it’s usually because it isn’t right. Listen to yourself.

See below for an old posting of mine. I just knew something wasn’t right. I knew it then. And as sure as I am sitting here, I know it now.


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I attended a school meeting yesterday. The new head of school was introducing some of the faculty and also telling us a little bit about herself.

She worked in Saudi Arabia for thirty years. She and her husband were educators. About eight years ago her husband had open heart surgery. He did not make it through the surgery. She said she did not lose just her colleague, husband, and father of her children that day. But also her very best friend.

Of course, my eyes filled up. I really felt her words.  A reminder to enjoy as many moments as I can with my husband. I would be lost without him.

The next thing she relayed was a story about her son. She and her husband had adopted two children from Taiwan. When her boy was about three years old he piped up from the back seat of the car, “I don’t look like everyone else.”

She told him that he will meet many people with different skin colors, different shaped eyes, and different sizes. None of these things really matter. She said, “It’s what’s here.” And she put her hand to her heart. “It’s what’s in the heart.”

Of course, my eyes filled up. I really felt her words. Another reminder of what is truly important. What is in a person’s heart.

Sure, she talked about many other things.

But the two things that I walked away with were invaluable. I wish all meetings were like that.

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