An explosive, front-page investigation on Sunday (5/10/09) in the Los Angeles Times reported that the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) "repeatedly" returned teachers and aides credibly accused of child molestation back to classrooms, and these individuals then molested children again. The jaw-dropping story, by Times staffer Jason Song, is incredibly angering, and the tales of abuse are stomach-turning. (An accompanying audio slideshow at the Times web site is quite disturbing.)
In the last several years, media outlets have endlessly ripped and tarred the Catholic Church for mishandling episodes from decades ago. Meanwhile, these episodes in LAUSD are all quite recent. One documented case dates back to just last year!
Where's the outrage from the rest of the media?
KABC's Doug McIntyre deserves credit for interviewing Song this morning on his radio show and at least spending a few minutes on the issue.
Meanwhile: Is the Times finally turning a corner in their reporting?
For several years, we have reported on the disparate coverage by the Times and other mainstream outlets when reporting the awful crime of child abuse. While the Times and others seem to trumpet each-and-every decades-old allegation against a Catholic priest, they have either downplayed or ignored current-day scandals in our nation's schools. As we've written before, "When it comes to the abuse of children, it sure seems like the national media doesn't get too worked up unless the words 'Cardinal,' 'bishop,' or 'priest' is in someone's job title." (For a catalog of this disparity, see "Los Angeles Times: Clergy Abuse and School Abuse" at TheMediaReport.com.)
A couple questions remain, however:
Falsehoods by Bill Handel: 1. Priestly celibacy in the Church only came about "1,000 years after Jesus." Wrong. The Council of Elvira, circa 309 A.D., shows that priestly celibacy was already being firmly practiced by the Church. 2. "Gays can't receive communion." Nope. Just having homosexual desires does not bar anyone from receiving the Eucharist. 3. "Divorced Catholics cannot receive communion." Wrong again. That's another myth.