by Jeanne Sager
A community is in turmoil after the former PTA president at the local elementary school was arrested. Cops say 37-year-old David M. Navarro (not to be confused with rocker Dave Navarro) recorded the sexual assault of an 8-year-old girl on school property. Then he posted it on the Internet! Technically that means child pornography was being made at an elementary school!
How could such a thing happen? How could a guy who'd do that not only get into a school, but rise to the president of the Belfair Elementary School PTA? Surely heads should roll.
Well, maybe not.
The school's superintendent says they did a "state patrol background check" on Navarro when he became an elementary school volunteer back in 2011. It missed a 2009 charge for "lewd and lascivious acts with a child" as well as "indecent exposure." But that charge was dropped ... Navarro was never prosecuted.
Unfortunately, this is the shortcoming of background checks. Typically they only uncover things that have been prosecuted. If someone skates or -- almost worse -- flies under the radar for years, a background check does diddly squat. It can't really determine the potential for someone to do something bad, only if they have been prosecuted in the past for doing something wrong.
What we're left with is an imperfect system that puts people like David M. Navarro in a school. It puts a guy who police say shot at least six videos of this poor little girl, including one of her performing oral sex on school grounds, in a school.
The only good news in all of this is that authorities here in the states were tipped off by police overseas who noted a GPS stamp on one of the videos found online (because, of course, child pornography spreads like a virus) that directed them to the Bellfair school. They were able to nail their suspect.
Navarro is accused of uploading some 14 inappropriate photos to the site in addition to the video. He's facing federal child pornography charges. If he's guilty, he will go away for a good long time -- and that should show up on ANY background check.
Do you have faith in background checks? Do you see any way to improve them?
by furbabymumAugust 30, 2013 at 12:10 PM
Funny as I've recently had a daycare issue. You see this dog is always coming to daycare. I'm hyper aware of this situation as we have huge dogs at our house. DS adores them. I'm aware that not all dogs are as large and as tolerant as mine. So when I saw this dog at daycare I made sure they knew that they needed to watch my DS to make sure he behaved appropriately as this dog wasn't a small breed but certainly not a great pyrenees. Anyway, we'd even seen the owner of the dog looking for it while we were there at lunch (DH and I go every single day at lunch to see the kids). So just this weds daycare gives me this flyer they got in the mail alerting them to a sex offender who'd moved in across the street. IT WAS THE DOG GUY. They asked me to look into it because they know I worked for a lawyer and knew how to do that sort of thing. So I did. I don't think the guy is probably that big of a threat to the kids, he's more into raping adult males. Still, him coming around the daycare all the time with this dog wasn't cool so I called and just alerted the sheriff who alerted his probation officer who had him served with a notice that he's not allowed to retrieve his dog from the daycare anymore. It kind of disturbs me though that this guy and this dog were around daycare for so long without anyone being aware he was a sex offender. What if he was the pedophile type of sex offender. *shudder*
So obviously you never know. I think it's probably pretty impossible to completely prevent bad people around your kids.
Reminds me of my DH telling me that when they moved onto their property they were just beginning to sell them as 10 acre plots and they weren't all bought up and occupied like they are now. The property next to them just had a camper trailer on it. Turns out this guy was taking his daughters 13 year old best friend there to have sex. You just don't know. All I can do is make sure my kids know that they can tell me anything and that if anyone touches them wrong I will destroy them.
by .OceanBlue.August 30, 2013 at 12:51 PM
I do not put any faith in background checks. Just because someone hasn't been caught, doesn't mean they aren't a psycho.
Background checks are not always accurate or thorough enough, but they should be. People who work with children should have their life gone through with a fine tooth comb! To have to live in fear for your child while she/he is in elementary school, or any age school for that matter is a disgrace to this entire country. I just hope this sick pedophile gets locked up in solitary confinement for the rest of his life....or better yet, put him in with the general population and let it leak out that he's a pedophile. Problem solved!
by OHIOmommy330August 30, 2013 at 11:20 PM
still not sure why people are getting so shocked over this. It happens everyday and never going to stop, people just need to realize this. Things like this I just do get upset over anymore.