Terrible Situation

Bob White

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Ron Sanchez called me last night to inform me that a Costa Mesa, Ca. karate instructor had been arrested for child molestation with a 4yr. old child. He teaches at the USSD studio. It is the policy of some schools to not allow the parents to watch classes. I just commented last week that I would not allow my children to be at any facility that would not allow a viewing area for the parents. Do any of you school owners out there do this? At my school we do not have private rooms. I would not ever want even a hint of wrong doing. We have an open area so that all classes can be viewed from the street and from the stands. I encourage parental involvement as long as the teaching environment is respected.
Our prayers go out to the child, parents, and other studio members. What a terrible situation with many victims.
Sincerely,
Bob White
 

Nomad

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Truly reprehensible. The likelihood is that there are more victims of this "instructor" out there as well.

I agree that any training area that is "off-limits" to parents is not a great idea (even though I understand the frustration teachers sometimes have with the parents). In our dojo, we go to sometimes extraordinary lengths to avoid any appearance of impropriety that could lead to a situation like this, or the accusations of something similar.

Very sad situation. Incidents like this make me long for the "good old days" when a proper lynch mob could take care of someone like this instead of taking up the courts' time...
 

Flying Crane

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Truly reprehensible. The likelihood is that there are more victims of this "instructor" out there as well.

I agree that any training area that is "off-limits" to parents is not a great idea (even though I understand the frustration teachers sometimes have with the parents). In our dojo, we go to sometimes extraordinary lengths to avoid any appearance of impropriety that could lead to a situation like this, or the accusations of something similar.

Very sad situation. Incidents like this make me long for the "good old days" when a proper lynch mob could take care of someone like this instead of taking up the courts' time...

Well, he has been accused, but not yet had a fair trial nor been found guilty.

From the OP, we have absolutely NONE of the facts of the case. Let the legal system deal with it thru the proper channels. He may be guilty, but he may be innocent. That's not for us to judge.

I'm thankful that I live in a country where we have a court system in place, and the lynch mob is an outlawed and reprehensible form of vigilante justice.
 

John Bishop

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Well, without getting into a discussion about this particular instructors guilt or innocence, this is very good topic for discussion.
 

seasoned

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Very sad situation. In a place where morals, honesty, and integrity are a corner stone, this is very disheartening indeed. My heart goes out to the parents.
 

Steve

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As a father of three kids, I can tell you that off limits areas for parents is a huge red flag for me.
 

Hagakure

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As a father of three kids, I can tell you that off limits areas for parents is a huge red flag for me.

Aye, I'd go with that mate, as a father to a beautiful little 2 year old girl, I fear for her sometimes, and this is an emotive subject as it is. It is difficult to act with restraint where this subject is concerned, ergo, I will play no part in it.
 

Flying Crane

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Very sad situation. In a place where morals, honesty, and integrity are a corner stone, this is very disheartening indeed. My heart goes out to the parents.

I agree, it's a very sad situation all the way around.

If the guy proves to be guilty, then it's terrible what the child and family are going thru.

If the guy proves to be innocent, he may never be able to salvage his reputation after enduring such an accusation.

Nobody wins, at this point in the game.
 

yorkshirelad

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Ron Sanchez called me last night to inform me that a Costa Mesa, Ca. karate instructor had been arrested for child molestation with a 4yr. old child. He teaches at the USSD studio. It is the policy of some schools to not allow the parents to watch classes. I just commented last week that I would not allow my children to be at any facility that would not allow a viewing area for the parents. Do any of you school owners out there do this? At my school we do not have private rooms. I would not ever want even a hint of wrong doing. We have an open area so that all classes can be viewed from the street and from the stands. I encourage parental involvement as long as the teaching environment is respected.
Our prayers go out to the child, parents, and other studio members. What a terrible situation with many victims.
Sincerely,
Bob White
This guy obviously hasn't been convicted yet, so it's prudent to let the judicial wheels turn.

This kind of thing is happening and more and more, so unfortunately parents now should check on the Megan's law site before they choose a martial arts instructor. When they do choose an instructor they should make sure at least one parent is supervising the instructor during class before they decide to leave, for any reason.

My wife teaches pre-school gymnastics/exercise for a living and had to have a police background check, along with her fingerprints taken and child development credits from college, before she took charge of even one child. In my opinion, martial arts instructor's should have do the same thing. I know it's a pain, but we have to do everything in our power to protect the kids.

If this guy is guilty, then I hope that he is prosecuted under Jessica's law and they throw away the key.

Thanks to Bob White and Mr Sanchez for bringing attention to this problem.
 

John Bishop

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I know a lot of commercial schools push private lessons, but what does a 4 year old really get from a private lesson? I'm sure it's important if your running a school that promotes 8-10 year old's to black belt. But I just don't see the necessity.
In today's society it's really just plain stupid to be in a "private" situation with a child. You can give private lessons in part of a large room, where others are also training. Or, at least have another adult or parent in the "private" room.
In the end, it's always the parents obligation to protect their children. If a instructor does not allow parents to watch classes, then take your kids somewhere else. If a instructor is pushing private lessons with children, ask him/her who else will be present, and where will the lesson take place. If they're doing the "ninja night" sleepovers or parties, ask them how many adults will be supervising the kids.
Record check's only tell you that a person has been prosecuted in the past. Many people go a life time without ever being caught. Or, maybe your child could be the first. All the record check does is protect the employer from being sued for hiring a "known" child molester.
 

Twin Fist

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oh crap

yeah, no way anyone wins in a situation like this.

One thing I do is make sure that I am never alone with an underage student, male or female.

Which is to say, I have managed to avoid it so far.

BUT

there is no area of my school that is off limits to parents. And there never will be.

Now I have had occasion to in the past, private lessons that sort of thing, and all you can do there is to make sure there is someone else around that can vouch for what does and doesnt happen.

as teachers it is on US to make sure we are beyond accusation, as parents, it is on us to make sure our children are never in harms way.
 

jks9199

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As a father of three kids, I can tell you that off limits areas for parents is a huge red flag for me.
It depends on how you define "off limits." It's one thing to have an area, where the parents can watch, but not be seen by the students and not be able to disrupt class, and say that the training floor is off limits. It's an entirely different one to say that the parents aren't allowed in the door... and absolutely cannot watch class.

Then there's the parents who realize that they're distracting their kids, so don't come to classes. Are they negligent?

There's no easy answer, because the truth is that the person whose actions started this thread (and I know of another case where a TKD instructor tried to abduct two girls and was driven off by the girls and their parents) is really a pervert and not a common situation. Most of the time, some of these policies are create innocently, either recognizing limited floor space or the distraction that some parents can be.

My biggest problem, and I've repeated it here before, is that lots of areas allow martial arts schools, gymnastics clubs, and other sports activities to function as de facto day care programs -- without submitting them to the same regulation and standards. So you have teachers who may barely speak English, and have not undergone any sort of criminal history check running a program with before and after school care, where parents are blindly trusting them to take care of their kids. Not exactly a recipe for good feelings, huh?
 

terryl965

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What really happens here is the whole Martial Art community gets run though the fire. This a bad mark on all styles and I feel sorry for my brothers and sisters in California trying to keep there perspective inside there own schools about now
 

Thesemindz

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In the school I used to train at, we had a private area in the back for individual lessons, but it was only seperated by a three foot partition and you could still see easily over it and observe what was going on inside.

Even then, we never, ever, allowed ourselves to be left alone with anyone under the age of 18. There were even times where we would have the odd saturday kids class where only one kid showed up, and I would require the parent to stay and observe class, or else refuse to teach their child. I had parents say, "oh don't worry Rob, we know you. We aren't worried." I explained to them that it was as much for my security as theirs, and that it was non-negotiable regardless of our mutual respect.

I can understand not wanting to have parents there. Sometimes they can be a real pain. Sometimes they don't understand what's happening and worry about their kid, or get personally involved, or yell out to their child. I can understand the desire to keep them out, but in this day it simply isn't safe.

For anyone.


-Rob
 

MA-Caver

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As a father of three kids, I can tell you that off limits areas for parents is a huge red flag for me.

Aye, I'd go with that mate, as a father to a beautiful little 2 year old girl, I fear for her sometimes, and this is an emotive subject as it is. It is difficult to act with restraint where this subject is concerned, ergo, I will play no part in it.
I agree with both of you guys... and I'm not even a parent. NO parent should be denied access to any area where their child is. Maybe 40 or 50 years ago but not today. There is far too many incidents to leave that to chance.
I'm sure that a majority of instructors are on the up and up and would gladly beat the crap out of anyone who is a pedo... but as evidenced you just can't take that chance... and any instructor worth their reputation would gladly allow parents to be present where-ever their children are even insist upon it at times.
 

Steve

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It depends on how you define "off limits." It's one thing to have an area, where the parents can watch, but not be seen by the students and not be able to disrupt class, and say that the training floor is off limits. It's an entirely different one to say that the parents aren't allowed in the door... and absolutely cannot watch class.
In my opinion, not when they're under about 10 years old. I have an 11 year old daughter, a 13 year old son and a 4 month old daughter. I've got some experience through these ages. There is NOTHING that needs to be done that the parent shouldn't be welcome and invited to participate in if possible. Period. And personally, should someone suggest otherwise, as I said, that's a HUGE red flag, particularly if they insist on being out of my line of sight. It's just instinct. My first reaction would be... you want to take my 4 year old... where? Hell no.

Now, to be fair, I'm not saying that everyone who does this is a pedophile. What I'm saying is that if you do it and you're a pedophile, you should be locked up forever. If you do it and you're not, you're making a mistake because you are unnecessarily sending out a red flag to almost any mindful parent... and I can guarantee you it's costing you more business than it's creating.
 

SL4Drew

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About 13 or 14 years ago, a school not too far where I lived, something similar to this happened. It was really quite sad in how many lives it impacted. In that case there were several pre-teen girls. And he was convicted, sent to jail, and is now a registered sex offender. Working around the justice system I can tell you with a kid as young as the one here, it is sometimes difficult to be sure what happened. So I do think that there should be some caution in drawing legal conclusions.

That being said, a martial arts school that deals with kids should take steps to avoid even the accusation. I agree with background checks, with not prohibiting adults to be there (the more the better), and I would say there should always be two adults when there are kids around. It really should be about protecting the kids. Heck, I won't even let my kids do half the things that I did as a kid without an adult around.
 

marlon

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In my opinion, not when they're under about 10 years old. I have an 11 year old daughter, a 13 year old son and a 4 month old daughter. I've got some experience through these ages. There is NOTHING that needs to be done that the parent shouldn't be welcome and invited to participate in if possible. Period. And personally, should someone suggest otherwise, as I said, that's a HUGE red flag, particularly if they insist on being out of my line of sight. It's just instinct. My first reaction would be... you want to take my 4 year old... where? Hell no.

Now, to be fair, I'm not saying that everyone who does this is a pedophile. What I'm saying is that if you do it and you're a pedophile, you should be locked up forever. If you do it and you're not, you're making a mistake because you are unnecessarily sending out a red flag to almost any mindful parent... and I can guarantee you it's costing you more business than it's creating.

my only solid vote for the death penalty..doing something horrible to a child...no torture not pay back just get rid of them.
marlon
 

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