Thursday, July 07, 2005

Here We Go Yet Again

This was being flashed on Drudge last evening:
A Staten Island coach and community figure has been arrested on charges of spanking teenage boys if they missed their basketball shots, officials said.

Drew Sanders, 49, of 50 Turf Rd. in the Heartland Village section, was charged with second-degree attempted assault, fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, 23 counts of forcible touching, 23 counts of third-degree sexual abuse and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

Authorities allege that on Monday, Sanders, who is an assistant executive director of the Staten Island Jewish Community Center, pulled down a 15-year-old boy's pants and slapped the boy in the behind with a wooden paddle.

That boy told authorities that the incident happened multiple times -- with Sanders throwing him over his knees and pulling his pants down while slapping him -- between June and September of last year, and again between April and July of this year.

Investigators said three other boys have come forward with complaints on Tuesday and Wednesday.

He works as a Public Schools Athletic League basketball coach at Tottenville High School and does summer camp coaching at Susan Wagner High School.

Department of Education spokeswoman Kelly Devers said Sanders, not a full Department of Education employee, has been put on the "ineligible" list, meaning he can no longer be hired by the department.

"We've informed the schools that he should not be allowed to enter," Devers said.
If this man is guilty, what on earth could he have been thinking? That he wasn't going to be caught? Every time a member of the education community pulls this sort of thing, it fuels the belief (held by some) that all who work with children are somehow suspect and can't be trusted with our children.

What is to be learned from this incident, and how can it be prevented from occurring again?
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