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Jerry Sandusky and the lessons for God's church

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The Jerry Sandusky trial brings to light some important issues regarding the safety of America’s youth. Non-profit organizations that work with youth have to take note of the failings found in the Second Mile organization and Sandusky.
Some of the glaring failings found in the Sandusky trial could have been avoided. Policies should have been in place preventing him from being alone with youth. It doesn’t matter if he is the director or the janitor, a policy of prevention is always the best course.
All non-profit organizations – including churches – have to make sure that all age groups are protected. Senior abuse is also on the rise. Policies have to be in place with adequate penalties for breaking these policies. In our church, video monitoring of the nursery, classrooms, pastor’s offices and staff offices is becoming part of the policies. This goes along with a zero tolerance policy of staff not doing ministry activities alone. Background checks have also been instituted for anyone working in a care ministry.
There are those in churches today who don’t think we need to do background checks or record video of classes. The cost of not having policies and other safeguards in place is staggering. In Jerry Sandusky’s case, if he is found innocent, he will still never work with youth again. The trust has been broken. In the case of the church, one incident will close forever the work of that church.
There is a greater cost than an individual whose reputation is smeared or an institution closing. We can no longer stand by and see young people hurt. The memories and scars last a lifetime. While many of these accusers will go on to do great things with their lives; they will walk with scars.
The children of America are the future of our Nation. We have to protect them. No longer can we pretend it’s another time when life was “safer”. Talk to your pastor and church leaders and make sure safeguards are in place. Do it for the sake of the children.

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