- Child sex victims applaud firings
- They want state educators to highlight this case
- Cobb Co. school staff delayed reporting likely crimes
- Self help group also wants Georgia laws reformed
- It blasts “predator-friendly” deadlines in child sex cases
- Victims to lawmakers: “Make it easier, not harder, for victims to act”
- Those who “see, suspect or suffer abuse must speak up,”SNAP says
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will
--applaud Atlanta area school board members for firing a principal and counselor who refused to promptly call police about suspected child sexual abuse,
--urge state education officials to highlight the case and remind teachers of their duty to quickly report possible crimes against children,
--prod law enforcement agencies to more vigorously investigate and prosecute similar cases, and
--beg anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered child sex crimes in institutional settings to call police, expose predators, protect kids and seek justice immediately.
They will also urge George lawmakers to reform what they call “Georgia’s archaic, predator-friendly statutes of limitations” which “protect guilty criminals, not innocent kids.”
Friday, April 13, 1:15 p.m.
Outside Georgia Dept of Education, 205 Jesse Hill Jr. Drive SE (corner of Martin Luther King) in downtown Atlanta
Three-four child sex abuse victims who belong to a self-help group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), including an Illinois woman who is the organization‘s president.
On Wednesday, a Cobb County school board voted to immediately fire two staffers at Tapp Middle School in Powder Springs, GA. The two - principal Jerry Dority and counselor Yatta Collins – lost their jobs because they delayed reporting suspected child abuse. According to police reports, when the administrators were told about abuse of a student at the hands of her step-father, instead of immediately calling authorities, they told the girl‘s mother to take her in for psychiatric evaluations. Collins and Dority then waited several days before bringing the allegations to police, and did so only after the girl missed two days of school.
SNAP is applauding the school board for taking decisive action in condemning this delay. The group also believes far more cases like this are happening and wants the Georgia Department of Education to remind school staff of their legal and moral obligation to quickly call police when crimes against kids are suspected. SNAP also wants law enforcement to more aggressively investigate and prosecute such crimes vigorously.
The victims are also urging Georgia lawmakers reform the “archaic and predator-friendly” statute of limitations which deny most child sex victims the chance to prosecute expose molesters in court. Right now, victims have only a few years beyond their 18th birthday to take legal action (seven years for criminal and five years for civil).
Recently, the legislature broadened the categories of employees who are “mandated reporters” of abuse. But SNAP feels this is a “tiny step forward” that won‘t make much difference.
Dority (the former principal) is represented by attorney Angela Johnson (404-231-9056). Collins (the former counselor) is represented by attorney Cerrone G. Coker (404-525-6902).
Barbara Blaine (312) 399 4747, SNAPblaine@gmail.com, David Clohessy (314) 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com, Barbara Dorris (314) 503 0003, SNAPdorris@gmail.com