Slang term used inappropriately
May 1, 2012 · Updated 1:53 PM
This letter is in response to the article published April 21, titled “Oak Harbor Club Scout leader jailed for molestation.”
First off, this may be the first time that a parent will hear of this man’s involvement with sexual abuse of children. Just knowing that Anthony Polubinski is in jail is not going to ease the rage that many people feel. He may have had years of contact with their child. Furthermore, an editor should be able to sense the gravity of a situation before paraphrasing in offensive terms, such as “freak out.” A parent may feel many overwhelming emotions including anger, grief, guilt, shock, etc., and using slang terms to describe this is poor journalism.
Last and most important, I’m pretty sure Prosecutor Greg Banks is not a trained health care professional. His advice to “end the conversation and involve police” while I’m sure was well intentioned, is completely outrageous. Calling police is no doubt an urgent step in the process, where you will be put in contact with trained professionals. However, the first disclosure of sexual abuse by a child to a parent is a very sensitive and important time. The reaction of a parent can aid or hinder a child in their recovery. A parent should first assure the child they believe them, they did nothing wrong, and explain what will happen next. Running to call 911 at “even an inkling” is irresponsible and will only serve to alarm the child.
Please provide links to reputable sources to aid parents in handling this very sensitive matter, before disseminating poor advice in a community publication. Here is a useful link on responding to child sexual abuse: www.aacap.org/cs/root/facts for families/responding to child sexual abuse.
1994 OHHS graduate