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 Post subject: Education and Policy
PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 5:32 pm 
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I see a theme among many of the posts here, mainly regarding educating, making policies, putting safeguards into place, training, and the like.

I would like to be so bold as to say that I believe these things are, as I stated in another thread, working from the outside in.

No amount of education, training, reading the right books, safeguards, policy or checklists is going to keep children safe from abuse when the core problem is NOT that people were not educated, or trained, or safeguarded, or well-read, or poli-cized (not a real word, I don't think) or even checklisted.

The REAL problem came from the hearts of sinful men (and women) who committed the abuse and then those who covered up abuse. These people knew without reading, training, education and so forth that what they did and were doing was W-R-O-N-G. They KNEW it was sin. That is why they covered it up.

The people who DID know that it was wrong and sinful and were willing to take a stand, well, I'd venture to say that they didn't have to read a dozen books and 20 policy manuals and attend 200 hours of training on safe child policies to know that the abuse was sin. In fact, I'll be so bold as to go as far as saying that the only thing these people needed was the Holy Spirit and God's Word. <GASP!> And what happened to them? They were pooh-poohed, shunned, ostracized, made to feel like spiritual inferiors, lied to and bullied...

And as Mike Sullivan said time and time again: "Righteousness convicts unrighteous." So if we don't like the conviction we're receiving, well, let's just send the "troublemakers" away.

I would not spend much time on policy and education. Not at this point. It's trying to stick a finger in the dam and it's going to collapse under pressure.

What think all of you? I think it's a nice little diversion tactic to keep from dealing with what really needs dealt with.


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 Post subject: Re: Education and Policy
PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 7:02 pm 
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I disagree. I think education and policy are absolutely necessary from this point going forward. It protects the children of the future by implementing a system that is meant to protect them in the following ways: defines abuse; educates parents, teachers, students about abuse; sets up a protocol for dealing with abuse (1. believe the victim 2. file a report--mandatory if you are a teacher, counselor, dorm-parent, etc. 3. investigate the claim 4. report to authorities), sets up accountability for any person in direct contact with children under the age of 18, and sets up clear consequences for any who perpetrate abuse.

I hold education in high regard. First of all, it does what it claims to do: educates. We cannot take for granted that our children know what is appropriate touch between an adult and a child, or a child and another child. We must educate them. In the absence of parents in a boarding school setting, this must be taught by the leadership of the school, much the same way as a program on bullying is taught in a school setting today.

I am a teacher by profession, and the first experience I had with education on bullying was when I had to teach it. I was AMAZED at the amount of information I did NOT know about bullying before being required to teach it. It was enlightening to me as a teacher, and I hope it helped my students understand that bullying is not something they should engage in. The program defined bullying, gave examples, and allowed students to role-play handling a bullying situation.

Because of the unique challenges of a boarding school scenario, abuse education needs to be a necessary part of the curriculum on all levels. It can be part of a Bible curriculum or just a special "chapel/assembly." You cannot, in this day and age, just "assume" kids know what is appropriate, and we have to give them tools to defend themselves.

That being said, education for the adults is just as important, especially considering the astounding number of perpetrators on the list among the few schools that have participated in this forum! This education may not keep perpetrators from abusing children, but it certainly should serve one purpose: accountability...something we can all agree has been a common factor missing from each of the abusers mentioned here. Of course, this educational program should reinforce the "Zero Tolerance" rule!


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 Post subject: Re: Education and Policy
PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 7:16 pm 
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Hi HnH,

I did not mean to imply that no education was necessary ( or policies and safeguards), and you are right in saying that these things are necessary.

However, even if NTM *does* educate children as to what is good touch/bad touch- if there are still abusers working within the mission who are in charge of children, well, it's not going to be very helpful for the children.

I guess my point is more that *right now* I think the focus needs to be completely on cleaning house by whatever methods are quickest and deal with the past and present abuse (before it turns into future abuse). THEN NTM can and should focus on policies and safeguards. But policies, education and safeguards are only as good as the leadership implementing them. And IMVHO, until we are assured that leadership (and not just Larry and the EC, but at all levels) are above-board and are willing to face all abuse allegations, facts and charges head-on, I don't think they are anywhere near ready for implementing policy and educational plans that will be truly effective.

So perhaps we agree after all??


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 Post subject: Re: Education and Policy
PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 8:14 pm 
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HnH, I wholeheartedly agree that education is absolutely vital. There are children right now who need tools, empowerment, safeguards, advocates within NTM. The investigations will go on and more will be uncovered and undoubtedly more "housecleaning" will take place. But the children who are *right now* living life amidst perpetrators cannot wait for all the cleaning house to be wrapped up.

Education IS powerful! And unfortunately recognizing abuse (that others are undergoing) and knowing how to stand against abuse (oneself) is not common sense. The education we and our children had regarding abuse was indispensable. In fact, it would be helpful to have periodic reviews on the subject, both for children and adults, so rather than just one class, one chapel session or one week of training at NTMI or MTC, rather regular (say annual) classes regarding abuse.


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 Post subject: Re: Education and Policy
PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 8:24 pm 
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I see what you are saying, but I guess I don't know how education, policy change and safeguard helps *now* if nothing else changes within NTM.

For example, if the children at Via, let's say, were educated against child abuse and knew it was not OK for someone to touch them, etc... who would they have gone to? The leadership showed time and again that they were not a safe place for the children.

So if policies change and people are educated, if the core isn't taken care of, it doesn't help anything.

Again, I am not *against* education and policy changes. I think it is needful and will be an important part of the future of NTM. But at this point, I don't see it making an impact overall unless and until the root issues are taken care of first. To me, it's like putting the cart before the horse.


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 Post subject: Re: Education and Policy
PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 8:54 pm 
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I think both issues are key. Thus it is important to do both actions at the same time. Also, we need education for both the children and the adults. To often evangelical believers have no clue about the sneekyness of these perpetators. So they think we've done a criminal backround check and it was clean so we are good to go. However, most do not understand that very few of these people have criminal records meaning a criminal backround check that is clean does not tell you a whole lot.


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 Post subject: Re: Education and Policy
PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 9:03 pm 
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HD wrote:
To often evangelical believers have no clue about the sneekyness of these perpetators. So they think we've done a criminal backround check and it was clean so we are good to go. However, most do not understand that very few of these people have criminal records meaning a criminal backround check that is clean does not tell you a whole lot.

I do agree with this. You are right that evangelical Christians are way too trusting in these areas. But a lot of that, as well, is that they are trusting the leaders (pastors, elders, etc) in these areas and often the leaders are not trustworthy. As we all well know. :(


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 Post subject: Re: Education and Policy
PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 10:56 pm 
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I agree with you, Mrs. M, in that there definitely needs to be a radical heart change within the leadership in order for the education to accomplish its intended purpose. Education will be one way to show that NTM makes protecting its children a priority.

And yes, who would the children report to?? Good question...one I wrestle with regularly, even today...the feelings of distrust and disillusionment run deep. I guess that is why we are hoping for a reckless repentance on the part of the leadership...and yet, the longer we wait, the harder it is to believe any real change has taken place!

Let's not forget that today there are kids at Via, and elsewhere, that need to be educated. They are vulnerable. Also,there are teachers, dorm parents, and leaders that need to hear the facts of abuse: the horrible realities, the devastating affects, all of it. Only when we are all on the same page can we make steps to a healthier world for our little ones to grow up in.


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 Post subject: Re: Education and Policy
PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 8:36 am 
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I am an MK who was not sexually abused. However, through this website I have discovered the depths of brainwashing that I endured and how it has affected my life.

As MrsM stated, there is much talk of education and policy change. I, too, believe this is a defensive move. For years, I endured negative propaganda regarding boys, dating, sex. The field we served on was small, as was the boarding school. Everything was under a microscope. Every infraction scrutinized. These people in charge were "educated" in this area. It was policy. No touching, no feelings, nothing. So I ask you, if the powers that be could educate their advocates on the field in this way, why would they say they couldn't (didn't) educate them regarding sexual abuse. How many kids were kicked out of school because of kissing, touching a boy/girl? How many marriages are struggling or have actually failed because of this damaging brainwashing? Many, many MK's stories would be different if NTM had put their energies into 'education and policy' of sexual abuse like they did with dating and sex.

My father always taught us that if you truly want to do it, you will do it. NTM didn't want to educate or change policy. It was just children. We were the 'red headed step child' of the mission. No rights, no voice.
Well, I hear a voice on here. I hear a scream. Keep screaming, someone will eventually hear.


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 Post subject: Re: Education and Policy
PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 9:36 am 
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Elijah III posted this in the Brazil section and I took the liberty of moving it here because it is very apropos:
Quote:
Child sexual abuse as hideous, ugly and distressing as it is reflects a much deeper root problem and paradox in the life of individuals, organizations, communities and nations than readily meet the eye. Take for instance the nation of Israel, who in 2 Kings 17… secretly did things against the LORD their God that were not right…and sinned against the LORD their God…and did wicked things that provoked the LORD to anger… In the long list of sins mentioned in that chapter, one of the last ones listed in verse 18 was that JEHOVAH …removed them from his presence because they sacrificed their sons and daughters in the fire... The parallel to this Old Testament account and what has happened in our modern approach to missions and more specifically in NTM is very striking! What are we trying to say is this:
1. As was the downward trend with the Israelites in the days of old, so there have been secret sins committed in NTM International against the LORD their God that were not right… Things like cover-up, double standards, spiritual and emotional abuse, repression of truth, etc, etc… Just look at what Paul says about this in Romans 1:18 (Amplified Bible) For God's [holy] wrath and indignation are revealed from heaven against ALL ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who in their wickedness repress and hinder the truth and make it inoperative. We tend to think of this passage only for the heathen… but that is NOT what it is saying! It says MEN…whether Israelites or New Tribers… Sin needs to be dealt with and “nipped in the bud” or it will take one on a spiral out-of –control journey that only evokes the wrath of God!
2. When unresolved these wicked acts even if done in the name of Christ and missions, lead only to more repulsive and despicable acts like throwing innocent children in the fires of sexual, physical, spiritual and emotional abuse in the unnatural setting of boarding schools. You don’t have to read far to see that the first degree “burns” from these experiences in many are still “raw” and very painful… This will cause God to remove His presence from the “mission” or project He initially blessed so powerfully and so wonderfully!
3. NTM/MNTB you have begun a much needed purification process, but please, please, please don’t forget the first sins that no doubt allowed the latter. Let the purging and cleansing go deep—in all areas that need sanctification!! If you can’t remember some… I’m sure there are many ex-NTMers who can…


I agree with this 100%.


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