Opinion: Harsher punishment needed for bullies, sexual harassers, Potsdam resident says
Monday, April 15, 2019 - 7:03 am

Sexual assault and harassment is happening to our children at school. As parents we send our children to school for an education in hopes that they will succeed in life.

Our children should feel safe going to school. Some of us parents have children who are the victims while other parents’ children perform these acts. Either way our job as parents is to educate our children.

The schools also need more serious consequences for students who are bullying and performing acts of sexual assault and harassment. As a community we need to educate these children before they grow into adults thinking that this behavior is OK.

Upstate New York has a large amount of adult sex offenders. I can tell you as a parent of a child who has not only been sexually assaulted but also sexually harassed and bullied in school it tears them apart mentally. The bright shine that my child once had is now not there. As a parent we always wish that we can take our child's pain away.

This is a pain that I cannot make go away for my child. I cannot put a Band-Aid on it nor can I buy a present and make it all better. I cannot put into words the pain that my child is feeling, but I can tell you that I am lost and broken knowing and seeing the daily hurt in my child's face and soul.

I have decided to take my pain and anger and use it to advocate and help make the issues going on in our schools come to light in hopes of preventing the continuation of these issues.

Erin Abelard

Potsdam