By Dan Irvin
I don’t need to tell you it was like summer over the weekend. Man, we went from late winter weather the weekend before directly to hot and humid.
In fact there were kids jumping through a sprinkler across our street on Sunday. There’s some childhood delight right there.
It got me to thinking. We have an obligation to protect our kids. I have always thought that humanity’s highest obligation, the obligation of any living thing really, is to protect our young at whatever cost.
And that means talk about ways to provide a safe environment for kids even if it’s uncomfortable.
I had occasion to hear a presentation by Judy Brucker a couple of weeks ago. She’s the executive director of our Child Protection Network, Children’s Advocacy Center, and CASA – the group of court appointed advocates for kids around here who are living in foster care.
Here’s what made me really uncomfortable. In 2012, CAC coordinated 369 child abuse investigations. (That’s sexual abuse or serious physical abuse.) That means every day here in idyllic Central Illinois, the jewel of Illinois maybe of the nation, a kid is in a bad enough situation to warrant an investigation.
How many times have we heard people say Bloomington/Normal is a great place to raise a family? It’s almost our trademark.
Well, I get uncomfortable because it sounds to me like you and I are not doing our jobs.
This is a great place to live. It’s great because we band together for peace and safety. There was a Friends Forever peace march on Sunday, in fact.
Let’s get educated on the issue of child abuse and endangerment. Let’s talk about it. Let’s get serious.
Let’s make our community a safe place for kids. All the kids.
Dan Irvin is Secretary of the Board of the McLean County Chamber of Commerce, Vice-President of the Bloomington Public Library Foundation Board, and a member of the Heartland Community College Foundation Board.
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