- Faith & Family
Earlier this year the City of Miami Gardens passed an ordinance that would have kept someone like Sandusky and banned a volunteer like Judge Joe Mathis because of a felony conviction. Penn State University Assistant Coach Jerry Sandusky would have been eligible to volunteer as a coach to children living in the City of Miami Gardens.
The City of Miami Gardens’ decision to ban certain residents from coaching children in their neighborhood is one more reason you need to know the candidates and vote.
The ordinance bans a person with two felonies within a life time and a single felony in the past five years. A felony conviction can be anything from a charge of trespassing to possession of Marine Turtle eggs, improperly dumping trash, keeping a rental car longer than the contract allow, or a traffic violation. I am condoning unlawful
behavior.; it’s not okay to break the law. However, it is shameful that nearly 100 volunteer coaches were affected by this ordinance and are no longer allowed to coach in the City where many of them reside and some can even vote. It is unfortunate that Miami Gardens centered the ban on volunteering on a single felony conviction; not on other moral or character standing. The ordinance implies that our kids are safe with coaches that do not have a felony conviction. Therefore parents have a false sense of security. Banning a person based simply on a felony conviction is another form of profiling and should be banned.
Pedophiles go undetected everywhere in society. Some are working or serving in positions that grant them full access to our children. Unfortunately, we do not have enough laws and policies to protect our children under every circumstance. Therefore we must empower our children by teaching them how to protect themselves and what to do if they have been violated. We must educate our children on what is sexual abuse and keep open lines of communication on this topic.
The City of Miami Gardens’ decision to ban certain residents from coaching children in their neighborhood is one more reason you need to know the candidates and vote. You need to know their perspectives on critical issues impacting the lives of their constituents. We must vote for representatives that understand the past injustices imposed on the very constituents they are elected to serve without taking into account the type of crime and the context in which it was done. We must stop voting for politicians that simply don’t give a damn about us and our issues.
By Queen Brown
Community Activist, Queenb2020@bellsouth.net