http://www.clickondetroit.com/news/23836126/detail.htmlA metro Detroit couple said despite their expressed concerns, a school put their son in danger when it led him through an area where registered sex offenders live during a school parade.
Westland mother Elizabeth Dunham said when she found out P.D. Graham Elementary School was going to host a parade Tuesday for students in its accelerated reader program, she cross-referenced the route with the state's sex offender registry.
Dunham said she was concerned about her son's safety when she found out two registered sex offenders live on the parade route.
"We then sent an e-mail to the principal Sunday morning and informed him that we refused, in big bold letters in the e-mail, to let our child be part of it, " said Dunham's husband, Chris.
"As the educators, it is your responsibility to ensure the safety of the children that attend your school. I fear this is not the case. I cross-checked the parade route with a listing of registered sex offenders in the area. Is it really your intention to parade the children in front of the homes of pedophiles?" the e-mail stated. "I, for one, will not stand for this. I refuse to let my child take part in such egregious activity. Nor do I plan to keep this information from the other parents. Please contact me with a solution for this dilemma."
School officials said the Dunhams' e-mail was addressed, and when the school didn't hear back from the couple the following morning, and when the Dunhams' son was present at school before the parade, he participated in it.
When the Dunhams found out, they said they were furious.
"I was the one who initially said 'call the cops,' because I wanted him (the principal) arrested," Chris Dunham said. "He broke the law, in my opinion. The criminal definition is abduction. That's exactly what he did."
Elizabeth Dunham said her No. 1 priority is looking out for her child's safety.
School officials said the children were watched closely during the parade.
"Local streets are shut down, a fire truck actually leads the parade and a police officer in a patrol car ends the parade," said Wayne-Westland Deputy Superintendent Charlotte Sherman. "The teachers and the children all participate, and it's just a wonderful celebration of reading."
Sherman said the situation is just a case of miscommunication.
All kinds of issues in this one and a lot of comments at the link.
Comment by the father, Chris Dunham:These people are just weirdo's!!!! Sorry I just had to say it!! they know who I am . and I do not care, they have put their son through alot with all this and I feel sad for him, the students at p.d Graham where never in harms way, it was absolutly supervised. my daughter is in this boys class and she was so excited the night before she couldnt sleep. Its sad that they might of ruined it for future parades and if they didnt want him in the parade then why send him to school? she dosnt work , i am not sure about him, get your lazy butt out of the house and walk him through the parade then. Our children play outside everyday, it is a safe neighborhood. how stupid and poor Mr. Briody
One response:This goes to show that the local news can take an honest to god story and spin it the wrong way. We down played the pedophile stuff while talking with Steve. It was our initial concern yes, but after we email Briody. We expected to have him hang back. Wasn't till This morning that we were told it was SCHOOL WIDE. So nobody would be there. Had we known that we'd have come got him.
Our gripe. Though not expressed here. Was that we said no and the school didn't listen. If it was school wide use the boy's emergency card contacts. We're but a phone call away. Garagiola ran with the pedophile angle. My "scene causing" was due to Briody acting like ignoring a parents wishes is no big deal. The profanity used was a word that means donkey.
Any parent who is over-ridden by the school, for any reason would be angry. That is what we wanted made note of. Too bad 4 couldn't do that.
Many more points made in the comments. Reading them was interesting. References are made to the father addressing this on a blog, YouTube, and internet radio show but I can't find them.Exactly what was your concern? Did you think one of these sex offenders was going to snatch a kid in the middle of a parade? Why did you find it necessary to call the news to report this? Were you serious when you said the principal should be arrested for abduction?
Trying to blame the media for putting a different spin on it doesn't change the fact that you called the media over maybe the stupidest thing I ever heard.
Were the parents acting realistically in the first place? Overprotective? Do they have a gripe once they said "no" and the school overrode them? Does an email override a "permission slip" (if there was one)? Does the parent's "non-response" to the school play into this? What about calling the media about it?