Alarming, according to Toronto police inspector Joanna Beaven-Desjardins. After cracking an international child pornography ring, she found it alarming that many of those arrested were in positions that put them into contact with children.
Where else would they be? And why is that fact alarming when it makes perfect sense?
Thieves looking for large amounts of cash target banks because that's where the money is. It follows that child abusers would choose professions that grant them access to as many children as possible.
In Ontario, Canada, about fifty people have already been arrested for possessing or creating child porn, including graphic videos for distribution over the Internet. The vast majority of those arrested were school teachers, who spend days and months in the company of our children, days and months of developing trusting relationships and establishing control.
The police inspector was alarmed. She must not be familiar with Ireland's industrial school system, in which vulnerable children were placed into State care and left in the hands of the clergy. The abuse was horrific, although it's not thought that anyone took photos to share. All that remained to document the decades of horror were the survivors themselves, who were not believed initially because they accused people in positions of respect. Like school teachers.
The Canadians are particularly troubled because one of their own was running a business specializing in the production of child pornography videos, right there in Toronto. Brian Way, now under arrest, is thought to have run a massive operation that netted him around four million in profits.
The police also noted that nearly four hundred children had been rescued, but this was a world-wide sting and they did not offer further specifics beyond a suggestion that Mr. Way was paying operatives in Eastern Europe to produce child pornography videos.
Even at that, Canadians must wonder if any of the nearly four hundred children were found in Toronto, and why no one noticed anything amiss or troubling. And you can be sure that every parent is looking at their child's teacher and fearing that their son or daughter is not safe in the classroom. When they drop the little ones off at some after-school activity led by a volunteer, they will not be so keen to leave, not sure if that volunteer is present to protect the children or find vulnerable individuals to explot. Is that coach all right, they will ask each other, and they will realize that child abusers do not have any outward scars or marks to identify them as dangerous.