Parents, pay attention. Don’t let your child be a victim.
Grace Episcopal Church, located in Alexandria Virginia, has a member who is alleged to be a child molester.
I cannot go into the details, for obvious reasons.
But former rector Malm knows who that person is. He knows the specifics. He’s done nothing to prevent that person from having access to the church, or the church school. Or to prevent that person from having unsupervised access to children.
Even worse, that person is believed to have 24/7 access to the church building, including rooms used by Grace Episcopal School. Given the size of the building, that makes it highly possible for that individual to have unsupervised access to children.
Nor is Bob Malm the only person to know of this issue. Members know about the issue. Former assistant rector Leslie Steffensen knows about the issue. The diocese knows about the issue. Nothing has been done.
To be clear: I do not have firsthand knowledge of the truth or falsity of these issues. But my source is well-placed, and I’ve received confirmation from clergy about this matter. Moreover, the person in question has a job that may provide access to children. And don’t fall for the line from Bob Malm that anyone who shares this information is “unbalanced,” or “disgruntled.” There is no excuse for turning a blind eye to an alleged child molester. Ever.
Parents, be alert. Do not allow your children to be alone in the building. NEVER leave them unsupervised. And be wary of church trips and events, including Shrine Mont. Indeed, at least one teen began her drug use at Shrine Mont.
Educate your children. Talk to them. Be available to them. Makes sure they know that they must report anything that seems off, or doesn’t seem right, no matter how inconsequential. And be alert for signs of grooming, in which an adult curries favor with your child. Your children need to understand that you will love them, protect them, and believe them, no matter what.
Take action. Demand that the parish and the diocese develop written policies to deal with this and similar issues. Demand that the policy be implemented. Demand that abusers be held accountable.
BEWARE. BEWARE. BEWARE.