Divisiveness is common in a community when a popular adult is accused of abusing minors, the head of Stop Educator Sexual Abuse, Misconduct and Exploitation told the Contra Costa Times, according to a story published online Saturday.
The article honed in on Albany Patch reader comments to illustrate the split in the community. Is that a fair measure of the level of divisiveness? Readers, do we have a serious split in the community, or is it too early to assess given how the story evolved from a single allegation against James Izumizaki to his suicide to the police saying there may have been multiple victims?
In the Times story, Miller said a divided community can be troubling for the victims.
"This is so horribly traumatic for the victims to see this kind of response and to see this adulation of the teacher," Miller told the Times in the article, which was headlined "Albany teacher suicide, molestation arrest split community."
"Oftentimes they are award-winning teachers or very popular teachers and that's how they mask the demon inside," she said. "The community doesn't know that side of him; only the victims have seen that side of perpetrators."