Monday, November 15, 2010

Embarrassing Your Children

by Gary Snyder

What could be more shameful and humiliating than to get caught stealing from your child’s piggy bank? Maybe the only thing worse is to have your children see you in court for stealing from his/her little league/soccer/ PTA piggy bank. Unfortunately it is happening with more frequency.

In a matter of days, several separate instances have been reported where parents were caught embezzling tens of thousands of dollars from league coffers. In Central California, a 43-year old mother and coach admitted to stealing $24,000 from the Turlock Youth Soccer League. At virtually the same time, in Michigan, the treasurer of the Livonia City Soccer Club stood mute at his arraignment for stealing over $100,000. In Washington, father and treasurer of the Spartan Baseball Club, a select baseball club for teenagers, was arrested and charged with embezzling over $21,000. In Pennsylvania, the treasurer took $12,000 from the coffers of the Coplay Sports in Allentown. In Wisconsin, the former president of the Green Bay Swim stole $47,000 over a three-year period (she had been serving a six-month jail sentence for a previous offense and also was convicted in 2001 of stealing $3,000). In Michigan, the treasurer of the Marine High School Booster Club was charged for stealing $35,000. In Ohio, the president of the Springdale Youth Boosters Inc. is charged with stealing $76000. In South Carolina, more than $13,000 was allegedly stolen by its vice president/treasurer from the Pinch Elementary School PTO. In most instances the boards were not aware of the illegal activity for about 3 years.

These are just a few examples of an exploding amount of criminality in which parents have access to substantial amounts of money with virtually no checks or balances. In preparation for an upcoming book, I have been able to document 60 instances in which over $350 million has taken from schools and programs. The children are not only being robbed of their opportunities, they are being robbed of their innocence by watching their own parents disappoint them.

Embarrassment does not seem to be a disincentive.

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