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Community Presentation on Sex Offenders and Protecting Kids at UM

A presentation by Montgomery County officials will be made on Thursday, Jan. 24 at Upper Moreland Middle School.

Rick Parsons, chairman of the Montgomery County Sexual Assault Task Force, will be on hand at Upper Moreland Middle School Thursday night to talk to parents about sexual predators and how to better protect their children from them.

Parsons and three other members of the Task Force have already given presentations at about 10 schools such as Jenkintown, Hatboro, Horsham and Abington, but now it's Upper Moreland's turn in the rotation. 

The presentation starts at 7 p.m. at Upper Moreland Middle School and is intended for parents. 

Parsons said the purpose of these presentations is to not only make people aware of what goes on with sexual predators, but to also dispel some of the myths that go along with these crimes. The presentation is a little over an hour with a Question-and-Answer forum at the end.

The County Sexual Assault Task Force began visiting local schools after receiving a grant from Smart Office.

"We recommended to do public education events," Parsons said.
"The main reason is there were a lot of myths and misconceptions. Those myths were actually increasing the risk. We wanted to get accurate info out to the community so the community as a whole can protect themselves."

One example is the fact sex offenders are not allowed within 1,000 feet of a school. However, Parsons points out that 93-percent of sexual offenses against children occur with someone they know. 

"It's the person, Uncle Eddy's, the Coach, the Teacher, Parsons said. "We spend all this time and research into laws that don't make sense."

This is a parental education service, but parents often times step up and talk about their own personal experiences in this matter. 

"We're presenting to the parents, we're hoping that kids will come forward, but also, a lot of times it's parents that have been assaulted in their lifetime and they never have talked to anybody," Parsons added. 

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