Pedophiles Driven Out by “Pocket Parks”

Council member Joe Buscaino

Joe Buscaino says the scheme is sending out a ‘loud and clear’ message

By Greg Milam, US Correspondent

Communities in the US who say their neighborhoods have been blighted by high concentrations of registered sex offenders have found an unusual way of driving them away.

The phenomenon of ‘pocket parks’, which are built on patches of waste land, is spreading across the country and forcing sex offenders to move out.

Under Jessica’s Law, which is named in honor of nine-year-old Jessica Lunsford who was abducted and murdered by a convicted sex offender, anyone on the register cannot live within 2,000 feet of a park or school.

Because of that, communities that are considered “park poor”, with few schools or play areas, have become havens for high concentrations of registered offenders.

Local people have taken to calling them “perverts’ row”.

Civil rights campaigners claim the parks are driving sex offenders underground and do nothing to make children any safer.

However, communities argue it is a demonstration of people power.

In Harbor Gateway, a working-class neighborhood close to the Port of Los Angeles, a former patch of waste ground close to a busy junction is now home to a new playground.

It often stands unused but since it was built, dozens of registered sex offenders who lived in the area, including more than 30 in one small apartment block, have been forced to move on or face violating their probation or parole.

Council member Joe Buscaino, a former Los Angeles police officer who now represents the Harbor Gateway district, pushed for the playground to be built.

He told Sky News: “Parents would live in fear, close their curtains shut and lock their doors, and we sent a message loud and clear that we shouldn’t have to live this way.”

'Pocket parks' driving out sex offenders

‘Pocket parks’ driving out sex offenders

Pocket parks are being built from Florida to Oklahoma as more communities learn of their impact.

The LA suburb of Wilmington is another that has become home to high concentrations of registered sex offenders, many of whom live in former hotels. A soon-to-be-opened playground will change that.

Mum-of-two Corina Larios, who lives near the site, said: “I used to worry about me or my kids being out at night.

“It is terrible that they feel that they can come and throw all of the undesirables into our city … and we’re upset because there are a lot of good families here.”

Those who campaign for the rights of registered offenders say the parks simply make it harder to monitor them and suggest they are unconstitutional and misguided.

Janice Belluci, president of California Reform Sex Offender Laws, said: “The people who are already on the sex offenders’ registers are the least likely to sexually assault their children, with the rate of re-offence less than 2%.

“The people most likely to assault your child are family members, teachers, coaches and members of the clergy.”

Local police applaud community action but say society needs to find an answer to where rehabilitated registered offenders should go.

LAPD sergeant Catherine Plows told Sky News said poorest neighborhoods often suffer the most.

“Does that make it right for them to endure an inordinate number of sex offenders being placed here? No, it doesn’t,” she said.

“There is no magical island they can be placed on. In the end they are human beings and they have the same rights as we do.”

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One response to “Pedophiles Driven Out by “Pocket Parks”

  1. Toronto District Teacher

    DISCIPLINE COMMITTEE OF THE ONTARIO COLLEGE OF TEACHERS
    BETWEEN:
    ONTARIO COLLEGE OF TEACHERS
    and
    GORDANA ANNE STEFULIC

    NOTICE OF HEARING

    THE INVESTIGATION COMMITTEE OF THE ONTARIO COLLEGE OF TEACHERS, pursuant to section 26, subsection (5) of the Ontario College of Teachers Act, 1996 (the “Act”), Statutes of Ontario, 1996, chapter 12, has directed that the matter hereinafter described regarding the conduct or actions of Gordana Anne Stefulic, Certificate No176236 , be referred to the Discipline Committee of the Ontario College of Teachers.

    IT IS ALLEGED that Gordana Anne Stefulic is guilty of professional misconduct as defined in subsections 30(2) and 40(1.1) of the Act in that:
    (a) she failed to maintain the standards of the profession, contrary to Ontario
    Regulation 437/97, subsection 1(5);

    (b) she abused a student or students physically, sexually, verbally, psychologically or emotionally, contrary to Ontario Regulation 437/97, subsection 1(7) and engaged in sexual abuse of a student or students of a nature defined in sections 1 and 40 (1.1) of the Act;

    (c) she failed to comply with the Education Act, Revised Statutes of Ontario, 1990, chapter E.2, and specifically section 264(1)(c) thereof or the Regulations made under that Act, contrary to Ontario Regulation 437/97, subsection 1(15);

    (d) she committed acts that having regard to all the circumstances would reasonably be regarded by members as disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional, contrary to Ontario Regulation 437/97, subsection 1 and

    (e) she engaged in conduct unbecoming a Member, contrary to Ontario Regulation
    437/97, subsection 1(19).

    PARTICULARS OF THESE ALLEGATIONS ARE AS FOLLOWS:
    1. Gordana Anne Stefulic (the “Member”) is a member of the Ontario College of
    Teachers.
    2. At all material times, the Member was employed by the Toronto District School Board
    (the “Board”) as a Principal at [XX] School (the “School”) in Ontario.

    3. During the 2007-2008 academic year, the Member granted and/or permitted Student No. 1
    and Student No. 2, two male students of the Board under the age of sixteen years, entry
    and/or access to her Facebook page and by so doing, allowed Student No. 1 and Student
    No. 2 to access inappropriate and/or view material including:

    (a) A photographic image of a male person without a shirt, wearing a Speedo bathing suit and titled, “Meal of the Day”;
    (b) A drawing showing a naked woman depicting her breasts and a naked man holding a string which was tied to his well endowed penis.
    4. During the 2007-2008 academic year, the Member,

    (a) permitted a student and/or students to have access to a personal laptop computer which she knew or ought to have known contained images of a pornographic nature or erotic nature, which appeared to depict young adolescent males;
    (b) permitted a student and/or students to have access to the classroom computer which she knew or ought to have known contained pornographic images and/or violent cartoon images and/or images of naked bodies;
    (c) requested and/or allowed Student No. 3, Student No. 4 and Student No. 5, male students, to give her a massage; and
    (d) made no efforts to deter or prevent a student and/or students from seeking to massage her back.
    THE DISCIPLINE COMMITTEE WILL HOLD A HEARING pursuant to sections 30 and 32 of the Ontario College of Teachers Act, 1996, to decide whether the allegations are true and whether Gordana Anne Stefulic is guilty of professional misconduct. A copy of the Rules of Procedure of the Discipline Committee and of the Fitness to Practise Committee will be provided upon request.

    THE DISCIPLINE COMMITTEE WILL MEET on Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 9:00 a.m. to set a date for the hearing of this matter. The Committee will meet on the 12th floor of the offices of the Ontario College of Teachers at 101 Bloor Street West, Toronto, Ontario.

    YOU ARE ENTITLED TO BE PRESENT ON THE ABOVE MENTIONED DATE AND AT THE HEARING AND TO BE REPRESENTED BY LEGAL COUNSEL.

    If you wish, you or your legal counsel may contact College Counsel to discuss the scheduling of a hearing date to determine whether a date for the hearing can be agreed upon. If a date for the hearing can be agreed to, in accordance with Rule 4.02(2) of the Rules of Procedure of the Discipline Committee and of the Fitness to Practise Committee, the hearing will proceed on the agreed date.

    IF A DATE FOR THE HEARING OF THIS MATTER IS NOT AGREED UPON AND YOU DO NOT ATTEND TO SET A DATE FOR THE HEARING OF THIS MATTER, THE DISCIPLINE COMMITTEE MAY PROCEED IN YOUR ABSENCE TO SET A DATE FOR THE HEARING. NOTICE OF THE HEARING DATE WILL BE PROVIDED TO YOU IN WRITING AT YOUR LAST KNOWN ADDRESS AS SHOWN IN THE RECORDS OF THE COLLEGE.

    IF YOU DO NOT ATTEND ON THE SCHEDULED HEARING DATE, THE DISCIPLINE COMMITTEE MAY PROCEED IN YOUR ABSENCE AND YOU WILL NOT BE PROVIDED WITH ANY FURTHER NOTICE OF PROCEEDINGS.

    IF THE DISCIPLINE COMMITTEE FIND YOU GUILTY of professional misconduct, you are liable to the penalties set out in section 30 of the Act.

    A MEMBER whose conduct is being investigated in proceedings before the Discipline Committee may examine before the hearing any written or documentary evidence that will be produced or any report, the contents of which will be given as evidence at the hearing. You or your representative may contact the office of Caroline Zayid of McCarthy Tétrault LLP, solicitor for the College in this matter, at Suite 5300, Toronto Dominion Bank Tower, Toronto, ON M5K 1E6, telephone 416-601-
    7768.

    Date: January 14,2013

    Michael Salvatori, OCT
    Registrar and Chief Executive Officer
    Ontario College of Teachers
    12th Floor, 101 Bloor Street West
    Toronto, ON M5S 0A1

    TO: Gordana Anne Stefulic
    [XX] [XX]

    AND TO: Calderoni Steer Wanderon McTavish & Smith LLP
    2 Sheppard Ave E
    North York ON M2N 5Y7
    Dale Stump, Solicitor for the
    Member

    B E T W E E N :
    ONTARIO COLLEGE OF TEACHERS – and – GORDANA ANNE STEFULIC
    DISCIPLINE COMMITTEE OF THE ONTARIO COLLEGE OF TEACHERS
    NOTICE OF HEARING
    McCarthy Tétrault LLP
    Suite 5300
    Toronto Dominion Bank Tower
    Toronto, ON M5K 1E6

    Caroline R. Zayid
    Tel. 416 601-7768
    Fax 416 868-0673

    David E. Leonard
    Tel. 416 601-7684
    Fax 416 868-0673

    Solicitors for the
    Ontario College of Teachers

    #12685381

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