A Democratic friend looks at the arrest of Garretson schools business manager Rodney Bernard Fischer and wonders why we aren’t hearing Republicans proposing legislation to ban male school administrators and teachers to protect our children from sexual predators.
The Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Department busted Fischer at work Tuesday for trying to hook up with who he thought was a 13-year-old girl from out of town:
On June 1, a special agent with the Homeland Security office in Sioux Falls received a tip from the office in San Jose, Calif., that an undercover agent had talked with a Sioux Falls man who was interested in having sex with a 13-year-old girl.Court documents show that the agent had posted a Backpage.com ad on May 23, posing as a photographer who was bringing her daughter to Sioux Falls for a few days.
Fischer allegedly responded to the ad, saying he wanted to have sex with both the photographer and her daughter. The undercover agent later posed as the 13-year-old girl and messaged Fischer on Kik, a messaging app.
Fischer, using the name sdhorndog2012, sent sexually explicit messages to what he believed was a 13-year-old girl, according to an affidavit filed in the case.
Homeland Security matched the IP address to Fischer’s name and address in Sioux Falls and received a warrant for his arrest on Monday [Katie Nelson and Megan Raposa, “Garretson Administrator Arrested for Soliciting Agent Posing as Girl, 13,” that Sioux Falls paper, 2016.06.08].
Another general rule for healthy living: if you’re doing something that requires or inclines you to use a nickname that includes the phrase “horndog,” you should probably stop doing it.
At peril of sounding like I’m soft on crime, let me note that Fischer does not appear to have harmed any children. In a letter to district parents, Superintendent Guy Johnson says “School officials have been in contact with the Minnehaha County Sherriff’s office regarding these charges, and they have informed us that ‘there do not appear to be any local victims in the case.'” The government apparently tricked Fischer into thinking he was talking to an out-of-town woman and her underage daughter. There is no 13-year-old victim, only a fiction created by a Homeland Security agent and allegedly fantasized by the defendant.
But demonstrating a willingness to realize such fantasies is a crime for good reason. We fight child-trafficking on the supply side and the demand side.
Consider, however, that this crime did not take place in a school bathroom or locker room. It was not perpetrated by some outsider or marginalized member of society. The defendant appears to be a pretty regular guy, a member of the community trusted for over a decade with the school’s money. No state rules dictating gender based on birth certificates protects 13-year-olds from this crime. No school gunslinger keeps adults from harboring such perverse thoughts and seeking outlets therefor.
We have far more examples of individuals in our schools using school computers and shoe cams and other means to act on predatory impulses than we do of armed assaults or transgender bathroom berserkers. The empirical evidence would suggest that, in its obsession with paranoid potty bills and guns and such, the South Dakota Legislature has been ignoring the real nature and methods of the predators who target children.