commentary by Patrick H. Moore
As parents we all know that we’ve got to protect our children from the ubiquitous molester. What makes that tricky is the fact the molester could be hiding out in plain sight nearly anywhere. He could be the boy scout leader. He could be your priest or minister. He could the man with the big house that your son is doing yard work for. He could be your next door neighbor. He could be the father of your daughter’s new best friend. He could be the big brother of your daughter’s new best friend. He could be your son or daughter’s teacher. He even could be your son’s little league coach.
With so many potential molesters out there just waiting to dig their evil clamps into your child, you could go crazy if you’re not careful. I remember when my son played Little League, he mentioned that some of the kids were going to 1:00 am swim parties with Mr ______, an assistant Little League coach who also covered youth sports for our local daily paper. Immediately, my molester hackles went up. I know that my son — who had been making a name for himself as an ace shortstop and center fielder — wanted to go to one of those fun bashes but I told him absolutely not. Although I had no proof that the guy was a molester, I wasn’t taking any chances.
One children’s authority figure whom I had never placed within the ranks of the ubiquitous molester, however, was the school principal. I don’t know why. It just never dawned on me that a principal could or would stoop that low. Boy, was I wrong as the recent molestation news out of Fayetteville, North Carolina clearly demonstrates.
Former Fayetteville middle school principal, David Ellis Edwards, 49, has been charged with with two counts of second-degree forcible sex offense, two counts of sexual acts with a student, and five counts of taking indecent liberties with a minor. In addition, according to Judge Tal Baggett, Edwards is also facing charges of crimes against nature, whatever that means.
The detectives — based on the three alleged victims who have come forward — believe that the sex acts in question took place at Ramsey Street Alternative School and Douglas Byrd Middle Schools in Fayetteville. According to the detectives, the victims told them that between 2009 to 2011, they were touched inappropriately or were forced to participate in sexual acts with Edwards at each of the two school campuses.
The ages of the alleged victims, all of whom were boys , ranged from 11 to 14. That shocking news that sets this case apart from any school molestation I have ever heard or read about is that at least one of the sexual assaults occurred while a parent of the victim unknowingly sat in a waiting area in the office of the school. Assuming the charges are borne out, the sheer gall of Edwards is absolutely staggering. There you are waiting nervously. You assume that your kid is being scolded or even yelled at for some childish infraction, but never — not even in your wildest nightmares — would you assume that the principal is molesting your child.
According to sources, Edwards is (was) also the pastor at the First Missionary Baptist Church in St. Pauls.
The disgraced official was arrested this Friday after turning himself in to the authorities. It appears that even though the Cumberland County School system has stated that they were unaware of any pending investigation, Edwards may have had some inkling that his days were numbered in that he resigned from his position as principal six weeks ago, stating at that time that he was making the move to take advantage of new educational opportunities.
Edward’s bond was set at $140,000. During the pendency of the case, he has been ordered not to associate with anyone under the age of 16. Edwards made his first appearance in a Cumberland County Courtroom on Friday, October 11th.