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August 21, 2008

Officer John F. Gay III tells school assembly he shared student's profile with sex predator

"Scared Straight"...shorthand for letting uniformed officers terrorize your children with a view to preempting freelance abusers.

Courtney from feministing writes:

Being from this neck of the woods, I had to post on this hogwash. Apparently a Wyoming police officer shamed young women in a high school assembly by analyzing their MySpace profiles as "slutty" and fodder for inmates' masturbation sessions.

The officer, John F. Gay III of the Cheyenne Police Department, picked out six or seven Windsor High School students' MySpace page and began to criticize photos, comments and other content until one student left the room crying

"He told the entire student body that he had shared her info with a sexual predator in prison," said Ty Nordic, whose daughter Shaylah Nordic's MySpace page was put on display. [Coloradoan]

This is worse than the drunk driving death hoax that some officers and administrators perpetrated on a California high school.

First, Officer John F. Gay III needs to be fired for sexually humiliating an underage girl in public. Next, the victim and her parents need to file a big lawsuit against Officer Gay and any institution that put him up to this. Finally a full investigation into Gay's claim that he showed a kid's mySpace profile to a sex offender.

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That is hogwash. Officer Gay absolutely did not give a prison inmate a girl's myspace info. Come on!! He is there to inform, not harass and most definately NOT to help a sexual predetor. Get real! I bet it a person was to google Windsor High myspace websites that A LOT of them have been taken off or at least cleaned up. Way to go Officer!

How do you know, Go Officer Gay? He said he did. Why not take him at his word? The kind of person who would sexually humiliate an underage girl in public might be the kind of person who gets off on sharing that kind of stuff with sex predators.

Shame base reinforcement is wrong. Thinking you are going to do good, by shaming, is so 60;s public safety thinking. Explaining the general hazards to all, (without selecting an individual) is important.

Did Officer Gay create these pics? No these "girls" posted these pics for all to see. The officer simply searched them out in a public forum and now the officer is the bad guy? If you don't want to have the world looking at your "questionable" pics, then don't post them. You never know when or where they may pop up!

Did Officer Gay create these pics? No these "girls" posted these pics for all to see. The officer simply searched them out in a public forum and now the officer is the bad guy? If you don't want to have the world looking at your "questionable" pics, then don't post them. You never know when or where they may pop up!

RTFA, and quit using rape-apology arguments while you're at it.

I remember Scared Straight as a program where jail or prison inmates were used to frighten teen-agers deemed "at risk" of felonious behavior. When I was incarcerated in New York state, I wondered about the inmates who agreed to participate. They played the role of inmates as savage animals, ready to rape or kill anyone who showed the slightest sign of weakness. Since it was a rare inmate who actually fit such a profile, it was disheartening to see prisoners eager to reinforce the stereotype.

Lindsay, I wish you would re-think your use of the term "sex predator." It's dehumanizing and contributes to the demonization of sex offenders that has led to such phenomenon as the colony of men who have already served time in prison for their crimes but who are forced to live under a highway overpass in Florida because stringent residency requirements for released sex offenders have left them with no home where they can legally reside.

Teaching high school students should be left to professional teachers.

Schools shouldn't bring in non-teachers to scare the students.

Yeah, professional teachers are scary enough!

Lindsay,

One minor quibble. The drunk-driving death hoax was perpetrated by cops and school administrators. The articles I read only mentioned teachers telling the students it was a hoax, not participating in the fraud.

As someone who comes from a family of public school teachers and sees teachers get regularly blamed for everything in the universe, I think its important that we not perpetuate that nonsense.

Officer Gay must be surely be aware that adult sex predation of teens is an overstated problem in this society, and when it happens, its much much more likely to be a trusted authority figure or member of one's own family than some dirty, unshaven loser from the State Pen. Then of course, there are also the huge issues of teen-on-teen rape and dating violence, which get next to no attention in the schools at all. So why is stranger predation still such a favorite subject of prime-time TV, and not-so-secret sado-masochists like Officer Gay? A large reason must be that its better beating-off material for those (largely male) guardians of public morality whose own psychology runs so close to that of the perverts they despise. It would be a bit harder to do a stunt like this if the threat being outlined came from your own preacher, uncle, scout leader, or boyfriend.

Okay, the first sentence didn't say what I wanted it too. Stranger sex-predation of children and teens is an overstated issue, and the subject of much hysteria in society; sexual predation *in general* is not.

And parse, I understand what you're saying, but "predation" is a very accurate description of what we're talking about. Its a crime of the powerful against the powerless, and any sex predator that wishes to change himself must face that in any case.

Cass -

I don't like the term "sexual predator" because of its vagueness.

It used to be that people were told to be afraid online because of "stalkers."

But because "stalkers" refers specifically to someone who follows around someone else without consent or breaks into their homes, it was replaced with "sexual predators" as a scary-sounding term which doesn't require anything specific and can mean anything and therefore means nothing.

And parse, I understand what you're saying, but "predation" is a very accurate description of what we're talking about. Its a crime of the powerful against the powerless, and any sex predator that wishes to change himself must face that in any case.

Cass, we don't know what we're talking about, because we don't know anything about the alleged "sex predator" Officer Gay supposedly showed the photo to. As Eric noted, he just characterized the putative recipient of the teen's pictures as a sex predator because it's scarier that way.

Lindsay, I wish you would re-think your use of the term "sex predator." It's dehumanizing

Unlike the behaviour of sex offenders, wich is not dehumanising at all.


That is hogwash. Officer Gay absolutely did not give a prison inmate a girl's myspace info. Come on!! He is there to inform, not harass and most definately NOT to help a sexual predetor.

Since, as we all know, people never do anything they aren't there to do. Besides, he did harass these girls, and you're cheering him on for it.

I bet it a person was to google Windsor High myspace websites that A LOT of them have been taken off or at least cleaned up.

So?

Did Officer Gay create these pics? No these "girls" posted these pics for all to see. The officer simply searched them out in a public forum and now the officer is the bad guy?

Yes. He was given power, and he used it to trample on people under his power. Case closed.

Someone should publish this a-holes cell phone number and make sure all the kids in the assembly get ahold of it

"Scared Straight" also served to reinforce the idea that prison rape and violence is an acceptable component of punishment--it was, after all, being officially used as a part of the deterrent.

Apparently, Cheyenne, Wyoming police officer John Gay does these seminars in his off-duty time, not just in Colorado. Someone should investigate whether Officer Gay violated our vague child pornography laws (he admittedly downloaded photos of 15-year old girls that he deemed sexually provocative) and also investigate possible violations of the laws prohibiting defeating security protections on software by allegedly "hacking" into "private" MySpace pages. After all, someone who gave a seminar about poor on-line banking security by hacking into your accounts and showing a room full of other people how it was done could be prosecuted.

Right now, some fundie Xian news portal is rewriting the article to read, "The officer, John F. Homosexual III of the Cheyenne Police Department..."

Seriously though, acting as if the girls deserved it is bullshit. They deserved to be told how to protect themselves online in a respectful manner, but not be shamed or scared into it (which is ineffective at causing behavior change in the first place). Way to convince them that the police are the enemy.

I would bet money that this officer got off on humiliating these children. A sadist-authoritarian pig.

I have had Officer Gay talk to my school in Cheyenne. He only tells you the truth. Praents wouldn't you rather your son os daughters to walk out of that gym or auditoriam crying than dead? One girl didn't get that chance, instead she IS DEAD. Raped and murdered. I know myspace is the "THING" to have but think about safety? Rick Porter knew what the officer was going to talk about because he HAS heard officer Gay speak at the last school in Cheyenne he was princepal at. So he can't say I didn't know he was gong to show how bad because Officer Gay has done this to a school he was employeed at before. I mean its a huge deal, people need a awake call. Times have changed and safety needs to get higher especially with the internet.

All I can say is the parents that are complaining need to grow up and realize, "This is real, this happens, even to rich little girls and boys that live in CO." The only mistake I can see that Officer Gay made was that he did not present his program to the parents first. If the parents are going to be mad over this then maybe they are the problem.If they think their little girl or boy wouldn't hook up with a sex offender by mistake, then they are the stupid ones.And if they think that kids as young as Junior High don't know what the word masterbate means then they should walk down the halls and listen to the language used in the school.

Everyone seems to agree that 'something' should be done about the MySpace type pages. It seems the disagreement is in how its done.

Some people seem to think its "OK" to pick a few students out and hold them up to ridicule in front of the whole class.

After all they posted this stuff, so its 'ok' to put your 'slant' on the information and humiliate and traumatize them, for their own good?!?!?!

What a crock!!!

Then police wonder why their job is 'thankless'. Or why people distrust them so much.

Yes, to protect & serve, no matter what we have to do to you.....this is almost as bad as the Hope Steffy incident!

Wow, it's really disgusting how many people have posted in favour of that officer. And for a second I thought people actually had brains.
Pretty well any picture of a girl, even if it is completely non sexual, can be warped into something sexual by the brain of a sicko. I'm guessing that the pictures the officer pointed out were just girls being themselves... or dressed up at a party. But hey, they're girls. They're only there for you to get off and for you to protect from scary "sexual predators". Isn't it great that we have officers around that can remind us that we are just rape bait, in case we forget and try to live our lives? After all, if we get a stalker and we put our pictures online, it's all our fault. Women need to be better at preventing crime, dammit. And then officer whatever could spend all his time picking on high school girls and he would never have to actually do his job. Oh yeah, he's already doing that!

PS: I'm in high school, and I gotta say: it's disappointing that he never came to my class, I would have handed his ass to him on a sparkling silver platter.

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