In my life I have worked with young people in several capacities. My favorite was the time I spent as a special needs aide in a public school.
Educators carry a special responsibility for the populations they serve. As a person in a position of power they have incredible influence and presence in the lives of young people.
Incredible teachers use this power to inspire, and to encourage young people towards lives of integrity, wonder, and awe. But some use this power in ways that are destructive and trauma-inducing.
We value young people in this country. In part, this is because we see them as the next generation that will inherit our gifts and correct our failings. In other ways, it’s because we see the raising up and training of these young people as our collective responsibility.
Through schools, the teachers our taxes hire, and the youth programs our community and churches put on, we raise children as communities. When someone trusted to this work violates that trust, we take it especially seriously.
Elan Daniel Seagraves, a soccer coach, was arrested on Christmas Day. He was charged with three felonies for selling underage girls for sex.
Seagraves started the season as a soccer coach for John F. Kennedy High in Sacramento during fall 2017.
He had been active in youth soccer for some time before that. He also drove for Uber and Lyft.
The coach was arrested after a 17-year-old girl called the police claiming she was being forced to have sex. She also claimed that she had been sexually assaulted and that the person who was forcing her was nearby with another girl.
After his arrest, Seagraves has been held on a $2 Million dollar bail. Police believe both girls were victims of human trafficking.
If convicted, Seagraves could spend several years in jail and would be required to register as a sex offender for life in the state of California.
The school district released a statement regarding this heinous incident:
“We are extremely disappointed in Mr. Seagraves’ unacceptable behavior. While he passed a background check and had no prior offenses when we hired him to coach soccer in our district, we expect more appropriate behavior from someone we trusted to work with our kids.
“Mr. Seagraves will no longer be allowed to work with our kids in any capacity.”
In addition, both Lyft and Uber have removed him and Lyft even issued a statement that described how they immediately disabled his account as soon as they learned of the “incredibly disturbing” allegations.
If you suspect anyone you know is involved in human trafficking, or if you have been a victim, please reach out the proper authorities.
The people in your life who should look out for you and guide you are held to a higher standard: don’t let anyone in power abuse you.
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