Although the media refuse to take notice of the trend, six employees of the North Kansas School district have been busted for sexual relations with students in the last two years.
Five of the six have faced criminal charges, including teacher and swim coach James Russell Green Jr., 53. This week a federal grand jury indicted Green alleging that he engaged in sexual activity with seven minors and produced images and videos of child pornography over a period of 20 years.
Although the Kansas City Star account is unusually discreet on this subject, Green’s victims were male. Not until the fourteenth paragraph, in fact, does the Star use the word “him” to describe a victim, the first clue to Green’s orientation.
Green is accused of producing graphic child pornography with a 13-year-old, attempting to produce child porn with other students, and attempting to entice students into sexual activity. He had apparently also taken secret videos of students, presumably male, showering and undressing.
Again, it is useful to compare the Star’s handling of the North Kansas City cases with its treatment just a few years back of the less serious Shawn Ratigan case. A priest at the time, Ratigan was discovered to be taking creepy clothed photos of unaware little girls at play.
After Ratigan recovered from a suicide attempt, Bishop Robert Finn moved Ratigan to a retirement home for nuns and imposed various restrictions. Heeding his attorneys’ advice, Finn did not report Ratigan to the police. At a family reunion, Ratigan started taking photos anew and was busted.
For Star editors and reporters, the Ratigan scandal was tailor made. Unlike most accused priests, Ratigan’s pathology was heterosexual. Better still, his ultimate supervisor, Bishop Finn, was described in media reports as a “theological conservative” with a record of challenging the Star’s agenda on life issues.
At the first whiff of the Ratigan scandal, the Star started to run above-the-fold headlines and soon called for the bishop’s resignation. “It’s painful to believe the most vulnerable in his flock weren’t protected,” criticized a Star editorialist.
In 2015, when Bishop Finn presided at the ordination of new priests, a Star editorial slammed the choice of Finn as “a repulsive, reckless and yet a par-for-the-course decision by the local Catholic hierarchy.” This was one of least ninety Star articles or editorials on the Ratigan case. The media pressure led to Finn’s indictment.
By contrast, despite the six sex cases in North KC, the Star has yet to mention the name of North KC School Superintendent, Dan Clemens. Go figure!