Not Your Daughter. Protecting Our Children Against Predatory Behavior #notyourdaughter

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This news story is about my daughter. Yes, I said it. This news story is about our daughter.

Next time it could be about your daughter.

I can't believe I'm about to write this. I've spent the last 3 months hardly sleeping thinking of how I was going to keep my 10 year old daughter safe from the details of this situation, safe from kids talking about it at school, and preserving her innocence. Wondering how the horrifying details and actions of this story and man will shape my young daughter. In a situation that is confusing for a parent to understand, how can she even begin to comprehend that her parents were sending her to a place that was dangerous with a teacher that was supposed to be a safe pillar but was the definition of a monster.

My plan the last three months was to protect her, fiercely. Most nights I slept on the floor in the hallway of our house beside the doors to my kid's bedrooms to protect them. I could not and did not protect her the last 8 months which makes me sick to think about. I am supposed to protect her. She was stuck in a cage daily with a man who was hunting her. Coronavirus has actually been the best thing for our family because even without a quarantine, there was no way I was letting my kids leave my sight. My plan was to never ever talk about this situation in public but I've realized the last few days that I'm not one to hide in the shadows...and neither is my kid. We are raising a daughter to KNOW she is so much more than a sexual object. We are raising a daughter who KNOWS how loved and supported she is by her family. We are raising a daughter to use her voice to stand up for herself and what she believes in. One of the most incredible moments of this situation was when our daughter had to talk with police. That day was hard. Like really really really hard.

Before the detective arrived my husband and I just sat and watched her jump on the trampoline. We cried. We cried at the thought that she could've been harmed. We cried at the thought that a married man in his 50's with kids of his own saw our kid as a sexual object. I actually have never seen my husband cry as much as he did those first few days. That feeling when you are so disappointed yet frustrated that your hands are tied and you can’t make something better.

We sat outside on our patio as the detective asked her really tough questions. Questions came up on topics that we have never spoken to our 10 year old about. My heart kept sinking. My husband and I were both crying once again, bawling behind our sunglasses. The only words I can use to describe her that day as she navigated tough questions and tough topics is that she is simply ....a BADASS, a total BADASS.

When she finished the interview with the police she said, "This can't happen to other kids. I want to help you put together the new law you are working on." She even started a list of what she’d want to name the law. We are raising a daughter to NOT be a victim, but an advocate.

Some of the heaviest things on my mind are how do I protect my kid but also protect my other kids...and your kids, and the neighbor's kids, and my friend's kids. Hiding in the shadows isn't going to work if you want to invoke change. You see, a few months ago, a few BRAVE, SMART, and VIGILANT 9 and 10 year old girls in my daughter's class protected my daughter. You want to talk about unbelievable? These little girls have amazed detectives, teachers, the school community, and us. I shutter to think of what would have happened to my sweet daughter if these kids would not have acted so maturely in discovering what their teacher was doing and acted so bravely in reporting him to the school and police. This monster wanted to do something horrific to our girl and these girls protected her from harm. You want to talk about a few kids that deserve acknowledgement, a trip to Disney, a segment on the Ellen Show, the world's biggest ice cream party? It's THEM. Their bravery brings tears to my eyes. We are so grateful to these kids more than they will ever know. Tiny heroes that are unbelievable kids. Thank you girls. Thank you to their parents that listened to them and contacted the school. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

There is so much to this story that we can obviously not discuss quite yet. One of the hardest things to swallow is the fact that this situation could have been avoided. We send our kids to school under the pretense that they are spending everyday in an environment that fosters growth, learning, and security. We trust that these teachers are vetted to be the best role models and teachers for our kids. I TRUSTED. I never would have thought that a type of person I fear most being around my kids was the person in my daughter's classroom. Some parents from the community have put together a rally this Thursday in hopes of initiating change. I get that this type of thing is not for everyone....but...Predators have no place in our schools. This rally is meant to spark conversations with the district to help put in safeguards to not allow this to happen again. Get your kids off of Tik Tok and Fortnite and join this rally, or BLM, or anything they believe in that shows them how to use their voice. Please help stand up for our kids!

Next time the kid in the news story could be yours. I'll say it again, NEXT TIME THE KID IN THE NEWS STORY COULD BE YOURS. Next time the kid in the news story might not have friends in class like mine did who protects them. We must keep them safe. Teachers...please report teachers who make you uneasy and FIGHT for them to be removed from our schools. Please stand up to administrators who don’t have the best interest of our kids in mind. I know we ask a lot of you already, but you are warriors within the buildings.

**Questions about how the district handled this situation, email Superintendent John Allison. Express your concerns. Demand a change. jallison@olatheschools.org

We are assembling a powerhouse group of bi-partisian leaders that are helping us formulate new legislation to protect Kansas kids. Quite frankly, Kansas laws really suck and do little to protect our children from predatory behavior. There are stacks of cases that are much worse than ours that sit in the system for years and when they are finally prosecuted, the majority of predators walk away with a slap on the wrist. My heart breaks for those kids and parents. It's not ok, and must end. We will be posting opportunities for how the community can get involved in helping enact legislative changes. Be the voice for your kids.

A roller coaster.

It feels like the system has failed us again. Last Friday was a full on roller coaster ride for our family and our beautiful girl. We went from absolutely elated that he was FINALLY arrested, to sad when we knew he had posted bail, to angered and fearful that he was released until August without being put on house arrest and without a monitor. The judge made the call that he would not require him to have monitoring due to it being the 1st offense... even though it is far from the 1st offense. I just don't understand. I can't find the words. My daughter's life and safety are worth nothing more than a $10,000 bond? So I'll sleep on the hallway floor between my kid's rooms again until August. Is this real life. We must change this. We have too. How is she not protected? Friday was real rough for her. Navigating feelings of guilt for HIS family and the image that a teacher that you trusted was put in handcuffs. Heavy stuff for a kid.

**Let District Attorney Steve Howe know that this is not acceptable. Make him put his money where his mouth is off of his platform that he will fight for Kansas Kids. He is an elected official. This teacher needs to be on house arrest. Please. steve.howe@jocogov.org

Thank you for hanging in there and reading all of this if you are still with me. Thank you to everyone online who has shared this story.... who has shared his face. Even though he may not serve a long sentence, there is power in sharing this story. So much information has come out that is helpful to our case from people passing this story on and previous victims of James Loganbill coming forward. So please keep sharing away.

**Contact Detective William King if you have further information on James Loganbill, know of any of the situations from previous schools, or have been a victim in the past: 913-971-7708

We appreciate everyone that has reached out to us and supported our sweet girl. We appreciate those amazing classmates. We are so thankful that we we get another shot to protect our daughter. We are thankful that we get to run on the beach with her. To watch her dance. To hear her goofy laugh. To watch her play with her siblings. To have her annoy us with slime that we find all over her room. So thankful.

This story is about my daughter.

Next time it could be about yours. Don't let that happen. Be the voice of change for our kids. Be just as outraged as me.