Opinion

The school district's "sex offender warning" letter May 13 to Port Washington area residents raised more questions than it answered.

Here's what I want to know, as Dr. Gordon's letter neglected to provide the information necessary for the letter to make any sense:

1. We're told by Dr. Gordon that a 'sexual offender' is residing in the Port Washington area. Could we have a hint where it might be? Five blocks or four miles from where we live will determine the level of our state of concern. The specific address may not be appropriate, but shouldn't we be told if the location is in Manorhaven or Flower Hill?

2. The offender is described as a "Level 2 sexual offender." What is that? Why aren't we just told what he did, so we can come to our own conclusions as to how dangerous this person may or may not be. I don't want to get a lawyer for a definition of "level 2" when the letter writer could have explained that to us in the first place.

3. Dr. Gordon's letter states its purpose is to inform us and not to alarm us. How does it inform us when the letter is absent pertinent material? How are we better off receiving such a ridiculous letter than we are by not receiving such a letter?

Should I now suspect every person in Port Washington who makes a minor weird movement by thinking "Hey, maybe that's the sex offender?" Do I now not let my grandchildren, ages 4, 5, 7, 7, move more than 10 feet from me when we're in the supermarket?

4. The letter says if we don't know what to discuss with our children/family to contact the director of guidance at 767-5810. Why doesn't the letter provide some guidance without telling us to get it ourselves?

5. The letter also asks us to contact a sex offender registry if we need further information. Further information? What did the letter provide in the first place? Certainly not any basic information, other than advising us that there is a sex offender loose in Port Washington.

Is this a joke? There must be 10s and 10s of sex offenders in the Port Washington area. Why such a special non-information letter about this one specific offender? Was this one offender once the sex offender of the year somewhere else on Long Island? Just what did he do to cause the P.W. Union Free School District to send us such a letter of non-information?

Is it possible that Dr. Gordon just quickly approved the letter for distribution, written by an uneducated underling, and Dr. Gordon really didn't study the contents of the illiterate letter in the first place? I have to say that is what probably happened. Still, that doesn't help me protect my grandchildren, should they ever need protection. If I only knew what they should be protected from, that would be a start.

Alan Hirsch


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