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All too rarely does life afford us the opportunity to meet someone whose character and virtue are above reproach.
We had that chance Monday afternoon when high school teacher Hannah Scott visited us to clear her name after it was smeared by a student who claimed she showed him sexually explicit photos along with other allegations.
That took guts, folks. Had she opted to keep her name out of the paper — we wouldn’t have used it if she asked us not to — no one would have thought less of her for doing so. She did nothing wrong and a weeks-long investigation proved it.
But coming forward with her name pales when compared to what she said in doing so.
The base reaction from most of us would be to demonstrate our outrage and blast our accuser to Kingdom Come. After all, the boy’s accusations could have ruined Hannah’s career, landed her in jail, destroyed her family and left a giant smoking crater where trust once stood at the high school.
Had she reacted in a negative way and demanded the boy be figuratively tarred and feathered for his allegations, no one could blame her for doing so.
Instead Hannah chose a different route. In a statement, she not only offered understanding to those who jumped to the conclusion that she must certainly be guilty, she also offered her best wishes for the boy and his family.
A stark contrast, is it not, to the way most of us demand a pound of flesh every time we think someone has done us wrong or inconvenienced our lives in any way.
In a world sadly bereft of role models, we should covet them wherever they exist and hold them up for the world to see.
Hannah Scott is one of those role models. She’s a young lady with class, dignity and courage well beyond her 25 years and a shining example to the rest of us of how to deal with life’s problems in a way that doesn’t first seek to destroy someone else.
As for the boy who made these allegations, you, young man, have some serious soul-searching to do.
If you haven’t been already, it says here you should be charged with as severe a crime as the law allows for making up such a heinous story.
Because you’re only 16, you will likely have the chance to walk away from those charges relatively unscathed, due in no small way to the fact that the woman you accused has by and large already forgiven you based on her statements.
You have not only besmirched the name of a young mother of two, you tied up multiple police agencies who have much more important work to do than respond to your ridiculous claims. You wasted taxpayer dollars that could have been used to investigate genuine crimes, and placed your own community on the edge of having a scandal that would have reverberated for years.
Here’s hoping that someone sets you down soon and lets you know in no uncertain terms just how wrong you were in making these allegations.
Next time, young man, the person you accuse might not be such a terrific person, and the consequences you suffer will make whatever comes of this sorry episode seem like a walk in the park.