After reading “Counselor accused of sexual abuse” in the Sept. 25 issue of the Collegian, I was shocked to see that some of my fellow Rocky Mountain High School graduates were still hoping Brad Boda’s arrest was the result of some “terrible mistake.”
With that said, I realize this is a difficult situation – especially for those who confided in Boda throughout their years at Rocky. But, that’s exactly why “a person in a position of trust” is specifically noted in other sexual assault cases. To hide behind the trust of an entire community while committing such crimes is even more despicable and disturbing than assault alone.
Boda was well-liked as a counselor during my time at Rocky, and he did help many students through tough times. But, for as much praise as I heard, there were just as many comments about students having “awkward” and “creepy” conversations with him. Friends have told me they felt uncomfortable when he asked questions about particularly private relationship matters. To put a student in that situation is not only unnecessary, it’s inappropriate.
This reminds me of another case of sexual assault in Colorado. Whispers of sexual abuse swirled around the coach of a nationally-acclaimed basketball club in Highlands Ranch for over a decade. The coach, like Boda, even underwent an investigation as a result. Yet parents gave him the benefit of the doubt, allowing him to stay in their homes.
The situation ended tragically when the coach was finally arrested on over 50 charges of assault, sexual and otherwise, and committed suicide while awaiting trial in prison. As in the Boda situation, parents were shocked to find that the same person they trusted with their children with a sexual predator.
I admire teachers, counselors and coaches who can form long-lasting relationships with their pupils. But when do we trust, and when do we accuse? There are far too many gray areas to provide black-and-white criterion, but my suggestion is this: If a person is willing to risk his or her professional and personal life to have a relationship that might raise questions of sexual misconduct, there’s something wrong. Unfortunately, teachers and coaches have an especially high risk of being accused of such charges because they have to walk such a thin line between what is considered appropriate contact and what isn’t.
It appeared to me that Boda was never afraid to cross, or be accused of crossing, that line. That in and of itself should have put an end to any questioning.
Sophomore journalism and
technical communications major