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Kalona, Iowa
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Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News

May 10, 2018 We won’t forget what he did
Article Pages -- as published on the The Kalona News website.

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ARTICLE DESCRIPTION:

Editor:

I’ve spent many waking hours thinking about the fact that a convicted child sex offender was knowingly allowed into his past hunting ground. Wondering whether or not there have been more children who have unknowingly become a victim.

I’ve spent countless moments wondering how someone could possibly feel bad about that predator being embarrassed when he put up a fight to get back to doing what he did in the past.

I’ve also wondered how we could possibly feel saddened by the fact that Mark Schneider is embarrassed after making the choice to allow a child sex offender to volunteer with children, without first getting the approval of parents.

I am a former student and athlete of Trent Yoder’s. I am also a resident of Anita with young children in school. I stood outside of our then junior/senior high school when Trent decided to take off on foot to attempt to destroy any evidence that he had, in fact, took the innocence from numerous young girls.

Young girls ranging in age from fourth grade to juniors in high school, many of them friends of mine to this day.

I knew Trent Yoder back in 1998 as the convicted sex offender. I know the girls that he abused who have grown into absolutely amazing women.

I now know Trent Yoder in 2018 as the absurd man trying, with some success, to prove that he has the right to work with children. I believe that a Mid Prairie mother said it best, “You deserve a second chance, you do, with your own children. Not with mine.”

Trent Yoder set himself up to be an upstanding member of our small, tight-knit community. He was a member of the Methodist Church and a passionate volleyball coach. He worked with students for the spelling bee and made learning fun.

Trent Yoder was always positive, polite, kind, smart, enthusiastic … until he wasn’t.

I don’t recall him dating anyone in the community, and I wasn’t around to see how clean he kept his sink. I was, of course, very shocked, saddened and disappointed to learn of Trent’s inappropriate filming of a girl in my school. Inappropriate is the word we’re using for this? How about repulsive, invasive and wildly disgusting?

I would be skeptical for him to move into any town, near any children. You see, children are capable of feeling pride and esteem without a child sex offender at the wheel of their spelling bee. There is a slew of other adults that are capable of absolutely everything he’s volunteering for.

What concerns me most is his absolute insistence on submerging himself within the exact environment in which he offended, as if creating a nice scene for a play somehow erases his past.

Mark Schneider is the patriarch of the “MP Family.” As an educator, he has “grown up” in this district from student teacher to superintendent. He loves the families he serves, as a father loves his own family.

He isn’t all about what is best for children. If this were the case, he wouldn’t have made the decision he did without first consulting the parents of the children he would be volunteering with. If he were all about the children, he would understand that one conviction of a pedophile isn’t necessarily the only offense. One conviction does not, in any way, cover the extent of Trent’s offense.

In developing the Child Safety Policy at church, were hidden cameras and the ability of a child sex offender to lure, coerce, manipulate and groom young children with another adult present any part of your discussion?

I am happy, as a Christian, that you have the ability to forgive and give second chances. As a mother and former student-athlete of Trent Yoder, I am appalled that you decided it was OK to give a second chance to a child sex offender with children that are not his.

Each young girl affected by the actions of Trent Yoder will forever live with the impact his disgusting acts left. Those young girls, turned amazing women, were asked to try on bras, forced into unwanted hugging and “accidentally” groped.

The teachers of the Anita schools, at the time, were incredible, not for a moment questioning the two girls who discovered the video recorder. What they did was spring to action to protect those girls from a furious Trent Yoder, after realizing his camera went missing.

So please forgive our community if we can’t quite wrap our heads around the fact that people are encouraging and supporting him to be around children.

We are a forgiving community. But we absolutely won’t forget what he did. We will not sit quietly by, playing a hand in possible future offenses.

My hopes, my prayers, are that the school board of Mid Prairie makes the right decision on May 14, the decision that protects each child they’re entrusted to protect.

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