update: my coworker won’t stop caressing me — or the kids we work with

Remember the letter-writer in 2015 whose coworker kept caressing people — including the kids they worked with — even after she’d been told to stop? Here’s the update.

First, I’ve been working at another (wonderful) organization who does something similar to the place that I left, and I’ve been there for almost 10 years (yes, during the time that I worked at the other place; both gigs were/are part-time). This place is wonderful and would not stand for any of the shenanigans that Kim was pulling.

One time after the Kim fiasco, I was talking with a coworker who I hadn’t seen in a while (differing shifts) and we were catching up. She asked me if I was still with the old organization. I said no and alluded to some issues, to the point where I didn’t feel that I could stay there. Before I could even get another word out of my mouth about anything specific that went on that led to my departure, she started telling me a story about when she’d worked with a different organization (still the same type of recreational programming; this one was an offshoot of a school district). She said that Kim had worked there quite a few years ago, when my coworker (Shelly) was kind of a floating supervisor. If there was a complaint about a staff member, Shelly would go around to different sites (there were several) and investigate. There were a lot of complaints about one of the staff and she had to talk to this person repeatedly….yup, you guessed it: it was Kim. Shelly had volunteered all of this information to me, knowing that I had worked with Kim. From what she told me, it was pretty clear that Kim pulled the same types of things (overly emotional, clueless, manipulative, inappropriate, etc.) back at this other job. She was reprimanded for it way back then, years before she started working with me. So she knew about all of these issues, and she knew that it wasn’t appropriate behavior, yet she apparently just moved along to fresh pickings at a new organization and started the same bullsh** all over again. And kept on with it because at the new place she found a gold mine in that nobody would hold her accountable.

But wait for it….there IS some justice in the world.

The second thing is the bigger one. Once again, it wasn’t anything I witnessed personally, so I want to make that clear. In one of the comments on the original thread, I acknowledged that this was a sports team. That comes into play for this story. So before the next summer, I heard that Kim had been offered the head coach job for one of the local teams. I was informed of this and the only thing I could think of was “Wow! They didn’t do their due diligence in hiring her.” She probably got a glowing recommendation from our non-confrontational supervisor, and they didn’t check much after that (I’d heard long ago that she was on ‘do not rehire’ lists for places she’d worked in the past so they couldn’t have checked with them). I verified this with the team’s website…yup, she was their head coach. So fast forward a couple of months, and one of the people I know from wonderful organization told me what she’d heard from her client. Client was on the governing board of this particular summer team. Kim was not doing well at the head coaching job. She’d always had a problem with yelling/screaming at the kids when we worked together. Unfortunately, I didn’t touch on this in my letters to AAM because 1) there were so many other things, and 2) being in the same area as her day after day, I perfected the ability to tune her out. However, it was still a major thing.

Well, the parents at the new club weren’t so keen on having their kids yelled and screamed at, and more than one kid wanted to quit rather than deal with that all summer at what was supposed to be a fun team. So the client and the board had a meeting with Kim and told her that she can’t coach that way (by yelling and screaming). She can change her methods or they would accept her resignation. Kim apparently said that was the way she coached and that’s just too bad if they don’t like it and they don’t know what they were talking about because she was a good coach! So she had to “resign”. Now, this is a very short season, only about 8 weeks. This happened halfway through. So for the club to take the approach of getting rid of her halfway through that short season….well, you know her behavior had to be pretty egregious. I, again, verified this on the team’s website; presto! She was no longer listed as the head coach after that! Of course, Kim was weaving a different story for anyone else, that she was the wronged party; they wanted her to change the way she coached and by golly, she wasn’t going to do that because she was a good coach!. However, knowing what I know of her, I tend to believe what I heard. I think that she didn’t have anyone at the club to cover for her and look the other way (like our old supervisor would do and still, apparently, does), so once they got onto her, there way no way for her to win.

That was last summer. I haven’t heard anything about her since then. It’s a memory in my life now; though not a pleasant one, I think I learned something from that experience. The vast majority of the families that I worked with left for other organizations. I’m doing well and since leaving that organization, I’ve expanded my horizons to try to make a hobby into a part-time business, so that’s a wonderful diversion and way to carry on. I fully expect to run into Kim again at some point….the world can be a small place sometimes. I really hope that when that happens, I have the presence of mind to tell her to go stuff herself. I don’t have the time or inclination to feed into her delusions even one tiny bit anymore.

{ 110 comments… read them below }

  1. Esme Squalor*

    It always amazes me to see the kinds of shenanigans people can pull in the workforce without getting so much as a negative feedback review. It’s like the professional version of the Missing Stair phenomenon.

    OP, I’m glad you got out of there! It’s disheartening that Kim is still working with kids and families in some capacity, but I’m glad so many of your local organizations are getting wise to her weird issues.

      1. Esme Squalor*

        It’s definitely a useful shorthand! The first time I ran across the term, it was like a lightbulb went off in my head, explaining so many creepy group dynamics I’d witnessed in the past that made me uncomfortable, but that I didn’t have the tools at the time to contextualize or fully unpack.

        1. Stella's Mom*

          Well, along with another blog recommended to me yesterday on relationship dynamics, both of these things have made me think a bit. Have a good day!

    1. Sleeping or maybe dead*

      Looked up the Missing stair phenomenon; I’ve seen this situation so many times and was frustrated that I never had the language to acknowledge it as the pattern it is!
      Thank you!!

    2. Annonymouse*

      Well the original organisation is haemorrhaging members and you can bet the parents are complaining to other people both inside and outside the organisation about her.

      But nothing officially on a job description or reference sadly.

    3. Specialk9*

      I’m sorry, OP, but I’m disappointed in you.

      You know that a serial molester – who touches kids and adults after being told not to – was in the role of coach, and what you did with your anxiety was to … leave, gossip, and check the internet every few weeks? That’s not ok.

      The prior article had LOADS of comments about mandatory reporting. I think you need to think about why you valued conflict avoidance so highly, over kids (your own kid too!) being touched by a potential predator.

      Yes this is harsh, but when potential child abuse is on the line, yes, I’ll be harsh.

  2. required name*

    Thanks for the update, LW. This was one of those letters I kept thinking about afterwards. It seems a shame that this cycle of behavior keeps happening, but I guess I just hope that eventually, enough places will blacklist her that she’ll literally run out of places to keep doing this or that someone will say the buck stops here and give her a bad recommendation when a new place comes calling.

  3. Sharon*

    I once worked with a manager at a 911 agency who was so bad that she alienated all the dispatchers. After a few years she got fired for mismanagement. For the next decade or so I would inadvertently follow her career as I would read in trade magazines that she’d been hired by another agency and subsequently fired for mismanagement. We were in California, I saw that she migrated to Oregon, then Washington state, then Arizona before I finally didn’t hear about her any more. (She had a distinctive name, and the industry is close-knit.) Made it really obvious that none of them checked references (or read the trades!)

    1. Josh S*

      Keeping tabs on the misadventures of the drama-touched and/or terrible people I’ve interacted with is a guilty pleasure of mine. Schadenfreude to the extreme.

      It’s so, SO common that these people continue to have drama follow them throughout their lives (almost makes you think it’s not their circumstance, but THEM), and they’re also remarkably likely to share such drama publicly. One of the small pleasures (and dangers!) of social media these days.

    2. Stella's Mom*

      Indeed! I am currently wondering when a particularly aggressive (screamer bully with no ethics) former boss of mine will be let go from new role they started in April. It took 2 years to fire them (and 38 testimonies after a lot of bad action on their part) to have them fired from the last job they had. But only after half our small team of 18 left the place. Ugh.

    3. seejay*

      I keep casual tabs on a guy I knew who ran a message board back in my hometown after he was convicted of a pretty horrible crime. I had a small part in helping the police in getting him arrested in the first place, so initially keeping tabs on him was for my own safety after he was released after serving his time… I didn’t want to accidentally stumble into his path, or if he started stalking me in retaliation for the part I played (his lawyer let my name slip out). This guy went from running a porn distribution website to getting married and producing religious music for his new church (he also moved away so chances of running into him dropped to almost nil).

      I haven’t checked up on him in awhile, but considering my initial diggings produced several arrest and conviction records *prior* to the one I was involved in, all similarly related to what he was busted for again, I don’t think he’s as clean and wholesome as he likes to portray on his religious music website. And it also makes me wonder how if anyone bothered doing background checks on him as well. At least I *hope to hell* people are, especially if he’s involved in certain types of activities.

      (Yes, I’m being pretty vague for reasons, he did some pretty horrendous crimes and I’m just not putting it in writing.)

      1. RVA Cat*

        I hope someone’s doing due diligence to protect children, if his crime is what I think it is.

        1. seejay*

          Not children, but… yeah… he’s on a “list”, and the victims of his crimes were definitely underage. :/

          I just went digging around to see what he’s up to now. I don’t see anything that jumps out that would raise any huge warning flags other than being the type of person I wouldn’t ever associate with, even without knowing his past. And from what I can see, he hasn’t run afoul of the law since 2006 where he argued that he shouldn’t be included in a DNA database due to some wiggle room on the law (fortunately he *was* included due to being a repeat offender). My hope is that prison taught him a lesson and he’s chosen to stay on the right side of the law. The other good news is that there’s 3000 miles between where he is now and where I am so there’s no chance of accidentally physically running into him, and he’s never attempted to contact me once he was released from prison… so maybe he *did* actually become a better person after his conviction. One can hope?

            1. sstabeler*

              yes, but (for example) there’s not nessecarily going to be a problem with an ephebophile working with preteens (ephebophilia is sexual attraction to people just under the age of consent- generally 15-19 year olds. (so yes, it IS possible to be an ephebophile and not break the law) since they aren’t sexually attracted to that age group.

              1. Starbuck*

                Uh, wow, gross- let’s not try to make excuses for people who assault children. It’s a meaningless distinction.

                1. Laura*

                  For goodness’ sake, that wasn’t an excuse but an explanation of two distinct categories of sexual attraction.

    4. Unofficial Front of the House Manager*

      I keep tabs on my former GM. It took 2 or 3 years and attempted coup by many of us (a mix of former and current employees — i was floored that he wasn’t let go for that, considering that I made verifiable accusations of labor law violations and a major OSHA violation). I later found out that was let go for (rumor has it) stealing from my former employer. He then moved cross country to go to another similar employer and was let go, and is now back to a position that is several steps down financially and in terms of status. (Which he has spun as “wanting to get back to his roots” in the industry. Nah, son, you were awful to work for, in over your head, got caught stealing (several hundred bucks) from a former employer, and thought that screaming and humiliating people was a way to manage.

      I keep tabs on him because we’re in the same industry (that I am desperately trying to leave) and I don’t want to risk having to deal with him at a new place. My current workplace is dysfunctional and I’m overwhelmed every day because of my workload, but I’d rather be there for another 5 years than have to work for that former boss for another hour.

  4. No, please*

    This Kim person should not be working g with kids. Good on you, OP, for seeing this and saying something. Yuck!

    1. Pup Seal*

      Agreed! Not just from the yelling and screaming at kids, but also from all the touching and taking them away from the area mentioned in the other letters is so inappropriate to do to children.

      1. No, please*

        Yes. It is disgusting. This series of letters and updates has given me all the flashbacks to abusive sports and school situations from years past. I wish I had someone like OP in my childhood. I mean it, OP, you’re awesome!

        1. Specialk9*

          Maybe I missed it. What did the OP do that was awesome? Leave and not report a potential predator? To me that sounds like enabling someone who sure sounds like a potential child predator.

          1. Specialk9*

            Ah, I scrolled down to below and saw that OP actually did:
            *Send a strong email to the organization that was already ignoring the problem
            *Not report to anyone real, even though she was concerned about child abuse grooming
            *Check the internet

            So… Basically like all the adults who let down child abuse victims.

            OP, you can still report Kim. You SHOULD still report Kim.

            I should probably leave this thread, I’m feeling sick.

      2. Ruffingit*

        I have to wonder – if Kim was a man, he would probably have been canned long ago. But because Kim is a woman, this touchy feely stuff is seen as non-threatening. Kind of sad when you think about it.

    2. ArtK*

      Good youth organizations have safeguards around this kind of thing. Background checks and rules that protect both adults and kids. Things like a minimum number of adults present — never going off with a kid alone for instance. I’ve been a volunteer with AYSO for many years and we have regular training on this.

  5. Willis*

    I love it when updates include the line: “There IS some justice in the world.” Glad to hear prior organizations and the team called her out, even if the place she worked with the OP didn’t! Just the description of her behavior makes my skin crawl…

    1. Merida Ann*

      But… It sounds like the only “justice” Kim got was being removed from the coaching position a month early. Which, it’s good that she received some consequence, but it’s one short position, not the primary job from the original letter. It seems clear that Kim hasn’t changed, and since it’s not mentioned here, it sounds like she’s still working at the original organization that OP left in the previous update. I’m really concerned with the idea that Kim is potentially still working there and still has access to yell at and inappropriately touch kids. So, maybe a little bit of justice, but it doesn’t sound like nearly enough to me. I was really hoping to hear that this woman had been removed from all contact with kids, because her behavior is seriously unacceptable.

      1. Solidus Pilcrow*

        I will hold out hope that the pile of evidence continues to accumulate against Kim and she will be forced out of the working with kids. (The unfortunate part of this is that kids will continue to be exposed to her until this happens.)

      2. Sloane Kittering*

        I agree, i was sad that she’s probably still out there inappropriately caressing children. It sounds like it’s very intentional behavior on her part and she knows exactly what she’s doing.

      1. Esme Squalor*

        Oh, thanks for this!! I didn’t realize this was a second update. Usually Alison links to previous updates in the post.

        1. Jennifer Thneed*

          The original column and the first update are both listed at the bottom of the column, where it says “YOU MAY ALSO LIKE:”

          1. Esme Squalor*

            To be honest, I usually skip over those. I was referring to the links to previous posts that Alison usually includes at the top of updates.

    1. OP*

      OP here…..no, I never really got a chance to take AAM’s advice. I was ready….believe me. But after the letter appeared, there weren’t really any of those specific instances where I had the opportunity to say something right in the moment. There was one instance where she had her hands all over a child, but of course I was on the other side of the area, some distance from her. By the time I got anywhere near, they had gone in separate directions. That, however, ended up being the catalyst to me pushing the supervisor to do something. I sent the supervisor a VERY long email and outlined specific instances of her inappropriateness (I wanted the complaint in writing), and then asked the hard questions about WHY she was allowed to act like this and do these things, more than a YEAR after she was hired and these incidents first started? I asked why the kids are told to keep their hands off each other, but their supposed authority figure can’t follow those rules herself? I also said that up until then I’d tried to maintain some professional courtesy and not calling her out in front of the kids, but since these instances keep happening, I’m left with no choice but to loudly and forcefully correct her myself if I see her doing something inappropriate. I brought up that the behavior was an abuse grooming tactic; basically regurgitated and condensed a lot of the good points that were made in the comments of the original thread. That email led to the escalation where I met with the head of the facility, and it was the beginning of them ‘looking into things’ with her.

      We all knew how that turned out, but at the time, I needed to go through proper channels and at least warn the supervisor that I was so fed up with (and worried by) her behavior that I wanted to do whatever it took to escalate it; I didn’t want it to get turned around on me without proper documentation of me trying to handle it a different way. I offered to file a written report/complaint. I stressed that something needed to be done because it had gone on too long.

      I think on some level Kim knew that I was fed up, because after the original letter was posted here, she basically stayed away from me. She didn’t do the drive-by shoulder rubs anymore, for example. There was one instance where she did something and then got overly dramatic with her apologies, of course in front of a lot of kids, and I just snapped at her “Well stop doing it then!” and she kind of slunk off with her tail between her legs. But other than that, I didn’t get much of a chance to actually use the specific advice, other than as help as talking points when meeting with supervisor and facility head. So yeah, with her history? In hindsight, it totally makes sense to me that she stayed away from me once she sensed that I wasn’t going to be a passive recipient of her shenanigans anymore.

      1. NEW YEAR, NEW ME*

        I’m late to game here but I think that this incident of taking the kid to the side should have been reported.

      2. Liz T*

        Thanks for the extra detail OP!! I’m so sorry that your former employer didn’t do their job, especially after you did everything you could.

  6. Granny K*

    The constant ‘re-spinning’ of the truth, the emotional manipulation coupled with total lack of acknowledgement of her own behavior (or how it affects others) makes me think she’s a sociopath. If you see ‘Kim’ again, I would cross to the other side of the street.

    1. The Supreme Troll*

      Yes, I remember this letter. The OP shouldn’t have to try and save face or pretend anything gracefully with Kim. I don’t blame the OP at all for feeling the way she does.

    2. Jean-Ralphio*

      Granny K, this comment violates the commenting rules (• Don’t armchair-diagnose others). People with Sociopathic Personality Disorder are people too, and not dangerous, and there is no reason to cross the street to avoid them.

        1. Hrovitnir*

          Leaping to say someone must have a personality disorder for being an awful person is armchair diagnosing, and pointing that out =/ “nitpicking word choices” IMO.

          If we could ever have a discussion about someone being awful without saying they must have mental health problems, that would be amazing. (And seriously, I am so disturbed by there being no consequences for someone touching kids like this, what the f-?)

          1. Dr. Johnny Fever*

            This is one of the most disturbing letters I’ve seen. No one stepping in to stop the pattern? Chilling.

            OP may have left, but I admit to giving side-eye that she hasn’t contacted CPS or some authority to investigate, especially since there’s a record of complaints. Someone needs to.

        1. Jean-Ralphio*

          1) Yup, it’s literally in the commenting rules (“What if a fellow commenter isn’t following these rules?”)
          2) I’ve been around here a long time, and I have more than a few times seen people point out violations of the commenting rules (usually, but not limited to, the armchair diagnosing rule).

  7. MommaTRex*

    “I fully expect to run into Kim again at some point….the world can be a small place sometimes. I really hope that when that happens, I have the presence of mind to tell her to go stuff herself.”

    This gives me such joy this morning. OP, I’m so glad that you are able to see when something is not right and speak up.

  8. Zathras*

    Wow. I’m glad she finally experienced some consequences, but I’m sad the kids had their sports team disrupted.

    I missed this one the first time around but I think the original situation really illustrates how important it is to teach young children that it’s ok to tell adults not to touch them.

    Also a good illustration of why you should check multiple references!

  9. Observer*

    Your former manager is an idiot. Sure, it’s a pain to deal with having to get rid of someone and finding a replacement. But keeping someone who drives people away is an even bigger pain in the long run.

    Kim may very well be a sociopath. But Manager is just a lazy jerk.

    On the other hand, I’m so glad you’re doing well, OP.

  10. Spooky*

    Am I the only one left feeling kind of…deflated by this? I was hoping for actual justice for this person, but nothing changed. Nobody really stopped them or put them in their place. Kim should have been banned from ever working with kids again, and instead she’s still out there, looking for another job where she can do exactly the same thing. Nobody stopped anything. This is dangerous–why won’t anyone DO something? :(

    1. ArtK*

      It is very frustrating. As someone who works with kids, Kim scares me. Sadly, a lot of youth organizations don’t have the money or the personnel to properly vet people and that’s how someone like Kim can keep going from place to place.

      1. Solidus Pilcrow*

        What’s even more frustrating in this case is that the vetting process doesn’t seem to be all that hard. A phone call to Shelly should have raised enough flags to keep her from being hired.

    2. Sylvan (Sylvia)*

      I kind of feel the same way, particularly because of the inappropriate touching part of the original letter.

      It’s good that she resigned, but she resigned because she was given the choice of changing her behavior and resigning. I don’t get why she was offered a second chance. I don’t get why the alternative to that allowed her to save face by “resigning” and not getting fired. Oh, well. I hope she isn’t working with children now.

    3. required name*

      Yeah. My reply got eaten, but I feel like this also. Everyone in authority is just passing the buck. Hopefully someday she’ll be blacklisted from enough places, that if someone actually bothers to do a check with them, they’ll find out. But who knows if they’ll have a policy of saying anything other than “yes, she used to work here”.

    4. Government Worker*

      I agree. I was hoping for something that would get this person blacklisted from the industry or have some sort of license revoked or something.

    5. fposte*

      I don’t think there is a structure outside the criminal justice system that bans somebody from ever working with kids. (There may be policies within the athletic association that mean Kim could lose certification or something, but I don’t know how those things work.)

      1. Brett*

        Losing coaching certification can have some pretty wide ramifications, if that could happen to Kim.
        In some states, you cannot coach at all (even as a volunteer) without a specific certification. I think pretty much every state requires certification for high school and college coaching. Private youth teams, unfortunately, are generally the gap where someone like Kim could coach without a certification.

        1. OhNo*

          And unfortunately, it sounds like that’s where she’s hiding out – the places where she doesn’t need a certification. With any luck, word of this mess and previous issues will spread, Kim will soon be unhireable at any org that runs youth sports. It sounds like she’s well on her way, if she’s been listed as do-not-hire at several places already.

    6. Megan M.*

      Agreed. It’s really disheartening that so many organizations working with children are apparently unwilling to stop this person! She’s just going to keep pushing herself on unsuspecting kids.

    7. Augusta Sugarbean*

      Agreed. “Change your behavior or you can quit” is such a cop out. Managers do your job! Touching employees and especially touching kids? Screaming at kids? Pretty straightforward fire-able offenses.

    8. Oranges*

      Agreed. This is predatory behavior and all my little red lights are going off.

      I really want to push back on the “harmless” or “not serious” aspect that our society has about this behavior. It’s not harmless. This behavior is telling children(!) that Kim’s wants are more important than theirs when it comes to their personal anatomy AND any adult under her. So if they are in any other more “severe” situation (with Kim or another adult authority figure) they are so much less likely to get help. So…. not harmless.

      1. Hrovitnir*

        +1! Regardless of whether she went any further, touching kids and laughing at them when they are distressed by it is actually more disturbing than verbally abusing them. Which, hey, screaming at kids makes my blood boil too. You don’t have to be overtly sexual to force intimacy on someone, and the manipulative way she dealt with it after enough callouts is deeply concerning.

      2. Elizabeth West*

        Agreed. Even if she’s not doing anything past hugging and patting, it sets the kids up for someone who might. I had that thought in my head for DAYS after reading the initial letter and frankly, it creeped me right the hell out.

    9. Legal Clinic Director at a Public Law School*

      Honestly, this saga made my skin crawl when I read the original letter, and this update has my heart racing with anxiety/fear.

      When I was in middle school, the (female) coach for the swim team serially sexually abused a (slightly older) classmate for over 6 years. She made excuses to touch her and others all the time. She said she was giving “massages” in order to creep by people’s boundaries, and she would look hurt/clueless when told it was inappropriate, because isn’t part of sports to ensure athletes are limber? She broke into my classmate’s house at night through her upstairs window. That classmate went through untold of trauma and reported the abuse (resulting in a conviction) in her late 20s. And in the prosecution, it turned out that the school had received other complaints about a lack of boundaries and inappropriate touching (not the sexual kind). That coach was allowed to teach for years before she was finally suspended and then retired.

      If this were a guy, we would be talking about this as grooming behavior. Women can be predators or abusive, too (and Kim sounds abusive, even if not in the sexual abuse context). Kim terrifies me. This update makes me so scared for the next group of children she works with.

      1. Lady Phoenix*

        I’m so sorry for your classmate! :(

        I read a post about how many female rapists take jobs as babysitting. And no one does a thing!

        If Kim hasn’t raped a child yet, she will soon enough. She makes the kids fear her to tell anyone else… just no.

        1. Yomi*

          That’s what is bothering me. Either thing on its own is bad, but when you put the two together I have so many alarms going off. So many alarms.

      2. Cleopatra Jones*

        H.O.L.Y S.H.I.T!
        I have no words for this story. I’m so sorry for the student. Not only was she sexually abused, she was stalked by the teacher.
        Did her parents not know that she had broken into the house? And if they did, why didn’t they, at the very least, press charges for the B&E?

        1. Observer*

          The parents may have chosen to not press charges for a lot of reasons. That’s not really the point here. It should never have reached that point. While the parents have a right to put their daughter’s welfare over that of the school and / or teacher, assuming they were aware of their options to start with, the school has no such standing. They have an obligation to put the welfare of all of the children in their charge above the teacher and convenience of the program.

        2. Legal Clinic Director at a Public Law School*

          It was really really awful. And it happened to more than one girl, but my classmate experienced the longest and most severe abuse.

          Her parents were not aware that the teacher had broken into their house. She persuaded the classmate to leave her window unlocked and then threatened the classmate, who never told her parents until well after the statute of limitations ran. But her parents supported her 100% in the prosecution of her abuser, as did her husband. Although most locals backed the victim, several parents of (other) children rallied behind the accused abusers until they were both convicted. It was extremely ugly.

          The school was later sued in civil court by another abuse victim—they actually had two separate “problem” faculty in the athletic program who had histories of sexually abusing girls (one male instructor/coach, one female). The school board settled with the second victim and the other known victims, but not before they first tried to slander the survivors in the press. I’m not convinced the board has changed, tbh.

      3. Nerdling*

        We might not be talking about it, even if it were a man. Larry Nasser was allowed to have access to gymnasts for decades despite allegations of sexual misconduct. Penn State let it go on under their noses for years. Where sports are concerned, people can be scarily permissive, especially in the face of success.

        1. George Willard*

          +1000. It’s pretty dangerous to put language out there that suggests that predatory men are always suspected/always caught/always punished–that’s not the case at all.

          1. Legal Clinic Director at a Public Law School*

            I’m not suggesting that at all. I’m suggesting that people are more inclined to see predatory women between male coaches and female athletes than between female coaches and female athletes.

            1. Legal Clinic Director at a Public Law School*

              Ugh, predatory behavior! Apologies for the confusion.

              Certainly male coaches (and doctors, and others) get away with this, too. One need only look at the U.S. Gymnastics saga, or the countless male swim coaches who were allowed to coach for years and years despite complaints from parents and athletes.

        1. Legal Clinic Director at a Public Law School*

          Multiple times. And abused her in her own bedroom. At night. For years.

  11. Amy*

    Such an interesting situation. I went back and read the original post from 2015. Something popped up for me- the OP mentioned they didn’t want to reprimand Kim in front of the children because she was an authority figure to them. All the more reason to speak up in front of the kids! Set a good example for them and show them that you/they have the power to speak up when someone is doing something that makes you uncomfortable.

      1. Amy*

        Saw that after I posted. I had only skimmed the first few and then jumped back over here. Thanks!

      2. Yomi*

        I’m glad because this popped out to me as well. Kids are given too many messages to just “go along” with adults and that’s how bad situations can take root.

        If a kid sees an adult model an appropriate reaction, it not only reinforces with them that they have the right to say no, but it also gives them the vocabulary to do it.

        And I would bet cash money that there were a lot of students who were uncomfortable and creeped out but didn’t say anything because “the other adults think it’s okay so I guess it’s fine, right? It must be fine, the problem must be my fault…”

        Those poor kids.

    1. No, please*

      Great point! People like Kim shouldn’t have authority. Calling her out helps the kids by seeing that even adults suffer consequences for their actions. Plus they will have the confidence to speak up when they experience or witness inappropriate behavior in the future, hopefully.

    2. Lemon Zinger*

      100% this. Also, kids should be taught that if someone is touching them and they don’t like it, they need to SAY SOMETHING. LOUDLY.

      1. TootsNYC*

        or if not loudly, firmly. Many peopel don’t want to yell, or be angry, or make a scene.

        But you can say “I don’t like you touching me,” or “please don’t touch me” or put your hands up over your head and say “back up” in a aslightly annoyed tone–all of those set up boundaries and they’re easier to use.

        Modeling that sort of reaction is such a valuable thing for grownups to do for children.

        I remember when my kids were in conflicts in daycare, and the teachers would say, “Use your words.” And the GOOD teachers would then GIVE the children the words:
        “Say, ‘I’m using the truck now.’ “

      2. Anonymous LEO*

        I agree with Lemon Zinger wholeheartedly – this is excellent because it is exactly what the abuser does not want. Abusers want terrified, compliant victims that they can control for as long as they want. Speaking up for yourself in the moment spotlights the abuser, the abuser’s behavior, and that you won’t be a victim.

        I see a lot of comments urging the LW to ”do” more, something, etc…I work in law enforcement and based only on what has been reported here by the LW, I think this would be a very tough case to investigate. First of all, most cases require a complainant willing to make a statement and pursue charges against the suspect. I think most people know that cases like this are very tough for victims to go through and that complicates things immensely. Most cases I’ve worked on end up closed with no further investigation because I don’t have a cooperative victim – and if I keep investigating I would be harassing the suspect.

        Anyway, I’ll leave it there because I’m not trying to be confrontational, just offer some (admittedly sad) perspective. Believe me, my colleagues and I wish there was more that we could do on most of our cases, but we have to operate under the law just like everyone else.

  12. MassMatt*

    I’m sorry you had to change jobs and essentially suffer some career upheaval due to someone else’s horrible issues. Your former manager and director should both be fired.

    I find it mind-boggling that there are so many qualified and functional people under- and un-employed, and over the years so many good employees are let go/downsized, yet this disastrous person is for some reason untouchable.

    No idea if what Kim is doing crosses over into criminal abuse, but would any reasonable person be surprised given her disrespect for boundaries and exploitation of power imbalance? But oh, let’s keep her on, she’s “on a good track”. WTH?

  13. Lady Phoenix*

    I am not surprise if she molests one of those kids. I am gonna straught out say it, because her behavior makes her a potential rapist to be and the sad fact is that female rapists are caught far less than male ones (a dude rapists are already hard to catch on their own).

    When behavior like hers is THIS persistent and THIS cruel towards children, then chances are she has probably already raped a child or is going to soon.

    The old place did a massive disservice by not checking her sources and I betcha the next place she goes to is gonna eventually be the one that deals with that fall out.

    Sorry for this but it can’t be helped, I think Kim is an offender or going to be one.

  14. TootsNYC*

    It sounds as though this is just so compulsive and instinctive and uncontrollable for this woman. (which would be part of why she doubles down when corrected)

    I sometimes wonder how it must be inside the heads of people like this. It can’t be a pleasant place to be.

  15. Rubyquartz*

    Are none of these people mandated reporters???

    This woman is systematically gaming the system in order to be inappropriate with coworkers, but more alarmingly with children! In my previous line of work, if I witnessed someone touching children repeatedly without permission, and with no respect for their autonomy or ability to say ‘no’, I would be required to report that person to CPS. I’m not saying that Kim is abusing children, an investigation would have to decide that, but she is continuing to be highly inappropriate to an extreme degree.

    1. Dr. Johnny Fever*

      I was wondering something similar. It’s a damned shame that those who parents trust to look out for their kids are shirking that responsibility. But isn’t there some recourse to bring things to a head?

      1. Legal Clinic Director at a Public Law School*

        I think it’s that she keeps the touching just borderline enough to make it difficult for authorities to intercede. Realistically, I would be surprised if CPS has the resources to investigate the kind of touching described in OP’s letter.

        1. OP*

          OP here…..one set of parents did file a police report over something with their daughter. Police met with her and the director. The mom said she lied through her teeth about the incident in question and denied that it happened. Kim was told to stay away from their daughter and them at that point. A few times after that, Kim saw the family at various events and either tried talking to them and being all nicey-nice or pushing the envelope, like if she said them talking to other people, she would come up and start talking to the group. You know, like when she would do the ‘apologies’ in front of a lot of people so if anyone called her out, they would look bad because she was just being so nice? Yeah, I think she was a master of this tactic.

          1. seejay*

            Geezus H christ on a cracker. O_O If I’d had police and director intervention to order someone to stay away from me and they tried to find a way to be a weasel like that, you could be your bottom I’d be causing a scene and making sure *everyone* knew about it. I’d be finding ways to document the hell out of it and getting photo/video evidence and proof just to get her the hell away.

          2. Lady Phoenix*

            Manipulators like to do that, try and build their own “Team You.” If I were thr parents, I would tell all my ftiends what had happened and treat Kim with as little compassion as possible, including loudly calling her out about touching my child and being told to keep away fron me and my family.

          3. Yomi*

            This woman is terrifying. Completely terrifying. There is a very high chance that the children in her care are in danger. I don’t know what can be done, I really don’t, because this is an area of the legal system I don’t know, but these children desperately need adults that can protect them.

            She’s not being nice. None of the adults involved should accept this as being nice. They should vocally and consistently be saying “I’ve told you not to talk to us after your inappropriate behavior, please leave immediately.” It doesn’t matter if they’re in a crowd of people at an event, every time she walks up to them she should be told “Please leave. You’ve been told not to talk to my family or my child.” This should especially be done in front of the children.

            This is about protecting children. These children are being harmed. Even if there’s not sexual abuse going on, they are being emotionally harmed by this woman and her tactics and the community’s reaction to it.

    2. only acting normal*

      I mistakenly thought all people with any kind of *official* responsibility for children were mandated reporters, but it seems to vary widely by country.

      The whole situation is profoundly disturbing. It’s exactly the kind of backstory that appears when abusers are caught after many years of getting away with it: the seeking out opportunities to work with kids, the job hopping relying on inadequate background checks and references, the repeated incidences of people reporting or complaining about small things but those not being added together, the OTT apologies, lying and gas-lighting (it’s only in fun, I didn’t realise I was doing it, etc).

      And if she’s doing the reported stuff in front of people, what the hell is she up to when she’s not apt to be observed?

  16. Just discovered this post*

    Learning about this update and this story is disturbing to me. It is clear Kim is a master manipulator and has VERY poor boundaries. Honestly those behaviors show that she herself might have been abused when she was a child, which makes it even more serious that she works with children. She needs to be reported to CPS. The more reports they get about one person, the more likely they will investigate. If Kim has done this at several organizations, I am sure CPS already has a file on her. If something doesn’t seem right and children are involved, REPORT! It might be awkward, but it won’t hurt anyone and it might even save someone.

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