Help! My Ex Used to Take Advantage of His Students, and He’s Still Teaching.

Advice on manners and morals.
July 11 2013 6:15 AM

Minor Infraction

A boarding school hired my ex despite his sordid history with female students. Should I tell?

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Dear Prudence,
My husband and I bought our first house in an urban neighborhood that is friendly, but the lots are very small. My son has the mildest autism spectrum disorder, and when he has a meltdown a couple of times a month he gets physically and verbally aggressive. He's had a full medical and neurophysical work up and we're doing everything we can to reduce these events. The experts have told us the best response to this behavior is to take him outside until he calms down. Once outside he will yell and curse at the parent with him and threaten to break windows and doors. He screams things like "Stop! You're hurting me!" even when no one is touching him. My question is: What do I say to the neighbors? A few know about his disability but most do not as it isn't apparent apart from these meltdowns. I want people to know we're sorry to disturb them, but we need to use the outdoors to help our son. I also want to avoid calls to CPS. How do I help my neighbors understand and accept my son?

—Worried Mom

Dear Worried,
I lived in a neighborhood like yours when our daughter was little, and it really is a wonderful thing to have a sense of community. You say people are friendly, so since you are the new arrivals, herald this by having a neighborhood open house one weekend afternoon. Your neighbors will get to put a name to your new faces and see that you are a loving family. If your son is fine during this, you needn’t say anything. But if he has difficulty, you can mention matter-of-factly to people that he has mild autism and sometimes events get overwhelming. I’m going to bet your neighbors will react compassionately and understand how difficult parenthood can sometimes be. Then the next time your son melts down, afterward you can say to those on either side of you that you hope they weren’t disturbed, but that doctors have suggested being outside is therapeutic when your son has an outburst. Your confident manner in handling this will be reassuring to your neighbors, and to your boy.

—Prudie

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Dear Prudence,
I just found out that my ex-boyfriend is running for state legislature. I have potentially damaging information about him that he told me himself while we were dating and was not ashamed for others to know. I believe voters need to hear. My ex used to work in the porn industry. So far, he's been leaving that fact out of his official bio. Do I anonymously get the information out to the public? He was a terrible boyfriend, he lied continuously, cheated on me, etc. That he used to work in an industry that I believe takes advantage of young women and promotes harmful values I think is something voters should know. I truly feel that he would be a bad elected official and is only doing it for personal ego reasons. Is it wrong for me to want to share the truth?

—Concerned Citizen

Dear Concerned,
If “ego reasons” were a disqualification for political office, we would have to find a form of government that didn’t require human beings to run it. If sexual fidelity were a prerequisite for serving, we’d also have a lot of elections with no candidates. Before you act, try to separate your own hurt from your concern about the harm your ex could do to the public. But if you truly think his essential character is so dishonest and perfidious that he will exploit the public trust, let the local newspaper know about those interesting professional years your former is leaving off his bio. There's a good argument to make that voters should weigh that a candidate's private sector experience includes a career in porn. You could indeed do this anonymously, and since your ex used to boast about his exploits, the information could have come from any number of sources. Here's to women stopping the rats in their lives from doing more harm!  

—Prudie

More Dear Prudence Columns

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Smell Ya Later!: Should I break up with my fiance because he thinks I have horrible body odor?.” Posted March 1, 2012.

More Dear Prudence Chat Transcripts

The Wrong Touch: In a live chat, Dear Prudence offers advice on a frisky roommate, felonious family members, and friends who become lovers.” Posted April 2, 2012.
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Should I Leave My Infertile Partner?: In a live chat, Dear Prudence advises a man who wants to bolt after learning his girlfriend can’t have kids.” Posted March 19, 2012.
Sex Education: In a live chat, Prudie advises a student whose pregnant friend doesn’t know where babies come from.” Posted March 12, 2012.