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How Significant is the Community Split Over Izumizaki Case?

In an article published over the weekend, the Contra Costa Times explored the range of reactions to the arrest and death of Albany Middle School teacher James Izumizaki.

Divisiveness is common in a community when a popular adult is accused of abusing minors, the head of Stop Educator Sexual Abuse, Misconduct and Exploitation told the Contra Costa Times, according to a story published online Saturday.

The article honed in on Albany Patch reader comments to illustrate the split in the community. Is that a fair measure of the level of divisiveness? Readers, do we have a serious split in the community, or is it too early to assess given how the story evolved from a single allegation against James Izumizaki to his suicide to the police saying there may have been multiple victims?

In the Times story, Miller said a divided community can be troubling for the victims.

"This is so horribly traumatic for the victims to see this kind of response and to see this adulation of the teacher," Miller told the Times in the article, which was headlined "Albany teacher suicide, molestation arrest split community."

"Oftentimes they are award-winning teachers or very popular teachers and that's how they mask the demon inside," she said. "The community doesn't know that side of him; only the victims have seen that side of perpetrators."

Albany Parent October 16, 2012 at 11:14 PM
Vichy, Your trust is misplaced. The child is a victim. Do not attempt to mitigate the actions of a monster like Izumizaki.
Albany Citizen October 22, 2012 at 06:54 AM
Vichy is not narrow minded, however, the rest of you are. How do you know that James did anything to hurt the minor? She could have thrown herself at him. Yes, a child can behave in certain ways. Now, of course it would have been his fault that he was receptive, if that be the case. But how do you know what actually happened? No. I know, from personal experience, that James NEVER would do anything to "victimize" his, as the law puts it, "victims". He certainly never "abused" me.
Albany Citizen October 22, 2012 at 07:04 AM
How do you all know what happened? How can you jump to the conclusion that the "victims" have been victimized? You can't. I know, for personal experience, that James would have NEVER "hurt" his, as the law calls them, "victims". What if they wanted it? What if, yes, in their 13 year old age, threw themselves at him? Children are capable of such behavior, believe me. I know, regardless of what the law says, I was NOT "abused" by James Izumizaki.
Albany Student October 30, 2012 at 11:34 PM
Exactly. I'm sick and tired of people calling them victims when they're walking around at school, laughing and acting as if they don't give a crap about how someone died in relation to what they did. It's horrifying and disgusting. One girl, who apparently confessed later on, wrote multiple posts on the facebook group that was made in memory of Mr. I. She sounds obsessive and unusual. The other girl, who said aloud in front of everyone that it was her and spread those rumors about herself, still walks around like nothing has happened. If something like that happened to me and I was a "victim", I wouldn't have the guts to go to school when he first was arrested. And then his death? I would be terrified and feel at fault, or something of that sort, definitely NOT laughing away and walking around like it was nothing! They're not victims. They are ridiculous, ignorant, obnoxious, selfish girls.
Mary Savannah March 14, 2013 at 01:44 AM
I wonder if any of the people who attacked the victims back in October feel stupid now that there are VIDEO IMAGES of Mr. I's CRIMES. It was also found (as in, EVIDENCE was gathered) that he had collected child pornography (aside from the images he made of his victims). By the way, I was someone who felt Mr. I should not be attacked in the media before any *proof* came out. But it's just sick, the way some of you went for the jugular with regards to these girls...

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