“I have always given my best and tried to be a great role model. No one is perfect. Thanks for the memories.”
—-Patrick Lott, Assistant principal at Bernardsville Middle School in Somerville, New Jersey, in a cryptic Facebook post earlier this month that was explained, sort of, when he was arrested for allegedly using a hidden camera to videotape boys in the Immaculata High School showers for a period of nearly three years.
I say “allegedly” because people get mad at me when I don’t, and because he hasn’t been tried and convicted yet. On the other hand, videos of nude teenagers showering were found in his home. Maybe they flew in the window.
“Nobody’s perfect” is one of the great and infuriating rationalizations used by scoundrels and their apologists, and goes hand in hand with all the other clichés designed to discourage people from making the kind of ethical judgments that keep societal standards sturdy, ethical, and clear. It is right up there with “It’s not the worst thing” and “Judge not, lest ye not be judged” as bumper sticker dodges that set my teeth on edge, but “Nobody’s perfect” may be the most outrageous of all….at least when employed by someone like Lott.
There is a pretty big chasm between “perfect” and taking secret videos of naked kids when you are a trusted school administrator. This guy couldn’t see “perfect” with the Hubble telescope. And he says he’s always given his best—-this was his best? I shudder to think about what Lott would have done if he wasn’t trying so hard. He tried to be a great role model? For who…Penn State assistant coaches?
Lott’s statement is an outrageous plea for sympathy for all the wrong reasons. His best would have been to seek help of find another line of work when he realized he couldn’t control his desire to watch naked young boys. Trying to be a great role model begins with not breaking the law. And one who behaves outrageously should not insult the rest of humanity by trying to suggest that we’re really not so different. Oh yes we are.
This is Lott’s disgrace, Lott’s shame, and Lott’s crime. The very least he should be able to do is accept responsibility, and not try to minimize his misconduct or suggest that it’s not all that different from overeating or going 45 in a 35 mph zone.