Foley's creepy e-mails no surprise, Tufts student says
Published: Monday, October 2, 2006
Updated: Sunday, August 17, 2008 13:08
Mark Foley (R-Fla.) resigned from the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday after ABC News reported that he sent "sexually inappropriate" e-mails to underage Congressional pages.
Foley, who ironically chaired the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children and authored key sexual predator provisions of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006, sent e-mails to current and former male pages "with references to sexual organs and acts," a Sept. 29 Reuters article read.
One Tufts student is not surprised.
Sophomore Mike Mandell worked as a page in the Congressional page program the summer before his senior year of high school.
"It's not a new thing for [the program]," Mandell said. "The pages are warned."
Friday's revelation is not the first time that underage sexual harassment has wracked the program. It was nearly eliminated in 1983 when then-Reps. Daniel B. Crane (R-Ill.) and Gerry E. Studds (D-Mass.) were censured before Congress for sexual relations with underage pages, the New York Times reported yesterday.
As a result, the minimum age for the program was raised from 14 to 16, and preventive measures implemented.
Mandell said that the leaders of the program held training sessions for pages to help prevent sexual harassment.
"It's unfortunate, but it's not totally avoidable," Mandell said.
Despite this recent case, Mandell still thinks that the page program is extremely worthwhile.
"If I were 16 again, and I got the opportunity, I would jump on it," Mandell said.
"Be smart, know it's a possibility."