The April 22 front-page article “Montgomery parents fear their kids were victimized” asserted that the behavior of music teacher Lawrence Joynesraised no significant red flags for school officials.

After reading the article, I disagree with the lack of response by administrators toward the disturbing reports from parents and fellow teachers of Mr. Joynes’s alleged “odd” behavior. Sexual abuse affects children even if touching or intercourse is not involved. Victims of sexual abuse may suffer from long-term effects such as experiencing depression or acting out sexually, or they may become abusers themselves.

As a parent, I do my best to protect my child from the dangers of sexual exploitation by other adults or through the media. I expect the same level of protection from school officials who are paid to provide a safe environment for children. I hope this unfortunate case will lead Montgomery County school officials to consider stricter guidelines for teacher-student interactions and a swifter response toward allegations of inappropriate behavior.

Jennifer Bocanegra, Cheverly