Recently, an article about A Most Sacred Trust came out in an online forum here in Utah. And although there is no such thing as "bad publicity", there is such a thing as bad reporting and Mr. Ethington seems to have mastered it.
In his article, Mr. Ethington twists the truth in an effort to try to make himself relevant in a world that thrives on hatred and cynicism. Gratefully, I don't live in that world. I live in a world that focuses on making our communities a better place to live...let the naysayers say and do what they will. I, for one, will continue to stand.
Our goal at A Most Sacred Trust is to restore trust in our school system by educating children, parents, teachers, administrators and legislators about the realities of sexual abuse in our schools and how we can protect both children, and the adults who educate them, by establishing a safer system for all. My husband is a Utah state legislator and has been working closely with the Utah State Board of Education for several months now to clean up our laws on sexual harassment and professionalism in our schools and asked me if I would be willing to share my story with them and give them my insights as a former child victim.
At first, I was extremely hesitant. My past has some elements of darkness and shame, and though I have come to terms with them in my life, I do not enjoy sharing them with the world. However, when I discovered on Halloween this year that my molester had a handful of other victims, I knew that I could no longer bear being silent. I announced to my husband that not only would I testify to the legislature about my experience and help him make sure the laws were drafted correctly, I was going to start my own non-profit to help educate others how to protect themselves and their children. Honestly, he had no choice in the matter, but he was extremely supportive and felt that this might be a powerful step for me in my journey of healing.
I have met with the State Board of Education, school teachers, principals, and counselors to get their opinions on the bills. They have all been wonderful to work with and they see the need for these changes and already, great strides are being made toward better protecting our students and great teachers, as well as elevating the level of professionalism in our education professions.
In Mr. Ethington's article, he claims that somehow A Most Sacred Trust is a scam between a legislator and his wife to make money by manipulating the system in our favor. And though he knows the facts do not support his claim, his readers do not. So, let me take a moment to separate the facts from his fiction.
Fiction: Ken Ivory is a paid lobbyist of A Most Sacred Trust.
Fact: Ken is not paid by A Most Sacred Trust. He is listed as the registered agent, which simply means that when the state of Utah sends the corporate renewal notices, it will go to his law firm. He is in no way, shape or form a lobbyist.
Fiction: Becky Ivory is getting paid by A Most Sacred Trust.
Fact: I, Becky Ivory, have sunk my own money into this organization to try to prevent others from experiencing the same hell of sexual abuse in our school system that I have. Whatever donations A Most Sacred Trust happens to receive in the future will be used to educate students, parents, teachers, administrators and legislators about the needs for safe, professional boundaries in our schools.
Fiction: Somehow, the Ivorys will financially benefit from these bills.
Fact: There is NOTHING in any of the bills going forward that will send money to any of the Ivorys or the organizations of which we are a part.
Fiction: the Ivorys started another organization in order to get rich off of the American tax payers.
Fact: The organization, American Lands Council was started by county commissioners in Nevada and Utah after my husband passed HB148, the Transfer of Public Lands Act. They asked my husband to be the president of it, for which he gave up his job and began working full-time for them. I never had any affiliation with the organization until they asked me to write weekly articles for them and keep track of the communications, for which I get paid hourly at the standard rate for such work. All non-profit organizations are required to file 990 forms which are available to the public every year that spell out the income and salaries of all officers. Our salaries are not hidden for the American Lands Council or Ken's legislative position, and all income taken in the future by A Most Sacred Trust will also have to be disclosed to the public.
I would keep going, but the fiction is so thick Mr. Ethington's article should be called a novel.
What is Mr. Ethington doing to protect Katie, a young woman who was so badly sexually harassed by her high school teacher only a couple months ago that she avoids school at all costs now because absolutely nothing was done to prevent it from happening again? What is he doing to help us avoid situations like that which happened to a Herriman woman who was forced to have sex with a teacher more than 1,000 times in a two year period...at school? What is he doing to stop the convicted stalker who is currently teaching 3rd graders in Tooele? I'll tell you what he's doing...absolutely nothing. But I am proud to have formed an organization whose sole purpose is to do something about it. I am only one of a board of directors. Where this organization goes will be up to them, and up to the public who will or will not choose to fund it.
A part of me feels sorry for Mr. Ethington, and those like him who viciously attack anyone holding public office, without regard to the truthfulness of their claims. In this day and age, it's hard not to distrust all politicians. There are plenty of people out there using their positions of power for their own gain. Their are people devising clever schemes to make a quick buck off of the public. So how is anyone to know who to trust? The answer lies in the old scripture, "By their fruits ye shall know them."
I encourage you to follow us like a hawk. Read the legislation. Look at the filed 990s at the end of every year. Follow our pages and activities to see what we are actually doing. Only then will you know if we are who we say we are and if we do what we say we will do.
I think that rather than ignorantly accusing others of making a living through nefarious means, Mr. Ethington ought to answer the question, why is he making money by spreading such fabricated and harmful lies?