News that a new playground is in the works for the 1100 block of Lathrop has been met with mixed reaction by our online readers. As we reported on Dec. 2, with an update in this week’s issue, the playground will force two convicted child molesters to relocate. State law prohibits them from living within 500 feet of a playground.

The issue of reintroducing sex offenders into the general population is a confusing one, and not just in this instance. The obligation we all have to protect children is obvious and shouldn’t be undermined. However, the notion of forgiveness and second chances looms large not only in our justice system but in our faiths. That sex offenders have generally proven themselves difficult to rehabilitate makes it more complicated.

Keeping an open mind to all sides of the debate is the first step.