Sunday, April 4, 2010

An Editorial I Wrote.

Yes I know it's been over a month since I posted. I have pics to put up and things like that. However, here's a quick post with a link.

I wrote an editorial to our local paper. There was a case that had been moved to our county from where it had happened about an hour south of here because the judge felt that it wouldn't get a fair jury in it's home jurisdiction. It involved a very horrific death of a young woman, who was 16, and she was homeschooled. She had special needs, the same diagnosis as James in fact. Her parents were the cause of her death, though they didn't set out to kill her, that was a horrible accident. The parents were found guilty of 1st degree Child Neglect and Abuse as well as Torture. Yeah. The young woman's name is referenced in the editorial. If you search her name through Mlive you'll find the articles regarding the hearing if you want to know more.

Because the young woman was homeschooled many many many people came out and said that there need to be tougher homeschool laws because "look at her". In fact, she had been in Public School for many years and the abuse had been reported, however CPS had dropped the ball. I believe the girl's grandmother is now looking in to a civil suit against that agency, which I completely understand. If they had followed through, the young woman would still be alive. It was stated during the trial that the investigators for the state knew of the methods of restraint (torture) and condoned it.

Needless to say, I was angry. It made my blood boil to read about this trial, that this child should have been treated so cruely, that the state passed her over, that people would assume that because she was homeschooled that was the root of the problem.

I don't know if the editorial will be printed in the local paper, right now it's just online. Our local paper has shrunk considerably, as have many/most in the US, so space is limited and I was told there were many editorials ahead of mine waiting to be printed. Here is the link. Let me know what you think.


Rudee said...

I hardly believe homeschooling had anything to do with her death. General lack of services and oversight probably did.

It's incredibly hard to parent children with disabilities, but it's foolish to paint them all with the same brush. We never chained our daughter to a bed, but when she developed the habit of eloping from the house with just her jammies on in the dead of winter while we slept, we took to locking her door. I would say that's probably just as unsafe, but so is elopement. What are parents to do? Stay up all night?

I feel badly that this young girl lost her life in such a manner, but again, homeschooling had nothing to do with it. My old neighbors homeschooled both of their children. One is a law student at University of Virginia, and the other is a full time student at Wayne State University. Not too shabby for being homeschooled, is it?

Serial Mommy said...

The parents had stated that they had an alarm on her bed that stopped working and that was why they did that, and that they had only been doing it for a short time. It was found out that both of those statements were outright lies. I understand about locking your daughter's door. I'm assuming that you are not legally blind nor needed to use a pair of pliers to open the door. I'm also assuming that she wasn't locked in there in the middle of the morning so that you could get some housework done without her in the way, as was the case with this girl. She died mid-morning, even though her parents testified that they only chained her to the bed (that makes me angry just to type that)at night when she was sleeping. Thankfully James doesn't take to running out his bed, at least anymore. Having him medicated to sleep (which I imagine isn't much different than locking the door) has helped with that a great deal.

Rudee said...

What those parents did was abuse, but they were probably poorly equipped to manage such a child's disabilities. I don't know why inhumane behavior on the part of parents surprises me. It really shouldn't anymore, but it does. It's hard to imagine a mother behaving in such a manner.