KARA has been reporting and speaking on critical issues impacting abused and neglected children for many years.
This article submitted by long time CASA guardian ad Litem Mike Tikkanen
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There is more to child abuse than bruises, rape and starvation.
27 states allow withholding life saving medical treatment from children if your religion forbids it . Criminal and civil immunity means it is not murder when the child dies. 200 children have died in the Followers of Christ Church due to parents withholding lifesaving medical care.
A few years ago, Kansas State Rep Gail Finney vowed to pass a bill that allowed caregivers to leave bruises and cause bleeding. Arkansas State Rep Charles Fuqua promoted the death penalty for rebellious children (based on religious grounds).
Most states let parents not vaccinate their children, many states forbid the teaching of disease and sex (think TB, AIDs and syphilis).
There are no minimal standards of care for children allowed to die from treatable diseases. In these states, children have the same rights as pets.
Add to this the absence of prenatal care, daycare, health insurance, early childhood homelessness and poverty, and growing up becomes a nightmare that evolves into child death, disease, adolescent criminality and preteen pregnancy with no parenting skills.
Few states track child suicides and not a single U.S. state reports failed child suicides.
Australia is tracking successful child suicides and predictably pointing at the scourge of generational child abuse as the culprit. We don’t do that here.
In my state, Minnesota, when 6 year old foster child Kendrea Johnson successfully suicided by hanging herself, the local police chief and coroner both testified that 6 year olds could not suicide (it must have been an accident). She left a note. She had been talking about self hate, suicide and homicide for some time. Her social worker claimed to not know she was seeing a therapist. When 7 year old foster child gabriel Meyers suicided in Florida, he left a note about how he despised being forced onto Prozac. Bill Zellers suicide note.
Nationally, 33% of State Ward children are forced onto psychotropic medications like Prozac. My CASA guardian ad Litem caseload kids were often forced onto multiple medications simultaneously (walking zombies).
Several of my caseload CASA GAL kids tried to kill themselves (two of them were seven years old when they first tried). One of them tried to kill himself many times over many years. Several of my very young caseload children prostituted themselves (at 11 and 12 years of age). No one but me and a few people I’ve talked to knows anything about these terrible sad stories. As this video shows, childhood prostitution is common in some states (the password is “foster”).
If it is not measured, it didn’t happen.
If it didn’t happen, it’s not a problem.
If it’s not a problem there is no discussion.
If there is no discussion, there will be no solution.
The lack of transparency, tracking and accountability for things happening to America’s at risk children is appalling.
The data that does exist, demonstrates the strain my kids are having on our institutions. Failing students, failing schools, racial disparity within schools, school violence and high teacher turnover are common today as are high crime and prison statistics & too much bad news in our communities.
My kids are not ready for school and don’t perform well in the classroom. Just the opposite – too many teachers are spending more time managing the unmanageable behaviors of my traumatized state ward kids than teaching in the classroom(37% of U.S. children are reported to child protection services by their 18th birthday).
This results in marginalized classroom experiences throughout the system, troubled schools and a few years later, crowded prisons with felons that can’t read and communities of preteen moms without parenting skills, drug habits and violent boyfriends (preparing for the next generation of traumatized children).
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