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Anoka MN has one of the highest smoking rates in the nation, and it need not worry that free federal funding to promote smoking secession, anti obesity, and child safety programs will show up in schools to change overweight smoking youth anytime soon.
Thanks to Rhonda Sivarajah, the County Chair of the Human Services Committee – who perhaps finds childhood obesity and smoking a public good, or at the very least, finds programs promoting the well being of the Counties children not worth supporting.
Rhonda worked hard to vote down the 1+ million dollar federal strings free SHIP grant that would have created low-calorie snack menus, safe walking routes to school programs, and smoking cessation programs for thousands of Anoka elementary and high school children.
The primary complaint against the SHIP Grant, was that the feds wanted some kind of tracking (accountability) to see that the money was being spend wisely.
It’s my observation that accountability goes against everything these people stand for.
This decision demonstrates a very low value the County sees in its children.
Remember friends, “What we do to our children, they will do to society”. Pliny the Elder 2500 years agoDetails
A 25-year-old man admitted in court Monday in northwestern Minnesota to inflicting deadly head and neck injuries on the 22-month-old daughter of his girlfriend.
Raul Perez, of Ada, pleaded guilty in Norman County District Court to second-degree murder in the death of Ariel Reyes last August.
Perez lived with the girl and her mother.
A doctor at Sanford Medical Center in Fargo noted many injuries to Ariel, including bruises to her jaw, forehead, thigh, shoulder and the base of her spine. Also diagnosed were numerous severe brain injuries and bleeding at the back wall of an eye.Details
To force Arkansas school teachers to weaponize is not much different than arming doctors or social workers. People who have chosen a profession that serve people are being trained to shoot them. How incongruous. How Daft.Details
The complex needs of abused and neglected children are a giant, and I argue, the primary challenge facing America’s education system today. Different states handle the problem in different ways, but very states make the public aware of the depth and scope of the mental health issues like Minnesota has.
Teachers being forced to become social workers and mental health providers is a severe and growing problem in all American schools. Educators speaking openly about the dangers and fear of recurring outbursts by deeply troubled students injuring themselves or other children is a rarity in today’s media, but the data, including crime, graduation rates, test scores, and international achievement comparisons, would indicate otherwise.
There is little question that this problem is impacting the quality of education in our communities and needs to be addressed with adequate understanding and resources. The full Star Tribune article appears below, and I encourage you to read it, share your comments, and & make it available to educators you know.
Teachers deserve more support and a better understanding of the issues impacting education in America today.Details
The difference between mandated reporters and the rest of the world is this; my friend who knew the 7 year old girl across the hall was being sexually abused was not a mandated reporter, and he did not report it. He feared for his life, as these were gang type neighbors, and while he was miserable about it, he never did speak out. Instead he knew for a long time what was happening next door and did nothing to stop it. It was a confession he made to me long after the events had occurred.
The only real hope this little girl (or any other children) being prostituted, pounded on, or otherwise horrifically treated, are mandated reporters. Hopefully, a teacher, hospital worker, or some other service provider will discover the horrors this little girl’s lived through and make help available so she might be healed and lead a better life. This is the statute that all mandated reporters should understand if they are to execute their jobs according to MN law.
If the resources were made available to enforce this statute, and make available the resources suggested within it, the prisons would empty, schools would perform at a much higher standard, and our communities would become the warm and friendly places we all want them to be. Take a moment and review the statute. It is valuable information for any citizen;
626.556 REPORTING OF MALTREATMENT OF MINORS.
Subdivision 1.Public policy.Details
Riverside CA, 6 Investigations – Case Workers Find The Abuse Allegations “Unfounded” (but the 8 year old boy is dead)
Over the last ten years, six investigations involving Pearl Fernandez found no reason to take her son, Gabriel Fernandez, into protective custody.
Gabriel’s suicide note about repeated sexual abuse & his circular face welts were part of a long list of ignored information from mandated reporters.
California Child Protection workers were very familiar with Gabriel’s history.
Today, Pearl and her boyfriend were charged with murder and torture for the gruesome death of their 8 year old boy.
82% of Riverside’s 44,737 cases were investigated (this is impressive) 21 % were substantiated. More than 20 children are murdered each year as open cases within the Riverside CA child protection system. Blaming social workers won’t solve this. Providing them training and resources might.Details
Why would a guardian ad litem make $150,000 suppressing evidence, Why would a custody evaluator make $65,000 on a case where the evidence was overwhelming?
Apparently, to prevent a child from being protected against the man who had twice been arrested for molesting her (five independent assessments supported the girls story of repeated abuse.
Atlanta judge John Goger ordered the girl to live with her pedophile father. When asked by CBS Atlanta News, the judges assistant stated that the judge had “no comment”.
This kind of abuse lasts forever. Someone should comment.Details
A few years ago, Red Lake MN added a 3.5 million dollar mental health facility to insure that the 15 people that died in the terrific homicide / suicide never happens again. 16 year old Jeff Weise had written, blogged, and talked (with many people ) about his violent mental health delusions for months before his horrific acts. His mother had told him that “she wished he had never been born”.
Michael Swanson’s mother on the other hand, had been desperately trying for years to find her son mental health services prior to his pointless and cold blooded murder of the 2 innocent Iowa store clerks.
If you search this blog under health and mental health, you will find a great many suicide and homicide stories of youngsters and their parents desperately seeking help. In New Jersey, for instance, all the mental health services were removed a few years ago, and all those youth were sent to jail.
This year, Minnesota legislators discussed mass shootings and violent unstable youth and decided that it is time to add mental health professionals, training, services and treatment for our childrenDetails
A recent study of South Carolina’s child protective services indicates that sex with children is not a crime here. There is no serious enforcement of child sex abuse laws in the state.
Trials don’t happen for years, church’s stand in the way of helping sexually abused children (South Carolina is the 4th most religious state in the nation). Raped children that are reported to child protection aren’t interviewed for weeks. Justice delayed is justice denied. It is also probably that South Carolina has few mandated reporters and that most people just don’t want to talk about it (there is very little reporting of the crime in SC compared to states that care for their children).
To be fair, the South has come a ways since the 1960’s when the age of consent was between 11 and 13. Rock singer Jerry Lee Lewis married a 13 year old (he was about 40 at the time).Details
Mandated Reporting, or Basic Responsibility (it’s absence is killing Wisconsin & Pennsylvania children)
Leilani and Dale Neumann allowed their daughter to die a painful and lengthy death from fully treatable disease on Easter Sunday of 2008. Relatives were aware of the wacky faith healing beliefs that were soon to kill 11 year old Kara Neumann.
Medical experts testified at the trial that Kara would have lived if her parents had brought her to a doctor at any time before she stopped breathing.
Wisconsin (and 12 other states) don’t charge parents who murder their children in this fashion of child abuse.
Last May, Herbert and Catherine Schaible murdered their second child in Philadelphia by faith healing treatable pneumonia, just 3 years after killing their 2 year old son by faith healing his pneumonia until he died.
The most frightening element of these stories is that children that suffer from horrific negligence and terrible abuse only make the paper when they die. 6 million children are reported to child protection agencies in this nation annually. Only a few get the help they need.Details
Judge Howard Haralson : Repeal the decision to award Elizondo custody of his child.Details
This article shines light on a serious social failure not uncommon in America. 6 year Sarah Elizondo has been forced by the court to live with a pedophile parent (Nicholas Elizondo served 6 years for the crimes he committed upon very young girls).
One of my first cases as a volunteer CASA guardian ad-Litem was a 7 year old boy that had been forced by the court to live with his pedophile father (who had spent 2/3 of his adult life in prison for the crimes he was about to commit on his son – and there was a court order forbidding him to be near young boys).
This boy had spent 4 years tied to a bed, sexually abused, starved, and left alone for days at a time in a small apartment (what do you think it would be like at 4,5,6, or 7 to be tied to a bed and left alone for days at a time without food?)
The boy was covered from head to foot in severe bruises when he entered the child proteDetails
What makes life worse for sexually abused five and seven year old’s is not talking about it. Not reporting it. Not disclosing it publicly or privately. The fewer people that know about the wretched things that are happening to NJ children, the smaller the problem appears to be and the less will be done to support the agencies chartered to help New Jersey Children.
New Jersey has taken a big step forward in making sure that the abuse is worse and lasts longer for its youngest citizens;
NJ: Child welfare agency proposes less disclosure of fatal child abuse cases.
The Star –Ledger- June 12, 2013.
The Department of Children and Families Plans to limit the information it publicly discloses when a child die or suffers life threatening injuries from abuse and neglectDetails
Here are recent positive developments in support of people, policies, and programs for abused and neglected children;
Arizona has granted free tuition for foster children
California; Overwhelming response to request for more foster homes
New Mexico offers free home visits to first-time families (including fathers and adoptive families)
Oregon legislates a Foster Children’s Bill of Rights
Pennsylvania DHS receives U.N. award for improvements
U.S. Senate provides automatic citizenship to all persons born outside the U.S. and were adopted by American CitizensDetails
We are proud to announce that, for the second year in a row, CASA Minnesota is a participating charity in the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon on October 6, 2013. We are reaching out to runners and supporters to fundraise for Team CASA Minnesota.
CASA Minnesota is a local nonprofit whose mission is to support and promote volunteer advocates to ensure that every abused and neglected child in Minnesota has a safe, stable and permanent family. Our advocates are everyday citizens who become extraordinary volunteers.
This page is a compilation of the hundreds of CASA’s around the U.S. If you are not listed, send me your info and we will include it.
See what other CASA volunteers are doing – send us your stories and blogs (we are building a CASA blogs sidebar; include yoursDetails
San Francisco: 1 in 3 Gay School Youth Attempt Suicide & 1 in 2 Transgender Students (Center for Disease Control)
My stepfather was gay and had served in the military in the 1940’s. He experienced no kindness and very little acceptance for his sexuality during his time on this planet.
As a volunteer CASA guardian ad-Litem, I have come to know a good many GLBT youth and identify with the exclusion and cruelty they face on an all too regular basis.
This report from the Center for Disease Control delivers a clear picture of the extent to which GLBT issues are overwhelming millions of children in our nation today.
Not being accepted by society is it’s own kind of perpetual torture and a whole lot of innocent children suffer to the point that they want to die. San Francisco is a relatively progressive community. If it is this bad there, what’s it like in Texas, or Alabama?Details
In April, 2 year old Kent Schailble died of treatable pneumonia because his parent’s fanatical religion demanded it. Kent’s 4 year old brother Brandon died for the same reason in the same home just a few years earlier (he was also denied medical treatment for a completely treatable disease).
As a CASA guardian ad-Litem, I witnessed 49 police calls to a home where a seven year old had been prostituted and the only reason the children (girls 4 and 7) were removed from the home on the 49th call, was that the 7 year old tried to kill the 4 year old in the presence of police officers (it was a child’s cry for help).
Somewhere in this conversation we need to discuss child protection and the civil rights of children.Details
ill Murray knows the best questions to ask to create a lively and informative discussion on the issues that impact abused and neglected children.
This 90 minute talk is a powerful and comprehensive talk I had with Bill and his panel about our institutions and what needs to change to make our children and communities happier and safer: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/bill-murray/2013/05/16/stop-child-abuse-now-scan.mp3 (move the arrow a little bit to skip the music if you wish to start at the conversation).Details
Mother Earth News this month includes weapons manufacturers marketing materials aimed at very young children. It is disturbing. It was just last week a five year old Kentucky boy killed his two year old sister with his “Crickett” “my first” rifle. You can buy them in hot pink for little girls:
“The Crickett rifle is ideally sized for children four to ten years old and comes in a …Arms manufactures the following youth rifles: Crickett .22WMR Youth Rifles”
Mom was outside & said she did not know the gun was loaded. Gun marketing pictures from the Crickett marketing page (the site was down today when I went to include the link – it will be interesting to see if it has been changed) http://www.crickett.com/
A second Pennsylvania judge (Michael Conahan) has plead guilty for receiving commissions for each child sent to privately held detention facilities (PA Childcare and Western PA Childcare) .
2.6 million dollars in fees were paid for between one and two thousand children sentenced for things they did not do. Judge Mark Ciavarella was identified some months ago as the primary offender in this case.
This adds a sorrowful twist to Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Kathleen Blatz statements that “90% of the youth in juvenile justice have passed through child protection” & “”The difference between that poor child and a felon, is about 8 years”.
In Pennsylvania 90% just isn’t filling privately held facilities with enough human prison fodder. I know how hard life is for at risk children and find this kind of crime to be a hanging offense for both the owners of the privately held facilities as well as the corrupters of our legal system.Details
State Falls Behind In Abuse Inquiries (today’s Star Trib headlines)
The sentence seems harmless unless you are a five year old child tied to a bed, left alone for days without food, beaten and sodomized, prostituted as a 7 year old, or left alone in a crib for days without food or contact.
These were my first experience with child abuse as a volunteer Hennepin County guardian ad-Litem.
The backlog of 724 cases (double what it was 18 months ago) means that children will wait for their sexual abuse, beatings, and neglect to be investigated.Details
Teachers that lived through the Bush era No Child Left Behind fiasco understand the impossibility of making students succeed and schools look good with inadequate resources and classrooms bulging with kids that can’t read, Prozac, and violence.
The “Texas education Miracle” that lead the NCLB’S deconstruction of America’s schools proved to be as wrong and dysfunctional as the erasures on thousands of test questions executed by hundreds (if not thousands) of teachers in Georgia and now DC (and there may well be other states as yet undiscovered).
If you study the DC memos being made public you will see just how hard it is to identify and pursue this kind of criminal activity (if it weren’t for excellent journalists at the Atlanta Journal, none of this would have been discovered).Details
Cursing, farting, or an honors student spraying perfume on her neck, all valid reasons for being arrested in Texas schools (citations to six year old’s even).
Does the nation need more disadvantaged youth in the criminal justice system? Texas thinks so.
Texas, the state eliminating higher order thinking from it’s schools & teaching that premarital sex has fatal consequences, and that getting plenty of rest and avoiding condoms saves one from sexually transmitted diseases (& leads all states and many third world nations in the incidence of STD’s among youth) now rests comfortably ahead of all states and the rest of the world in criminalizing students.
Texas also leads in Executions (including of the mentally ill – ignoring federal mandates), juvenile incarceration, uninsured children, child poverty (including food insecurity/starvation of children), preteen pregnancies (and the highest rates of repeat births to teen moms).Details