Monday, June 23, 2008

The San Angelo Standard Times may be FINALLY "Getting It."

By printing a column authored by Kurt at "I Perceive" and now printing THIS column, we have evidence that those near the problem may finally start to GET the problem. Go there, read it all, it's good. Johana Scot and Richard Wexler writing in the San Angelo Standard-Times. I'll highlight what I think are the best points in this lengthy excerpt.

"A major national study of foster care 'alumni' found they had twice the level of post-traumatic stress disorder of Gulf War veterans and only 20 percent could be said to be doing well. That same study found that one-third of the children were abused in foster care - other studies show similar results. The record of institutions is worse, and most of the ranch children were institutionalized. The hideous record of Texas institutions, in particular, was documented in two scathing reports from former State Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn. Indeed, had the leaders of the YFZ Ranch really wanted to abuse children with impunity, they should have labeled their compound a residential treatment center, which would guarantee that CPS would turn a blind eye to anything happening there. All this means that had this dragged on long enough, at least 100 children who never were abused on the YFZ Ranch probably would have been abused in Texas foster care.

Another study of 15,000 children found that children placed in foster care consistently fared worse than comparably maltreated children left in their own homes. Foster children were more likely arrested as juveniles, more likely to be unemployed, and more likely to become pregnant as teenagers.

None of this means no child ever should be taken from her or his parents.Rather it means that foster care is a toxic intervention that must be used sparingly and in small doses. Instead, Texas decided to treat this slow-moving infection with mega-doses of foster care.

Though the families now have been reunited, they were separated long enough to traumatize some children for life, particularly the youngest, who perceive time as passing far more slowly than do adults. The onerous conditions imposed on the families, conditions far in excess of what is needed to conduct an investigation, will only exacerbate that trauma."

That last bit I pointed out back on April 21st. You can't tell a four year old it's only going to be four more weeks. That's like saying "you're going to be IN HELL FOREVER." Pictures suggest this sort of ripping apart was most devastating to the boys who held their heads down rather than be photographed after returning to the ranch, and expressed the desire to throw rocks at people with cameras. There is so much more to this article. I couldn't just reprint all of it, I suggest you go where it is printed and read it yourself.

While you're at it, stop by "Trenthead" and read this. It's EXTRAORDINARY. I've read it now several times. If I don't stop I'm going to foul and corrode the key board with salt.

"After a while the three boys walked off and climbed back into the family’s van. I thought I should go talk to them. The Deseret News photographer beat me to it. I don’t know what he said, but when he was done I left my cameras on the grass and went over to the van. The boys wouldn’t look at me as I thanked them for coming out and talking to us. They asked why I wanted photos of them. I said something like, 'Well, because we want to show people that you are home with your family now. There are people who want to take you away from your family and…'

'People DID take us away from our family,' the oldest boy interrupted.

Again I thought, this boy is quick and smart. I said, “You know boys, you are going to remember today, the day you came home, for the rest of your lives. I am going to send each of you a photograph from today and I hope you keep it to help you remember the day you came home to your parents.”

They still weren’t looking at me, but I continued. 'Now you don’t have to do this, but if you want to come out and take one picture where you are all smiling with your family, you can. I’m going to go back over there and let you decide. But you don’t have to do it if you don’t want to. Thanks for letting me take your picture.'

I walked back to Edson and Zavenda, who were talking to the writers and playing with their young daughter. We sat for a while and then it was time to go.

As we got up to leave, the three boys walked over from the van and stood by their parents. They wanted the family picture."

I won't publish the pictures, they're Trent's. See them there.

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TxBluesMan said...


Just curious - what are you going to post when the Grand Jury starts to issue indictments?

Hugh McBryde said...

I'd very quickly post what the indictments are Blues. Provided they are made public. If memory serves me 18 "Sealed Indictments" have been issued already but we don't know what they are for, except they are said to be NOT against the FLDS members at YFZ.

Indictments issued by a grand jury are weaker than an arrest warrant I would trust the average or below average ability Sheriff to come up with.