Friday, April 25, 2008

Response to "Give System Time to Work"

I recently came across an opinion article posted in the Houston Chronicle. It is impossible to respond to every inaccurate story, but I did respond to this one. I felt it appropriate that since Mr. Shields is the Executive Director for Justice for Children, it was important to make an attempt with this article. While writing to your legislators is more important, leaders of organizations such as this should not get away with bigotry and ignorance.

Subject: Children Being Emotionally Abused

Jim Shields:

I am emailing to report child abuse. The State of Texas has systematically abused almost 500 children. I "want protectors of children to have as few obstacles as possible to do their jobs," which is why the children from the FLDS compound should be returned to their best protectors, their parents.

As you have said, "more than 75 percent of the cases where CPS knows there is imminent danger to a child, CPS returns the child to the dangerous home." Yet in this case, the state's witness testified in court that no child under 5 was in imminent danger. Thus, we see a dangerous precedent where children are taken from their best protectors, and subjected to emotional waterboarding at the hands of the CPS.

You should know that the FLDS has been subject to false accusation, as the evidence proves the first warrant was based on a hate crime. But, the second warrant was only based on the appearance of teenage pregnancy. The same flimsy evidence would also convict high schools, projects, trailer parks and barrios.

Instead, you seem to be want to encourage further hate crimes by the unsubstantiated allegations in your Houston Chronicle Viewpoint. You say that "escapees from the FLDS compounds" have reported all manner of physical abuse. However, only YFZ Ranch can be described as a "compound," showing one factual error. Second, the stories of the escapees conflicts with the CPS workers testimony, the witness for the state, the attorneys for the children, and the public statements of the medical personnel who examined the children. Tales told to sell books is much less reliable than testimony under oath.

Your spreading of inaccurate and slanderous rumors does have real consequences for children. Though you may not be aware, there have been multiple hate crimes and threats against non-FLDS Mormons in Texas. While the persecution of adults will reach the media, bigotry against Mormon children will receive much less press, even though it likely to be much more prevalent. The FLDS children also face the threat of bigotry, persecution, and gang violence in foster care due to the many false rumors. Thus, your inflammatory remarks contribute to an environment that threatens the children you claim to want to protect.

Finally, you mention how stress can destroy the brain. But, you fail to point out the great deal of stress that the state has caused the children. How can you say that being forced at gunpoint to leave your home is not a stressful situation? How about having your cell phone unlawfully taken away, being cut off from the outside world, not being able to even see your attorney, or have no say in whether you are sent to a foster home or returned to your family? While you cannot prove your allegations of emotional abuse, I have plenty of evidence to support my contention.

In conclusion, the state has emotionally abused both the parents and the children. It is clear we need to save the children from the state.


I would sign my name, but I don't want an anonymous caller from Texas to call CPS and have them take away my children and confiscate all my property. I don't get enough time with my children, and I need my computer to finish my dissertation.

Every moment we have with our children is precious. The state should be given "time to work" on acquiring actual evidence, not in tampering with our children.

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