Thursday, April 17, 2008

Your Opinion Please

I’m not a big newsie. I’ll scan a couple of web pages and read the local and living sections of my daily fish wrapper, but all in all, I don’t care much for the news. It’s usually bad news anyway; someone was murdered, someone was raped, a storm here, a car wreck there, all pretty depressing stuff. But every once in a while I follow a news story closely and (gasp) read everything I can.

All of which is amusing considering I think the media is bought and paid for and they report what they are told to report. It’s all about a person’s worldview, baby. But that’s another rant.

Like thousands of other people I’ve been following the Texas polygamist story. Before I go much further, I should mention that I am not a Mormon of any shade and I do not condone polygamy (nor does the mainstream Mormon Church). After all, polygamy is just a man’s dream come true, right girls? Nor do I condone underage marriage (I have a niece who married at 16 and yes her mother is an idiot, thank you very much). As far as abuse of any kind against children, I am a mother bear. I think people who intentionally and willfully hurt a child deserve strict punishment. For all those pedophiles out there, I know how to cure your problem: it’s called the death penalty.

As I’ve followed the story of the mothers and children who have now been separated by the state of Texas, I cannot help but feel that something is not ringing true. Having been a foster parent I’ve made some observations about the “system”. One thing I learned and learned quickly was that social workers lie. I am not an ostrich whose head is stuck so firmly in the ground that I do not realize that people do tell lies. Heck, I’ve lied (not good, but true).

Yet, I find it disturbing that people, whose job it is to investigate and protect children, lie and apparently they do so a lot. A friend of mine who had worked as a foster parent and then Department of Human Services volunteer phoned me to give me the real deal concerning social workers.

“They aren’t like people you know Ann. They lie. They’ll lie if the truth is sitting two feet away from them ready to bite. Be careful.”

With that bit o’ news we continued with our application and soon became the foster parents to the Z-Monster and The Destroyer. It was at our first court hearing, just two weeks after the girls came to live with us that we learned that social workers do indeed lie. In fact, they are so brazen; they’ll even lie to a judge, in court, with the court reporter ticking away. All I could do was sit there, mouth hanging open, and blink. Its called perjury, isn’t it?

But, back to the topic at hand; should the mothers in this case be treated as criminals without due course of law? Their children have been removed from their custody into an already overly full foster care system (there are over 500,000 children in foster care across the country at this time). Most of these children, if the judge deems it necessary will be placed in intake centers, because there is simply no way there are enough foster homes in the surrounding areas.

The question is, have the mother’s rights been trampled upon? They say they’ve been lied to, which in my experience is a complete possibility.

So? Tell me, what do you think?


The Sweet Family said...

And another. . .I hate the news, actually the word is despise it. I apologize as I have not been following this until just before reading your post. Why punish the children. They always say its in the best interest of the child. No, it makes social services look good.

BTW, I grow all of my own produce. We have a HUGE garden. Hoping to experiment with some new things this year.

My Ice Cream Diary said...

While I haven't been following the Texas Story so I'm not sure what is going on I do have big concerns about social workers and the foster care system. I know there are wonderful foster parents out there (like you) but I have also witnessed really bad foster parents (another reason I want so badly to be a foster parent later). So, I think people have to be really careful before putting a kid into the foster system (of course it goes the other way too and sometimes they stupidly don't get a kid into it fast enough). If they are only taking the kids from their parents while they sort things out... I don't think that is right. Are the children being abused by their mothers? If not, why should they be seperated?

Mike T said...

Since I live in this "bubble" state of Utah where polygamy is alive and well and often out in the open, the story has been beat to death in our local news. Frankly, I don't see how separating the children from their mothers helps either side. If there is credible evidence of abuse, then the perpatrator of that abuse should be punished severely (and in a permanent manner in my opinion) according to his crimes. Otherwise let the children remain with their mothers and loved ones. It is doubtful that the State is going to find good foster parents, such as your family was, for all of those poor scared children who are already scared to death of "normal outside society". The authorities only serve to prove what the elders of the polygamist clans say is true about outsiders when they say that they are all evil or certainly not to be trusted. This only further propagates polygamy, and the sometimes abuse that accompanies it.

Patti said...

i am from san angelo (no throwing things please) and bil is from eldorado. we go home quite often and we still know lots of folks there as well.

my understanding of removing the mothers was this: during the cps interviews the mothers were coaching the kiddos. can't have that.

they are using the same premise as they did when they confiscated the women's cell phones while on ft. concho grounds. the men were calling and coaching.

i have been praying that the judge and the lawyers will be guided by what is truly in the children's best interest. it is a huge job that i can't imagine. god be with them

Anonymous said...


Yes, they lie. Three years after termination and they were telling us it would be ANOTHER three years for an appeal then our attorney wrote them and all of a sudden the appeal was over! Our other social worker was convinced it was about the moolah baby! I believe nothing the media tells us -

Kat (Kitty-Kat)