If This Doesn’t Scare You Nothing Will


 

This article was posted on a facebook page I follow. According to the gentleman who posted it- this is currently happening in Texas. There are several things wrong with this law. One- what about the rights of the parents and the child. Compound that with the fact that teachers are not doctors, they are teachers. They have no clue as to the inner workings of a child’s mind. If this had been in place when I was in school they would have confined me fast because I think outside of the box, I am an artist, I am creative and I refuse to live by the boundaries of what is considered “the norm”. The Norm is relative.

Teachers should never be given that much authority. It is a slippery slope and one that can not only stiffle a child’s mind- but it runs the risk of putting labels on children- it also puts a target on their back as they grow older. Granted there are some children who cannot be controlled. That being said this is a slippery slope that we are taking. Once that genie is out of the bottle it cannot be put back in.

Teachers are taught to teach not analyze they do not have the credentials, the time or the know how to diagnose a child

 

 

http://thefreethoughtproject.com/bill-teachers-diagnose-psychological-issues-children-report-police/

Dallas, Texas – Texas State Representative Jason Villalba (R-Dallas) is once again in the spotlight after submitting yet another Orwellian proposal, H.B. 985.

Villalba first raised the ire of civil libertarians by proposing a bill, H.B. 2006, which would have eliminated the religious exemption for vaccination, essentially creating a forced government vaccination program without exception.

More recently, Villalba was thrust into the national spotlight when he proposed H.B. 2918, which would usurp citizens of the ability to hold law enforcement accountable for their actions. The bill would negate the people’s ability to create an accurate and impartial record of police interactions by restricting citizens from filming within 25 feet of an officer.

Now with H.B. 985, Villalba intends to give school officials the authority to force psychological screenings of students that teachers and staff diagnose as having mental health issues.

Once the process is set in motion by school officials, parents would be forced to take their child to a mental health professional within 30 days, under threat of suspension of the child from school.

“ …the requirement that the parent or guardian, before the expiration of the 30-day period, to avoid suspension of the student under this section, take the student to the nearest local mental health authority or a physician specializing in psychiatry to receive a mental health screening and a certificate of medical examination for mental illness, as described by Section 533.03522(c), Health and Safety Code, that contains the examining physician’s opinion that the student is not a danger to self or others.”

While under suspension the child would still receive an education, but they would be sent to an “alternative school.”

School administrators would be required under the law to provide the student’s name, address, and information regarding the complaint to the local mental health authorities and the police department upon verification of the complaint.

(i) A school counselor or a principal who receives notice
under. Subsection (b) about a student who subsequently is subject to
a notice of intent to suspend under Subsection (g) shall:
(1) provide the student’s name and address and
information concerning the conduct or statement that led to the
notice of intent to suspend to:
(A) the school district police department, if the
school counselor or principal is employed by a school district and
the district has a police department;
(B) the police department of the municipality in
which the school is located or, if the school is not in a
municipality, the sheriff of the county in which the school is
located; and
(C) the local mental health authority nearest the
school;

Teachers have enough on their academic plates without them being forced to become armchair psychologists in the classroom.

Also, it is highly inappropriate and dangerous for unqualified teachers to play the role of child psychiatrists. Unless they’ve had special training and are certified to diagnose the disorders, it can also be illegal.

We are already witnessing the damage caused by parents believing teachers who think that every child who acts out in their classroom has ADHD. It’s called The Ritalin Explosion.

The idea that students’ personal information would be submitted to mental health facilities and police departments for complaints initiated and investigated by only school officials also causes serious concern.

Is it really necessary to criminalize kids based upon a teacher’s unprofessional assessment of a kids mental health? And what about the student that is mentally healthy, but simply defiant?

Perhaps rather than attempting to legislate away this perceived problem by criminalizing “problem” children, there is a better way. Villalba would have been better served by using his position to help create a program to build sustainable bridges of communication between parents and administrators that assist in identifying and combating mental health problems in students.

Instead, like so many tyrants before him, Villalba tries to solve complex problems using the force of the state.

h/t BrettSanders.me


Jay Syrmopoulos is an investigative journalist, freethinker, researcher, and ardent opponent of authoritarianism. He is currently a graduate student at University of Denver pursuing a masters in Global Affairs. Jay’s work has previously been published on BenSwann.com and WeAreChange.org. You can follow him on Twitter @sirmetropolis, on Facebook at Sir Metropolis and now on tsu.
Read more at http://thefreethoughtproject.com/bill-teachers-diagnose-psychological-issues-children-report-police/#gFa4Wze1D84YYDxF.99

Posted in Eyes on Texas | 3 Comments

Angel Eyes over Texas: Remembering One of The Worst Days In a Mother’s Life


Angel Eyes over Texas: Remembering One of The Worst Days In a Mother’s Life.

 

March 14, 2014…I don’t even know where to begin describing this day, or I guess I should say my feelings about this day. This is the day 12 months ago, that the little red car belonging to the CPS caseworker Megan, pulled into our drive way to pick up Kaiti…for the last time.

I had not been to sleep the night before at all, crying, praying, dreading, watching the minute hand tick by on the clock as our time with her quickly slipped away…but mostly, just watching my baby Kaiti sleep. Rubbing her hair, and asking God why? Several times I became so overcome with emotion I had to step outside for fear of waking her. Begging, pleading with God for understanding, for answers. At one point asking him to take my life but to please not put her in the impending situation we all new was bad (granted, at this time, we had no idea just how bad it was going to get for our sweet girl). I came to the decision our morning would be happy, we would not cry, we would relish in every last second…

The morning didn’t go as planned, all of the children were everything but happy. They argued over who was going to sit by her or hold her, she was fussy (I’m sure because of the gloom in the air.) And the crying, I didn’t have the heart to tell them they “couldn’t hurt” right now.

Megan arrived as I was still trying to get Kaiti dressed, she was refusing. She always did this when told it was time to go to Crystal’s. Again, I should point out, she started refusing to get dressed when her overnight transition visits started in February.

I carried her to the little red car and whispered in her ear “I love you more, I love you most, I love you more than all of the stars in the sky and the moon and the sun.” She giggled and raced to try and say it faster than me. (Oh how I miss that game!) She noticed the couple of tears that had softly trickled down my cheeks and wiped them away with her little hand. Kaiti then said “I’ll see you tomorrow mommy! I love you!” and grabbed my face for one of her heart felt kisses. The caseworker began to cry very hard and stepped to the rear of the car and asked if I could please strap Kaitlin in for her because this was just “too hard for her right now”.

Twelve months ago today, I watch our sweet Baby Kaiti go down our driveway in the backseat of that little red car…being taken to the home she would be physically abused, emotionally abused, mentally abused, neglected, medically neglected, and attempted to be completely torn away from our family repeatedly.

Seven days after moving in with Crystal, Kaitlin made her first outcry of physical abuse and CPS saw serious medical neglect and Crystal blatantly lied to the caseworker about Kaitlin’s health condition. When Kaiti left my home she was staph and abscess free, 7 days in the home of Crystal she had more than 24 staph related abscess’ documented by a physician that Crystal lied about… CPS did nothing about Kaiti’s outcries or medical neglect and they have continued to do nothing to protect her for the past 12 months…

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American Children Wrongfully Taken From Loving Families. Why?


Posted in Funding, The Money behind CPS, Title IV-B Funding, Title IV-E Funding | 3 Comments

The Unintended Consequences of Child Welfare Funding


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The Landscape of Child Welfare Funding


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Texas’ 2015 Valentine Weekend Massacre of the CPS Handbook


Updated Feb 16, 2015

DFPS policy reductions

For the better part of the last decade, Texas has had the honor of having the most complete and comprehensive Child Protection Handbook nationwide. A handbook that family advocates from all 50 states used as a learning tool. That all changes February 15, 2015, when the Department of Family and Protective Services strips out close to 450 pages of functionality.

In 2010, Angel Eyes over Texas was founded to “Watch (CPS) while others can’t.“. They tracked all handbook changes on their blog www.aeovrt.org providing caseworkers, attorneys, advocates and other stakeholders quick easy access to the monthly changes starting in 2011. Their post reflecting the most recent changes is located here.

An effective handbook must contain both policy and procedures. It appears that a huge chuck of procedures were stripped away with this revision greatly reducing its effectiveness as a field manual. Case work is primarily field work. Field workers need to be able to work independent  of direct supervision, therefore they need ready reference materials; preferably updated real time.

These changes were made with intent to simplify and improve efficiency while claiming to improve transparency and accountability have in fact done just the opposite.

A more complete article can be found  on Americans Ending Abuse.

Texas strips job functions from CPS Handbook, causing ambiguity

Continue reading

Posted in Eyes on Texas, Texas DFPS | 3 Comments

Doc Greene Speaks Briefly on CPS


In response to our piece, Death Hurts; Child Deaths due to Abuse Even More, Doc Greene of Raging Elephants Radio did a short segment on CPS.

As usual Doc presented a very heart wrenching follow up to our article. He  began by discussing the article and then expanded upon some of the know Texas stories. He touched on the stories of Angel Cook and Wilbur Witt. He also touched on some of the testimony of former Texas foster youth; much of which is quite disturbing. But to give example I present you with one former foster child, Tyrone Obaseki that spent 16 years in the system presents an excellent testimony in a 2014 legislative hearing.

Doc moved on into a short sermon and ended with a prayer. Thank you for your support. Thank you too Raging Elephants Radio.

Posted in Abuse by CPS, Eyes on Texas, In the News Texas, Texas DFPS | Tagged , | 1 Comment

2014 in review this review speaks for itself


This 2014 review speaks for itself. This site is exploding with hits – if you know someone or have been a victim of CPS then this site is for you! Spread the word.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here's an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 190,000 times in 2014. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 8 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Death Hurts; Child Deaths due to Abuse Even More


 

Updated: Feb 2, 2015

Grace MarkerNothing hurts more than the untimely death of a child. Add to that the fact that they died at the hands of another and it becomes unbearable.

This week the murder trial for Melinda Lynn Muniz began. Muniz is charged with capital murder in the death of Grace Lillian Reeves-Ford. Now one year later, Grace’s parents must endure the pain of hearing all that happened to their little girl that fateful day. Out of respect for them I will not go into detail of what has been revealed thus far in the trial. Due to the delicate nature of the situation now is not the time to share those details.

Now that the trial is over, with the family’s permission I have updated the article.

On the afternoon of Feb 2, 2015 a court room sat in silence listening only to the tick of a clock for 3 minutes; the length of time it takes for a person to suffocate. Trial testimony revealed the possibility of Grace having been suffocated before the duct tape was applied. Duct tape that surveillance video showed Muniz had Grace with her as she purchased the instruments of her murder.

Digressing a bit. On January 9, 2014 Plano police were summoned to the apartment where Grace was found unconscious in her bed, her face covered in duct tape She was taken off life support three days after Plano police believe Muniz staged a home invasion in the Eastside Village apartment she shared with Grace and Mitch Ford, the girl’s father. Muniz was arrested Jan. 28, 2014.

It took the jury only 45 minutes to decide Muniz’ fate: Guilty… sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole. They did their job, but questions rise about CPS. There had been 4 CPS reports against Muniz relating to abuse of Grace. Three of which took place within one year. A factor that the Health and Human Services Inspector General’s office indicates should have triggered an additional visit by a Safety Specialist, laying the blame on a computer glitch while removing blame from any workers.

Problem is there was a fifth report. Two days before Grace’s attack, her grandfather hand delivered a letter to CPS indicating his concerns over safety. A situation that should have triggered a P1 investigation requiring contact within 24 hours. This did not happen so Grace joins the 143 children that died due to abuse in Texas in 2014.

In Texas child deaths due to abuse appears to be on the decline, from 231 in 2011, 211 in 2012, 159 in 2013 and 144 in 2014. But a recent article by the Austin-Statesman revealed some 665 confirmed abuse deaths went unreported publicly By Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS). That was part of a very comprehensive 3 day series presented by the Statesman. Very important is the “Interactive” page that links you to data on 779 child deaths reviewed. You can download their data here.

During 2013, Texas had a sharp increase in “reported” foster deaths. This led to several interim hearings by the Texas Legislature in 2014. Add to that the first Sunset review since 1997 of the child protection agency (DFPS) presented Texas with an unprecedented year of transparency into Texas’ child protection system. There also was a very intensive audit by a third party agency, The Stephens Group that revealed many problems. One of which was that caseworkers were only getting about 26% actual face to face time with the children they are charged to protect. You can read their report here.

Additionally there was an interim House Select Committee on Child Protection that met 4 times. Many that observed how this committee was managed feel that all it did was reveal how the Texas legislature micro-manages DFPS. Their report is here.

Point is, children die. Some from natural causes. Some due to accidents. Some due to abuse. Others due to abuse in foster care. We must get past the mourning and grief so that we can do what we can to change the system responsible, be it health care or child protection or even general parenting. Of the 779 in the Statesman article, 144 had at least 3 prior CPS calls. One had 23. But many are unrelated to abuse.

Bottom line, we have a great deal of work to do. It can’t be completed without moving forward.

Posted in Abuse, Eyes on Texas, In the News Texas, Texas DFPS | 4 Comments

Not just States, BUT the Feds are failing to protect children


Image captured from the report "Shame on U.S."

Image captured from the report “Shame on U.S.”

A report released earlier this week reveals that every state has failed the federal standards for child protection. The 110 page report titled “Shame on U.S.” was compiled through the joint efforts of the Children’s Advocacy Institute of the University of San Diego School of Law and First Star. It discusses the failing effort to properly enact, monitor, interpret, and enforce federal child welfare laws by the federal government. Reporting weaknesses within all 3 branches of government. I recommend reading the Executive Summary first before tackling the full report.

Click below for state-specific information regarding the protection of abused and neglected children, such as links to each state’s Child and Family Services Review reports from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, information on relevant judicial proceedings, and recent news articles.

Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas
California Colorado Connecticut Delaware
District of Columbia Florida Georgia Hawaii
Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa
Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine
Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota
Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska
Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico
New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio
Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island
South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas
Utah Vermont Virginia Washington
West Viginia Wisconsin Wyoming
Posted in Abuse by Feds, HHSC | Tagged , | 1 Comment