A buddy sent me this link – I’ll have to consider this crap when I become a parent:
You know what? You would be gravely mistaken if you thought that what this article describes is exceptional. I believe that cases like this are increasing. Why, I’ll touch on later.
I have two very close friends, who experienced something like this, in dealing with Hamilton County’s Family Services. The most egregious case was instigated by a to be un-named principal at a to be un-named local elementary school.
And you know what, when asking around town for advice I got mostly well-intentioned ‘it can’t be like that, something else is going on’ well it turned out to be exactly this. But I understand this, because I too would be incredulous if not for the fact that I read an inordinate amount of well documented evil malarkey which tends to jade me I guess. It turns out the skepticism of these well meaners had no base, the County authorities were completely in the wrong here, and displaying bad intent.
This tells me that incidents like this are far more common than one may suspect. If in a limited circle of associates I know two who went through similar matters as the article describes (not to the same extreme, as I’ll describe) it suggests to me that these things are becoming endemic.
I think that people are not willing to believe certain things. After all, Child and Family services are there to help, and this is true. They save kids from incredible abuse, they help society’s most helpless. It’s also true that you have to look at things without emotionalism, looking at obvious cases of organizational abuse and the fact that there are always two sides to every story.
I would have dismissed things like this, as being exceptional or exaggerated, had I not known 2 sets of parents who went through similar struggles. Not to the same extreme, as in this article, but similar state pressure and an attempt to remove custody in favor of state hands, for non compliance with a specious order to drug their children. One is all but my next door neighbor and someone I’ve known for 17 years in both ill and good.
So – here’s the scoop…
Two sets of parents – the first caved in under pressure, the mother drugged her kid to the school’s demands. The second set of parents fought it and were subjected to a court battle. The matter was cleared after 4 different psychiatrists – 2 court appointed – examined the boy involved and said he was OK, other than some minor depression.
No suicidal ideation (concerning which the teacher and principal involved both lied) no bipolarity, or attention deficit disorder, or any other label they wanted to stick on the kid. Understand this, the first psych who examined the kid was the very one that Family services demanded. When he failed to fork over the diagnosis they hoped for, they insisted there must be a mistake, and wanted a re-examination, then insisted on another psychiatrist. The parents had the child looked at by a couple of others – a severe financial strain because the father is essentially self employed, during a slow period.
Amusingly enough – get this – one of the psychiatrists administered an IQ test (one of those Wechsler for kids tests), and discovered the child’s cognitive capacity was clearly superior, he’s a near genius. It was recommended that the kid be put in a gifted program.
What was determined was that essentially what was causing the slightly problematic behavior the kid was exhibiting was boredom, compounded with normal boyish rambunctiousness. The fact that he’s a boy, and though an emotionally sensitive one, spent quite some time when younger in his father’s homeland, in North Africa, roughing it up with a bunch of Berber farm kids. So naturally he’s somewhat rambunctious. This used to be expected behavior from young Boys, who – research is clearly showing – often have vastly different learning and behavioral styles and patterns than young Girls.
The little boy was shoved in classes mostly full of very docile, and very obedient female students, and told to sit still for hours, he had a habit of fighting, wandering attention, and constantly asking very intelligent and perceptive questions to the teacher to the point of her annoyance – the other kids didn’t ask many questions they just obediently scribbled on their paper.
Basically his school environment was stultifying, and conformist. The material he was being given was so far below his cognitive capacity that the kid was bored out his mind and depressed.
Another factor is that the kid was a cultural, racial, and religious outcast. The only white kid in his class in a predominantly black inner city school. Not only was he white, but culturally he’s of mixed heritage. His mother of German/American background, father is North African. (from an area where the North Africans are of basically Iberian stock, mixed with Dutch pirates, Romans, Israelite, and other sundry folk – pretty white to me, unless you’re one of those funny-in-the-head White nationalist purists..) The boy is being raised as a Muslim, and being rather straightforward if the subject comes up he’s rather openly proud of it.
So the kid gets picked one. He speaks perfectly grammatically correct English with a 15 year old’s vocabulary, at the age of 7, he is bluntly honest and calls out things as he sees them, if he thinks something isn’t fair he openly states this, in correct English – thus he used to get beat up constantly and would take it like a champ, but not fight back. Then after his dad sent him a few times to his home country to get toughened up by his cousins (one can only imagine the terrors that bored young Berber boys on farms can induce) the kid, remarkably, can now fight like a jackal. Thus he’s no longer exactly a mere beat on victim, rather he fights back – with a vengeance – which to pin-headed school administrators means “discipline problem”
This is important and controversial – suck it up and deal with it – the common factor in both cases was broken families, and struggling, well intentioned, but emotionally distraught single parents.
In both cases there was animosity between both sets of parents. In the later case, the mother and father both had enough sense to fight Family Service’s abuses, while being tempted to cave in, and both are able to tactically work together for common ends – but the animosity between the two is palpable. Observing both of them, both are fine people with their own strengths, my sympathies are more with the father because of our close friendship, but I have to fairly admit that I feel they both have problematic character traits. But this isn’t the place or time for that, they both are hard working and intelligent parents.
The family situation, I feel, may be very important in such cases and I’ll address that next time.