Tuesday, September 13, 2005

In Nightmares Begin Responsibilities: We Can't Care for the Children We Already Have

Eleven Children Found Caged in Ohio Home

"Sheriff's deputies found 11 children locked in cages with alarms in a north Ohio home, and prosecutors are looking into possible charges of abuse and neglect.

The children, ages 1 to 14, were in nine cages in the walls of a house outside this city of about 1,000 about 50 miles west of Cleveland, according to the Huron County Sheriff's Office. They had no blankets or pillows, and the cages were rigged with alarms that sounded if the cages were opened, Lt. Randy Sommers said.

The children told authorities they slept in the 40-inches-high by 40 inches-deep cages at night. Doors to some of the cages were blocked with heavy furniture.

Sharen and Mike Gravelle are adoptive or foster parents for all 11 children, officials said. Prosecutors are reviewing the case, but no charges had been filed as of Monday night.

A children's services investigator saw one of the children in a cage Friday, Sommers said. The sheriff's office obtained a warrant and returned to the house around 5 that evening and removed the children."

Stories like this one are why I strongly object to putting embryo rights ahead of the rights of the post-born, you know, ahead of the rights of actual infants and children.

Oh, and here's another:

For torturing kids, couple get 15 years

The Dollars say their strong religious beliefs led them to pull out toenails of five of their foster children, starve them and give them electric shocks.

Published September 15, 2005

INVERNESS - A Citrus County couple accused of torturing and starving five children agreed Wednesday to 15-year prison sentences, then said the crimes occurred because they took their religious beliefs too far.

"We are sorry that the children are hurt," John Dollar said. "We are firm believers in the God almighty ... because of those principles we were led to do certain things."

Those "things," prosecutors say, included pulling out the children's toenails with pliers, starving them and shocking them with a cattle prod.

John and Linda Dollar faced 150 years in prison if convicted at trial. . .

The story of the Dollars - an educated (sic), financially stable, devout (sic) couple - shocked the local community and the nation in January when the accusations surfaced.

Their 16-year-old boy weighed 59 pounds. Twin boys, age 14, weighed 36 and 38 pounds. The children were compared to prisoners of war because of the abuse they suffered and the traumatic effects that still haunt them.

Wednesday's hearing was likely the final chapter in the criminal case, which first caught the public's eye after the Dollars' 16-year-old son was taken to a hospital emergency room with a head wound and red marks on his neck.

He was severely underweight, which sparked an investigation by the Citrus County Sheriff's Office and the Department of Children and Families. Shortly after, the Dollar children were removed from their adoptive parents and placed in foster care. The couple fled to Utah, where they were apprehended.

Disturbing details of the Dollars' life soon surfaced.

The family had operated a private Christian (sic) school in Tennessee, but many of the students rarely saw the Dollar children.When the family moved to the Tampa Bay area, they changed homes frequently. Between 1990 and 2004, the Dollars bought and sold a half-dozen homes in Hillsborough County, from Plant City to Riverview to Valrico.

A closet door at one of their Hillsborough homes had a lock installed on its outside, as if it were meant to keep someone inside, not out.

A bag of what appeared to be toenails was found in the family's motorhome . . . "

The fact is, we in America, supposedly the richest country in the world, do not properly care for the children (and families) we already have.

Why would one want to make a bad situation even worse, having the government force women to bear children they know they are unable to care for?