Sunday, May 27, 2007
Secret! Shh! States and Family Court Systems Profit from...
This is a secret! They do not want others to know this is happening here in America. Shhh! States and family court systems are making a killing "pimping" our children for profit. Ever wonder why there are so many "non-custodial" fathers? Yes, there are "non-custodial" mothers as well, but to a lesser extent. Truthfully, the states don't care what your gender is. As long as they create a "non-custodial" parent after the divorce, they are able to keep the huge profits rolling in.
This is their secret. Yet very few Americans are aware of this!
States and family court systems profit from the creation of a "non-custodial" parent through federal Title IV-D incentives. The more parents thrown into the child support system means more money to the states and family court systems. Silly! You mean you thought the child custody evaluations were fair and neutral? Those who perfrom the child custody evaluations are employed by the court systems which profit from the creation of "non-custodial" parents. Conflict of interest? Jeez...let me think about this.
It is time for Americans and parents of both genders to stop this madness. Profiting from tearing a child away from one of their fit parents is wrong, evil and immoral! Where is the outrage? Who will stand up and educate others about this tragedy that happens every day thousands of times in America?
Will this wake you up?
If this did not wake you up, you most certainly lack a pulse.
Learn more about the damaging effects of Title IV-D to America's families here:
So will Bloggers and America alike continue to let this be a secret or will they pressure this corrupt system of ripping a child from one of their fit parents to end?
Original blog - http://www.technorati.com/wtf/dads/2007/05/17/secret-shh-states-
Saturday, May 26, 2007
I wonder if this poor child was on one of those wonderful drugs they're giving out like candy to these poor kids these days, or was he programed like so many of our innocent children today.
Why else would this 10 year old stab his father to death?
Moments before his chaotic death, witnesses said, Thomas Simmons heard his 10-year-old son's pleas not to strike the boy's mother.
"If you're going to hit someone, hit me," the boy demanded of his father, who neighbors said was pounding on the mother's apartment door early Friday.
Minutes later, with his father stabbed in the chest with a kitchen knife and bleeding to death in the apartment doorway, the boy was frantic.
"I've killed my father. They're going to put me in jail," the boy said, according to Danny Cline, who lives in a neighboring apartment.
Friday morning, about nine hours after the fight that rocked the apartment building on St. Paul's East Side, Cline said the child had no choice. "He was just protecting his mother, his brother, his sister and himself," Cline said. "We all would have done the same thing."
By noon Friday, the boy had been released to relatives and police were investigating the possibility that he had acted in self-defense, said St. Paul police department spokesman Tom Walsh.
Police declined Friday to identify the boy or his mother, who police said did not suffer any physical injuries. Neighbors said the woman had recently moved into a separate apartment in the building where Simmons lived in the 1800 block of E. 7th Street.
Apartment residents and those who worked with Simmons said he had been drinking Thursday night at a St. Paul nightclub with colleagues.
"He was such a docile man," said Margaret Taylor, who lives across the hall from Simmons. "He was not a monster. Alcohol affects everyone differently."
Simmons, 34, had agreed to go out with his boss, Subway store manager Tony Jones, and other co-workers. The group met at Club Cristal about 10:30 p.m. and Simmons showed no signs of being in a bad mood, Jones said.
The two discussed fatherhood and the challenge of raising their kids. Simmons never told him, either at work in the last four months or at the club, that he had a significant other. Jones said he believed that Simmons lived with his oldest child, the 10-year-old boy.
Jones left the club early because he had to work Friday morning, but he told Simmons to call him before he left. "I wanted to make sure he was OK to drive," Jones said.
At 1:58 a.m., Jones got the call from Simmons. "I told him he'd better be at work in the morning and he said, 'I'll be there,' " Jones said.
Shrieks, then blood
Simmons went to his apartment building, but instead of going home he went to visit Taylor across the hall. He told her, she said, that he'd had about eight shots of booze.
It proved too much for him and after he threw up in her bathroom, Taylor told him to go home and sleep it off.
He said he would first check on his children, who lived with their mother on the first floor of the building.
"I told him it was after two in the morning," she said. "I told him they were fine and probably sleeping."
Moments later, Cline, who lives next door to the boy's mother, was startled by pounding on his neighbor's door. He and a friend, Eric Alexander, went to the hall to intervene.
Simmons "told us to stay out of it because this was his family's business," Cline recalled.
The two considered restraining Simmons but figured it might get them into trouble. So they returned to their apartment and tried to sleep.
But the loud confrontation continued, both inside the apartment and in the hallway, neighbors told police.
After a woman's shrieks filled the hall, neighbors found Simmons in the apartment doorway, his white T-shirt half red with blood, Cline said.
Cline said he told Simmons that police and an ambulance were on the way, and warned him not to move.
"He was losing way too much blood," Cline said.
Another woman ran inside the apartment to fetch a towel and held it against Simmons' chest wound.
Cline said he tried to calm the children, including the 10-year-old and his younger brother and sister.
Children in pain
"They had already seen enough," he said. "They didn't need to see their father that way."
Simmons' criminal history includes several arrests for low-level crimes, including driving with a suspended license and giving false information to police.
He also was charged with a felony in Dakota County for possessing a sawed-off shotgun, arrest records show.
But there were no signs of a turbulent relationship between the couple, Taylor said.
"She and the children would come up to his place and he would go down to theirs all the time," she said.
Simmons, a Mississippi native, moved to Minnesota about 12 years ago and had three children here with the woman, whom he did not marry, his sister, Willye Pearl Simmons Matthews, of Magnolia, Miss., said Friday night.
"He was a good person," Matthews said. "You really had to know him. He loved people. Anything he could help you with, he'd try to help you."
He had helped comfort her, she said, when she lost a son in a car wreck 13 years ago.
"He was just there to talk to," Matthews said.
Cline, who said he often saw Simmons and his 10-year-old son together, said he is convinced that the boy had no intention of killing his father.
"It seemed like he loved his father," Cline said. "I'm sure he was just trying to back him off."
Connie Skillingstad, executive director of Prevent Child Abuse Minnesota, said that children in families where parents are at war often feel it is somehow their fault, and thus their responsibility to intervene.
"The child is, without help, looking at a lifetime of pain," Skillingstad said. "He's going to need an enormous amount of help. It's a terrible tragedy. He's likely to not ever recover from this sort of experience."
Living Where Parents Are Considered Enemies of Their Own Children
A land where children are considered property of thes tate, and are brutally ripped from their parents only to be consigned to decrepit, abusive theraputic" facilities.
Then more often than not forced on drugs when they are depressed over losing their family?
(Or given to a truly abusive parent, while the other parent is kept away?)
Imagine living where parents are considered as enemies of their own children, the parents who are vilified and maligned relentlessly, have false allegations and outright lies used to present a facade of legality for kidnapping their children, under color of law?
Imagine living in a land where the falsely accused parents are considered guilty until proven innocent", and even afte proving themselves innocent, are still considered guilty. All the while, the kidnapped children languish for years, locked away in strange homes or "facilities" or without one of their parents, growing despondent and heartbroken while yearning for all or part of thier family and freedom.
This isn't a description of life under a now defunct communist regime, this land exists in our world today, it isn't in some far off country, it isn't in some steaming third world jungle.
This land is right here in the good ole U.S. of A.
This land is... Right here in America; children are the fuel and fodder for the Child "Protective" and dysfuntional family law industry. Children are both the victims and the weapons used by abusive self serving adults.
And make no mistake, this is an industry, to the tune of BILLIONS of dollars annually in the United States.
This money flows from you, the taxpayer and is used to fill the coffers of county accounts, agency employees, lawyers,counselors, therapists,treatment centers, group "homes", supposedly "non-profit" organizations, and on and on and on...
It is far past time to join together to put a stop to the financial exploitation of our children and the bureaucratic errorism of our families by the Child "Destructive" Services, and Non or Dysfuntional Family laws.
DCRally 2007 is coming to Washington DC
Plan To Be There If You Can!
Original author unknown
(due to deleted emails that proceeded this one)
I've also adjusted this piece to fit not only Child "protective" services but family law in general.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
DOMay 24, 2007
Problems with the cervical cancer vaccine for girls as young as 9 starting to emerge.
Five schoolgirls at Sacred Heart Girls' College in suburban Melbourne, Australia, were confirmed to have taken ill after receiving an injection of Gardasil, the newest vaccine to be mandated for young girls. Soon after the vaccination, twenty-six girls were seen at the campus medical clinic; five were admitted to the hospital after being injected. Two of the girls kept in overnight in observation for dizziness; one had temporary paralysis and loss of speech.
In the U.S., symptoms similar to those experienced by the Australian girls have been reported to the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS.) Since the approval of the vaccine in June, 2006, there have been 1261 adverse events reported. Here are a few examples directly from the VAERS reporting pages:
“Immediately after injection patient complained of severe pain at site. Fell off table and fainted for approximately 10 - 15 seconds. Hyperventilating. Complained of headache, blurry vision; vision test was normal. Vomiting x 1 in parking lot and speech was momentarily inarticulate. Sent to ER where her neurological exam was normal except for word recall "coffee instead of coughing" and said "Sired instead of tired."
“A female patient was vaccinated with a first dose of HPV Vaccine. Subsequently as the patient was leaving the examination room, the patient fainted. The patient recovered shortly after fainting.”
“A 14 year old female was vaccinated with Gardasil. It was reported that the patient was sitting on a bench. When the nurse left the room, the patient apparently fainted and ended up falling off bench. It was reported that it was unsure if the patient had broken her nose but there was blood. At the time of this report, the outcome of the events were unknown.”
VAERS is a passive surveillance system and depends upon voluntary reporting by clinicians of serious health problems following vaccination. Reports can also be filed by parents. Although VAERS reports do not prove causation, they can provide a warning system that a vaccine may be causing health problems.
It has been estimated that fewer than 10 percent, even as low as 1 to 4 percent, of adverse events from a prescription drug or a vaccine are ever reported.
If only 1 percent of all adverse events associated with Gardasil are being reported to VAERS, there could have been as many as 126,000 acute health problems from the vaccine in less than one year. The long term neurological or immune system complications are completely unknown. It is uncertain if any of these vaccinated children will go on to develop fertility problems, cancer or damage to their genes, all of which Merck admits in its product insert have not been studied.
John Iskander, from the Center for Disease Control’s immunization safety office has said, "There is absolutely no reason to think that there is anything in this vaccine that's going to make people more likely to faint.”
Despite his assurances, there are ingredients in the vaccine that can cause recipients to become dizzy and faint.
Histidine, an amino acid, readily converts into another amino acid, histamine, when it enters the body. When released, histamine causes redness, swelling, itching and allergic reactions leading to widening of capillaries, decreased blood pressure… people can faint. The vaccine also contains Polysorbate 80, an agent used in creams, ointments, lotions, and multiple medical preparations including vitamin oils, and anticancer agents. Polysorbate 80 is a can cause potentially fatal reactions in including anaphylaxis, characterized by a sharp drop in blood pressure, hives, and breathing difficulties… people can faint.
Fainting spells after vaccination can have serious consequences. An article published in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine (1997), reviewed the 697 reports of syncope (fainting) that occurred after vaccination and had been reported to VAERS between 1990 and 1995. More than 97 percent of the events have occurred within 30 minutes of a vaccine, establishing a causal relationship. Of these, six patients sustained a serious head injury, including skull fracture, cerebral bleeding and cerebral contusion. Three of these patients required brain surgery and two were left with substantial residual neurological deficits at six months to two years after follow-up. Dizziness and fainting after vaccination is not something to be taken lightly.
As for the children in Australia, the vaccination program is scheduled to continue next month.
“The college is confident that this program of vaccination is safe to offer to students," says Christopher Dalton, the school principal. "We will be working with the Department of Human Services Victoria and the City of Monash Immunization Services in the planning vaccination program."
The assumption is that illness and dizziness are “normal reactions” to a vaccine. The overriding theme is that “We've have a vaccine, and we will use it.”
1. "Vaccine linked to sickness."
2. Braun M. Vaccine adverse event reporting system (VAERS): usefulness and limitations. John's Hopkins Bloomburg School of Public Health
3. CDC Says Gardasil's Side Effects Minor, Additional Warning Labels Unnecessary. Feb. 26, 2007
4. Coors, EA. Polysorbate 80 in medical products and nonimmunologic anaphylactoid reactions. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2005 Dec;95(6):593-9. PMID: 16400901
5. Braun MM, et al. Syncope after immunization. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 1997;151:255-9.
© 2007 Sherri Tenpenny - All Rights Reserved
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Link to original story -Sherri Tenpenny -- Gardasil Dangers Starting to Emerge
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
1973- Vice Principal comes over, takes a look at Jack's shotgun, goes to his car and gets his to show Jack.
2006- School goes into lock down, FBI called, Jack hauled off to jail and never sees his truck or gun again. Counselors called in for traumatized students and teachers.
Scenario: Johnny and Mark get into a fist fight after school.
1973- Crowd gathers. Mark wins. Johnny and Mark shake hands and end up best friends. Nobody goes to jail, nobody arrested, nobody expelled.
2006- Police called, SWAT team arrives, arrests Johnny and Mark. Charge them with assault, both expelled even though Johnny started it.
Scenario: Jeffrey won't be still in class, disrupts other students.
1973 - Jeffrey sent to office and given a good paddling by Principal. Sits still in class.
2006- Jeffrey given huge doses of Ritalin. Becomes a zombie. School gets extra money from state because Jeffrey has a disability.
Scenario: Billy breaks a window in his neighbor's car and his Dad gives him a whipping.
1973- Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to college, and becomes a successful businessman.
2006- Billy's Dad is arrested for child abuse. Billy removed to foster care and joins a gang. Billy's sister is told by state psychologist that she remembers being abused herself and their Dad goes to prison. Billy's mom has affair with psychologist.
Scenario: Mark gets a headache and takes some aspirin to school.
1973- Mark shares aspirin with Principal out on the smoking dock.
2006- Police called, Mark expelled from school for drug violations. Car searched for drugs and weapons.
Scenario: Pedro fails high school English.
1973: Pedro goes to summer school, passes English, goes to college.
2006: Pedro's cause is taken up by state. Newspaper articles appear nationally explaining that teaching English as a requirement for graduation is racist. ACLU files class action lawsuit against state school system and Pedro's English teacher. English banned from core curriculum. Pedro given diploma anyway but ends up mowing lawns for a living because he can't speak English.
Scenario: Johnny takes apart leftover firecrackers from the 4th of July, puts them in a model airplane paint bottle, blows up a red ant bed.
1973- Ants die.
2006- BATF, Homeland Security, FBI called. Johnny charged with domestic terrorism, FBI investigates parents, siblings removed from home, computers confiscated, Johnny's Dad goes on a terror watch list and is never allowed to fly again
Scenario: Johnny falls while running during recess and scrapes his knee. He is found crying by his teacher, Mary. Mary hugs him to comfort him.
1973- In a short time Johnny feels better and goes on playing.2006- Mary is accused of being a sexual predator and loses her job. She faces 3 years in State Prison. Johnny undergoes 5 years of therapy
Friday, May 18, 2007
All I have to say about that article, which sounds to me like a temper tantrum is ..
Have you heard of Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860),
"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed, second it is violently opposed, and third, it is accepted as self-evident."
Here is the article I am blogging about where they seem to be out of control..
Yeah Temper Tantrum works..
Sick Joke or Sick Reality?
Below the Belt:
A Biweekly Column by NOW President Kim Gandy
May 17, 2007
I know you think I'm talking about "Opie and Anthony," recently suspended from their radio talk gig for "joking" with a guest, "Homeless Charlie," who said he wanted to rape Condoleezza Rice and Laura Bush. The hosts encouraged these horrifying remarks -- in fact they laughed and imagined "the horror" on Rice's face as she is held down and punched in the face.
No, I'm talking about another sick reality. Let me ask you first: Would you trust a guy who wrote that rape victims "gain pleasure from being beaten, bound, and otherwise made to suffer" as "the price they are willing to pay for gaining the gratification of receiving the sperm?" A guy who published his belief that "the child who has suffered bona fide abuse may very well have enjoyed the experience..."? A guy who claimed that incest is not harmful, (citing Shakespeare) only "thinking makes it so"?
And I know I don't even have to ask this -- but would you trust this guy with your kids?
I thought not. Which leads me to ponder how on earth the "theory" this guy thought up has found its way into court rooms across the country, and is currently influencing child custody decisions, especially those involving child abuse. That's right, this guy, a psychiatrist named Richard Gardner -- who, by the way, also asserted that adult-child sex is normal AND beneficial for both parties as well as for the survival of the human race -- is being given credence in cases involving the fate of children and families.
And believe it or not, it seems that nine state governors have jumped on Gardner's pro-pedophilia bandwagon. In Florida, Indiana, Connecticut, Kentucky, Nebraska, Iowa, Maine, and Nevada, there is now reportedly a whole day officially dedicated to raising "awareness" about Gardner's theory called Parental Alienation Syndrome, in which the very reports of abuse by a child against a father are themselves evidence that the child is being brainwashed by the mother (and if the child is angry at the father, or doesn't want to visit, that's even more evidence) and the only "cure" for this syndrome is to force the child to live with the abuser and deny ANY contact with the protective mother, who has no history of abuse.
C'mon, you're thinking, what judge would buy this crock? Doesn't it matter if the abuse really happened? Apparently not.
Although it may sound like it, this is no sick joke. It's a sad, sick reality. And anyone who cares even a little about children's human rights and the epidemic of family violence should take note and take action.
Let's start with the lowdown on "parental alienation syndrome" (PAS), which is also being called "parental alienation." Like I said, Richard Gardner thought it up. The late Dr. Gardner was a child psychiatrist who liked to tell people he was a full professor at Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons. Actually, he was an unpaid volunteer. But hey -- professor, volunteer; child sexual abuse, fun adult-child sex -- hey, what's the difference? If you're Richard Gardner, not much.
But I digress. While Gardner was volunteering at Columbia in the 1980s, he formed some opinions and made some personal observations that, together, he decided to call "parental alienation syndrome." He defined PAS as a condition arising from one parent's (mostly mothers, he said) "programming" of the child to wage an unreasonable "campaign of denigration against" the other parent (most of the time, the father, according to Gardner). PAS, he said, arises most often during child custody disputes, usually involves false allegations of child sexual abuse as part of the programmer parent's attempt to turn the child against the other parent, and causes "enormous grief" in the alienated parent.
Gardner's diagnostic criteria included finding out from the child the parent's "frequency of programming thoughts" and the parent's "success in manipulating the legal system to enhance the programming." The ridiculousness of these criteria goes without saying. Gardner was insistent that the "programming parent" is the mother, and that the alienated parent is the father. He opined that treatment involve forcing the mother to stop expressing negative views about the father and granting custody of the child to him and denying any visitation to her. No part of the PAS diagnostic process involves examining the father's psychiatric history or conduct, or even inquiring whether he had actually engaged in abuse.
According to an article by Dr. Paul J. Fink, past president of the American Psychiatric Association, and Hon. Sol Gothard, retired judge and former faculty member for the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges:
"Parental Alienation Syndrome has been used nationwide by batterers as a courtroom tactic to silence abused children by attempting to discredit their disclosures of abuse. This theory is not recognized as valid by the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, or the American Medical Association. Parental Alienation Syndrome is not accepted as a psychiatric diagnosis, and has been rejected by the mainstream psychological community. Parental Alienation Syndrome is junk science; there is no valid research or empirical data to support this unproven theory."
To date, none of the studies necessary to judge the validity of Gardner's so-called syndrome have been conducted. In 2006, the Children's Legal Rights Journal (a multi-disciplinary journal published in conjunction with the American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law, the National Association of Counsel for Children, and the Loyola University School of Law) and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges each published analyses finding no scientific or legal basis for the use of PAS.
And yet, PAS keeps making appearances in courts across the country, subverting and perverting the pursuit of justice one family at a time. According to the Children's Legal Rights Journal, a North Carolina court incarcerated a teenage girl who refused to visit her father, and a New Jersey court suspended a mother's contact with her two children, granting sole custody to the father despite "'foreseeable emotional upset and possible trauma'" to the children (Hoult, 1). In Pennsylvania, a court ordered a teenager into "PAS treatment," and he subsequently hung himself.
Young people who have suffered due to inhumane court rulings involving PAS are speaking out.
They are not the only ones. This month, the NOW Foundation joined other leading organizations working on family law and family violence in a complaint filed against the United States with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. The complaint charges that U.S. courts are failing to protect the life, liberties, security, and other human rights of abused mothers and children by frequently awarding child custody to abusers and child molesters. PAS is one predominant strategy being used by lawyers to place children in such danger. A recent Newsweek article noted the finding of a Harvard study that in custody cases involving documented spousal abuse, 54% granted custody to the batterer, and parental alienation was used as an argument in nearly every single one.
This is not a trend that will fade away. It's junk science that's gaining momentum, amassing victims, fooling powerful government officials, and even attracting an unfortunately famous ally or two like Alec Baldwin. PAS advocates play down the theory's unquestionably absurd roots in Gardner's pseudo-science, pathologize and punish mothers fighting to protect themselves and their children, and stand faithfully by fathers' so-called right to unfettered access to their children despite any history of assault or abuse. And the judges and the media are buying it hook, line and sinker.
Do something about it. Contact the governors who've proclaimed "Parental Alienation Awareness" days and raise their awareness about what's in the best interest of our families. Contact the media outlets who are giving PAS advocates like Alec Baldwin a platform to lie to the public. Pressure your judges to educate themselves and get our justice system back on track.
Gloria Steinem said, "The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off." I'm definitely pissed off about PAS and hope you are, too. It's just what we need to set our families free from junk science, junk justice, and sick realities.
Monday, May 14, 2007
Thursday, May 10, 2007
They are out of control and it won't be long before they target YOU and YOURS!
Long Island Press: Long Island Newspaper, News, Entertainment, Real Estate, Classifieds, Automotive, Weddings, Business News,...
Reading, ’Riting & Revenge
By April Jimenez
05/10/2007 1:46 pm
He looks like any other 12-year-old child—taller than his mother, with sandy hair that falls slightly over his light blue eyes. But when you ask Terence Connelly about what he did at school today, he stares blankly, visibly struggling with words that can’t seem to make their way to his mouth. Ask him about bees, though, and he’ll give you a description that rivals a National Geographic documentary on the subject. He may look like others his age, but he has several learning disabilities that hamper his ability to communicate.
Terry is dressed in short sleeves—any clothing too tight makes him feel constricted and itchy all over. He also overheats very easily. So he is very particular about his clothes. His mom, in turn, buys him the same clothes, which he wears day in and day out.
For this, she is being accused of being an abusive mother.
The line drawn in the sand regarding what is and isn’t child abuse is fuzzy at best. A parent disciplining an unruly child in the supermarket, muffled yells heard through a shared wall, an angry voicemail left for a child—all are open to scrutiny. But there are a number of Long Island parents who are shocked to learn that they are being accused of child abuse—by their school districts—for doing what they think is best for their children.
One Farmingville mother, Catherine Guglielmo, was accused of child abuse by her school district, not once, but twice—for keeping her son out of school, because he couldn’t walk after suffering serious injuries in a 2006 auto accident.
Another case involved Terence Connelly’s mother, Mary Connelly, from Westhampton Beach, who spent hours filing paperwork and having meetings with her son’s school last year, only to be told that there was no place for him at that school and that she should seek placement outside the district or in Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES). She says that when she refused to "dump" her learning-disabled child into the BOCES system, the school district reported her to Suffolk County Department of Social Services’ Child Protective Services (CPS) Bureau for what CPS termed "educational neglect."
Every county Child Protective Services office is required to investigate child abuse and maltreatment reports, to protect children under 18 from further abuse or maltreatment, and to provide rehabilitative services to children, parents and other family members involved. CPS is a division of the state Office of Children and Family Services, which maintains a statewide Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment for reports made pursuant to the Social Services Law.
The notion that a school district would retaliate against a parent by threatening to call CPS seems unbelievable. And yet it is happening, here on Long Island, and in other parts of the country—and some say it is a lot more common than we might think.
In Verona, a town in Upstate New York, the Knight family is in the middle of a court battle with their school district, because complaints they made against their autistic child’s teacher and school resulted in recriminations against their child and them. And then a complaint against the Knights was made to CPS.
There seems to be no rhyme or reason to what some say is a blatant abuse of the CPS system by school districts. There is no formula, or targeted group, no class discrimination or predisposed marker—the only thing that all these parents have in common is that they angered representatives of the school in some way.
Just A Bad Break?
Catherine Guglielmo has always considered herself to be a good mother. A divorced mom, she moved herself and her son Giovanni (not his real name) from Selden’s school district to the Sachem Central School District during the 2006 school year because she wanted her 13-year-old boy to have every opportunity possible. Sachem is considered one of the best districts on the Island. In August, Giovanni was hit by a car and was very seriously injured, fracturing his left femur. Giovanni was in surgery for hours and had three screws put into his leg. He was given very strict orders about what he could and couldn’t do in order for the important growth plate to heal correctly. Those orders included staying out of school until he healed.
Guglielmo says she went to her son’s new school, Sagamore Middle School in Holtsville, to request home tutoring. She supplied the school with a copy of a letter from her son’s surgeon at the time, Dr. Wesley V. Carrion, chief of pediatric orthopedics at Stony Brook University Hospital, mandating such. Sagamore guidance counselor William Cody questioned the validity of the letter, as well as Guglielmo’s motives, according to Guglielmo, who says Cody initially thought the date on the letter was suspect.
"I was told kids with broken legs come to school all the time," says Guglielmo, who challenged the guidance counselor’s statement and said, "I have to do whatever is best for my son, and at this time he needs to be home tutored." Guglielmo was told by Cody that the school would be in touch. The very next day, she says, Guglielmo was contacted by CPS. To her shock, she was reported for educational neglect. This was the first of two child-abuse claims the school would make against Guglielmo.
This is when, according to Guglielmo, the "harassment" began: Truancy officers made weekly trips to Guglielmo’s Farmingville home. After that, her landlord was asked to sign an affidavit proving Guglielmo lived in the district. Then, 30 days later, she was asked to supply additional proof in the form of credit card or utility bills.
"They were contradicting themselves, saying he wasn’t part of the district, then coming to my house and pounding on the door saying he is missing school, and sending me progress reports with his student ID number," says Guglielmo. Giovanni’s mother complied; she completed all proof-of-address forms and dropped off another prescription from Giovanni’s second physician, Dr. F. Javier Laplaza of Schneider Children’s Hospital, requiring home tutoring. Again, Giovanni was denied the tutoring, and still did not have medical clearance to attend school. A few days later, she says, Guglielmo was contacted by school principal Steven Siciliano, asking for more proof of residency. When she tried to explain the situation to the principal, she says Siciliano responded by raising his voice and telling her, "If you don’t straighten things out soon, I’m calling CPS on you."
On May 4, Giovanni received clearance from Dr. Laplaza to go back to school, with accommodations. These accommodations include a special bus, leaving classes early so as not to be knocked around in the hall, and no gym classes until further notice. Giovanni is still on crutches. And although the child is back at school, he has spent three months not being educated.
"He’s months behind in his school work—he’s a very bright kid and this really put a damper on him. He has an injury and he feels like the school was putting him at an unfair advantage," says Giovanni’s mother.
At home, with his leg resting on a chair, Giovanni says that the school’s actions were unfair, and that he just wants to go back and be a normal kid. He used to skateboard. He wants to go to college, loves to go fishing and boating and will gladly treat you to his best "Donald Duck voice," if he thinks it will make you smile—but his crutches keep him from doing the things he loves most, right now. He has been named the victim of abuse—but despite his fractured leg, it’s not the physical kind of abuse.
According to Guglielmo, although a CPS agent told her that both claims against her were unfounded, she has received no paperwork verifying this. But had the claims been "indicated," or found to be true, Catherine Guglielmo’s name would have stayed on the Statewide Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment for 10 years after Giovanni’s 18th birthday, according to spokesman Brian Marchetti of the state Office of Children and Family Services. Yet she was simply doing what she thought best for her child. Is it any wonder parents buckle when schools threaten them with CPS?
When contacted by the Press, the Sachem Central School District responded by issuing the following statement: "It would be thoroughly inappropriate and a violation of New York State privacy laws to discuss matters pertaining to our school children and their families."
Falling On Deaf Ears
"Any person required to report, who fails to do so, can be penalized," says Marchetti.
While it may be easy for parents to be angry at the county Department of Social Services and the CPS agent, the fact is that CPS is required to investigate every claim, even if the agent has doubts about its accuracy. And in New York State, mandated reporters, which include school officials, are obligated to report any suspicion of hazardous activity. If they don’t, reporters are guilty of a Class A misdemeanor, according to Marchetti.
The complete confidentiality that comes with reporting makes it possible to abuse the system—not just for schools but for anyone, including parents in the middle of a custody battle or even vengeful employees or friends. Reporters are not required to leave a name if they choose not to.
One must ask if the system is flawed. It very well may be.
"There is certainly a problem. School [officials] are mandated reporters—and they have to report cases where there could be abuse, and rightfully so. But then, on the other hand—how much evidence should they really have before they report? It’s a complicated problem," says Nicholas Agro, a Port Jefferson education attorney who deals with families who have developmental- and learning-disabled children, who often are not receiving their federally mandated Free Appropriate Public Education. He says that these parents—parents like the Connellys—often contend with CPS threats.
Terence Connelly suffers from several learning disabilities—expressive-receptive language disorder, dyslexia (problems with reading) and dysgraphia (problems with writing)—and his parents suspect he also suffers from central auditory processing disorder, which he will be tested for in early June. Essentially, this 12-year-old has incredible difficulty communicating and processing information. After he was classified as "multiply disabled," his doctor said that Terence would benefit from being around typical children for the majority of his time.
Westhampton Beach Middle School did not make it easy for her to follow doctor’s orders, says Connelly. Very much aware that her son needed specialized attention, she requested that Terence have a personal aide so that he could be included in modified classes, and the teacher would be free to tend to the rest of the class without disruption—just as the doctor had suggested.
"I felt that was a good placement for him. I would have been happy with that arrangement—he did well [with a one-on-one situation] with a tutor at home," says Connelly.
But the school apparently wasn’t happy with that plan. Connelly says she was told by Westhampton Beach Middle School principal Charisse Miller that a personalized aide was not necessary and perhaps Terence would do better in BOCES or even in another district, and that he could be moved to the neighboring Center Moriches Union Free School District.
Connelly asked why Center Moriches could teach her son, when Westhampton Beach could not. A Nov. 19 e-mail from Principal Miller to Connelly chronicles the events of a Nov. 16 team meeting (a meeting with the student’s parents, teachers and administrators to discuss the child’s progress), in which Miller informs Connelly that the Westhampton Beach School District did not offer an "IEP [Individualized Education Program] diploma," (awarded when a student meets his or her personal IEP goals but does not meet the graduation requirements necessary for a local or Regents diploma) or a life skills program.
However, Connelly says, she found out later from the New York State Department of Education that Miller’s statement was not true and that the school district did offer an IEP diploma. Connelly, angry, says she confronted the school, chastised them for lying to her, and demanded that the school educate her son appropriately. Connelly also learned that her son was being bullied regularly—common for children with disabilities—and that his teachers knew about it. But she was never notified of the incidents, she says.
Two weeks later a CPS agent came to Connelly’s door. Connelly was accused of educational neglect, after an anonymous reporter claimed that Terence was "tired in school" and that he often wore the same clothes.
"I explained to the agent that he [Terence] had a sensory dysfunction and that he rips the labels out of shirts or won’t wear them if they don’t feel right. When we find a shirt he likes, we buy four or five of them," says Connelly, who then showed the agent Terence’s army of similar clothes, and his 10 pairs of identical shoes. The CPS agent declared the Connelly case "unfounded" and Terence now does have a personal aide in the classroom. He is passing almost all his classes, but his mom is always on the lookout.
"I don’t know why this happened," she says, "but we are scared it will happen again. It’s a terrible way to live."
Calls made by the Press to Superintendent of Schools Lynn Schwartz at Westhampton Beach School District were not returned.
To Help Or Hinder
Some say that the system is guaranteeing children like Terence and their parents unnecessary turmoil. Kathleen Chamberlain, president of East End Special Education Parents, a nonprofit advocacy group in Mattituck, says that the districts’ list of the signs of child abuse practically mimics the actual symptoms of many developmental and learning disabilities.
"They’re setting kids up with disabilities to be labeled and pointed out. The mandated reporters need to know the difference," says Chamberlain.
And, in fact, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act stipulates that school personnel can hold a manifestation determination review to determine whether there is a link between the child’s disability and misbehavior. Furthermore, the IEP team is supposed to investigate whether the behavior is a direct result of the school’s failure to implement the IEP. This clause is meant to keep children with disabilities from being unfairly punished or labeled.
But is this policy working?
According to the 1998 Packard Foundation article "Protecting Children From Abuse and Neglect," about 65 percent of all reports were labeled unfounded after being investigated.
"Simply by changing the reporting process from anonymous to confidential [for all reporters] will greatly reduce the number of false reports coming in to CPS. Prosecuting those individuals who knowingly file false reports will reduce the number of those reports," says Chamberlain.
There is a provision in New York State law for intentional false reporting—and those cases are prosecuted by the county district attorney’s office. However, it is difficult to prosecute a false claim when it is made anonymously.
"I’ve never heard of it [a parent pressing charges against the person who made the false report]. Usually the parents are relieved when [the report] is unfounded and it just gets dropped—which is unfortunate," says Agro.
But some parents are not taking it lying down.
The Knights, the family from Verona, were systematically kept away from their autistic son Kyle’s classroom because they spent "too much time in the classroom," according to Kyle’s mother Tammie Knight. She believes that the reason she and her husband were kept out of their son’s kindergarten classroom is because in 2006 she accused the child’s teacher, Christina Amodie, of calling her autistic son a "loser."
"He came home from school on the third day, and stood there, arms straight down, knees pulled in, his face bright red, and said, ‘Mommy, Mrs. Amodie said I’m a loser,’" says Knight, who asked her child if he had lost at a game. Kyle responded that he had not. "She just said I was a loser."
Another incident Knight believes contributed to the school’s labeling her a troublemaker, as she puts it, also came about as the result of Knight being in the classroom. She observed that her son’s kindergarten class was left alone for eight to 10 minutes while Amodie was eating lunch, says Knight. These events ultimately resulted in Knight pulling Kyle from Amodie’s class—and although she requested numerous times that he be put in a different class, the school’s administration said it would be in his best interest to stay in Amodie’s classroom. The family filed a grievance with the state’s Manhattan regional Office for Civil Rights (OCR) against the J.D. George Elementary School and the Vernon-Verona-Sherrill Central School District for discriminating against Kyle and his parents because of his disability.
Messages left at the school and district office by the Press were not returned.
OCR found "insufficient evidence" to support that the district discriminated against Kyle or the Knights. Still, the family was the subject of a CPS report, one that originally was founded: Tammie and Kurt Knight were charged with "inadequate guardianship." The CPS report concludes that the two were not cooperating with the child’s IEP.
"Ironic. This is the exact claim that we had made against the school," says Knight. After the family contested the CPS report, she says, it was reviewed and amended to be unfounded: "The report and all information identifying you [Tammie Knight and Kurt Knight] as the subject of this report has been amended to legally sealed by the New York State Child Abuse/Maltreatment Register."
Knight wrote letters to both President George W. Bush and Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY), but to no avail. Knight asked them to review the policy of schools that allows them to seek vengeance against parents through CPS, or discriminate against children because of a disability.
"Plenty of children in the school are being punished simply because they are autistic," says Knight, who reports that Kyle still attends J.D. George Elementary School this year. He has a wonderful teacher—but he is still failing.
Motives: Meddling Or Money
These are just a very small sample of the many stories that the Press investigated, about families accusing school districts of targeting them and retaliating. If this is as common and rampant as these families claim, why are schools doing this?
Most of the families believe it is simply to exact revenge, or to make an example of vocal parents, as in the Knight and Connelly cases, in which each mother intervened when she believed her child was being unfairly treated by a teacher. Auburn, N.Y., education attorney Andrew Cuddy names it an outright bullying tactic, used to pressure parents into compromising their child’s rights.
"Typically, a family backs down to whatever the school district is trying to do to the kid. This is a tactic employed by school districts in collusion with CPS," says Cuddy, who believes that districts’ motives range from trying to eject children who need special costly attention from the mainstream, to taking action against a parent who is outspoken or organizing protests against the school.
"It’s an intimidation thing, to have the parent back down. Because that’s all they’ve tried to do is intimidate me into falling in line," says Knight.
Others think it goes much deeper than that. George Deabold, an independent advocate and executive director of SchoolWatch, an LI-based school advocacy group with interests primarily in special education, believes that there are financial motives.
"The money [for lawyers] has nothing to do with budgets—legal fees are a non-contingent expense. They can spend as much on professional services and legal fees as they want," says Deabold. He adds, "I suspect there’s money going back to some of these schools, drumming up false cases, and getting lawyer hours. These schools are sending these attorneys on vacation."
Then there is the Guglielmo case. Catherine wonders how, if the validity of her address and her residence in the district were in question, her son could have received an active student ID number.
"Were they receiving money for him being there?" she asks.
The disturbing truth is that any of these possibilities could be true. Schools are no strangers to financial scandal.
But possibly the saddest part of this story is that these children are suffering at the very same hands that are supposed to protect them: the school, CPS and the adults they are supposed to trust.
"They are ruining these kids’ lives," says Deabold, who has seen firsthand exactly what can result from this cat-and-mouse game between the school district and the family, while working with the Sciaccas of East Islip. The family fell prey to a situation similar to the aforementioned families when Amanda Sciacca, then 15, got mononucleosis in January 2004. Additionally, Amanda suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome and migraines. She missed six weeks of school, but when she tried to return she was accused of "school refusal" by Patricia Cuccia, the district’s then-special education director, says Maureen, Amanda’s mother. Cuccia is no stranger to controversy, as featured in the Press’ exposé "Special Education Gets An ‘F’" [March 9, 2006]. She had been a lightning rod for disgruntled parents until her early retirement. To read the story, visit LongIslandPress.com and click on the "Award-Winning stories section.
Both Sciacca parents were reported for child abuse, even though Amanda’s family provided the school with doctors’ notes and documentation of her illnesses. After many hearings and six unfounded CPS claims (each parent was anonymously reported three times for educational neglect), Amanda chose to finish her high school career at the Brentwood campus of Suffolk County Community College, through a high-school equivalency program. And although the student continues to contend with her health problems, she is doing well in school. But she still suffers from the mental anguish the ordeal brought her.
"It is very difficult to see your parents do everything for you, and have someone tell them they are abusing you," says Amanda, now 18. She says she does not lament missing her education as much as missing out on the things that "regular teenagers" get to do, like go to the prom and graduation. "Those are memories I’ll never get back."
Sure there MAY BE a few who were truly abused, but I'll bet my right kidney, most of them are there becuase of Title lV funding!
This is a disgrace and needs to be stopped!
Texas Children Being Housed At CPS Offices
Mary Stewart Reporting
(CBS 11 News) TARRANT COUNTY CBS 11 News has uncovered a crisis in the State of Texas.
An investigation revealed that some children in the Child Protective Services system don't have anyone to take care of them. Most North Texas business offices have desks, chairs, computers, and phones. Now some CPS business offices also have baby carriers, playpens and beds, in them.
The children are being housed at the offices because there aren't enough foster homes. CPS offices in South Fort Worth have been used to house children around the clock. Often those staying at the offices are young teenagers with mental or emotional problems. Across the state, beginning in March, caseworkers also started putting children in hotels.
CBS 11 News gathered these statistics –
As of May 1st
94 children are waiting for foster care
92 children are being housed in CPS offices
2 children are being housed in hotels
"We have to make sure they have adequate sleeping arrangements, that they have somewhere where they can bathe, and that they have food," says Marissa Gonzales, CPS spokesperson. "So if we can provide that for them, either at an office or at a hotel, we'll do that.
It's just a matter of deciding which environment is going to be the best for them."Most CPS offices already have high turnover rates -- about 28% -- and the current situation can't make the job easier for them or their families.
As it stands, two CPS employees must volunteer to watch each child at night and on the weekends. In the last 10 days, everyone in the South Fort Worth CPS office, including the department spokesperson, is expected to volunteer for the rotating schedule.
CPS worker Susan Thorton had to recruit department volunteers to care for seven special needs children in Tarrant County. "That's why the need for volunteers, because our caseworkers were just tired," says Thorton.
"The same people were staying in the offices with the children overnight."The seven children were moved to shelters or foster homes last Wednesday, but the ongoing problem remains and officials say there's no immediate solution.
(© MMVII, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)
Tuesday, May 8, 2007
I've worked in neighborhood diners in Brooklyn and Staten Island to Five Star Hotels in Times Square..
Hell, for seven years I worked as close to the corporate world as I'm ever gonna come, I was a Banquet Bartender/Server and Captain, for ton's of Corporate functions.
Now don't get me wrong I've played nice with these people in the past, even though I would never voluntarily spend exorbitant amounts of time with many of them we were able to coexist for hours, days or sometimes week's on end and not kill each other.
Why am I bringing this up, what possess me to write about this, exactly how does this subject belong on a blog named 'Disgusted With The System"?
Well, I've noticed lately I'm getting more and more people pissed off at me, and guess what?
I don't give a &^%$ !!
I've learned to be assertive and if I want or need something; I do what has to be done to get it.
Now a few years ago that would have been a major problem, but now I couldn't care less if they like me or not, if we agree or not.
I've learned to say "Ok great, were gonna have to agree to disagree and move on"
I don't give in anymore, I don't let people bully or intimidate me anymore, I stand my ground firmly with both feet planted below me and I know have the knowledge to it back up.
I've also noticed more people are mentioning "My Style" I've always had people say they either liked or didn't like "my style" and I took it personal if they were negative.
Now? Ok whatever..
I'm wondering if I've become so hardened by the system that I'm thinking - Ok, I have bigger fish to fry today and if your gonna be part of the problem and not part of the solution get out of my way.
Or have I grown emotionally, by educating myself. I've studied subjects that I never thought I would have a need to know inside and out, such as personalities, and personality disorders.
Is it that I can now spot a predator or a doormat, from a mile away, and treat them accordingly?
Way back when I was lunch meat for predators, I didn't know any better, but now...
The superficial charming psychopath has a glaring green ring around them, that shines brighter than the northern star.
And the pathetic woo is me attitude coming from the Co Dependant gives me a knot in my stomach, so I am always ready to vomit when one of them comes along.
Or how about the me me me Narcissist, Oh phulease later for you dude, my needs are just as important as you think yours are, so be gone with your bad self!
Yes the system has raped me of my innocence, pulled me out of that pink bubble I use to live in where everyone was good hearted except my ex, but as with any bad situation I can still find something good in it all, I have become a wiser woman than I once was, much wiser!
Sunday, May 6, 2007
Awareness Quilt Project
***** PERMISSION GRANTED to distribute this information which may or may not include posting it to other websites and groups. *****
UPDATED INFORMATION IS BELOW
This Awareness QUILT Project is being created for display to bring attention to the plight of so many innocent children who have been VICTIMIZED BY CORRUPT Family Courts, and or STOLEN by CPS and placed into Foster Care, and some even SOLD into Adoptions by these same state agencies via the family courts. There is NO age limit nor restictions for being included if the child has been "victimized", they are WELCOME to be included in this quilt . It matters not whether the child was or is still in Foster Care, is or is not now home, or was in Foster Care but aged out of the system and was released, is or was or remains in Kinship care, or was SOLD into State arranged adoptions, they "should" be included in this quilt to show that they are NOT isolated cases and that this IS a National Problem . If your child/ren has been a victim of Governmental Corruption, then this QUILT Project INCLUDES your child/ren.
There are NO charges to you for the participation, unless you wish to have your child's photo included in this quilt. Having each child represented with his or her own square, costs you $ 0.00 which equals "ZERO".
SPECIFICATIONS: If you wish to make the squares youself, there should be ONE 5-inch x 5-inch square for EACH child. The fabric may be new or used and taken from old clothes, sheets, baby blankets, or even purchased new at a local store where fabrics are sold. If you wish to cut the squares from something that your child/ren used or wore, that will be fine. We ask that you please put EACH child's first name or initial and last name, date of birth or age, State case is/was in (town NOT needed), date they became victims of Family Court Corruption, or were STOLEN by CPS and placed in Foster or Kinship care, Date they returned home/aged out of system/SOLD into adoption or indicate if still in out of home care, or whatever applies, on the square that is representative of them. You may hand-write the information on the square with a permanent magic marker or ink pen, embroider it, use fabric paints, or even scan a picture on the computer, print it out, and transfer it to the squares. You are also welcome to cut the squares a little larger then 5-inches by 5 inches --- I will trim them down when I start to use them.
If you wish to just submit your child's information for inclusion in this quilt, all you need to do is send (mail or email) the above information for the child and they WILL be included in the quilt
If you wish to have the child's photo included in the quilt, the cost for the photo square is $ 3.00, which is to cover my cost of materials for making this. It is NOT a money-making scheme. Examples of these squares are visible in the posted photos of this quilt. You may mail the photo you wish to have used, or email the photo. Please mail your payment for the photo squares to the address given below.
We want these squares to be "personal" for your child so that when seen, people will realized that these are and were REAL children who have been victimized by Government Corruption in Family Courts and or Child Protective Services Agencies. I will post and make photos of this quilt available throughout the construction of it.
This QUILT will make its DEBUT in Washington DC on August 18, 2007, at the national Rally being held there to bring attention to the plight of our families and our children. It will also be displayed wherever there are other rallies, conventions, or affairs in which it has the chance to raise awareness about what is going on and happening to our children and make it known to our elected Public Officials that WE WANT CHANGE and PROTECTION for our families.
To participate in this project, Please send the squares representative of your child/ren to, or email the information to email@example.com
c/o Gail Head
PO Box 392
Paradise, TX 76073
WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT~!!! DO IT for the love of your child/ren.
Saturday, May 5, 2007
After the voice-mail message heard 'round the world, Alec Baldwin & Handlers had significant spin control to do. There was the apology. The talk-show circuit. Then something new: the buzz phrase.
Baldwin, whose ex-wife is actress Kim Basinger, said he was sorry for losing his temper with his 11-year-old daughter, Ireland, but he had been driven to the edge by "parental alienation."
While the term is likely unfamiliar to most media junkies, it's far from new to those working in the trenches of divorce litigation. Parental alienation, they say, has occurred for decades.
The term refers to parents who consciously turn their child or children against the other parent during or after a divorce. The degree of alienation varies significantly, from name-calling to "missing" phone calls from the other parent, to refusing to honor court-ordered parenting time, to severe, and often unfounded, accusations of physical or sexual abuse.
While it was once believed that mothers were the primary perpetrators, or "alienators," legal and mental health professionals now say both parents are equally guilty of this punishing treatment, and equally victimized. But the biggest losers, they agree, are their kids.
"It's a very sad thing when it happens," said Minneapolis family law attorney Jane Binder. She remembers a case where a mother renamed the children with her last name so the father would not be notified about their activities, medical histories or whereabouts. "She acts like he's dead," Binder said. More common, though, are parents who degrade the other: 'I can't believe your mother did/said that.' That goes on way too often," she said.
While most people cringed at hearing Baldw! in call his daughter "a thoughtless little pig," some observers said they understood all too well the tipping point that got him there.
Rick is a St. Paul father in the middle of a drawn-out custody battle who said he has been alienated for eight years. He asked that his full name not be used to protect his two children.
"I don't agree with what [Baldwin] did, but I can understand where it came from," he said.
Toward the end of his marriage, he said, the tension and anger between him and his wife was palpable and, "plain and simple, I was out of line in how I treated her." After they separated, he said his ex-wife didn't answer his phone calls for two years. "Not one. [I was] just calling to say hi to the boys." He later had mandatory answering incorporated into a court order, but said it is still not followed. He's back at court for the fourth time trying to enforce and increase his parenting time. (He only sees his boys every other weekend). He estimates that he's spent "100 grand, easy," in legal fees.
The bottom line, he said, is this: "If she chooses to not forgive me, that is her choice. I still deserve to have a relationship with my children."
The power of no
The late child therapist and forensic psychiatrist Richard Gardner began writing about parental alienation, particularly its effects on fathers, more than 20 years ago. Others have followed his lead, including Doug Darnall, a psychologist in Youngstown, Ohio, and author of "Divorce Casualties: Protecting your children from parental alienation" (Taylor Publishing Co., $14.95).
Darnall said in a phone interview that the alienating parent typically feels justified. "Very often, you have one parent who is very angry, who feels betrayed or threatened." If the parent also feels powerless, using the child is a way to fix that. "The parent who says no is always the one who has the power," he said.
Some alienators have significant psychological disorders. In most cases, though, the parent sees himself or herself as the child's protector.
Sometimes, he emphasized, the parent is right in trying to protect the child. "If there is real physical or sexual abuse, that's not alienation if the child doesn't want anything to do with the [offending] parent."
What about the future?
Those interviewed agree that any form of alienating behavior can hurt kids both when they're young and as they grow into adults.
Minneapolis psychologist Mindy Mitnick said that in many cases, children mature and begin to understand the complexities of relationships and people, and mending can, and often does, occur. "They can reflect back on their lives and see that things are a lot more complicated than they understood when they were younger," Mitnick said.
But sometimes it's too late. In a tiny number of cases, she said, the parent to which the child has been aligned was so forceful in undermining the relationship with the rejected parent that the bond is severed forever.
Rick, the divorced father in St. Paul, is doing everything in his power to prevent that. "I've pretty much committed to not walking away," he said.
"We seem to be making some progress. My hope is that, as the kids get a little older, they'll develop more of a sense of self, more of an ego, where they can stand up on their own and logically think for themselves. But that's also my fear. When they start to see what's going on, who knows how they're going to react? They could just as easily turn on her, but that doesn't mean they're coming back to me."
Originally published by
Gail Rosenblum • 612-673-7350 • firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, May 2, 2007
By Evelyn Pringle
Washington, DC: On March 7, 2007, Montana's attorney general, Mike McGrath, filed the latest Medicaid fraud lawsuit against Eli Lilly, under the False Claims Act, for illegally promoting the sale of the atypical antipsychotic drug Zyprexa for off-label uses and concealing its link to serious health problems.
Considered to be one of the most effective tools available to combat Medicaid and Medicare fraud, the False Claims Act imposes treble damages and civil penalties on companies that knowingly present false claims for payment to government programs.
To date, drug companies are the largest source of FCA recoveries, totaling $5.7 billion between 2001 and 2006, according to the US Department of Justice.
When the FDA approved Zyprexa in 1996, it was approved only to treat adults with the most serious of mental illnesses, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, because the drug had undergone the required testing and was found safe and effective for those disorders.
Zyprexa was not approved for any other conditions because Lilly could not prove to the FDA that it was safe and effective for any other condition. However, Lilly took this powerful antipsychotic and promoted it for so many unapproved uses that it became the company's number one best-selling product.
"Unapproved" or "off-label" refers to the use of a drug that has not been approved as safe and effective and includes not only treating a condition not listed on the label, but also treating an approved condition for a longer duration of time, or in combination with other drugs, or at a different dosage, or with a different patient population such as children or the elderly.
Public health care programs pay for drugs if the drug is prescribed by a physician as medically necessary, regardless of whether the use is approved or off-label, but drug companies are barred from influencing doctors to prescribe a drug for off-label use.
Under the federal and state False Claim Acts, promoting drugs for off-label use is illegal because it causes the presentation of false claims to public programs when doctors to write prescriptions for uses that they otherwise would not.
In the Montana lawsuit, Mr McGrath alleges that Lilly made Zyprexa the company's top-selling drug by marketing it for use by patients with dementia, depression, autism and other non-approved uses.
According to the complaint, Lilly created a 280-person sales force to promote Zyprexa to long-term care facilities to maximize its off-label use by the elderly. It also says, "Lilly management participated, encouraged and authorized the unlawful payment of illegal kickbacks to physicians in order to continue generating sales of Zyprexa."
This case is unique because it seeks reimbursement on behalf of all Montana citizens who purchased Zyprexa since it came on the market in 1996, including patients who were not on public health care programs, because under the laws of that state, the attorney general can sue on behalf of all consumers and request treble damages and attorneys' fees.
Lilly's fleecing of pubic health care programs through the over-prescribing of Zyprexa demonstrates how greed breeds more greed. First the company set up funnels for tax dollars to pay for the cost of Zyprexa for patients in state institutions and prisons by influencing policy makers in key positions in state governments.
Lilly then went after more tax dollars by infiltrated the nursing home industry to influence doctors to prescribe Zyprexa off-label to elderly citizens for symptoms of dementia who were covered by Medicare.
Next, Lilly recruited kids through corrupted foster care systems across the country by getting doctors to prescribe Zyprexa off-label to children as young as 2, who were covered by public programs for uses such as mood and behavioral disorders, ADD and autism.
But by and far, the major marketing coup was Lilly's ability to compromise a select group of state officials who controlled what are known as drug formularies and had the power to make Zyprexa the first line of treatment for certain conditions for all patients covered by Medicaid and Medicare.
Once that was achieved, since most private insurance companies follow the government's approved drug lists when paying for drugs, Lilly killed 2 birds with one big boulder.
Through this ingenious marketing scheme, Zyprexa became the highest drug expense to state Medicaid budgets all over the country and is now considered to be the drug most to blame for bankrupting Medicaid programs.
Unfortunately, a rarely-mentioned travesty caused by the over-prescribing of this schizophrenia drug, is that an infinite number of people, some as young as 2, have been given a life sentence of mental illness that will disqualify them for employment in a wide variety of fields including law enforcement, the military and the health care industry, to name just a few. After all, employers cannot hire crazy people to handle fire arms or mentally-disturbed healthcare professionals to treat patients.
For 30 years, David Oaks, director of MindFreedom, an international human rights organization, says he has been warning that the psychiatric drug industry would target the general public. "The issue of psychiatric drug fraud today," he says, "is about one's neighbor, co-worker, teacher, friend and family member."
But Mr Oaks says that, as the truth leaks out, the public is becoming more and more outraged over the drugging of our young people.
Attorney Barry Turner, a professor of Law and Ethics in the UK, is also outraged. "That any country that calls itself civilized," he says, "could allow the deliberate stigmatizing of perhaps millions of children followed by giving them drugs that will damage their endocrine systems is appalling."
"The real tragedy," he says, "will be the vast social cost of creating a generation of outcasts, unemployable, living on welfare and perpetuating the myth that everyone is mentally disturbed in one way or another."
Neurologist Dr Fred Baughman, a recognized expert on psychiatric drugs and author of the book, "ADHD Fraud," says the pharmaceutical industry has corrupted doctors in all fields of medicine. "It's not just psychiatry," he says, "the whole medical profession is diagnosing people mentally ill for profit."
Thus far, Lilly has agreed to pay about $1.2 billion to settle cases without any public trials, and by doing so, Lilly was able to use court orders and confidentiality clauses to prevent the litigants from revealing information about the health risks to patients taking drug or doctors prescribing it.
According to Mr Turner, Lilly needed to bury the documents under court orders "to staunch the hemorrhage of evidence that will cause it to pay out possibly the largest FCA penalties in history."
His point was well evidenced in December 2006, when Lilly made a spectacle of itself in a 2-month court battle after some of the sealed documents surfaced in another case and were quoted by reporter Alex Berenson in front-page articles in the New York Times.
The company immediately marched into court to get injunctions against everyone and their brother, with orders to return the documents in an attempt to get them back under seal. However, once the "hemorrhage" began, there was no way to stop it, in large part thanks to the new age of the internet.
As it turns out, Lilly had good reason to worry. With the disclosure of those documents, the public learned that Lilly could have warned the public about the serious health risks of Zyprexa, and countless patients could have been saved. As early as November 2005, FDA Drug Safety Officer Dr David Graham, estimated that Americans suffer 62,000 deaths per year due to off-label use of atypicals, in USA Today.
More recently, during a Senate hearing in February 2007, Dr Graham focused on one sub-population of victims and said that the off-label use of atypicals with nursing home residents kills roughly 15,000 people a year.
For instance, one of the sealed Lilly documents was written 6 years ago by a team of doctors hired by Lilly to assess the diabetes risk associated with Zyprexa. This document proves beyond any doubt that Lilly was aware of the risk and that the doctors even told Lilly that, "unless we come clean on this, it could get much more serious than we might anticipate."
However, these doctors could not have known that Lilly had an ace in the hole and could rely on the court system to suppress their study if the time ever came when people suspected that their diabetes was caused by Zyprexa and sued Lilly.
The fact that Lilly did have that ace in the hole is probably the most alarming revelation that came out during the battle over the release of the Zyprexa documents, at least for people naive enough to still believe there is an open court system in the US.
The underlying cases involved about 26,000 lawsuits, and the judge who presided over the litigation granted Lilly a court order to permanently seal from public view more than 11 million documents that were disclosed in litigation.
The sealed documents substantiated every allegation made by the plaintiffs, including that Lilly knew about Zyprexa's link to the weight gain, high blood sugar levels and diabetes when the drug was approved in 1996, and that Lilly had engaged in an elaborate marketing scheme to sell Zyprexa for off-label uses.
Critics say courts should be barred from sealing documents of this kind which show that a company is concealing the dangers of a drug and allowing patients to be injured and killed in the name of profits.
According to Mr Turner, consumers of pharmaceutical products these days are unprotected because, "apart from tort lawyers and a number of pressure groups, there is currently no viable check on the industry."
"The FDA continues to fail the American people," he says, "and without litigation and critical reporting, this problem would get even worse than it already is."
The Zyprexa debacle proves that out-of-court settlements do nothing to slow off-label sales because Zyprexa is still Lilly's top-selling drug. Paying $1.2 billion to avoid pubic trials is no big deal to Lilly because it could cover that penalty by simply forking over the $1.108 billion from Zyprexa sales in the first quarter of 2007 alone.
In the wake of the latest news about hidden studies on Zyprexa, consumer advocates are calling on Congress to reign in the industry. "We've seen too many cases where drug companies downplayed, hid or 'forgot' their clinical trial data that showed harmful side effects, and patients ultimately suffered," said Bill Vaughan, senior policy analyst for Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports, in a press release.
"Congress has got to put a stop to this gaming of the safety system by the drug companies, and pass real reforms now that make drug-risk information public," he states.
"Patients and their doctors need to know the risks of a drug," Mr Vaughn said, "and Congress has the power to stand up to the drug companies and make that happen."
The US Senate is expected to vote this week on a prescription drug reform bill, and advocacy groups all across the country are calling for strong measures to eliminate the abuses of the industry in putting unsafe products on the market and massively promoting them for off-label use while concealing serious health risks.
According to Lilly's SEC filings, there are about 1,300 Zyprexa personal injury claims still pending, but the filing should have stated, "and counting", because another lawsuit was filed on April 13, 2007, in North Carolina by a woman whose father died of a toxic overdose of Zyprexa while taking the prescribed amount, and this complaint also lists five John Doe defendants for persons who prescribed or administered Zyprexa to her father.?
In addition to Montana, 8 other states have sued Lilly, including Alaska, Mississippi, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, seeking reimbursement for the cost of Zyprexa purchased by Medicaid, along with the cost of past and future medical expenses for patients harmed by Zyprexa.
The defendants named in the Pennsylvania lawsuit also include the other two atypical makers, AstraZeneca for Seroquel and Johnson & Johnson for Risperdal.
For months, Mr Turner has been saying that Lilly is most worried about the FCA fraud cases because they have the potential to cause a major blow to Lilly's stock value which would result in a whole new round of lawsuits filed on behalf of shareholders. Well, it appears that D-Day has arrived, because over a period of 9 days in April 2007, four class-action lawsuits were filed against Lilly and certain officers and directors on behalf of shareholders.
Zyprexa Legal Help
If you have or a loved on has taken Zyprexa and suffered from diabetes or hyperglycemia, please contact a [Zyprexa] lawyer who will evaluate your claim at no charge.