Category Archives: Indifference

Baby pulls cocaine from woman’s shirt during traffic stop

DAYTONA BEACH, FL – Deputies say an 11-month-old boy pulled a baggie full of cocaine from inside the shirt of a woman during a traffic stop near Daytona Beach

Volusia County Sheriff’s deputies stopped a car Sunday for traffic violations.

The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports a K-9 unit arrived to check the car and deputies asked the occupants to step outside with the baby. No drugs were found inside the car, but as the deputy handed a driver’s license to Candyce Harden, the baby reached inside her shirt and pulled out the baggie.

It’s unclear who the baby belongs to.

An arrest report says deputies found three more baggies and pills without a prescription.

Harden faces multiple charges including child abuse and possession of drugs. It’s not known whether she hired a lawyer

Florida Child abuse hotline ignored 2 calls before 5-year-old Killed

Father killed Child
John Jonchuck

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Just 12 hours before a man fatally threw his 5-year-old daughter off a Tampa Bay bridge last month, his own attorney called the state’s child abuse hotline, warning that John Jonchuck was suffering from mental delusions.

But according to document released by Florida child welfare officials Monday, the operator didn’t refer the call to investigators because she didn’t think the child was in danger.

One week earlier, another friend alleged Jonchuck’s daughter Phoebe had been physically abused in the past. But that call also failed to get to investigators because the operator hung up before she got Jonchuck’s address.

The lapses have prompted the Department of Children and Families to change hotline protocol. Going forward, if a caregiver seems to be experiencing a psychotic episode, a child protective investigator will be required to visit within four hours.

Will the U.S. Government Stand Alone in Rejecting Children’s Rights?

Sun Feb 08, 2015 at 05:56 PM PS
by Lawrence S Wittner
http://www.dailykos.com/blog/Lawrence%20S%20Wittner

Within a matter of months, the U.S. government seems likely to become the only nation in the world still rejecting the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Sometimes called “the most ratified human rights treaty in history,” the Convention has been ratified by 195 nations, leaving the United States and South Sudan as the only holdouts. South Sudan is expected to move forward with ratification later this year. But there is no indication that the United States will approve this children’s defense treaty.

In the words of Human Rights Watch, the Convention establishes “global standards to ensure the protection, survival, and development of all children, without discrimination. Countries that ratify the treaty pledge to protect children from economic and sexual exploitation, violence, and other forms of abuse, and to advance the rights of children to education, health care, and a decent standard of living.”

It is hard to imagine why the U.S. government, which often lectures other countries about their human rights violations, should object to these humane standards for the protection of children. The administrations of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush played an important role in drafting the treaty, which was signed by the U.S. government in 1995. Although the U.S. Senate has never ratified (or even considered ratifying) the pact, U.S. ratification is endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Association of University Women, the American Baptist Churches, the American Bar Association, the Catholic Health Association of the United States, the Child Welfare League of America, Church Women United, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, Kiwanis, the National Education Association, the United Food & Commercial Workers, the United Methodist Church, and about a hundred other organizations.

What, then, is the problem? The problem is that treaty ratification requires support from two-thirds of the U.S. Senate―a level of support that has been lacking thanks to Republican Party opposition and, especially, the fierce hostility of the conservative Republican base, including groups like the Christian Coalition, the Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, and the John Birch Society.

A key allegation of conservatives is that the Convention “poses a serious threat to parental rights.” In fact, though, as Human Rights Watch observes, the treaty “refers repeatedly to the rights and responsibilities of parents to raise and provide guidance for their children.” Indeed, 19 articles of the treaty explicitly recognize the importance of parents and family in children’s lives.

In addition, conservatives argue that the Convention, as an international treaty, would override the Constitution of the United States, as well as federal and state legislation, thereby destroying American sovereignty. And, in fairness to the critics, it must be acknowledged that some current American laws do clash with the Convention’s child protection features. For example, in the United States, children under the age of 18 can be jailed for life, with no possibility of parole. Also, as Human Rights Watch notes, “exemptions in U.S. child labor laws allow children as young as 12 to be put to work in agriculture for long hours and under dangerous conditions.” Moreover, the treaty prohibits cruel and degrading punishment of children―a possible source of challenge to the one-third of U.S. states that still allow corporal punishment in their schools. But most U.S. laws are thoroughly in line with the Convention.

Perhaps the underlying objection of conservatives is that the Convention calls for government action to promote the health, education, and welfare of children. And conservatives oppose such action for everyone, including children, often quite effectively. Thus, despite America’s vast wealth, it ranks near the bottom of industrialized nations in child poverty (one out of six children), the gap between rich and poor, low birth weight, infant mortality, child victims of gun violence, and the number of children in jail.

Given the conservative opposition to the Convention, it is ironic that, even if it were ratified by the U.S. Senate, it would have little immediate impact upon the United States. As Amnesty International points out, “the Convention contains no controlling language or mandates,” and “no treaty can `override’ our Constitution.” Any changes in U.S. law would be implemented through federal and state legislation in a timeframe determined by the U.S. legislative process. Nor would any changes in American laws necessarily occur, for the U.S. government generally ratifies human rights treaties with the qualification that they not override existing American laws. In addition, “the United States can reject or attach clarifying language to any specific provision of the Convention.”

Even so, U.S. ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child would have an important effect on the treatment of children in the United States, just as the ratification of the Convention has affected behavior in other lands, for it would establish agreed-upon guidelines. Like other human rights treaties, the Convention would set humane standards that can be invoked in calling for appropriate government action. Kul Chandra Gautam, a former Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations, has termed it “a moral compass, a framework of accountability against which all societies can assess their treatment of the new generations.”

Praising the treaty, Anthony Lake, UNICEF Executive Director and a former White House National Security Advisor, stated recently: “The central message of the Convention is that every child deserves a fair start in life. What can be more important than that?”

Unfortunately, some Americans don’t think giving children “a fair start in life” is important at all.

Dr. Lawrence Wittner :
www.lawrenceswittner.com
is Professor of History emeritus at SUNY/Albany. His latest book is a satirical novel about university corporatization and rebellion, What’s Going On at UAardvark?

Missouri Felon Beats 2-year-old

Man Abused Child
Shaquille Stevens

GRANDVIEW, Mo. – Shaquille Stevens, 22, of Grandview, Mo., was arrested Friday and faces two counts of child abuse.

On Jan. 20, officers responded to the 12000 block of Lemon Tree Lane on a report of child abuse. When they arrived, two women told authorities the 2-year-old victim was not acting normal and was lethargic.

According to court documents, they said the victim appeared to have been beaten with a leather belt across the torso, hit in the head and had some scrapes that were scabbed over.

The victim’s mother told authorities she left the child with her boyfriend, Stevens, while she was at work. She received a text from Stevens that said he had spanked the victim, and she didn’t think anything of it.

According to court documents, the victim’s mother said Stevens told her he spanked the victim with a belt. When she arrived home, she saw the victim lying in bed with a bruised face. Stevens told her the victim also fell down the stairs. The victim’s mother said when she pulled the sheet down she saw welts and cuts all over the victim’s body.

When she told Stevens they needed to take the victim to the E.R., Stevens did not want to get in trouble for causing the injuries.

According to court documents, Stevens told officers the victim sustained their injuries after they fell down the front stairs and possibly from playing with a dog.

Stevens has a criminal history. He was found guilty of second degree robbery in Cass County in 2010, of child abuse in Belton, Mo., (on the municipal level) in 2010, and possession of a controlled substance in Jackson County in 2014.

Stevens is being held on a $100,000 bond. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015.