Collier County nurse alerts deputies to
Child Abuse, prevents decapitation
NAPLES, FL – A nurse at Palmetto Elementary in Collier County tipped off deputies to an awful child abuse case.
While there are more than 3,000 reports of child abuse cases each year, according to Children’s Advocacy Center, it still shocks residents when these crimes happen against children living in Southwest Florida.
Christina Breen said she can’t begin to imagine what kind of person. “As a mom it hits home the worst,” Breen said. “It’s heartbreaking.”
Collier County deputies said Ordene Christie is the kind of person who would harm a child. Christie, 50, is accused of beating three kids under her care with a belt, stick and machete after they attempted to obtain food from the kitchen.
She even threatened to “chop off their hands and head.”
Her arrest report said the children tried to procure the food because they are never full. All three children, who are ages 7, 8 and 9, are underweight. The youngest weighs 41 pounds.
“I can’t even think about that,” Monica Thonday said, a neighbor. “I don’t know, I have no idea — that’s insane.
A nurse at Palmetto Elementary ultimately saved their lives. She noticed the bruising and proceeded to report it to deputies.
“It is comforting knowing people are looking out for children,” Breen said, “and are watching out for these things.”
The district policy states employees are required to report student abuse or neglect if they suspect — just like the nurse did. All staff members are required to train with the Department of Children and Family Services on identifying abuse.
“You don’t know what someone’s mindset is,” Thonday said. “You don’t know what they’re going to do to your kids. You can’t trust everybody.”
If you know of or suspect child abuse, call the Florida Abuse Hotline. It can be reached at 1-800-96 ABUSE (800-962-2873). The agency is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Caller information is kept confidential.
ARDMORE, OK – Carter County Sheriff Chris Bryant said an investigation into a child abuse case which began August 1 via the Dickson Police Department is still underway.
The investigation is now being conducted by the Carter County Sheriff’s Office.
“There was a two year old and a four-year-old inside the home,” Bryant said. “The conditions inside the house were dilapidated, very bad conditions. The house had lots of feces, animal feces, and no running water.” Bryant said Dickson Police sent the two-year-old child to the hospital. That child was later airlifted for medical care. The other child was treated by a local doctor, Bryant said. The children have been placed with a foster family and their medical needs are being addressed.
“The child who was airlifted was released to a foster family,” Bryant said. “He is mobile, moving around laughing and talking.“
Bryant said the children are the biological children of the male subject in the case. Bryant confirmed charges have been filed on both the biological father and spouse.
“This right here has been the worst we have ever seen,” Bryant said. “It’s very disheartening, as a father myself. It has been very difficult for everyone that has worked on this. No child deserves this. This is unacceptable.” Bryant confirmed both subjects remain in custody as of Friday morning . Bond was set for the male subject in the amount of $1 million. Bond has been reduced for the female subject to $75,000.
“This was an issue that Dickson PD had been involved with early on,” Bryant said. The family had been previously investigated by DHS as well, according to Bryant. “We want to offer assistance to any agency having these issues. We want to make sure these things are handled correctly and taken care of swiftly. We want to help those children who don’t have a voice for themselves.” Bryant said more charges may be added as the investigation is still ongoing.
While investigators are looking into whether the female subject may have participated in the abuse of the children, Bryant said knowing the abuse is being perpetrated and not reporting or protecting the children is just as reprehensible. “She didn’t do much to stop it, from what we’re understanding,” Bryant said. “You’re just as guilty if you know this is happening and don’t try to stop it. We would encourage anyone out there who has information about any kind of abuse whatsoever going on, please call us and let us help.”
Bryant said he waited to discuss the case with the public or the media until he could be sure he could present precise information. “We want to make sure that what we’re reporting is 100 percent factual before we discuss it,” Bryant said. “When you have children or infants at stake here, we want to protect the integrity of the case.”
Gardens cops who saved choking baby at mall are ‘angels,’ mom says
PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL – Two Palm Beach Gardens police officers are heroes to a panicked mom whose 14-month-old daughter turned blue while choking on a chicken nugget at The Gardens Mall two weeks ago.
Lucia Graham has been eating solid food — and a lot of it — since she was 9 months old, but on that afternoon, the chicken nugget she was chomping on got wedged in her throat, mom Ana Graham said. The Wellington mother of two could tell right away that something was wrong.
“On her second bite, I noticed she looked at me with her eyes wide open. She started turning red,” she said.
She yanked Lucia from her stroller and patted her on the back like the pediatrician taught her, but to no avail. Lucia started turning blue.
Then, “like angels from heaven,” two Palm Beach Gardens police officers who had been sitting across the food court appeared, she said.
Officer Robert Ayala, who had been assigned to the mall July 21, saw Ana Graham “frantically” get up and go to the stroller minutes after the family sat down. He ran up and grabbed the baby, put her face down on his left hand and struck her upper back with his palm a few times. Then he swept her mouth with his finger.
The stubborn chicken nugget remained stuck until Ayala forcefully patted little Lucia on her back again. That’s when she finally spewed out the mushy nugget.
As the ordeal was unfolding, Officer Rafael Guadalupe immediately got on his radio to call for Palm Beach Gardens Fire Rescue and talked to Ana Graham to try to keep her calm.
Ayala said he usually likes to walk around the mall so that people see him in uniform as a crime deterrent. He was at the food court only because Guadalupe was there for lunch.
“It was just the right place at the right time,” he said.
Palm Beach Gardens police undergo CPR and first aid training — including how to respond to choking adults and infants — at least every other year, department spokesman Maj. Paul Rogers said. Ayala credits his training for his quick response.
“This thing happened so fast, you didn’t have time to react. It’s just like muscle memory,” said Ayala, a father of three.
The Palm Beach Gardens City Council honored Ayala and Guadalupe Thursday night. Ayala previously received a life-saving award for forming a human chain with other officers to save two firefighters who got trapped in a rip-current effect as they attempted to rescue a young man who drowned in a spillway while wake-skating.
As for Lucia, paramedics checked her out as a precaution. The scare didn’t stop her from finishing her lunch.
Lucia’s 2 1/2-year-old brother, William, unfazed by the incident, continued eating his chicken and french fries.
Dad Curt Graham got a very long text message while he was at work, “which is never a good thing.” He called his wife, who was shaken up as she recounted what happened.
He’s “eternally grateful for the fast action,” he said.
I had enough, I’m done, and I turned and walked away.
“What the.. ? Oh this is real good”, as I looked at the dark hallway, “now they’re sure going to think you’ve lost it.”
“Now I know I didn’t imagine that”, as my eyes searched the hallway, I realized there was a big, heavy door, that was locked and chained only a few feet from me on my right. I moved as quietly as possible and leaned closer to the door… something touched me on the right shoulder and as I jerked around, a hand was reaching for my throat!
My eyes bugged out of my head like binoculars and my jaw hurt from trying to scream; all the while water was flying all over the bathroom as I was attempting to back-paddle away from the cut-off hand.
Just as I saw the broomstick holding the glove up, I heard Frank’s laughter.
I was sitting straight-up in bed, looking around and wanting to cry, but I couldn’t help but bust out laughing, and shaking my head, “That Frank is in for it when I see him.”
When we were young boys, we never missed an opportunity to scare or surprise the other, or even our friends. We never missed “Thriller”, “The Twilight Zone”, or any of the long list of scary movies, and the above good memory was after we watched “The Hand”, and Frank caught me in the bathtub.
Needless to say, Frank got my attention and reminded me that I still had an unfinished job to do: To make this world a better place for all the Children!
So with that said, I dedicate this to Frank.
The Liebster Award
If you have been nominated for The Liebster Award AND YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT, write a blog post about the Liebster award in which the Rules are simple as follows:
Dog, because they are so loyal and great companions.
3. Do you work . . if so, where (being a full-time mommy counts as work btw)?
I am retired, although I work very close to full time or even more at times as a Child Advocate, supporting Veterans, and senior citizens.
4. If you could go exploring anywhere where would that be?
The Great Barrier Reef
5. Your biggest regret?
6. How many siblings do you have? What are your thoughts on that number?
Two, and it is as good a number as any, I had an Uncle and Aunt that had 15 Children.
7. What decade do you really belong in?
Right where I am at. I started out with The Killer-Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Elvis, Buddy Holley, Otis Redding, B.B. King, lived through The Beatles, lived with The Rolling Stones(Since they still make music), Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Ozzy, Ritchie Blackmore, Charlie Daniels, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Social Distortion, Bon Jovi, Rammstein, Slipknot, Brooks and Dunn, Toby Keith, George Strait, Garth Brooks, Dwight Yoakum, Volbeat, etc..
8. Would you rather live in the Arctic or Antarctic Circle?
If I had to, I would pick the warmer climate, and the one with land to walk on so I could get back to Texas, so The Arctic.
9. What is your favorite artistic medium?
Tools, Paint, original parts, and custom parts to build War Horses(Ford Mustangs) and HOGs(Harley-Davidsons). But also woodworking tools, and good wood.
10. Camping or hotels?
Both, I’m a farm boy and love the out-of-doors, but I also love being around people and the big city at times also.
Experts offer advice that will help you raise a well-behaved child – instead of a brat.
By Dulce Zamora
Parenting is no walk in the park, especially on the days when your little angel, whether he’s 6 or 16, decides to act like a demon.
If it’s the temper tantrum in the toy store over the latest video game, or the daily fight over math homework, or the food fight in a restaurant on Friday night, parents have a choice: To react in a way that will only make matters worse when the bell rings for round two, or respond like the calm, cool, and collected parents we see on TV shows like Nanny 911 – after weeks of live-in, televised therapy.
What is the secret to their success, other than public humiliation?
“Overall, with any scenario, the worst thing a parent can do that helps bratty behavior blossom is to not set clear expectations and not have consequences to a child’s behavior,” says Jenn Berman, PhD, a psychologist in private practice in Beverly Hills who specializes in family therapy.
The TV Toy
It’s Saturday morning, you’re doing laundry, the kids are watching their morning cartoons, and it happens: Your middle child sees the toy of his dreams on TV, starts in with the begging, and doesn’t let up.
Brat-building response: “A lot of kids see things on TV – games, food, or dolls – and then they start nagging until they get it,” says Berman. “If you run to the store to buy your child exactly what they want, then you’ve taught them that nagging is an effective tool for getting their way.”
Angel-building response: “You can say, ‘It’s a cool toy. Let me find out how much it is, and I can help you save your allowance for it,'” says Berman. “You are teaching your child to work toward a goal – instead of giving in. It helps the child learn about goals, saving money, and it’s a good response for both parent and child.”
You’re having your boss over for dinner on Friday night, and while you begged your sister to watch the kids for the evening, no such luck. Is it time to start bribing them to be quiet with expensive sneakers or the latest handbag from Dolce & Gabbana?
Brat-building response: “Parents often try to buy good behavior by getting their kids expensive gifts,” says Berman. “And then they say, ‘I don’t understand why she isn’t better behaved? I get her everything she wants!'” These cool gifts lose their meaning and the child feels entitled and less well behaved.”
Angel-building response: “Allow the child the opportunity to earn what you give them, and set limits around their expectations,” says Berman. “Tell them, ‘You can get one pair of shoes within this amount of money.’ Teach them early on how to make choices.”
Her bags are packed and she’s ready to go to the sleepover, except for one thing: She forgot to ask for your permission.
Brat-building behavior: Even though she’s screaming bloody murder, if you let her get away with it once, she’ll do it again, and again and again. “You’ve taught your child that screaming long enough will get her what she wants, and now you’ve created your own private hell,” Berman tells WebMD.
Angel-building behavior: “As a parent, it is always considerate and helpful to let a child know your thinking, so your child knows why you don’t want her to go to the sleepover, so it doesn’t seem like you are being unreasonable,” says Berman. “But if you shared your reasoning, and she keeps yelling, you have to stand your ground.”
The Divide and Conquer
You’ve been very clear and given your son a decisive NO when he asked, “Can I go to the birthday party, puh-lease?” His tactic? To ask dad.
Brat-building behavior: “When a child gets ‘no’ from mom, and ‘yes’ from dad, it teaches them they can divide and conquer,” says Berman. “They learn that they can divide their parents and fool them, and if they are manipulative enough, they can get what they want.”
Angel-building behavior: “Enforce in advance,” says Berman. “Tell a child that if you ask mom and get ‘no,’ and then you ask dad and get ‘yes,’ the ‘no’ still stands, and your punishment for asking us both is xyz.”
The Screaming in the Store
We’ve all seen it: The screaming child in the toy store. He wants the latest video game, and he’s not shutting up until he has it.
Brat-building response: “If you give in, you teach your child that when he acts like a brat he can get what he wants,” says Dan Kindlon, author of Too Much of a Good Thing: Raising Children of Character in an Indulgent Age. “You’re reinforcing his bratty behavior.”
Angel-building response: “There are two ways to approach it,” says Kindlon, who teaches child psychology at Harvard University.
First, plan ahead, and second, plan a response.
“Make a deal with them beforehand – you are going to buy them something and it’s only going to cost $5,” says Kindlon. “Or tell them, ‘I’m going shopping for your cousin and this is not for you.’ Give them structure beforehand so they’re not caught off guard. Then, if they still explode in the store, ignore them, say you are not going to listen anymore. Then you leave the store and take them with you.”
The Car Ride
You have 300 miles in front of you when your youngest explodes in a temper tantrum that rivals the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius.
Brat-building response: “If you just start yelling and screaming at her, it’s not going to help,” Kindlon tells WebMD. “And a major mistake most parents make is to give the child an ultimatum, like ‘If you keep this up you’re not going to watch TV when you get home.'”
But even though their tantrum continues ad nauseam, the TV goes on when the family gets home because the parent is beaten down.
“This teaches a child that the best way to get what they want is to behave like a brat,” says Kindlon.
Angel-building response: “Plan ahead,” says Kindlon “Bring snacks, games, and things to keep them entertained in the car. If that doesn’t work, help them understand the consequences of their behavior. Again, with the ultimatum, if you use one, stick to it: ‘If you don’t stop behaving this way, you don’t get to watch TV when you get home.'”
The Lack of Respect
Your kid just called you a name, or talked back, or showed you some all-around lack of what Aretha Franklin likes to call R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
Brat-building response: “If you sink to their level and use the same language back at them, you’re modeling bad behavior,” says Kindlon. “You’re teaching them the wrong way to deal with something and someone when you’re upset.”
Angel-building response: “Dock a kid fifty cents on their allowance when they use a tone of voice or an inappropriate word you don’t like,” says Kindlon. “Maintain your cool. Show mature behavior, and give them consequences for their bad behavior.”
You just sat down to dinner with your husband and three kids at a local restaurant when the outbursts start.
Brat-building behavior: “What happens is there is talk of punishment and threats at the restaurant, like ‘I’m going to take way your play date on Sunday,’ or ‘No TV for a week,'” says Paul Donahue, PhD, director of Child Development Associates in Scarsdale, N.Y. “Punishments don’t work as well as a rewards, or the threats are idle because the kid knows that the parent won’t take away their TV.”
Angel-building response: “Before you get to the restaurant, tell your child what you expect in terms of behavior,” says Donahue. “If your behavior is good, here is what privilege will come your way, whether its dessert at the restaurant, or that they get to watch a movie when they get home.”
Kids need to understand that their privileges are based on their behavior, explains Donahue.
While I’m not suggesting you bribe your kids or take them to Toys ‘R’ Us because they sit at the dinner table, they need to understand that the things they enjoy are privileges and they can have those things if they behave well,” says Donahue. “Kids have to have an understanding that good behavior is expected, and if they behave well, good things will come their way.”
The Morning Routine
It’s hard enough for you to get out of bed at 6 a.m., let alone get your two kids out of bed. Should you let them sleep late, just this once?
Brat-building response: “Sometimes kids come downstairs in the morning, they watch TV, they get around to eating their breakfast, they get dressed, the process gets delayed, mom or dad gets frustrated and angry, and maybe they make the bus, maybe the don’t,” says Donahue. Better yet, the whole routine starts over again the next day.
Angel-building response: “Kids shouldn’t come down and watch TV or play a video game first thing in the morning,” says Donahue. “It’s like saying you get to have this fun experience before you get dressed, brush your teeth, or do your work. You have to take care of your responsibilities first.”
As your child gets older and wiser, his pile of homework grows – as does the frustration you feel in making sure he gets it all done.
Brat-building response: “We want our kids to do well in school, and yet we are not clear that homework takes precedent over a play date or after-school activities,” says Donahue. “So then the homework gets left until after dinner, and then it’s diminishing returns: they’re tired, and it’s getting much more difficult to get them to do it, and they don’t have incentive to get it done.”
Angel-building response: “There needs to be a reasonable structure for homework,” says Donahue. “Say to your kids, ‘At 3 p.m. you get to play, but at 4 p.m., you sit down and do your homework.’ It’s especially important in most families that homework get done before dinner. Set the structure in place so when they are older and they have more activities, they know they still need to get homework done before dinner.”
No matter the scenario, here are tips for dealing with parenting pitfalls:
Mean business. “Speak to your child like you mean business, and send clear messages when you’re communicating with your kids,” says Donahue.
Stick to your guns. “The toughest thing is to have endurance,” says Donahue. “Stick to your guns, even when the kids are whining and pushing your buttons. Kids know that if we have a history of not sticking to what we say, they’re going to push and push. Have the endurance and the strength and the energy to keep up with them.”
Plan ahead. “Parents have to do a better job of helping kids to anticipate the behavior that is expected of them beforehand,” Donahue tells WebMD. “When you’re in the middle of a situation, you’re busy and rushing and don’t think about it, and then things can get out of control.”
Take care of yourself. “Sleep more, exercise, and take care of yourself,” says Donahue. “Parenting is extremely exhausting work.”