• Challenge to the DCF status quo
    March 07,2014
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    Item: “Records filed by Vermont State Police investigators indicate the mother wasn’t at her College Street home in Poultney when the toddler was fatally injured.” Who placed the 911 call?

    Item: “Eastman . . . was placed on probation and ordered to participate in violence counseling for anger management” after she was “charged with abusing her daughter in March 2013 after Dezirae was treated for broken bones in both legs.” Anger management programs don’t work.

    Item: “Eastman was also convicted in 2008 of a felony count of lewd and lascivious conduct. ... She received an 18-month-to-seven-year sentence which was all suspended and she was placed on probation.” Vermont judges have an unfortunate habit of letting the offender off with a slap on the wrist and a meaningless promise to do better.

    Item: “We just want to know what might be going on that’s hampering their ability to protect children.” We need caseworkers who can view the world through a child’s eyes.

    Item: (editorial, Wed. Feb. 26) “... budget cuts reaching back into the last decade have taken a serious toll on staffing at the Agency of Human Services . . .” No excuse! Don’t make this a political football to squeeze more federal dollars out of an already obstinate Congress. Vermont should use its own money for its own people. First priority: hire people who are fully present to what they’re doing.

    Item: “She said, ‘Oh, all kids do that,’ and that was it.” A stunningly callous statement. Did she not know what she was saying? It is a fact that small children cling to safety, crying, in the presence of what they perceive as a clear and present danger.

    “And a little child shall lead them ...”

    JULIA PURDY

    North Chittenden
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