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6492: Taking care of our children in the US (fwd)




From: Sabine Albert <sabinea@yahoo.com>

It was extremely sad to read about Stanley Murat.  At
13, he was nothing but a baby and had done nothing to
deserve such a tragic end.  My heart goes out to his
mother who must be consumed by guilt.  No words I can
offer will take away her pain.

--This child, like so many of our Haitian children,
suffered because he was the victim of neglect at his
school" said Jacotte Previllus.  . Her words,
repeated by commentators of Haitian radio this week,
are indicative of very deep and very real feelings of
disenfranchisement in the Haitian community.--

According to this article, Stanley Murat had his share
of trouble at home and in school.  "The system did not
help us," said his mother who had not been able to
attend any meetings with the school on behalf of her
son because of a tight work schedule. 

Whose responsibility was Stanley?  Who was responsible
for parenting this child?  Who was responsible for
comforting this child in his moment of grief and
disciplining him when need be?  Who was his guardian? 


This is what scares me.  When have we, as a society,
developed such dependence on "the system" that we are
asking "the system" to enter our homes and take
control of our children.  Do these people in Florida
not understand that there are serious privacy issues
in question?  If Stanley were a ward of the state he
would probably be alive - but is that what we would
like to happen to the other troubled children we have
in our community.

When "the system" takes responsibility for
disciplining children of color in this country, they
don't end up on a shrink's couch looking at inkblots. 
They dont end up in a reformatory boot-camp like on
the day time talk shows were they come back a week
later crying and apologizing to their flabbergasted
parents.  The end up in foster care or in juvy-hall or
in the case of Haitian children, getting greeted by
Michelle Karshen at Mayigate looking for a second
chance.

When will we start to take responsibility for our
selves?  

As a new community, we have a problem.  Our children
are growing up in the US to rules and customs that
many of us are not familiar with.  We, as a community
need to take responsibility for our own.  Those who
know and understand need to guide those who don't. 
Those who are receiving moneys to run the few centers
on behalf of the disenfranchised in our community need
to be more accessible to the community and address
issues of direct impact in people's lives.  



=====
Sabine Albert

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