Thursday, May 26, 2011
FROM THE DRIVER'S SEAT - MAY 26th, 2011
DATELINE: ASKING GOD TO PLEASE BLESS THE CHILD – As yet another ‘private special education treatment facility’ is under investigation for abuse of the children in its care and can take its place among the residential treatment centers to come under scrutiny, one has to ask when something will be done to protect the childre, when will someone start to listen to their little voices. If even one of the many allegations are true, the doors should be slammed shut and the owners of the facility locked away for life. That, however, seems unlikely… these are crimes that no one ever seems to be held to account for. How the hell does that happen? I build a fucking doghouse without the proper building permits and I am in a shitload of trouble, yet rampant abuse of children happens on a daily basis and everyone is suddenly blind?
Case in point: The Kingsclear Training School in Fredericton, NB, where it is alleged that Karl Toft, who ran the joint, sexually abused upwards of 700 boys in his care. Admittedly this was not a voluntary program for the boys there, and it was nothing more than a government-sponsored Youth Detention Center, but the same standards should apply, and the same outrage should be heard) He did finally face trial and was found guilty of 34 counts of sexual assault, indecent acts, buggery … he is in a halfway house and is allowed to roam without supervision. He is one of the most heinous pedophiles in Canadian history, but he had help, in the form of the local RCMP. Yes, the boys would run away, would try to escape, and when they were found, S/Sgt Clifford McCann would have his turn at them, then return them back to the school for more from Toft. If they told their parents, the police and Toft would deny anything, saying it was part of the child’s attempts to act out. The facility is closed, but there was no escape for the boys there, and there has been no justice for the vast majority of them. My personal disappointment in the integrity of those of the highest offices of the RCMP where this could have been corrected is immeasurable. McCann has never been held to account for his part in this tragedy.
Case in point: The Elan School in Poland, Maine. This was a private educational facility where parents paid huge amounts of money to get their children ‘help’ for additions, for behavior issues, for learning issues. Thankfully Elan School is now closed, though that victory for the victims of the school was not easily won. The abuse, the humiliation, the hell that children were exposed to behind those doors can never be undone. The only hope now is that lessons can be learned, and learned quickly.
The list is huge, and I won’t even start on the educational facilities run by church groups *glares at that fucking asshole in Rome* because that would just get my blood pressure to high. The truly sad thing is there ARE good places out there to get help for your children. That’s what every parent wants – the best chance and the best help for their children. How the hell are they supposed to know what to do now? How do we know which facility is genuinely there for the benefit and wellbeing of the child, to help provide them with a better chance in the future? They look just the same on the outside as the other ones, they offer the same promises and tout all sorts of certifications and qualifications, but how the hell can any of their claims be confirmed?
It is long overdue that a proper system is set up for these fly-by-night assholes to be caught. They are sick, disgusting predators who have found a way to access an endless supply of victims. Proper monitoring, from agencies outside the community are an absolute necessity. Mechanisms have to be in place for the child to seek help when help is needed while inside the walls. These kids have already got enough to deal with, they have challenges and nightmares and baggage most of us cannot even begin to imagine, and they are vulnerable even before they enter into one of these facilities. They also have the added burden of being children with issues, and are therefore not credible, not to their parents, not to the police, not the a judge, so the disease runs rampant, and hundreds of children are abused. Yes, the majority of these are privately funded, yes, the parents pay many many dollars to have their children there… parents will do damned near anything if they believe their child’s life hangs in the balance. These bastards know that, play on that, and use that fear to get even more money, even more control, even more opportunity to abuse their authority. Absolute transparency with regards to the qualifications of the people within the institute is required. Absolute transparency about the programs, how they are run, what is done within the walls, is an absolute requirement in order to protect both the children AND the care-givers. Why is this not happening? Money? How much does it cost to have all these children, when they are finally free, needing medical, emotional, psychological and abuse treatment or worse, incarceration or commitment as an adult? The cost of proper measures within the facilities is nothing but a drop in the bucket. Privacy issues, you argue? Fuck that bullshit. Security? Yeah, you already know my answer to that as well. It can, it should, and it must be done to protect the children.
For the children involved in this shit, the least we can do is offer justice and a promise that it won't happen ever again. God bless each and every one of you for what you have endured at the hands of people in positions of extreme trust and authority. For the parents of these children, my heart goes out to you, because there is no burden greater than the belief that your actions caused your own child to suffer. Sadly, for the parents of children with special needs, with behavioral issues, with learning and social challenges, the nightmare that this could happen to your child still exists and will exist until someone steps up to the plate and demands definitive structure, regulation and accountability on all levels.