Tag Archives: death of a child

A Little Life

Baby holding toy, Author Asha Lall (CC BY-SA 4.0 International)

WARNING:  Graphic Images

Donald Trump is now the presumed Republican candidate for US President; and — despite Bernie Sanders’ optimism — Hillary Clinton, the likely Democratic candidate.  These are major developments.  One way or another, they will ultimately impact world events.

We watched the story covered from every angle, examined in minute detail.  What we did not see much about, on the evening news, was the death of a toddler in Utah.

Eighteen month old Ethan Antes had been left in the care of his stepfather, Codey Jolley.  The child was found floating facedown in the tub, with trauma to his upper body.

Police have charged Jolley with abuse homicide [2].  Ethan had sustained injuries on two earlier occasions, after being left alone with his stepfather.

While momentous events were unfolding on the national stage, a little life was lost.  We cannot know what impact that little life might have had, given the chance.

Nor can we know what impact all the other lost lives might have had — Jahi Turner or Malachi Golden in North Carolina [3][4], Charlie Brame in Florida [7], Jeida Torres in New York [8], or two unnamed little girls in Oklahoma and Arizona [5][6].

But those lives mattered.  They mattered every bit as much as the lives of politicians and celebrities do.  No little life should be lost.

But Jesus called them to Him and said, ‘Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God’ (Luke 18: 16).

[1]  Fox 13 Now, “Family remembers toddler who may be victim of child abuse homicide” by Kiersten Nunez, 5/3/16, http://fox13now.com/2016/05/03/family-remembers-toddler-who-may-be-victim-of-child-abuse-homicide.

[2]  Fox 13 Now, “Millcreek man faces child abuse charges; 18-month-old has died” by Mark Green, 4/30/16, updated 5/1/16, http://fox13now.com/2016/04/30/millcreek-man-faces-child-abuse-charges-16-month-old-not-expected-to-survive.

[3]  Fox 8, “Stepfather arrested in NC in death of 2-year-old”, 4/19/16,  http://myfox8.com/2016/04/19/stepfather-arrested-in-nc-in-death-of-2-year-old.

[4]  Fox 46, “Mother charged in death of young son, day after stepfather charged”, 11/2/15, updated 11/3/15, http://wwww.fox46charlotte.com/news/local-news/43529838-story.

[5]  News OK, “Stepfather arrested in death of 2-year-old in Norman” by Jane Cannon, 8/6/15, http://newsok.com/article/5438504.

[6]  Fox 10, “Police investigating death of young child; stepfather charged” by Brian Pryor, 6/5/15, http://www.fox10phoenix.com/news/2480066-story.

[7]  NY Daily News, “3-year-old Florida girl, raped, beaten by new stepfather before death: police” by Rachelle Blidner, 11/26/14, http://nydailynews.com/girl-3-dies-raped-beaten-stepfather-police-article-1.2025585.

[8]  NY Daily News, “Social workers gave apartment the ‘OK’ day before Brooklyn girl was beaten to death by stepdad at homeless shelter” by Caitlin Nolan, Greg Smith, Tina Moore, 10/20/14, http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-crime/man-beat-brooklyn-girl-death-claims-escape-punishment-article-1.1980588.

FOR MORE OF MY ARTICLES ON POVERTY, POLITICS, AND MATTERS OF CONSCIENCE CHECK OUT MY BLOG A LAWYER’S PRAYERS AT: http://www.alawyersprayers.com

Advertisements

11 Comments

Filed under Child Abuse, Christianity, Emotional Abuse, Law, Neglect, Physical Abuse, Politics, Religion, Sexual Abuse

American Horror Story

WARNING:  Graphic Images

A three year old boy was beaten to death by his mother and her boyfriend this week. Prosecutors have called his death an American horror story.

Scotty McMillan was tortured for three days by Jillian Tait and Gary Fellenbaum [1]. The child was hung by his feet, and struck with a whip. He was tied to a chair, punched, and beaten with a metal rod. His head was put through a wall.

The nurses who ultimately saw the little boy’s wounds wept. Scotty was gone by then.

We can discuss statistics. The rate of physical abuse is up. Three quarters of the most seriously abused children seen in hospitals in 2009 were on Medicaid, suggesting that poverty is a major stressor on families [2].

We can discuss failures by the system. Scotty’s six year old brother, also regularly abused, attended school. Despite a legal duty to report suspected abuse, no teacher or school counselor contacted authorities.

We can discuss spirituality and moral responsibility. Surely, this was a violation of the laws of God and man. Any mother’s natural instinct would have been to protect her children, rather than inflict harm on them.

We may never know what led Tait and Fellenbaum to act in this inhuman manner. Were they once abused themselves or witnesses to abuse? Were they psychopaths without empathy or sadists excited by the pain of their victims? Whatever the answer, nothing excuses their actions.

Ultimately, the rest of us must remain vigilant for the signs of abuse in children, even those not our own. We may be their only hope.

A list of 10 frequent signs of child abuse can be found at the Safe Horizon website http://www.safehorizon.org/page/10-signs-of-child-abuse-58.html.

[1] NBC 10, “Mom, Boyfriend Beat Boy, 3, to Death inside Chester County Home: Prosecutors” by Dan Stamm, 11/6/14, http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Chester-County-Child-Abuse-Murder-281806151.html.

[2] CBS News, “Serious Injuries from Child Abuse on Rise, Especially in Infants” by Ryan Jaslow, 10/1/12, http://www.cbsnews.com/news/serious-injuries-from-child-abuse-on-rise-especially-in-infants/

FOR MORE OF MY ARTICLES ON POVERTY, POLITICS, AND MATTERS OF CONSCIENCE CHECK OUT MY BLOG A LAWYER’S PRAYERS AT: http://www.alawyersprayers.com

Leave a comment

Filed under Child Abuse, Emotional Abuse, Justice, Law, Neglect, Physical Abuse, Poverty, Religion