WARNING: Graphic Images
Another house of horrors was uncovered this week, this time in Riverside, CA. Thirteen siblings were found emaciated, living in dark and stomach-churning conditions – several shackled to their beds – in a suburban tract home that to all outward appearances seemed normal .
David and Louise Turpin are being charged with dozens of counts of torture, child abuse, and abuse of dependent adults. Their children range in age from 2 y.o. to 29 y.o.
Journals by the children have been recovered documenting the torture which included starvation, beatings, chaining, repeated strangulation, and refusal to allow the children to use bathroom facilities or bathe for months on end . Many of the children have cognitive impairment and neurologic deficits as a result. The 17 y.o. girl who somehow managed to escape and call police is so stunted she looks 10 y.o. Her 29 y.o. sister weighs 82 lbs.
How is any civilized human being to react to this ? Shock and disgust are followed closely by outrage. How could this happen, we ask ourselves helplessly.
This was depravity of the highest order, beyond the comprehension of most normal people. But there was one gross regulatory failure.
The home in question was for the past 7 years listed by the California Dept. of Education as the Sandcastle Day School, a private K-12 campus with David Turpin as principal.
Supposedly the Accrediting Commission of Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) conducts a “comprehensive accreditation of public and private schools” in California, at least according to the US Dept. of Education website it does . One cannot help but wonder how “comprehensive” that process was, in this case.
California does not feel it necessary to “approve” or certify private schools which do not provide special education . There is no licensing required by the 3000 private schools listed with the California Dept. of Education. There are no audits conducted. California private schools are permitted simply to file an annual affidavit as to their operation. Teacher certification is, also, optional.
Of course, there were no annual fire inspections conducted here either. Had there been, this travesty would have come to light sooner. Continue reading