Sunday, November 27, 2016

Lawsuit Filed Against Maine School for the Cover-Up of a Teachers Abuse

Well this is interesting...

The story is that of a young girl from Readfield Maine who had a bag put over her head by a teacher on multiple occasions which led to her being traumatized and bullied by other students.  Even though the school launched an investigation into the incident, they figured it was no big deal.  The parents are not satisfied with this and the fact they can get no answers as to what is being done to address the situation.  They are now seeking damages and access to the documents in regards to the investigation of the incident.
A Readfield couple is suing the Maranacook school district and Laura Reville, a fifth-grade teacher at Readfield Elementary School, charging that Reville placed a bag over their daughter’s head four times during class last year, in an act aimed at humiliating and embarrassing her. 
The complaint by Michelle and Adam Woodford on behalf of their daughter, referenced by the initials SW, was filed Nov. 18 in Kennebec County Superior Court by attorneys Seth Brewster and Neal Pratt. It also charges that Regional School Unit 38 violated the state Freedom of Access Act and an anti-bullying statute in connection with results of a school investigation into the incidents. 
More >> Maranacook schools, Readfield teacher sued by parents over alleged ‘head-bagging’ incidents
All I can say is good luck with that.  The schools will ruthlessly protect their own and they will sink to unbelievable lows in order to do so.  Also, if the parents are finally granted access to the documents, they will probably be altered in favor of the teacher by the time they get them. It's not all that hard for them to do.  These are just simple forms that just have to be filled out.  The parents will never know though because they will never see them.
The complaint says that between December 2015 and March 2016, the Woodfords repeatedly requested information about the investigation into Reville’s conduct, but were refused it. 
“(The Woodfords’) requests for information included questions such as: Was the complaint involving SW handled as hazing, harassment, bullying, abuse or staff standard of conduct? Why were authorities not called?” 
It says the district’s refusal to release information violated the state law regarding bullying in public schools, and that the parents were denied a hearing before the school board. It also says attorney Smith, on behalf of the district, denied the Woodfords’ Oct. 20, 2016, request for access to documents relating to the investigation in a letter dated Oct. 26, 2016.
Eventually the whole thing will be erased from the child's narrative and the system will continue on the path of what works best for the system.  You see, the schools and their staff typically enjoy a persona of being angels among us because they work with and indoctrinate our children.  They can't have any disgruntled parents thwarting that sheepish view. Therefore they will never admit to any wrong doing, and even if they do admit to it, they can keep their documents secret anyway.  

Not to mention the fact that if the parents keep pushing it, they will be reported to Child Protective Services who will come in with concerns about "anger issues" or something as a way to strong arm them into letting it go.

Anyway, I wish this family luck in their struggle.  As a parent who has had it out with the School System on multiple occasions myself, I can sympathize with these people. 

Friday, November 25, 2016

"Here take this." More mental health services coming to Long Creek Juvenile Center

The state screwed up big time when a transgendered teenager who was being denied mental health treatment committed suicide while incarcerated at the Long Creek Juvenile Youth Development Center in South Portland.  My heart goes out to his family.

Now the mother is calling for more mental health services for these troublesome youth.
The mother of a 16-year-old transgender boy who killed himself at a Maine juvenile detention facility is calling for more mental health resources for young people behind bars. 
More >> After detainee's suicide, mom sees need for more mental care
The media and the experts are weighing in.

And the state has now agreed to review their policies for providing mental health services to kids at the facility.  The ACLU wants to make sure they are dealing with LGBT issues properly and the child welfare people will want their hands in the pot too.

So what are they going to do?  Shuffle a few positions around?   Fire those who were supposed to be watching?  Put it in the news so the people think they're on top of it?  Hire a few social workers to talk about it?  Throw more money at the problem? 

Here's my guess.  I'll bet they hire a few shrinks then increase the psychiatric medications drastically. That will keep the kids quiet and docile.  Feeling sad?  Here take some anti-depressants.  Feeling anxious?  Here's some Thorazine.  Not only will it help to keep the peace, but it will enable them to say they're providing mental health treatment.  Throw in a few anti-psychotics to help them sleep at night and problem solved.  They'll be walking around like good little zombies.

I know I know, I sound somewhat insensitive regarding people with mental illness.  But what do you think they do with them?  Give them a hug?  Please...

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Kids and marijuana

I would personally think that parents would appreciate the fact that Marijuana is going to be regulated in Maine.  The reason is because pot dealers on the street aren't going to check your kids ID's.  It's easy for them to get now.  

For those who are still worried about it however, WGME 13 has some practical advice for you. 
A lot of parents are trying to figure out what's best for their kids when it comes to dealing with a world in which marijuana is legal.

More >> Kids and marijuana

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Maine receives near-failing grade for dealing with juvenile sex trafficking

This is really sad.  You would think that a state that supposedly cares so much about its children would be at the top of the list.

Shame on Maine! 
Maine deserves a near-failing rating for its laws dealing with sex trafficking of juveniles, according to a national advocacy group.

Shared Hope International, a Vancouver, Washington-based organization, on Thursday released its sixth annual Protected Innocence Challenge Report Card grading all 50 states and the District of Columbia on preventing sex trafficking of children through local legislation and gave Maine a D grade, the same rating as last year. 

More >> Maine receives near-failing grade for dealing with juvenile sex trafficking

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Suicide by transgender boy housed in girls unit at Long Creek prompts demand for review

This is an update from a story posted earlier.
I didn't think they would make any of the details public, but here we find out that the kid was "Transgendered" and locked up with kids who do not match his/her gender identity.
A transgender boy who was being held in the girls unit at Long Creek Youth Development Center in South Portland killed himself in late October while on suicide watch, two civil rights organizations have said, raising questions about the state’s ability to care for incarcerated LGBTQ young people who are particularly vulnerable. 
Suicide by transgender boy housed in girls unit at Long Creek prompts demand for review
It is such nonsense to put all of these kids into the same pot.  Kids can be mean and some who are different will be bullied but they keep them together to avoid discriminating and bla bla bla.  I'm not going to get into my opinions on the LGBTQ issues here but clearly they need to do a little better at keeping these kids safe.

Of course the bigger issue is keeping kids safe while they are in state care.  You don't hear much about that in Maine because it's usually swept under the rug.  

Monday, November 7, 2016

Spurwink Honors It's Own Cash Cow and DHHS's Favorite Shrill Himself Dr. Lawrence Ricci

I'd rather post his mugshot.
A former player for the New England Patriots, Troy Brown came to visit Portland the other day apparently to receive one of Spurwink's Humanitarian awards.  Here is the link to WGME's piece on this.
I would like to congratulate Troy Brown for this honor which did get all of the media attention even though he wasn't the only one being honored at the event.  According to the Portland Press Herald...
He was speaking to the 500 guests assembled for the Oct. 21 award ceremony honoring Bruce and Annemarie Albiston, co-founders of the Aphasia Center of Maine & the Adaptive Outdoor Education Center; Troy Brown, former New England Patriot, three-time Super Bowl champion and author; and Dr. Lawrence Ricci, medical director of Spurwink’s Child Abuse Program. 
Society Notebook: Spurwink honors humanitarians
Now I don't know what old Larry boy was being honored for, but I do know that he is a total jerk.  I know a few innocent parents who would like to honor him too but we won't get into that.  

For those who don't know, Dr. Lawrence Ricci is the head of Spurwink's Child Abuse Program.  He is the go to boy when DHHS Department of Children and Families needs a diagnosis of Child Abuse. His boss, Spurwink, also runs a few "Therapeutic" group homes and education programs around the state for special needs kids and foster kids.  

Maybe you've dealt with him?

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Single Mom's are being blamed for the high rates of poverty in Maine now

Yes they are.
Of the tens of thousands of Maine children living in poverty or just above it, most are living with just one parent, usually a mother. In 2014, 69 percent of Maine’s children in poor families and 54 percent of children in low-income families were being raised by a single parent. In middle- and upper-class families, only 19 percent of the children were being raised by a single parent. The poverty level for a four-member family (two parents, two children) in the United States is set at an annual income of $24,300; low-income is defined as $48,600. 
More >> Single-parents households live in “perpetual crisis”
Of course the mom's are going to blame the fathers for not paying child support, like you will see on in the comments section of the following article.
I was/am a single mom. I left their father, a six bedroom home, three cars in the garage etc. and everything money could buy to a life of poverty (money wise) because their father would not pay child support.
Comments for: Are single parents the reason poverty is rising in Maine?
Of course it has nothing to do with her lack of employable skills or anything.

To be fair however, a lot of these gals find themselves in abusive situations and the state doesn't want to do enough to help them get back on their feet when they get out of it.  They get stuck in this vicious cycle of never being able to get ahead.  Others, however, simply need to keep their legs closed.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Juvenile dies at Long Creek detention center in South Portland

Of course they're being all secretive about it but apparently a kid has died at the Long Creek Juvenile Detention center in South Portland.

It will be interesting to see if anything more comes out of this.  Maine is great at keeping this stuff quiet.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Privatization of ASPIRE

There has been a bit of recent controversy around Governor LePage and DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew's decision to privatize Maine's ASPIRE program which is currently administered by DHHS.
ASPIRE (Additional Support for People in Retraining and Employment) is a program that parents who apply for DHHS issued welfare benefits such as SNAP, Mainecare or TANF must participate in as a condition of their receiving benefits.  In theory, it is a good program with a goal of helping welfare recipients to become self-sufficient by providing them with education and job training opportunities.  In practice however, it is a waste of time for anybody who applies for the program after the first or second month of the new year when the funding runs out.  Therefore participation in the program for most is nothing more than attending a morning long orientation, filling out the paperwork only to be told there isn't enough funding for to actually get anything out of it.

Privatization of this program would essentially mean that it would be administered by a private outside organization rather than DHHS, in this case a New York City-based nonprofit called Fedcap Rehabilitation Services.

As I said before, there has been a lot of controversy around this decision.  First of all, there is a lack of transparency regarding the process of how this particular agency got the contract.  Second the chosen agency is apparently not without it's own issues including lawsuits and discrimination complaints which the critics are surely jumping on. 

While I understand the concern regarding the privatization of state services that some may have, I am not opposed to it in this particular case.   After all, in the hands of DHHS, ( a state agency known for misspending federal dollars designated for poor children as a matter of policy )  ASPIRE has been an utter failure.  Perhaps a different agency running it could prove to be more successful.  That said, the state has been privatizing child welfare services for years with millions of dollars in contracts to outside agencies such as Opportunity Alliance, Youth Alternatives or Spurwink just to name a few.  Some of these contracts have proven to be successful.  Some have not.  

The fact is that privatization of social service and child welfare programs is nothing new in around here.  I'm sure there are at least one or two agencies right here in Maine that would be just as well suited for the job and that the state already has experience in dealing with.      

I do take issue with the secrecy around granting these contracts that the LePage administration tends to practice.  I think that the people of Maine have the right to know where their money is going.