Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Adult moms to stay with nursing FLDS infants; children to still be home-schooled

Adult moms to stay with nursing FLDS infants; children to still be home-schooled

By Paul A. Anthony (Contact)
Originally published 04:06 p.m., April 23, 2008
Updated 05:36 p.m., April 23, 2008

In deviations from the normal practice in child-removal cases, infants removed from the YFZ Ranch will not be separated from their adult mothers if they are still nursing, and older children will continue to be home-schooled in their foster placements.

The details, revealed at an informational gathering today presided over by 51st District Judge Barbara Walther, appeared to defuse much of the tension that had been building between attorneys for the hundreds of children housed at the San Angelo Coliseum and the state's Child Protective Services agency.

"I would like for this case to take on the normal progressions these things take," Walther told a crammed courtroom of more than 60 attorneys and reporters. "The Department (of Family and Protective Services) has been stretched beyond belief."

CPS attorney Gary Banks told Walther the agency planned to separate nursing infants from their adult mothers, an idea she rejected. Those 18 mothers should be placed with their babies, she said.

Likewise, Banks said, CPS plans to break from its normal practice of allowing children placed in foster care to be enrolled in public schools.

"They might down the road be in the school system," he said, noting the "cultural shock" the children likely would feel, "but right now, the plan is not to do that."

Attorneys after the meeting said they were glad to see information exchanged, and Walther said she expects communication to improve between CPS and the attorneys as the case begins to break down into smaller groups.

Local attorney Tom Goff said he agrees with that sentiment.

"It's just overwhelming," he said. "I think it'll settle down."

1 comment:

Angus said...

The judge's flippant attitude about breatfeeding is just another sign of arrogance and her incompetence to judge this matter. Just because some "mothers go back to work after six weeks maternity leave" does not mean that it is not irreparably harmful to the child. Weaning a child who is over a year-old is a matter between mother and baby and is generally handled in a way that is sensitive to the child's emotional needs not just his nutritional needs. Ripping these babies out of the arms of their mothers and abruptly ending nursing and bonding is beyond words. None of these children between the ages of one and five have any signs of every having been abused. But CPS and Judge Walther are promoting abuse from which these children will be forever scarred.