punishing many for crimes of the few

In the news lately are the members of a religious compound in Texas. There were accusations of child abuse and underage forced marriages. In the raid that followed, over 400 children were taken away by the state and most have not been in contact with their families since. They are being housed in a stadium. This was all being done supposedly for the children’s own good.

How can removing that many kids (an entire community worth really) be anything but traumatic? While there very well may have been abuse, I don’t believe this was handled well at all. The mothers at first haven’t been allowed visits to their children, not even supervised visits. Some of the youngest children have been temporarily returned to their mothers. This would seem to be a sociologist’s and psychologist’s dream come true.

It has been nearly 2 weeks since all the children were taken into state custody. A hearing was finally held in which over 100 lawyers plus mothers tried to participate simultaneously. This was a shamble of confusion. These need to be heard on a family by family basis rather than lumping them all together. That’s guilt by association and that is wrong. In the meantime the children are still in state custody. The state wants them all permanently removed.About 100 women have been allowed inside to care for the children.

Authorities don’t even know who the girl is that caused the raid or if she is among the 400 children taken! So on the word of one unknown 16 year old, over 400 children and an unknown number of adults have had their lives shattered. The state has gone too far! How can it be known her bias or if she was telling the truth? What happened to protection against unreasonable search and seizure? What happened to parental rights? What happened to innocent until proven guilty? What about the right of the defendant to confront the accuser?

This has shattered any sense of family security these kids had known. Rather than handling this discreetly, the entire compound was raided by agents. If the authorities don’t know the informant, how can they know she wasn’t biased or if she was even telling the truth? Why were ALL the children taken indefinitely rather than a family by family case?

How can living all grouped together in a stadium be in better interest of the kids than at home with their families. Granted they aren’t traditional families but they are still families. If they are placed in foster care, how can they adapt to being forced to live in the modern world they are totally unprepared for? A world from which they were shielded and told was evil. It seems to me this only proves correct the evilness of the outside world.

I’m not endorsing this group’s lifestyle, however, I am saying it was their choice to live together. They have stated they were free to leave at anytime but chose to stay. For many of the kids, it was the only way of life they have ever known. How can someone say it is wrong or that they are missing out on life? Modern society is a far cry from a utopia.

I wonder if this had been an Amish or Mennonite community if they would have the same reaction? There have been reports of abuse in those communities as well but they don’t have all the communities kids removed. Instead they are handled properly on case by case basis.

I will say that media video coverage has been very positive in protecting the identity of the young people involved. Photography is not allowed inside the stadium where the kids are being held. Group and individual shots of women have young faces blurred. They don’t need the media circus adding to their already traumatic experience.

Who knows how long this ordeal will drag on. Bring the kids home!

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