Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Morning News Tribune Article...Today

I have two grandkids over today and haven't taken the time to even read this....but I will by the end of the day:o)
Readers please comment to the News Tribune and to this blog. "Again in 10"

Child abusers win one in the 9th Circuit

Last updated: December 30th, 2009 12:31 AM (PST)

A new federal court decision is creating ripples in the world of child-abuse protection. They aren’t good ripples.
Ruling earlier this month in an Oregon case, a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals imposed tight new restrictions on investigations of suspected child abuse – restrictions that tip the balance of power in favor of the suspected abusers.

The judges held that Oregon’s equivalent of Child Protective Services violated the Fourth Amendment when one of its caseworkers and a deputy sheriff took a girl aside at school and asked whether her father had been fondling her. The ruling’s implication is that they should have obtained a warrant – or the permission of her parents – before doing so.

Washington’s Children’s Administration is scrambling to comply with this brand-new and rather astonishing requirement. Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist says it will “seriously handicap” investigations. He also points out that it will make it tougher not only to quickly identify child abuse, but also to rule it out. A boy who shows up to school with suspicious bruises may have gotten them from his mother’s live-in boyfriend – or a fall from a tree. It’s important to find out, fast, what’s going on.

Probable cause – which must be established to get a warrant –often can’t be determined before talking to a child. Teachers, for example, frequently develop an acute sixth sense about the possibility of abuse, based on subtle changes in a student’s behavior, eye contact, mood and classroom performance. But try persuading a judge that Billy’s sudden quietness and tendency to look at his shoes is evidence that a crime has been committed.

The alternative is asking the possible abuser – or the partner who may be covering for the abuser – for permission to question the child. Great idea.

One absurdity at the heart of the 9th Circuit’s opinion is the notion that investigators are somehow violating the child’s constitutional rights when they talk to him or her at school without such permission. That turns the Fourth Amendment on its head. The guarantee against “unreasonable searches and seizures” is designed to protect suspects and criminal defendants. It’s not designed to prevent abuse victims from talking about their abuse.

In any case, the Fourth Amendment forbids arbitrary searches of the home and other spheres of privacy, such as the interiors of automobiles. Just as abuse victims are not suspects, schools are not spheres of privacy. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a teacher can snatch a purse away from a girl suspected of smoking in a lavatory – an inconceivable decision if a school were the equivalent of a house. The difference, says the 9th Circuit, is that the state has a “special need” to prevent smoking that was “not present” in the Oregon abuse case.

There we have it: The government doesn’t need a warrant to seize the personal effects of a girl suspected of wrongdoing at school; it does need a warrant to ask a girl whether she’s getting molested at home. Great jurisprudence, that. This foolish decision must be reversed, and fast.

Originally published: December 30th, 2009 12:31 AM (PST)


Anonymous said...

It is my understanding that schools have become the number one reporter of abuse. They are also demanding that kids become drugged. On one hand, they are screaming for help with illegal drugs and on the other hand wanting all the kids to go into a prescription stupor. To enhance their reporting, they are doing wholesale teaching on abuse and encouraging kids to talk about abuse. The schools have become a source for the prosecution while at the same time doing a lousy job of working with and (for that matter), for families, Maybe if they returned the phone calls of parents they could find out what was going on. Perhaps if a child all of a sudden changed their behaviors, parents should be contacted instead of set up for the prosecution. Maybe when a child isn't turning in homework, the parents should be notified right away. I think before the schools get any more power and control of the family, they should do their jobs. I support this decision.

Anonymous said...

This is great news. Example:
Principal asks; Does Cliff live in your home
Student: Yes
Principal: Cliff Blah blah?
Student: Yes
Principal calls CPS and reports Cliff Blah blah a registered sex offender is living in the home. CPS swarms the child! All along it is Cliff Smith that lives in the home but children sometimes do not pay attention to last names. Courts are told a registered sex offender lives in the home children are removed and never returned. And the courts never ask for the proof! If a registered sex offender was really living in the home with children were they arrested? Happens all the time! Hopefully this will take some of Salem out of CPS and the Juvenile Court system.
Just because someone is a mandated reporter does not make them any more credible or honest than the next guy!

Lovingfitfather said...

The press and CPS bewail any legislation that impels ethics or compliance with laws protecting children or their families.
They rail the public with the semantics of child protection and how children are so abused by biological families obfuscating how rare this actually occurs.
And I am not diminishing the fact that tragically child abuse does occur, it is just that CPS takes advantage of this to exploit,traffic in and profit from children they are the major perpetrators of maltreatment to children.
Child Protection Services has a pogrom agenda to destroy families and churn out a continuous supply of the walking wounded (FOSTER ALUMNI) who will be cradle to grave institutionalized simply so that our government has an endless supply of (VICTIMS) funding mules for largely bogus services that are paid for with our tax dollars.