Sunday, September 18, 2011

William "Eddie" Lee - year 2000

It has been 11 years since 15 year old William "Eddie" Lee died at Obsidian Trails Wilderness Camp.

It was not the first death in a wilderness program. It was not the last death in the wilderness program.

It had not the media coverage as in the case of Aaron Bacon. His parents did not testify in congress. There was no movie made of him.

The wilderness program was not as high profile as Sagewalk known from "Brat Camp". A wilderness program which got closed down 9 years later when Sergey Blashchishen lost his life at Sagewalk.

Who's fault is it that William "Eddie" Lee is not an everyday household name? Did he not have just as much a right to outlive his potential and fulfill his dreams?

Of course he had. But in order to make it to the frontpage, you have to have a strong support group. One second used on natural grief and the death is forgotten in a modern and cruel media world. It is not the fault of his parents. They were only humans and kept their grief private.

That's why this post was made. I never knew William "Eddie" Lee but his deaths was unfair and cruel.



Sunday, September 11, 2011

Shirley Arciszewski - 2004

When a 45-year-old staff member placed her full body weight on little 12 year old Shirley Arciszewski it became time for the little girl to die as she couldn't breathe due to the massive weight of the staff member on her chest. She was strangled.

Face down restraints were considered dangerous even back then but in many states facedown restraints continue to be used.

As for the staff member the authorities ruled that she showed poor judgment but that her actions were not criminal. As a little sorry to the family left behind by the death of the girl the group home was shut down by the authorities.

So none were to blamed for her death. Certainly such a decision was met with criticism in the public but should have been more upsetting was the continued neglect of proper supervision of group homes, boarding schools and other residential solutions for minors.

This death should have resulted in legislation but it didn't. This is not the only entry for Missouri we sadly have to put in this blog.

Shirley Arciszewski would have been a young women who would have started out on her adult life this year, but her life was taken from her. May she rest in peace.

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