Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Joshua Sharpe - 1999

When staffmembers at the Oconomowoc Developmental Training Center tried to restrain 17 year old Joshua Sharpe they believed that he held them for fools trying to play dead.

But he didn't play dead. He was dead.

As in so many cases the so-called caregivers attempt to restrain a child turned deadly.

He would never return home to his family. A full-blown tragedy for his parents had happened.

The decision whether to restrain a child should always be given the consideration that it could include the risk of taking the life of the child.

Research about the risks of restraints were however only starting to emerge. The odd thing is that even after 20 years of knowledge about restraints, children continue to die caused by the use of restraints.

May he rest in peace.


Friday, December 23, 2011

Garrett Rush Halsey - 2004

Just a few hours short of Christmas no less than six staff members from the Grafton School decided to try to restrain 13 year old Garrett Rush Halsey.

At the time of his death no legal consequence was given due to a local ruling in court.

However in 2008 almost 5 years later The Virginia Supreme Court overturned the ruling.

It was time for the family of young Mr. Halsey to gain some justice. If they did succeed we don't know but we hope that it would give them some peace.

A life should not end at age 13.

May he rest in peace.

Local School Lawsuit Decision Overturned (by Ryan O'Connor, 3 ABC Winchester, December 9, 2008)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Casey Collier - 1993

A rather unknown restraint system called "the Illinois system" claimed the life of 17 year old Casey Collier. Nothing have been heard about this specific system before or after he died, which could indicate that it was invented for this incident as excuse and false documentation, so the six employee who held him down to the floor could justify what was basically murder.

We don't know for how he struggled realizing that he was about to die due to the fact that he could breathe as the employees were on the top of him.

Cleo Wallace Center/Devereux got their employees off based on this self-invented system. It is not fair for either Casey Collier or for the family he left behind. He should have been given some justice. It shouldn't been free to kill children like him.

May he rest in peace!


Friday, December 16, 2011

Carlos Ruiz - 1994

A 13-year-old Carlos Ruiz died as result from a fall about 80 feet down a slope in the Santa Catalina Mountains.

The sources we have been able to locate provide us with very little information. We have not been able to learn what led to his fall. Was the equipment mailfunctioning? Were the instructors educated to deal with kids in the harsh terrain? We don't know.

All we learned is that therapy in the wilderness claimed another life that day.

May he rest in peace.


Brandon Hoffman - 1998

If anyone toured the now abandoned "Mount Bachelor Academy" located in a remote area near the small town of Prineville no sign of the tragedy is visible today.

Back in 1989 a young man decided that he could bare no further the banishment from his family, the isolation from peers and close friends back home and ended his life.

It is hard to understand what kind of pressure which can force a people so far out that they cannot find a path for a continuation of their lives.

But young Mr. Hoffman was forced that far out and he didn't make it back.

Had it been a single incident it may have been only a tragedy. But others did choose the same solution.

May his death result in more care and more thinking into what could happen before any parent decide to remove a child from the loving and caring environment the child experience at home.

May he rest in peace


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Faith Finley - 2008

Faith Finley died at the Parmadale Family Services center as result of being restrained when she became upset after a staff member took the CD-player, she used to calm herself with.

They used a restraint method known to be dangerous but it was only outlawed once a corpse made it impossible to overlook the fact that it should have been outlawed at least 10 years before.

Faith Finley didn't need to die if the authorities had reacted to tons of research made into restraint methods but she did because some at-risk teenagers in general have to die before anyone care to deal with improvements.

When will it change? The court came to the conclusion that it is an accident. How can it be an accident when every single so-called profesional in the business know that every restraint of a child is a potential lifethreatening situation for the child?

We can only hope that she didn't die in vain and the legislation will protect other children from dying because her family didn't get the justice they were entitled to after suffering such a terrible loss.

May she rest in peace.


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Mark Draheim - 1998

The social services are out to protect children in need.

Or at least that is what we are supposed to believe. Back in the late 1990's they removed Mark Draheim from his home because they alleged that his mother did a poor job bringing him up. Now the state believed that they would be able to do a better job.

Did they then?

First there is the question of the alleged sexual assault on him. A case never fully investigated because he conveniently died before the investigation was finished.

Then there is the restraint job the counselors made which caused him to die - from anoxia under the pressure from several adults. How long did it take for him to basically strangle to death? One minute, two minutes or even more?

Just try to imagine how it must be knowing that every time you breathe out you will know that you will not be able to take new air in. You know that you are dying and while a lot of people are standing around you, they are not willing to save you.

No the state did not do a good job trying to do a better job than his mother did. At the funeral his mother stated that she wanted to join him in the next world. We don't know if she it with her son now.

It is common knowledge that kids in the system are much more exposed to the risk of being sexual molested. Still it continues to happen every single month. In a small country like Denmark with only 5 millions people and 14.000 kids in the system, it happens every 14 day. According to the minister of social services in Denmark the staff are not educated to deal with rape victims. In some cases the victims are even forced to continue to live next door with the person who did evil with them.

Awful, but it is the system.

To all parents out there only one advice can be given. Keep quiet about your problems at home. Otherwise your children could end up in the system and like young Mr. Draheim they might not return home alive.

May he rest in peace.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Jeffrey Bogrett - 1995

Few reports are public concerning the death of 9 year old Jeffrey Bogrett which happened December 1, 1995.

A report states:
Jeffrey Bogrett, age 9, died on December 1, 1995 at the New England Center for Autism. In those days before attention was paid to deaths in restraint, his death was merely noted as "sudden death in restraint."

We can only wonder how many lives which would have been saved if the authorities had targeted this issue sooner. Restraints claimed several lives of children since.

The death of Jeffrey Bogrett deserved a lot more attention than the tragedy got. None had the slightest interest in children with disabilities at that time but the deadly methods continued to be used. The result was that the personal tragedy for his family and 9 year Jeffrey Bogrett himself basically was ignored. He didn't deserve that.

May he rest in peace!

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