I'm not sure how wise it was for Nebraska to pass a law allowing parents to drop off their children and relinquish care of them at any point until they're 18. Sure, it might prevent some child abuse in theory. Tough to tell. There are also some stories about concerning parents of older children dropping them off and leaving. But what is the point of a safe haven law? Is it to encourage parents to drop off their children before they do the unthinkable and kill them? I thought it was.
Here's a story of a mom who drops off her older kid. OK, so she's not the greatest mom of the day and all that. But now they're looking into taking her other children away? When she lives a day's drive away? And it's supposed to be a "safe haven" sort of situation?
That hardly seems fair.
I'm not about to defend the mom because I'm not sure exactly what she did or what the circumstances were that led her to drop off JUST this one kid. Could he have had a mental disorder or drug problem and parents are just not sure what to do? Could he have been destructive or abusive to other family members? The article doesn't say. I hardly think that the kid just got sassy and didn't clean his room that night.
I think that if the state starts prosecuting these parents, it won't be long before word gets out and people stop bringing their children when they've reached the end of their rope. And that defeats the object of the law in the first place.
It drives me crazy when news stories leave tons of facts one needs to know to make some sort of objective opinion up about an issue. We also don't know if the boy came in with horrible tales of being tortured by his parents.
We just don't know.
Aargh. Why even print this stuff? Because it's interesting to read half the story, make the other half up in your brain without realizing it, and come away thinking that you're an informed reader? What is up with this reporter and editor? Couldn't they at least say they *asked* whether the child had emotional or substance problems and were met with "no comment?" Or that they *asked* whether the child gave investigators a harrowing epic about his life at home?
Bleh. Stupid news stories. Maybe I should just make up the news and print that. You know, I think I'd at least make some plausible lies. I'd get all the "facts" in there and won't leave you wondering. I know how to ask all the salient questions of my imaginary characters.
You know, waaay way back in the very old days when we manually counted out headlines in setting copy (oh! and we actually SET copy, as in pasting those little stories down), I was taught the mantra, "When in doubt, leave it out." I think this whole story could have been left out. There are just too many gaps. Or the news story could have simply said that "a boy was dropped off from out of state and authorities were considering taking the other children in the family. No word on what the difficulties were that led to his relinquishment."