There is just so much blame to go around. A child is allegedly locked in a bathroom closet for months, let out only to be beaten and exercised to the point of exhaustion, and fed a few cans of food and some bread every few days or so. Did I mention she was "homeschooled?" Her dad wants to take "homeschool excellence" to a whole new level, because this is the punishment for cheating on a test at his school. (Um, given his "punishments," I can see the motivation to cheat on a test in order to get a good grade, mmkay?)
There are other children in the family who apparently have relationships with neighbours and friends... but they never told anyone their sister needed help. No one in the area even knew this family had a 14-year-old girl. How scared and intimidated do those kids have to be to stand by and watch their sister starving to death, beaten and locked up? Man. Words fail me.
I looked at the HSLDA website and apparently in Arizona, all you have to do each year (besides actually homeschool!) is file an affadavit. I suppose it is vaguely possible that she was just a name to those folks. If she never took any classes at school, that's certainly understandable. But didn't SOMEONE miss her? Clerk at a grocery store? Old friend? Anyone?
Turns out, plenty of people thought something was up. Look at the video attached to the news story. People near the current place the family is living had NO CLUE about this young woman. Travel back in their timeline just a little, though, and you'll find folks who knew this girl and were concerned. The state child welfare agency was involved. HELLO, news people, how about reporting that little fact instead of just noting the "homeschool" part?
It was on the radar! The child welfare department could probably not have PREVENTED all suffering (come on, no one can... even the police are called AFTER a crime is committed, right?), but they could have figured out if they checked on their current caseload every six months or so that the child is losing a bit of weight, bruised up and making claims of being locked in a closet??? Ya think??
On a smaller scale, this is Benita Jacks all over again. And you watch... instead of requiring physical eyeball-on-child checks on active cases every six months, they'll propose more homeschool regulations and tie in medical records with homeschooling JUST like they do in public schools. And I don't think it would prevent this sort of thing from happening because transient families are hard to keep track of, let alone dealing with the problems of their truant children. Whether they TRY or not, is of course another story.
Nevermind the "homeschool vs public school" thing for just a minute here, because honestly? I feel that "controversy" is really just a glitch in the reporting. The problem is that a child was tortured for months or years and nearly starved to death, but never removed from the situation. And I'd like to know why.
What is WRONG with people??