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Author Topic: Obese Teen, Mom Charged With Criminal Neglect  (Read 8704 times)

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Offline ShrowdedPoet

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Re: Obese Teen, Mom Charged With Criminal Neglect
« Reply #25 on: July 23, 2009, 01:01:31 PM »
You know, I've been scared to death of the state before.  I have two beautiful children that I love very much but they're little.  And my daughter seems to have every bruise, cut, scrape, bite etc imaginable.  My little one can't seem to stay clean and just two days ago he went in for shots and the doc said he doesn't weigh enough and sent him to the hospital for tests.  We are poor.  I have starved to give my babies food.  I am absolutely scared to death of the state.  I think this is wrong.  They always seem to take kids away from good parents who try hard but never away from the abusive assholes till it's too late.

Offline Phoenix

Re: Obese Teen, Mom Charged With Criminal Neglect
« Reply #26 on: July 23, 2009, 01:18:45 PM »
You know, I've been scared to death of the state before.  I have two beautiful children that I love very much but they're little.  And my daughter seems to have every bruise, cut, scrape, bite etc imaginable.  My little one can't seem to stay clean and just two days ago he went in for shots and the doc said he doesn't weigh enough and sent him to the hospital for tests.  We are poor.  I have starved to give my babies food.  I am absolutely scared to death of the state.  I think this is wrong.  They always seem to take kids away from good parents who try hard but never away from the abusive assholes till it's too late.

If you're in the USA, send me a PM, and I'll PM you a resource to hold onto, just in case. Knowing your rights as parents can make all the difference in the world for you (and could have for this mother, too, if she'd known before she got herself charges).

Offline Oniya

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Re: Obese Teen, Mom Charged With Criminal Neglect
« Reply #27 on: July 23, 2009, 03:16:42 PM »
As a parent of a school-aged child, I know that the school is capable of assisting a parent in these things.  As an example, we are told to inform our kids not to share snacks (due to allergy risks).  Also, my school cafeteria actually called me when my daughter (who was given breakfast at home) was going in with the kids who bought breakfast at school, getting a breakfast and then not eating it (because she was eating breakfast at home and wasn't actually hungry). 

If this kid's friends are buying him extra lunches, the school should be able to limit that (our school has an account system where they use a PIN to track spending).  If they are bringing extra lunches from home, their parents should be noticing that. 

I don't think the kid should be taken away, but I do think that the mother should get the kid on a diet and remember that she is the mother, and until that kid leaves home, she has some say in his activities.  Bring him home a McD's salad if she needs to do fast food.  Send a note to the school saying that he is under a medical restriction for lunch.  Call his friends' parents and tell them that their kids are providing him with snacks that he isn't allowed to have.  This is a very minor effort on her part.  Hopefully with that, she can get him down below 500 lbs, and get him into that subsidized weight loss program.

Offline Serephino

Re: Obese Teen, Mom Charged With Criminal Neglect
« Reply #28 on: July 23, 2009, 09:00:23 PM »
I agree that this woman needs help.  Yes, she should have sought help when her kid was pushing 300, but for some reason did not.  Maybe she didn't know where to go for help, or she didn't think it was a problem.  Whatever the reason, we'll never know and it can't be changed. 

Maybe she should get a slap on the wrist for not taking care of the problem much earlier.  Then she needs to have a little chat with the school counselor.  After all, part of the problem occurs while he's at school.  While he's in school he's the school's responsibility.  I can still remember the speech my high school principal gave at the beginning of every year that from the time we step out of our doors in the morning until the time we were let off at the bus stop in the afternoon, we were all her responsibility.  So maybe he should only be allowed to eat one lunch. 

Then of course the mom needs to speak with a nutritionist so she can feed her son better at home.  More than just the mother contributed to the problem, and I think everyone that was part of the problem should be part of the solution. 

Offline Defiance

Re: Obese Teen, Mom Charged With Criminal Neglect
« Reply #29 on: July 24, 2009, 05:53:07 AM »
Blame blame blame...

People say the mother should have seen some sort of problem... but there are many parents, with horrible kids, who love them anyway. And, as it has been pointed out, she did go for help. But she was turned away from the people who were supposed to help her out.

People like to act so optimistic, "Oh, there's always something you can do."

You know what?

No.

No there isn't.

There are 24 hours in a day, and during those 24 hours, this woman has to do all she can to make sure she isn't evicted, can get to work, and do said work.

I think the biggest problem is that she has to work so much in the first place. As someone else pointed out, is she driving a Benz and living in some wonderful estate? Probably not. She's doing all this work, and barely scraping by.

-That- is the biggest issue here.

The fact that simply living has become so damn expensive.

And where's the optimism then?

Who's gonna look at the system and say, "We can surely make that better."

But no... it's much better to lynch mob this woman and her kid.

...

Pretty damn sad in general.

Offline Jude

Re: Obese Teen, Mom Charged With Criminal Neglect
« Reply #30 on: July 24, 2009, 06:25:24 AM »
You're spinning the story Defiance, and it's quite possible you're right.  But you've created facts that weren't there in the original situation to support your opinions.  The truth is I haven't seen a shred of evidence that anywhere says what sort of job the mother had, what kind of money she made, and what sort of person she was overall.

I could take the same set of facts and add in my own additions to them to make her guilty too.

Lets began by claiming she made a mistake at a young age by deciding to have sex when she shouldn't have, didn't use protection, and ended up with a child as a result.  She decided not to have an abortion which would've alleviated the problem of being a single parent.  And then she likely raised her child with very little interest in his health, so she took the easy way out of feeding him fast food instead of spending time cooking and grocery shopping.  Maybe she did this so she could go on dates?  No where do I seen anything that indicates that the love of her child was the necessary catalyst for all of this to occur, maybe she was just selfish?

The point is, there's a reason we have courts.  They listen to to the passionate arguments of both sides, collect the facts, and make reasoned decisions based on the circumstances of the event.  Usually I don't frown on discussion, but this is one situation I really do unless you try and tackle things from a principles point of view (which this has not really been).

It seems like everyone has an axe to grind, and love to use ambiguous situations as data to support their personal feelings on a subject regardless of what the actual truth is.  Commentators do it every day with extreme intellectual dishonesty, I hope we can rise above it.

Offline Defiance

Re: Obese Teen, Mom Charged With Criminal Neglect
« Reply #31 on: July 24, 2009, 06:38:24 AM »
What matters though?

The kind of job? 44+ hours from one would mean overtime, and companies in general aren't really fond of it. So the assumption that she worked more than one isn't entirely unfair. Though I recognize that I could be very wrong having worked 50-70 hours during more than one week, for no over time at all.
The kind of money? It clearly wasn't enough. However, there's also no information as to where she spent the money she made.
The kind of person? Hell, she could hate her son and the buying of fast food used as the cheapest way to feed him.

Whatever the hard facts may be, it still remains that if someone must work so much that they can't spend the time to cook their child proper meals... then something is not quite right.

Offline ShrowdedPoet

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Re: Obese Teen, Mom Charged With Criminal Neglect
« Reply #32 on: July 24, 2009, 10:42:58 AM »
I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you Defiance but I work the night shift leaving me unable to cook dinner.

Offline Phoenix

Re: Obese Teen, Mom Charged With Criminal Neglect
« Reply #33 on: July 24, 2009, 04:58:46 PM »
What kind of job, etc. is touched on here:

http://www.ethiopianreview.com/articles/14964

Quote
Mother of 555 pound teenager charged with neglect

Posted by Desta Bishu | July 17th, 2009 at 2:05 am |

(CBS) A mother is being charged with neglecting her obese teenage son, raising issues about whether the government has the right to intervene in one's family life.

Born and raised in South Carolina, Alexander Draper grew up to reach a dangerous 555 pounds by the age of 14. That's when law enforcement stepped in.

"The first and foremost concern is Alexander's health," Lt. Shea Smith told CBS News.

Alexander's mother, Jerri Gray, was charged with unlawful neglect of a child for allowing him to become obese.

"There have been opportunities to get Alexander some treatment over the course of the last several months and unfortunately some of those things have not been taken advantage of," Smith said.

But Gray, released from jail Monday on $50,000 bond, says she does not have enough money to get her son the treatment he needs.

Alexander is in the custody of the Department of Social Services, who in a statement to CBS News said they only intervene when "health care professionals believe a child is at risk of harm."

"Obviously her son is certainly in need of some medical attention," Lt. Smith said.

Jerri Gray and her defense attorney, Kim and Grant Varner, appeared on The Early Show Thursday to discuss the situation.

Asked how his weight gain got so out of control, Gray said, "Well, a lot of times it had to do with lifestyle. A lot of times I had to work fulltime second shift or fulltime, third shift. And I wasn't home a lot."

Gray told guest host and "Britain's Got Talent" judge Amanda Holden she had been monitoring her son's diet, but that there were times she had to purchase fast food, when she'd have to sleep between shifts.

Asked if there are steps she could've taken earlier to have helped him not reach that level of weight, Gray said, "When I had a second shift hob, I would've rather been home, so that I could've spent more time focusing on preparing more low-fat type-meals."

While Alex is under state care right now, Gray believes her son needs to be with her. "Mentally he needs to be with me. We both need to be included together in whatever program that they have to offer so that we both can benefit from it. So as our lives go on together, then we will have learned how to control it and keep it under control."


And, it was going to get professional help that caused her to get arrested to begin with:

http://news.softpedia.com/news/Case-of-555-Pound-Boy-Opens-Debate-on-Child-Neglect-117382.shtml

Quote
The case of Alexander Draper, the 14-year-old boy who weighs an impressive 555 pounds, has brought a very sensitive issue up for discussion again. His mother, Jerri Gray, was arrested in June and charged with criminal neglect, but that does not stop the question from arising: is she really responsible for the state her child was found in, USA Today asks.

Grayís attorney is telling the media that she, as a mother, did everything she could to keep Alexanderís weight under control. However, when she saw her son tipped the scales to a quarter of a ton, she asked for professional help, which is when she was detained by South Carolina authorities. Since then, the 14-year-old boy was separated from his mother and has been placed in foster care. The woman stands a trial on criminal neglect charges, but, if sheís found guilty, this could set a precedent that would further complicate matters, her legal representative explains.

Offline Emmaline

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Re: Obese Teen, Mom Charged With Criminal Neglect
« Reply #34 on: July 26, 2009, 09:06:02 AM »
Coming to this conversation late, and admittedly have not read every single post. It ... amazes me that this mom gets arrested with neglect (Go Social Services -snort-) and other kids this weight get TV shows on TLC.


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Re: Obese Teen, Mom Charged With Criminal Neglect
« Reply #35 on: July 26, 2009, 02:52:00 PM »
So when does an overweight child become neglect?  Once they hit 500 pounds?  Or once they are one pound over the recommended weight for their height and age? 

They arrested her for trying to get her son help.  For trying to get her son help.  She asks for help, and the response is handcuffs and criminal charges.  No, South Carolina, that is not how you help the woman and her son. 

Offline GothicFires

Re: Obese Teen, Mom Charged With Criminal Neglect
« Reply #36 on: July 26, 2009, 04:14:10 PM »
there is a huge difference between someone being 1 to 30 pounds overweight and someone being 300 pounds overweight. It didn't happen overnight. At some point parents have to be held accountable for their children's physical health when it comes to weight. Even if we haven't been holding them responsible in the past. It is the parent's job to monitor what their child eats and to teach them good eating and exercising habits regardless of the other difficulties that the parent has in life. No one lives in a vacuum.

I live in SC. My cousin doesn't work and the state not only gives her $450 for food but they pay both her and her child's medical care. The are somethings in this life that you just don't let slide, you're child's health is one of them.

If you are poor you can apply for aid. If you don't have heath care there are government clinics that prorate the visit fee based on income and if you need to see a doctor a public hospital cannot turn you away regardless if you can't pay and regardless if you can't pay the bill they can't try to take your possessions away from you. They can't even harass you for collections if you pay as little as $5.00 a month.

I have never been more than 50 pounds overweight and even then I am blessed to look smaller than I weigh. My family overfed me as a child and did not instill good eating habits. I was tormented by my peers. I would hate to know how a ostracized a child who is heaver than I was feels to go through life that way. On top of giving me what ever food i asked for when i asked for it and not making me do physical activity I was prone to severe pain... still am...  it is more difficult to control your weight when exercising can cause you to need assistance in moving and walking.

Most of the time people think about blood pressure, diabetes and heart attacks due to obesity. I have often heard many morbidly obese people say 'my doctor says I'm healthy'. but there is no such thing. That weight wears down your joints, causes arthritis and other degenerative ailments that will eventually affect your mobility and ability to have an independent life. So perhaps people should consider that before they say that staying with this woman is better for this kid's emotional health. If his mother had truly been concerned about his emotional health she would have started the help process long before she did.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2009, 04:16:34 PM by GothicFires »

Offline Silk

Re: Obese Teen, Mom Charged With Criminal Neglect
« Reply #37 on: July 26, 2009, 04:39:33 PM »
The problem is you cannot dictate what weight someone should be at any stage with a "average" why? Because we are all different ffs!, is someone of a stocky build standing around 6.2 going to be the same weight as someone who is 4.3 and a petite build?

Offline GothicFires

Re: Obese Teen, Mom Charged With Criminal Neglect
« Reply #38 on: July 26, 2009, 04:51:46 PM »
If you read what I posted, did you understand it? It's not about dictating what a person weighs it is about the fact that if you are obese then that weight will break down your joints faster than it would if you are not overweight?

Even a 6 foot 2 person shouldn't weigh 500 pounds. we are not talking about a person slightly overweight we are talking about a person 300 pounds overweight. So yes there is a realistic expectation for what your skeletal system is built for. Yes that does vary from person to person but there is a point where you have to concede that you way too much.

Years ago at a point in my life where i weight 190 pounds my aunt of the same height weighted the same amount. My cloths were too small for her... but honestly neither one of us should weight that much. I am not talking about judging how someone looks. It is about the health of your body.

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Re: Obese Teen, Mom Charged With Criminal Neglect
« Reply #39 on: July 26, 2009, 05:09:04 PM »
there is a huge difference between someone being 1 to 30 pounds overweight and someone being 300 pounds overweight. It didn't happen overnight. At some point parents have to be held accountable for their children's physical health when it comes to weight. Even if we haven't been holding them responsible in the past. It is the parent's job to monitor what their child eats and to teach them good eating and exercising habits regardless of the other difficulties that the parent has in life. No one lives in a vacuum.

My daughter is overweight.. I have consulted her doctor several times, run blood work and everything is normal. She does not sit and eat junk food, we dont eat out all that often and she plays outside all the time.. yet she's still overweight. His response was.. "GENETICS could be a big part of this"

So should I be charged with neglect?


I live in SC. My cousin doesn't work and the state not only gives her $450 for food but they pay both her and her child's medical care. The are somethings in this life that you just don't let slide, you're child's health is one of them.

If you are poor you can apply for aid.

And if you make one dollar too much, you're cut off. If you quit your job to make less.. you're cut off. What now? You can't just quit a job to go on aid and if you make too much you get NOTHING.


 If you don't have heath care there are government clinics that prorate the visit fee based on income and if you need to see a doctor a public hospital cannot turn you away regardless if you can't pay and regardless if you can't pay the bill they can't try to take your possessions away from you. They can't even harass you for collections if you pay as little as $5.00 a month.

WRONG they can turn you to collections.. it is their choice to do so. Collections agencies can then harass you. I've dealt with it.. I worked with an attorney who did this kind of work. They can and will turn you over to collections if they choose. Doesnt matter if you're paying $5 a month or $100

I have never been more than 50 pounds overweight and even then I am blessed to look smaller than I weigh. My family overfed me as a child and did not instill good eating habits. I was tormented by my peers. I would hate to know how a ostracized a child who is heaver than I was feels to go through life that way. On top of giving me what ever food i asked for when i asked for it and not making me do physical activity I was prone to severe pain... still am...  it is more difficult to control your weight when exercising can cause you to need assistance in moving and walking.

That was you.. not this child and not the many hundreds of others out there.

Most of the time people think about blood pressure, diabetes and heart attacks due to obesity. I have often heard many morbidly obese people say 'my doctor says I'm healthy'. but there is no such thing. That weight wears down your joints, causes arthritis and other degenerative ailments that will eventually affect your mobility and ability to have an independent life.

My great uncle was 35 years old and had a heart attack and died. My grandmother who was overweight.. lived to her 80s. So you tell me who was healthier?


So perhaps people should consider that before they say that staying with this woman is better for this kid's emotional health. If his mother had truly been concerned about his emotional health she would have started the help process long before she did.

You obviously dont have children do you?

You have never had to choose between feeding your child and keeping the electric on or having a rough over your head have you?

You have never had to worry about your child being sick because the state takes over 90 days to get their medical insurance approved and get you cards have you?

Just because your cousin and her child get welfare and medical assistance doesn't mean this woman could. 1 dollar over their limit and you get NOTHING... ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!!!!

There are people who work 2 and 3 jobs to make ends meet but they dont qualify for state health insurance. Because each state sets their limits. So she makes enough to get food.. but too much for insurance... now tell me how does she fix this?
 I have children.. 1 is in college

Do you have ANY IDEA what it costs to fix a good quality low fat, meal? Its DOUBLE what it would cost me to grab a quick meal at Taco Hell or McD's. Fresh food is twice as expensive as frozen or packaged.

So you tell me how I am supposed to pay all my bills, feed my children the best possible meals when I cant accomplish that because its too expensive?

Should we just yank people's kids for being poor?


Social services is BULLHOCKEY... they dont do what they were meant to do. They come and try and tell people how to live their lives, how to raise their children based on THEIR ideals

What one caseworker might see as no big deal, another sees as a travesty.

So until you've walked a tenth of a mile in someone elses shoes.. don't judge them. You have no idea what some people go through to keep their families together with food, clothes and a roof over their head.

Offline Jude

Re: Obese Teen, Mom Charged With Criminal Neglect
« Reply #40 on: July 26, 2009, 05:13:23 PM »
Should we just yank people's kids for being poor?
Yes.  If you cannot afford to take care of your children you have no business having them, regardless of how hard you're trying.  You don't have a right to screw up your kid's life simply because you don't want to give them up, and if you couldn't take care of them in the first place, why did you have them?

Of course it's important to be understanding and to try and keep kids with their parents if it's at all possible to do so.  Foster homes are innately risky. But the health of the child comes before the parent's right to keep that child.

As for when we reach the threshold for each particular legal action, I'll leave that up to the experts to decide.  Let the sociologists look over the statistics and make the determination, they're educated to do it, I'm not.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2009, 05:16:57 PM by RandomNumber »

Offline GothicFires

Re: Obese Teen, Mom Charged With Criminal Neglect
« Reply #41 on: July 26, 2009, 05:25:24 PM »
Am I a parent no. Have i been involved in raising kids yes. Have I ever been poor... yes... have I seen this struggle... yes...

you said your child is overweight... 10, 30, 40... 200 pounds? because if she's just a little chubby its not the same thing.

just because it is difficult to be a parent should that excuse someone for not teaching their child how to eat healthy and be active?

Since you do watch what your child eats and can prove she is active... how is that the same thing from a parent who fed her child fast food and didn't bother to learn that her child was eating extra meals.

The next step would be to consult a nutritionist to get a special plan for your child.

And you can't say that oh.. this that was me... this is a different child because in this entire conversation people pull in different scenarios. I know I was not the only child in the world to be picked upon because they were overweight and I wasn't that much overweight.

I'm sorry your aunt had a heart attack at 35. my best friend died at 15 and she was a size 3. but again my point about being overweight was not about the heart, or diabetes but on how the skeletal system is not meant to carry an excessive amount of weight. It is a fact that they can tell if a skeleton belonged to an overweight person by the size and deterioration on a bone. This child or any child that weighs 300 pounds more than they should as a much higher risk of damaging their joints and not being able to walk well when they are older... how could you stand by and say 'oh that's ok, let it happen.'

my grandmother is also in her 80s. she is overweight and they had to put her in a nursing home because she got to weak to move on her own. She had to have her ankles fused because of arthritis even then it still hurt her to walk so she stayed mostly in her chair. The chair was electric and lifted her up into a standing position. Now her diet is being monitored by nurses and she has to go to physical therapy. It's not the kind of life she wanted for her later years yet that a likely outcome for a good many obese people


Just a note: noting in my post was meant to be personal. I am sorry if there are places where it looks so here is some clarifications.

I do not actually want to know the size of your child. It was just a point that to say two children are overweight when one could be overweight by 30 pounds and one by 300 pounds does not allow the comparison to be equal.

the point of finding a nutritionist for your child was more meant for the next step for any parent to take. As a person with a severe medical issue that has gone several generations I know how much fighting my grandmother had to go through to diagnose the problems of her children... you simply don't give up... you don't accept the excuse that life is hard... you keep trying
« Last Edit: July 26, 2009, 05:32:59 PM by GothicFires »

Offline Maeven

Re: Obese Teen, Mom Charged With Criminal Neglect
« Reply #42 on: July 26, 2009, 05:27:24 PM »
Please remember to keep this discussion civil and avoid personal attacks.

Thank you.

Offline RhapsodyTopic starter

Re: Obese Teen, Mom Charged With Criminal Neglect
« Reply #43 on: July 26, 2009, 06:11:13 PM »
If you cannot afford to take care of your children you have no business having them, regardless of how hard you're trying. 

Perhaps you've been fortunate enough to be raised in a family that didn't have to live paycheck to paycheck, but others have not.  I myself am below the poverty line of my province for my family size, but I live a fairly comfortable life.  Still, I live paycheck to paycheck, and I have had to starve on occasion to feed my children.  I have let my own health suffer for the benefit of my children.  I have let my phone bill lapse to make sure they had enough.  I am now thankfully free of creditors, (excepting my federal student loans, which came before I had kids), but I have sold my possessions, starved, defaulted on bills, all for the sake of my children. 

Next month, the status of my monthly family benefits is in a grey area, because my taxes were processed later than normal due to heavy influx of submissions and my benefits are dependant on my taxes being done prior to a certain date.  Should they not be processed in time, this means I miss 1/3 to 1/2 of my rent payment (arrangements already made with my landlord, just in case), and all of my monthly phone payment.  This means that groceries will be very strictly budgeted next month, with absolutely no room for treats beyond what the food bank will be able to offer me.  Sure, whenever my taxes are processed, I'll be credited for the amount on the next date benefits are paid out (September), but that will do me absolutely no good for August.

Should my kids be taken away, even though I'm doing my absolute best to provide for them, simply because I'm "poor" and struggle some months with the finances?  Or should I not have had them in the first place, since I could not guarantee with 100% accuracy that they would ever lack for anything, necessity or modest luxuries, that parents are supposed to provide?

All it takes is one late paycheck, or a dispute with employment insurance or worker's comp, or government programs taking their sweet-ass time to process benefits to throw a family's budget into absolute turmoil that may take months to recover from.

Offline Jude

Re: Obese Teen, Mom Charged With Criminal Neglect
« Reply #44 on: July 26, 2009, 07:20:20 PM »
I absolutely respect your struggle and commend you for behaving in a selfless way for what is best for your children.  That's an amazing thing to do, and you deserve all the recognition in the world.  If you couldn't provide for your kids in a way that adversely affected their health I'd support you being given some government aid (as I would any parent that needs it to provide for their child).

However when government aid simply isn't enough (without becoming ridiculous) I still support people losing their child.  I want to see caring responsible parents keep their children, I think that's in everyone's best interest, including society as a whole.  I'm just not convinced that the woman in this particular story (or a parent that continually fails to provide for their child's health and be an active positive influence in their life) falls under that category.

My views are non-controversial, I agree with the current laws for the most part.

Offline Serephino

Re: Obese Teen, Mom Charged With Criminal Neglect
« Reply #45 on: July 26, 2009, 08:45:20 PM »
I'm not a parent, but state assistance is WORTHLESS period....  My only source of income is my Social Security Disability check.  Anyone else who gets Disability will know just how laughable what they give you is.  What I get puts me right on the poverty line. 

Now my s/o works at McD's.  By law, since we are not married, when we apply for benefits we're supposed to be processed individually.  Oh, they happily process us as a single person family, but because we share a house, they combine our income.  I've done research.  Technically they're not supposed to do that, but of course they use a loophole.  Separate we both qualify.  If we were legally married we would qualify.  Together as individuals we don't qualify. 

I did eventually manage to get both medical and food stamps.  I was so shocked when I got the approval letters I fainted.  I apparently found the right way to arrange the facts where they couldn't use one of their tricks.  In the state of PA they have 30 days to process and application by the way, and every time I've applied they took the entire thirty days, which was really frustrating when I was sick and in desperate need of medical attention. 

And of course no one told me I'd have to go into the office to get my food stamp card.  I was given to a case worker that is very hard to get a hold of.  I tried asking the front desk secretary, but she said she didn't know and I'd have to get in touch with my case worker, whom I'd left 4 messages for in the space of two weeks and hadn't gotten called back yet.  I didn't get my card until I just up and drove into the office.

Oh, and guess how much I get a month...  $89.  You try getting groceries with that kind of limit.  And that's monthly, not weekly.  The best part is if your grocery bill is over what you have on your card, you can't use your card.  I was hoping it would just take what was on the card and I'd pay the remaining balance.  Nope....

So yeah, I'm glad your relatives were actually helped by the government, but a lot of people aren't so lucky.  We live comfortably, but we live paycheck to paycheck.  My s/o recently had issues with Pay Pal where some fucktard got a hold of his checking account info and his paycheck was just barely enough to cover what he was overdrawn, so everything that gets paid at the end of the month didn't get paid. 

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Re: Obese Teen, Mom Charged With Criminal Neglect
« Reply #46 on: July 27, 2009, 03:37:50 AM »
Yes.  If you cannot afford to take care of your children you have no business having them, regardless of how hard you're trying.  You don't have a right to screw up your kid's life simply because you don't want to give them up, and if you couldn't take care of them in the first place, why did you have them?

Of course it's important to be understanding and to try and keep kids with their parents if it's at all possible to do so.  Foster homes are innately risky. But the health of the child comes before the parent's right to keep that child.

As for when we reach the threshold for each particular legal action, I'll leave that up to the experts to decide.  Let the sociologists look over the statistics and make the determination, they're educated to do it, I'm not.

Honestly, I stopped reading after this post cause I couldn't see to read for the tears in my eyes.  You may ask, "Then how are you typing this now?"  I don't have to see to type.  And though I was very tempted to tear the poster to pieces apart for the very hurtful things contained in the above post. . .I'm not gonna allow myself to do something so foolish and immature.  What I am going to say is this. . .

Life is hard.  And as a poor parent of two beautiful children I try hard and it really doesn't help that I constantly feel inadiquite for the things that I can't give them without someone throwing aside all caution for the feelings of others and throwing it into my face.  Yes I am poor and I have kids.  I have a job.  My husband has a job.  We both work constantly to take care of our family meaning we get zip time together as a family.  But why do I have kids then when I'm so obviously poor?  Because, I got pregnant and I didn't kill my baby or put it up for adoption, I kept it because I loved it.  With all of my heart.  Do we struggle?  Yes.  Should this mean I shouldn't have my children and am a selfish person for having them and bringing them into such a shitty existance?  I would certainly hope not.  Sometimes I think poor is like a trap.  I was born and raised poor.  I am still poor.  I have a feeling I will always be poor no matter how hard I try to claw my way out.  Life isn't fair.  I've learned to deal with this fact.

As for the obease child.  Who are we to judge her?  Yes, he is morbidly obease but a single working parent gets no time with their child.  And a teen at that.  Meaning the child doesn't really care to spend time with the parent (likely).  So weight CAN creep up on mommy dearest.  Put it on a little at a time and one day she gets up and looks at her son and says "When did THAT happen?"  Upon noticing this she goes for help and how is she rewarded for this?  They take her kid and throw her in jail.  Hell sometimes I take a look at my daughter and go, "where in the hell did that come from?"  or "when did that happen?"  Sometimes I only get to hold my son once a day.  Why you may ask.  Well, I'm working.  Working to pay bills.  To keep a roof over our heads.  Keep the water, gas, and electric on.  Keep food in the fridge.  Keep clothes on our backs.  Keep a vehicle so we can get to and from work.  Keep gas in said car.  You know, that adds up.  So please, don't judge this woman.  You've had your life and your life experiences and she has had hers.  You can't judge hers based on yours.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Obese Teen, Mom Charged With Criminal Neglect
« Reply #47 on: July 27, 2009, 07:38:47 AM »
There is another issue here maybe the parent can't afford to buy good food. Ever see what a poor persons options are I'm not well off at all and the only time I see meat is if my mother makes some or we eat out (yes that can be Burger King). Fresh fruit if I get a few ounces a day its a good day. Veggies forget that unless with a meal out on said burger.

Seening a nutritionist costs money unless the child is on disability or medicaid most specialists in my area charge over $100 a visit, the mother is struggling with money it seems. Its good on paper but if you can't afford that or buying good for or like her seem to just work so much she can't make a meal and monitor the child why blame her?

Offline GothicFires

Re: Obese Teen, Mom Charged With Criminal Neglect
« Reply #48 on: July 27, 2009, 08:12:12 AM »
Sometimes things like accidental pregnancy happen or a family who have children fall on hard times. Life happens.

But in all honesty if you have a hard time making ends meet when you are not a parent then you should be able to realize that a child is an expense you can't afford and take measures to prevent the event from happening. You want a child? Then build up your resources before you have one. (You here is a generalization, not to anyone specific on this board.) You don't have to be able to provide a child with fancy cloths and video games but you should be able to give them the basics that they deserve and require to grow happy and healthy. Good food, a roof, cloths, medical care and time with their parents. You yourself should be able to spend time with your spouse so that your relationship stays healthy (if you are married). This is what a child deserves. This is what people should think about before hand. And please... there are no what ifs on this one. What the child deserves and what different circumstances are are not the same.

I have never had the financial resources to have a child and it is the main reason I do not have one. I remember one instance when I was talking to a 21 year old drug using cousin of mine telling me he had a third child just born. I was 15 at the time and I remember screaming in my head what the hell are you thinking you can't support yourself much less three children with three different women. When you are poor it is difficult to put yourself through even a trade school. It was difficult enough for me to pay my way. I never would have made it providing for a child. I have since I was young watched members of my very poor family have children... i have watched them struggle and watched them grieve as some of the children were lost because of health issues.

Though it was a different time. My stepfather's parents placed him and his brothers in an orphanage because they could not afford to feed them and they stayed there until their parents could. I am certain it wasn't a very easy decision for them to make, yet they made it.

Being obese is a health issue. It boggles my mind that people say that it shouldn't matter and we and the government shouldn't be interested in the welfare of the child. What if this child had a hole in their heart or diabetes? Cancer? would you say don't treat that child because the parent is poor? Or that it was ok for the parent not to realize that their child had a major illness over a long period of time because they had to work two jobs? Yes being obese could be a malfunctioning organ of a person or it could simply be lack of wise choices and exercise, it may be a mental issue where the person finds comfort in eating or some combination there of... but it is still a medical issue that a parent regardless of income and time must address. Yes a parent who is poor has to work harder because they don't have money but that is the choice you make as a parent. I can empathize with the struggle. I'll happily lend an ear. I'll happily help research options if requested but when it comes down to the bottom line you must be held to meeting the minimum requirements of raising a physically healthy and emotionally happy child.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2009, 08:16:08 AM by GothicFires »

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Obese Teen, Mom Charged With Criminal Neglect
« Reply #49 on: July 27, 2009, 08:14:45 AM »
I do think people need to put this situation in a proper perspective.  Tearful accounts and personal insults aside, this child was neglected.  That weight does not occur rapidly nor does it occur due to sometimes bringing home fast food.  552 pounds is far beyond this childís ideal weight and Iím certain activities of daily living have been compromised.  This child is probably in a great deal of pain from his back and joints supporting such weight, if he can move well at all.  He is probably suffering from severe respiratory problems and heart trouble.  This childís life is in danger and his mother cannot simply say she was working too much to notice.

Perhaps this weight gain is from a medical condition.  Yet she would never notice this life threatening condition because she was not being observant enough.  Iím sorry but at that weight he would have difficulty moving around the house and she had to have noticed problems with him getting into and out of the car.  Had she failed to notice a horrible infection on his body with the limb turning black or the child becoming ill, we would not have this discussion.  Yet he is in far more serious condition now as he may well not live to see adulthood.  This child is in trouble and his guardian failed to notice early enough for this to have been addressed early.

While I do not feel she should go to jail, as many institutions failed this child for this weight to be reached.  There is certainly a passing notion that maybe her child should be removed from her custody for the time being.  I know many of the women here have written touching accounts of their own struggle to support their children, but I will phrase the situation differently.  If the environment you could provide for your child was killing them, would you force them to remain there?  The lifestyle this woman gave her son was killing him.  A parent needs to know when they cannot do this alone and find some help, somehow or someway.  This child was dying in front of her and she only reached out when it become obvious to others and they made offers.

This is not an issue of poverty.  Certainly families with more money have the ability to provide better supervision and food for their children.  Yet there are many children out there without adequate food or supervision that do not weight over five-hundred pounds.  There are healthy children in poverty that are being cared for by their parents rather well.  Not every child in poverty is running the risk of death at this very moment.  This child is staring at serious medical intervention to curb what is happening to his body currently.

The story is not a reflection on poor, single mothers.   That child is not an example to be paraded around about not having children if you are poor.  I do hope whomever made that comment realizes the severity of that statement and how offensive those words are.  The situation was certainly more difficult on her due to her economic level, but not impossible.  This child was put in his situation due to various decisions and indecisions made by his caregiver.  Please keep that in mind before attacking poor mothers.  A rich child is certainly as susceptible to this condition if faced with that level of neglect and inattention to their physical well being.