Today history is being made in the House. After years of fighting and whispers of abuse of power, the House has finally impeached President Trump the 43rd President of the United States. The vote showcased a devided House with members from both sides showing various emotions. At times some members seemed to be a little too happy while others were down right angry.
Many of us thought life was finally going to get back to normal after the Mueller Report. It was a start again moment with hopes for a clearer path to finally getting things done.
Sadly, as soon as the ink was drying on the login sheets, President Trump was right back at it. This time he was in the works of taking down another political opponent. He was accused of temporarily withholding funds to Ukraine because he wanted information on Biden. For many of us this produced a sinking feeling. The Democrats had finally gotten their break. As more information came forward it started to showcase a pattern of behavior.
President Trump only released the funds which still haven’t been funded to Ukraine after Congress started sniffing around. The cat was already out of the bag, so he was on damage control. By obstructing Congress from doing an investigation, he put his presidency in danger.
Using foreign money to gain dirt as a means to influence Biden’s election is something totally in the realms of bribery and blackmailing. If anyone sees this as a small thing, then I question the location of their moral compass. President Trump has a uncanny character flaw and we can’t risk that type of mindset with our future. So, no matter how we feel about immigration, guns, or the economy, we must try to remain grounded by our values. There is a likelihood that Pence could become president. If he becomes president he could appoint Trump as VP, but I do not see that happening. There is also a possibility that Trump serves out the rest of his term.
So, what happens today and months to come? We have people that still need help in this country and no matter who it is, they will now be our only hope for continuing the economic push that Trump started.
To my 63 million siblings, I am sorry. I am sorry that your needs and your future wasn’t enough to keep President Trump on the straight and narrow. If only he would have believed in his ability to continue to change things without placing his presidency in jeopardy by acting like an upcoming monarch. I am sorry for you more than anyone. Your voices have been heard and you will not be forgotten.
Again, I will remind you that we are the engine that drives this country. We can let people drive it into the ground or we can vote according. At the beginning of this presidency I was all about the wall until a noise grew louder. I couldn’t overlook curruption and that’s why I am okay.
Many years ago when my husband was stationed in Savannah, Georgia I worked at a school. The school was a very good school which educated some of Savannah’s richest families. I didn’t understand the politics involved in education until I started working in the Special Education department. It would become a stark lesson in life about inequality inside the classroom because of status.
It would be my first lesson in social status division and my first lesson in how schools viewed children with special needs. My oldest daughter at the time was in the third grade. She was invited to two parties within the same week about halfway into the school year. One of the parties was being help at a child’s house in the Landings and the other was being held at a house at a mobile home community.
I remember asking the teacher who worked over me about both areas. I didn’t know anything about the Landings and I didn’t know anything about the mobile home park due to the fact that I liked to keep on base as much as possible. She informed me that the Landing’s party was the party I needed to let child attend. She giggled about the VIP invite and then started laughing about the mobile home invite. She insisted on keeping my child away from the child who stayed in the mobile homes because they were basically trashy.
Time came for the two parties which were held days apart. I decided against letting my daughter attend both parties due to the fact that I didn’t know the parents. I like to know parents before I say yes. However, due to the response of the teacher, I have always looked on schools with a bit of skepticism. I remember the importance the teachers held on children who were in Special Education with parents who had good jobs and the lack of importance they held for children from poor areas.
It really put me on a mission to make sure that each child knew of their importance no matter their parent’s status. I will never forget the time when I was told by a teacher that she would rather have a classroom of ghetto children than teach children under the Special Education umbrella. The sad fact is that parents do not have any idea of how some educators view their children if they have special needs. It is important perhaps more important for parents of children with special needs to stay involved with the schools and to monitor their children’s interactions due to these issues.
Years later my daughter would get service from under the umbrella because of her ADHD and her ADD. However, those two issues weren’t the issues that would cause her to retreat inside herself, it would be a bullying attack that would hinder her from being able to interact socially. I find myself blessed with the inside knowledge of two things because of my occupational travels. I understand how certain children are regarded due to their disability and I understand how schools do not tell you about the obstacles these children face inside and outside the classroom.
So this brings me to my conversation with my daughter before we went to bed. Last night my daughter entered the room and gave me this very meaningful speech as I gazed out the window.
“Mom, I do not want you to worry about me being placed in another theater class because at the end of the day, I know you believe in me. I know dad believes in me and I believe in me. I don’t need a teacher to give me the green light when I have you guys. If she doesn’t want me in her class, I don’t want to be in it. I’ll just do my best in the new class and prove her wrong.-Ariana
I guess that is the point of it all. It is my support that will protect and propel her. Schools are set on default educations which means they do not always give what each and every kid needs. No matter how much we want to elevate the idea of teachers, there will always be those teachers who aren’t encouraging to all children. So, as parents we must lift our children up when the world tries to bring them down and remember it is our support that gives them wings.
It shouldn’t be a secret at this point, we are living in a racial climate. Whether you are living in the United States or in the UK, at this point there’s no escaping race issues. So, with the weekend at our feet, I thought it would a good idea to leave you with this.
We do not have to look like each other, hold the same credentials, practice the same religion, or even use the same vocabulary! We simply need to do one thing when it comes to weathering the storm. We need to understand that underneath it all, we are all the same. We all house emotions, have goals, and live in this world.
What inspired this post, some of you might be thinking! It comes from a conversation at the dinner table that was innocent, but very telling at the same time. We do not normally gather at the dinner table for dinner unless it is Christmas or Thanksgiving. Last night we decided we would try something new because we have been finding cups in the children’s rooms. So, after the chicken was roasted, we informed the kids that we would be eating dinner at the table.
As we headed to the table and took our seats, one of the girls stated how we were being like white families. She then smiled and scooped a thing of potatoes on her plate. My husband looked at me and I in return looked back at my daughter. I informed her that when I was younger I never ate anywhere besides the dinning room. We ate dinner as a family. I didn’t know that children were seeing something like eating at the table or the lack of it, as a racial expectation. It was a teaching moment for not only us, but for the girls as well. The moment resulted in explaining that race has nothing to do with where we eat! We explained that perhaps culture played a part in what might be found on people’s plates, but that it wasn’t fair to conclude that certain groups shunned tables! Then it was on to the next topic which was about boys and sending inappropriate pictures. That’s a story for Monday! Have a great weekend.
I wish I could tell you that cases like the Central Park 5 no longer exist. I wish I could tell you that all investigations are done with fairness, but I won’t insult your intelligence today. The movie When They See Us is a painful reminder that not everyone with a badge or a title can be trusted to work for the betterment of their community.
I’m sure if you have been following my blog, you know my story. I turned in my badge over a year ago after I saw railroading techniques being used to trap minorities. It takes a strong person to go against their livelihood. In my situation, I transferred from another region because I wanted to move my family to a smaller town. I thought a smaller town would offer better people and a better foundation for my girls.
After I got here, I immediately started seeing issues. I came from a big city and investigations there weren’t easy. I was nearly raped, threatened by a weapon, and was even surrounded by racist at one point. Yet, I loved my job and I could see the good in helping out my community. I had a supervisor who clearly looked out for her community, she cared about trying to help children, and she cared about helping their families learn to rehabilitate in difficult situations.
I came here with background in removing children from parents using cocaine and meth. I also had the removals that resulted in removals from people who no longer wanted to be parents. After I got here, my very first case was a case involving an African American mother from another state. She had relatives here and a mother hours away. Not only did she have a mother hours away, the children had a father who was trying to see how he could get in route to pick up his children.
While I was trying to work with the family on finding a solution my supervisor was trying to push a removal on the mother due to her getting arrested. Keep in mind, there was an aunt living in the household and people who could have been here within hours. The policemen looked at me and asked me if I was really going to let that happen, and I reaffirmed them that I would do everything in my power to stop it.
After going back and forward with my boss I was able to get her to work with the family until we were able to get the father or grandmother headed in our direction. The thing about removals is that they often do not get overturned. They last for at least a year and children are forced to stay in foster care. So, if there is a family member, we were taught to do everything within our power to unite that child with their family, but in this unit they didn’t do that. Even after this case was ready for closure, and the female had her children back in another state my supervisor was trying to get the state to take action against the mom. The state politely let us know that the mother was doing good and to bud out at this point.
I have always been very careful about removals due to the stress that it places on the children. I removed only when I needed to and questioned anything that looked fishy even when it wasn’t my removal. A few cases later I came across a female who had just gotten out of the hospital. She tested positive for marijuana. Marijuana is not something that we remove for in the state of Texas. People get a quitting marijuana packet due to it not being crack or meth.
When I gave her an oral swab her medications that she had been given at surgery showed up. Keep in mind she had just been released from the hospital and her urine didn’t have any traces of those drugs nor the baby’s prior to or while giving birth. I still went on and confirmed with the nurses as to the type of medication that this lady was given. My supervisor wanted me to remove once again due to her results coming back positive even though she knew she had just had a c-section.
She swore up and down that a positive meant she had used something. I told her to google the medication and see what positives would show up and she did, but she still didn’t want to believe me or the medical professionals. I informed her that I wouldn’t be doing a removal because this mother wasn’t doing anything that warranted a removal. I even gave her another drug test which came back negative two days later.
I have always had issues with investigators who removed and placed kids into foster care without trying to locate family members. She and others stated that it took too long. The process could take hours, but it was still worth it if you could keep the family together and maintain safety. She talked about how she would talk only to PDs who would lean towards removals because she didn’t want to do family placements. Again this is killing the families, but she didn’t care. Once she joked about being the Removal Queen. All I could hear was I’m messed up so many families due to not wanting to put in extra time on family placements.
We already knew that in most cases that minorities were targeted by false calls. Did you know that only 15 percent of CPS cases are real abuse? That means that 85 percent are lies and anyone can call in on people. While we have had some cases that were real, we have had so many more that were nothing more than vendettas.
Here’s the cold hard truth about cases in the black community and Spanish communities. When people look to remove often times these families will not be able to get their children back. If they have any sort of record dealing from old cases, criminal cases or people in the house with any central registry case they will be voided out as a potential caregiver. There are so many minorities with charges on them due to possession of marijuana, criminal trespass or failure to identify. Then if that doesn’t get them there’s a case on them for being victims of domestic violence.
They changed the regulation on domestic violence about 1 yr or 2 yrs ago. Prior to that if you were involved in a domestic violence relationship and were a victim they could put a reason to believe on you. So, the victim would get victimized twice. In some states they still do this, they still charge the victim with a reason to believe which knocks them out for any job dealing with children, or elderly. It also prevents them from taking family members if children are ever removed in the future.
I finally quit my job because of a case that should have been a removal, but my boss didn’t want to believe the children who were the victims in the case. I worked the case with at least three other law officials from two other states. The parent was a runner and drug abuser. She was grooming her children to be sexually abused while their father was looking for them. The father spent time in prison for manslaughter only because the state didn’t have a law on the books for self defense. I found out everything about the dad. He was a good hardworking citizen, paid his dues, took parenting classes, and even earned certificates. He had held down a job, his only true crime was being black and trying to stop a white man from killing him.
I found out that he had been looking for his children for years while the mother was letting them get beaten and molested. So, I let him take his children and my boss knew this, but you better believe she lied to the program manager about it. The program manager who was just as crazy as she was wanted us to get the kids back. Here’s the issue, because they didn’t want to remove those kids, they would have went back to the mom and the abuser. So, there was no way in hell I was going to do that. I called the dad told him to get a lawyer. Needless to say, anything else would have been just as crazy as the prior cases, so I quit soon after that case.
This father wasn’t going to be able to protect his children because of a conviction he got due to him trying to defend himself. He was already victimized by the system once and then we were going to let his children become victims of the system again. If you are poor, black or mentally ill the system will not work for you as it would for someone with a different stack of cards. Your only hope is to get a person who cares. When They See Us might be about the Central Park 5, but the issue is that, the stain of racism has soaked so deep into the fabric of what and who we are. It is in outcomes of child abuse cases, criminal cases and even family courts in some arenas. We have to understand that the fight isn’t over. There’s still work to be done.
Fair warning*** Some of you might not like the article of the day. However, it’s Friday, so you will get over it. When I first starting working in the social work field I was introduced to the disability cash cow.
Before you get irate, I’m not talking about people needing help because they honestly need help. My mother worked most of her life, she got sick in her 50’s which resulted in her having to get disability. A few years after she got her disability, she died. I’m talking about people placing their children on disability as a means of income. There are some issues that will automatically give birth to the need of disability, however today we are talking about the ones that do not.
My first encounter with this situation started around 2012. I was at work and a lady entered my office with her three children. All of her children were under 7 and two of the three were diagnosed with disorders. In most cases, I haven’t heard of people giving children under five schizophrenia diagnosis. Yet, I am not a doctor, so maybe it happens. However, when I questioned the mom about letting her children attend school red flags started to show up.
She went on to talk about how she didn’t want them in a school and how the school wouldn’t be able to take care of them like she did. She was in a shelter and from what I could tell she had other people looking after her children most of the day. She then told me that she was getting around 1500 a month in disability and she was in the process of getting the youngest child placed on disability for their ADHD.
My daughter as many of you know suffers from ADHD/ADD and ODD. She was briefly diagnosed with having an intellectual disability until she was retested a couple of years ago. Around the time she received the intellectual disability diagnoses someone tried to talk me into putting my child on disability. I was told she would be able to get money because of that and her ADHD. I smiled and politely informed the person that I wasn’t placing my child on anything because I was going to help her learn how to control it.
Here’s the point, there are times when someone might need to get disability, but I would think long and hard about it before I sign any papers. Maybe talk to someone in legal. My daughter works and she plans on going to college to get a career. While her struggles have been real, our encouragement has been never ending. I always think back to the 19 yr I met years ago. She was bright, funny, and such a pleasure to be around. I would often make her read aloud in group when we went over coping skills. At first she was scared, but later she started to really shine.
I asked her why didn’t she think about going to college one afternoon. She then informed me that she had a low IQ which prevented her from being able to go to college. Apparently, her mother told her she was too slow and put her on disability with the help of professionals. Her mother was using her disability as a cash cow until she moved out of the house and then issues started because she wanted to work. We must always think about what’s good for our children and not what’s easiest for us.
So, as many of you know I have been debating the idea of continuing my blog. After thinking about things for a while, I have come to the conclusion that my job isn’t done. There are still so many issues out there and parents need answers.
At any moment parents are championing their children. Some of us are able to do a little more because of who we are. I have come to the conclusion that my blog doesn’t just help me, it also helps those out in the world. At any given time, I have readers from Spain, Africa, India, Europe and of course the USA reading my articles. I have even had people start to follow my blog after I decided to call it quits. My journey can’t be over, because the challenges of being a mother are far from over.
So, in the latest saga of momville. This is the newest issue. Just this morning, I had to write this email. Just because the year is almost over, doesn’t mean we can’t help to make the next one a little better for our children.
Thank you for reaching out to me. I am in the process of sending emails in regards to Ariana and how relationships with her teachers need to be a little more therapeutic in the future. I think it is important for you guys to understand who you are teaching, so, allow me to introduce you to my daughter. Ariana Santiago, your student was a happy go lucky child. She has dealt with ADHD, and ADD all of her life. She was diagnosed with having an IQ of 65 in the third grade. This diagnosis was very defining in our history because it introduced a new type of struggle. We had to reintroduce things to her that people had sworn she couldn’t do. In the end, it resulted in her being tested again some years later. Her IQ then went from 65 to over 70 which puts her still in a sort of a danger zone, but we are still working with her to overcome obstacles. Some of the things we were told that her IQ wouldn’t allow her to do was to use microwaves, cook using detailed recipes or even use money. Your class is important to her because it will help her to attain even more goals. My daughter is a work in progress. She was able to go from having an intellectual disability to not having one in three years.
Now, while all of this is happening inside of her body, on April 4th in 2004, she was attacked by 11 girls. This set us back and even added another issue we were never prepared to deal with. She would then try to commit suicide twice that week as a result of how violent the attack was. She has since had issues dealing with children and social interactions. The schools back in Garland worked with her extensively as well as us. Now, I do not want to point fingers, but your class is important to Ariana. Yet, some of the interactions have to stop in order for your class to not become a constant trigger. One of your first encounters with her dealt with you getting the entire class mad at her which made them upset and react in aggressive ways which resulted in her running out of the class into the bathroom and breaking down on the floor. When she came home she talked about how it made her think about those 11 girls and feelings that we were fighting so hard to help her deal with. So, this latest issue with her bringing a pizza into your class which resulted in her getting suspended because she stated that she would not give it up, has placed us on edge.
Firstly, Ariana now gets how telling you that she purchased it with her money wasn’t the wisest of words, yet she still doesn’t understand why others are allowed to have food in the classroom. As her mother, I have no issues with telling my daughter when she is wrong. As her biggest advocate, I must inform you that if you are allowing others to eat in your room , you are setting up a very confusing situation. I have asked for someone to come to the room from time to time to check in on the treatment of my daughter in regards to you. I am not sure why there are issues or even if there are issues , but since this is the level of your concern ” Hello, this is Mrs. Fyffe. I am Arianna’s Culinary teacher. How can I help?”. I thought it was only warranted to let you know. Being her biggest supporter and a blogger on special events, I hope you take the time to read articles on how to interact with children like her. https://shellzonit.com/2019/03/04/our-children-and-our-reaction-to-bullying/ I will also post this email and send it to all of the teachers who work with my daughter and I hope this will be the start to a better bully free zone for her at your school. Bullying is never okay, no matter who the bullying is coming from.
In case you need more clarification, I have posted my daughter’s medical report from the incident; in case you fear I am just blowing smoke. If nothing else comes from this communication, I hope you understand how important it is for you to help Ariana build relationships in that class and not use your power to bring her down.
Keep fighting for those kiddos. The year was 2014, sorry about the typo for all who sees the posting. The recipient of the email has the right date on the medical record. Sorry, and never stop fighting for your children. Be very careful and mindful if your child has a disability that their rights are always respected. We want to make sure that ALL children have the same respect in and out of the classroom.
“I heard a Fly buzz – when I died – The Stillness in the Room Was like the Stillness in the Air – Between the Heaves of Storm –
The Eyes around – had wrung them dry – And Breaths were gathering firm For that last Onset – when the King Be witnessed – in the Room –
I willed my Keepsakes – Signed away What portion of me be Assignable – and then it was There interposed a Fly –
With Blue – uncertain – stumbling Buzz – Between the light – and me – And then the Windows failed – and then I could not see to see -” I heard a Fly buzz – when I died –
The Stillness in the Room Was like the Stillness in the Air – Between the Heaves of Storm –
The Eyes around – had wrung them dry – And Breaths were gathering firm
For that last Onset – when the King Be witnessed – in the Room –
I willed my Keepsakes – Signed away What portion of me be Assignable – and then it was There interposed a Fly –
With Blue – uncertain – stumbling Buzz – Between the light – and me – And then the Windows failed – and then I could not see to see –
I decided to start Momville after looking at all the stories I had posted in relation to my children. It’s not a self help series, it’s more of a series that shows, we aren’t perfect. Momville includes questions that come with parenting and issues with learning how to let go. I’m a mother of three girls and one of them is about to be married in six months. My youngest is 13 and many of my postings in Momville will be about raising that 13 year old and the 17 year old with their unique way of seeing life.
My youngest is a YouTube personality, she is also in tennis, theater, and choir. This is the first time we’ve had a child on a sport’s teem. My oldest daughter is pretty much a computer geek, and the middle one, wants to be a chef or an actress. She is in theater, culinary arts and her normal high school schedule. I spend a lot of time talking about mental health issues because I have that in my family. I don’t like to hide it because I know I’m not alone. Plus, I think it helps to know that others are going through some of the same situations that you might be going through. My nightly conversations all tend to be geared towards pushing down walls and letting people in.
The thing about Momville is that it’s here to remind people that we are human. I went from thinking I knew everything about being a GOOD mom to understanding that I wasn’t the best mom in the world. As a matter of fact, I was letting my job get in the way of being a mom. It took me seeing a family grieve over the death of their daughter to make me see mine in a totally unrelenting view. I knew from that moment on, there was no job greater than being the mother to my girls and being there in their times of need. So, enjoy the stories found in Momville and think of how you can make your own. Above all else, just know, we are all in this together.