The Clackamas print. (Oregon City, Oregon) 1989-2019, February 18, 1998, Page 2, Image 2

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    Wednesday,
Feb. 18, 1998
Baby taken without cause
TONI MCMICHAEL
Staff Writer
How is it in the state of Oregon that
parents are guilty of neglect or abuse
without proper evidence? All it takes
is one statement from a child, teacher,
neighbor or even a family member and
the police and
Children
and
They need
Family Services
to have a
(formerly known
as CSD) will be
new
knocking at your
door in just a few babysitter,
hours.
one who
Many parents
will
don’t realize how
supervise
easy it is for them
to lose custody of
them and
their children. A
keep their
caseworker can
come to your
noses
home and physi­
clean.
cally remove them
without any physi­
Toni
cal evidence of
McMichael
neglect or abuse.
Staff Writer
All they have to
say is they believe
the child or children to be in immedi-
ate danger. And you lose your child
or children until you can prove that you
did not harm them in any way.
There’s a case in Milwaukie where
a 29-year-old mother just had this hap­
pen. She has three children: two girls,
ages nine and four, and a one and a
half month-old son.
The little boy has been having
trouble gaining weight. She has
taken him to the doctor many times.
One evening about two and a half
weeks ago he began wheezing. His
mother had his grandmother go with
her to take him to the emergency
room. While there, grandma told the
doctor she was concerned for her
grandson’s health because he was not
gaining weight.
After they left, the doctor turned the
baby’s mother in for abuse. He ac­
cused her of not feeding her son. A
few days later police and CFS came to
her home and ordered her to place the
baby in a foster home or with his dad’s
parents. If she tried to argue with them
they would make the decision them­
selves. She relinquished custody to his
grandparents.
The state caseworker did not have
the baby taken to a doctor for a physi­
cal. If they really believed that he was
being starved he should have gone di­
rectly to the hospital to be cared for.
Obviously they did not totally believe
the allegations because the lack of an
immediate physical would have proven
(or disproven in this case) that they
had no right to remove this baby from
his home and his mother's arms.
The problem is that Children and
Family Services has no evidence.
They have legally abducted this child
from his mother and the only way she
can get him back is to play their
games.
She must go through a psychologi­
cal evaluation and take parenting
classes to prove she is a fit parent
and she is mentally stable enough to
know when her child is hungry.
After she does all of this they might
allow her to begin having visits with
him. After a few months she might get
partial custody, and then eventually
full.
The big word here is might. They
could decide not to allow her any vis­
its and force her to go to court. She
does not have the money for court and
the state-appointed lawyer has not
been an advocate. Her current lawyer
refuses to go public with this case: she
seems to think her client is already
guilty, so why fight back? What this
mother needs is a lawyer who will fight
for her and the welfare of her son. She
needs one that will not kiss the states
behind, but instead make them kiss
hers.
CFS believes they are doing this in
the best interest of the baby. Bull!
They don’t care about him. All they
care about is the money. As long as
they keep custody of this child, they
are receiving money from the taxpay­
ers to help pay for the care and the
upkeep of this baby. The more chil­
dren they remove unnecessarily from
their homes, the more secure their jobs
are.
This department needs to learn they
are not above the law. They too must
have hard physical evidence before
they remove a child from their parents'
custody. To do this they must get off
their behinds and investigate the alle­
gations before they rip a family apart.
If they have proof that abuse is occur­
ring, then by all means remove the
child from harm.
CFS has too much power. As citi­
zens and parents, we all must insist
that new regulations be implemented
to prevent this state from abducting
children from their parents. New
guidelines of how to legally remove
them from their homes when neces­
sary.
Nobody is immune to the wrath of
CFS. They can go into any home, any
time to take away your children.
They do not need a court order. All
they have to say is they felt the child
was in immediate danger. As par­
ents this automatically revokes dhy
say in what happens to your child.
CFS automatically receives custody
of them until they decide you are a
fit parent. If they decide you are not,
they can keep your child for months
or even years. It is then your respon­
sibility to prove that you are inno­
cent of any of the accusations of
abuse or neglect.
It is not the state's job to prove their
case. Law enforcement officers must
have evidence to arrest a criminal. The
"innocent before proven guilty" rule
does not exist for Children and Fam­
ily Services. For them, you are guilty
until you are proven innocent.
Some people might think that social
status plays a role here, but it does not.
The economically challenged are tar­
geted more than the upper classes, but
this does not mean the rich are im­
mune. All it would take for someone
like Governor Kitzhaber and his wife
to lose custody of their son Morgan is
a false accusation of abuse. Children
and Family Services would step in;
Morgan's parents would have no say
in what happens to him. The
Kitzhabers would have to prove they
did not abuse their son. At least they
have the money to fight the courts, un­
like some people
who have no
money for a law­
The
yer.
This event
problem is
occurs more of­
that f ten than the
Children public realizes.
CFS has had
and
their
hands
Family
slapped many
times for re­
Services
moving children
have no
who
should
evidence. never have been
removed. This
time they need
Toni
to be scolded
McMichael
and sent to their
Staff Writer
offices. They
need to have a
new babysitter,
one who will supervise them and
keep their noses clean.
The most important thing they need
to do first is to return the children that
they have abducted to their loving par­
ents before something worse happens
to them.
ASG: Making valuable contacts
Continued from page 1
know much about that, I haven't got to that'...
and we really came to task on that and said 'This
is why we're here, and why we supported you, if
we did, is to support education,"' Bemey added.
Clackamas students must always meet high
expectations while in DC.
"Many of the advisors have told me that ours
is one of the most well-organized groups back
there," Berney added.
While the students get their chance to mingle
with students from community colleges all over
the country some topics that are discu.ssed in­
clude Bookmart, child care, environmental is­
sues, transferability from a two- to four-year
school and funding.
Wednesday, February 18, 1998
"We gain a lot of knowledge and give a lot of
our knowledge back to other community col­
leges," Bemey said.
There are many opportunities for Berney to
meet with other ASG advisors at the conference
to discuss a number of issues: for example, how
individual ASG groups are run.
Overall the trip to DC proves to be educa­
tional every time.
Currently, ASG is conducting a number of
fundraisers. Every Wednesday from now until
March 4 and on Thursday Feb. 26 (during the skills
contest) the group will host a barbecue at the Com­
munity Center. ASG is also selling raffle tickets,
for gift certificates and prizes, at $ 1 each or six for
$5. The drawing will be held March 4. If you would
like to purchase a raffle ticket call ext. 2245.
N 3 w s
fifp.rr.ers!
Student government will host a week of activities
devoted to raising awareness about issues that are often
overlooked. Events such as CPR classes and a forum
on rape will bfe just a few of the issues covered from 10
a.m. to 2 p.m. Mon. Feb. 23 through Wed. Feb. 25. For
additional information contact Becky Biggs, public re­
lations senator of ASG, at ext. 2247.
The deadline for the writers’ club contest is today.
Students may submit up to three poems, one-essay, and
one piece of fiction. Submit four copies of each entry.
Include a cover page for each. Specifically, manuscripts
should be prepared as follows: A cover page with the
title, category, student’s name, social security number,
address and phone number. The first page of the story
should only include the student’s social security num­
ber and the title. Do not put your name on the first page
of the entry. All entries will be considered for the liter­
ary magazine Synesthesia. Submit entries to Allen
Widerburg in M233 or call ext.2359.
The following recruiters are scheduled to be on cam­
pus in the Community Center: Thurs. Feb. 19, Olsten
Staffing Services; Mon. Feb. 23, Norrell Staffing Ser­
vices; Tues. Feb. 24, Airport Terminal Services; Wed.
Feb. 25, UPS; and Thurs. Feb. 26, Work Opportunity
Fair in the Randall Gym from 9 a.m.-l p.m.
Ushers are needed in exchange for free admission to
“Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” playing in the McLoughlin
Hall Theater the evenings of Feb. 26-28, March 6-7,
and the afternoon of March 8. For more information
contact Alice Nelson in Ml 12 or call ext. 2356.
Need money for childcare expenses? Grant applica­
tions to help pay for childcare during Spring term are
now available. See Leia or Ann in the ASG offices,
ext. 2245.
Volunteers are needed to tutor adults in reading and
writing approximately two hours a week. Contact Joe
VanZutphen.
The Native American Students Club, Coyote Circle,
invites all those interested in Native American culture
and crafts to come join their circle each Thursday (ex­
cept Feb. 26), in M251. The meetings are held from
12:30 to 1:20 p.m. They are in the planning stages for
their Spring Powwow and their next Indian Taco feed.
They will be researching Native American plants in­
digenous to this area with the hope of restoring the Na­
tive American garden at the ELC. If you have any ques­
tions, please call ext. 2813.
Day classes will be canceled Thurs. Feb. 26 to make
way for the High School Skills Contest. High school
students from the area will come to Clackamas to com­
pete in many different subject areas by taking tests.
Evening classes will follow their usual schedule.
Ctackamas Print Staff
19600 S. Molalla Ave. Oregon City, OR 97045
(503) 657-6958 ext. 2309
cccprint@clackamas.cc.or.us
Co-Editors-in-Chief: Christina Mueller
Copy Editor:
Mike Garcia
Advisor:
(ext. 2576)
Brad Zimmerman
Photo Editor:
Timothy Bell
Linda Vogt
Feature Editor:
Joel P. Shempert
Co-A&E-Editors: Jared Bezzant
Sports Editor:
John Thorbum
Alex Mahan
Business Manger:
Mairin-Anne Moore Cartoonist:
Mark Hoffman
Secretary:
JoAnne Gale
(ext. 2578)
Staff Writers and Production: Laura Armstrong, Kristina Brooks, Adam Crum, Eric
Eatherton, Kim Harney, Toni McMichael, Jeremy Stallwood, and Robert Schoenberg.
The Clackamas Print aims to report the news in an honest, unbiased, professional manner. The opinions
expressed in The Clackamas Print do not necessarily reflect those of the student body, college administration,
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tion if submitted by 1 p.m. the Friday prior to publication. The Clackamas Print is a weekly publication and
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