Juvenile Home stories one-sided

The Gazette Opinion Staff
Published: January 2 2014 | 2:35 pm - Updated: 29 March 2014 | 1:34 am in
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Closing the Iowa Juvenile Home is the right thing to do only if you are satisfied by superficial reporting.

For example, one article decried the fact that only 60 percent of the children at the home graduate. However, many of those children are limited in even the most basic academic skills and many dislike school.

Raising these children to a 12th-grade level in a matter of months would be somewhat miraculous.

Another example, one child had a penchant for stabbing anyone at any time in any place. This child spent time in seclusion. The staff at the home regularly are bitten, hit and kicked.

It is to the staff’s credit that they could look past this behavior and see a child in pain and continue to try to establish a connection with that child. They knew that once these connections were made, they could take children out of the dark to a place where they could heal.

The reporting and the committee investigation was shallow and inadequate. Demanding a thorough and complete picture took too much time and did not fit the political agenda.

Closing the home was not a righteous crusade. It was an opportunity for sensationalism that provided a rationale for a political decision. Concern for the children was not all that important.

Anne Michael



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