All Around Wise: Looking for light at end of ‘horrendous’ story

By Richard Greene | Published Saturday, February 16, 2019
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Tuesday morning I sat in our conference room during a weekly managers’ meeting, hoping for the coffee to kick in after a late night school board meeting in Boyd.

Richard Greene

A few minutes before the meeting wrapped up, my phone buzzed with a text from our Special Projects Manager Brian Knox.

“We have ‘children locked in dog kennels’ story breaking right now,” the text read.

My mind raced, thinking a rescue was underway after some curious children got themselves locked in a kennel with a dog and emergency personnel were racing in to save them.

I could have never envisioned the horrible details that I learned minutes later as Brian started relaying early information to me. As I can only guess from the comments that consumed our social media posts in the next few minutes, there was an instant feeling of shock, followed by anger, disgust and eventually just sadness for reading the conditions in which the children were living.

How can someone treat their children like this? And how can this happen here?

Sadly, it’s not the first case of extreme child abuse or neglect in our county. In 2016, Decatur mother Shauna Paque was sentenced to five years after she pleaded guilty to injury to a child with intent to cause bodily injury, assault family/household member impede breath/circulation and unlawful restraint of child under 17 years old. She was accused of beating her teenage sons over the head with cooking pans and chaining them to furniture for not doing their homework.

In the past few years, there’s been several court cases with sexual crimes against children.

I don’t have answers for what leads to incidents like the one this week. I’m not sure any of us truly want to understand what leads a person to harm a child or fail to protect them.

While this week’s details are heartbreaking, the work of the sheriff’s deputies to find them and bring them to safety and the diligent work of foster families and child advocate groups to provide a nurturing environment to start a long healing process is heartwarming.

They show that even the worst stories can be capped with a happy ending.

Richard Greene is the Messenger’s editor.

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