Goodness, what’s the rush?

A Texas appeals court rules that the state CPS acted too hastily in removing all the children from the FLDS ranch.

In the decision, the 3rd Court ruled that CPS failed to provide any evidence that the children were in imminent danger. It said state acted hastily in removing them from their families. The agency had argued that the children on the ranch were either abused or at risk of abuse. The Texas Family Code allows a judge to consider whether the “household” to which a child would be returned includes a person who has sexually abused another child. Child welfare officials alleged that the polygamist sect’s practice of marrying underage girls to older men places all its children at risk of sexual abuse.

And there’s another thing – the fact that the children in question are not free to leave. To put it mildly. Make no mistake: they are locked in there, and the doors are not open. And, it goes without saying, they don’t go to school. If anything is wrong, there is no one they can tell.

The court wrote, “Even if one views the FLDS belief system as creating a danger of sexual abuse by grooming boys to be perpetrators of sexual abuse and raising girls to be victims of sexual abuse as the Department contends, there is no evidence that this danger is ‘immediate’ or ‘urgent’ … with respect to every child in the community.”

Even though they can’t leave? Even if there is no way for anyone from outside to make sure all the children are all right? Sorry; I don’t buy it. I’ve read and heard enough accounts from some of the few people who have escaped to have good reason not to buy it.

Scott Dixon, a CPS regional director, said some shelters and facilities were already getting calls from parents asking when they could pick up their kids…Carolyn Jessop, who fled the sect in 2003, was leading the training. She called the decision “a shock. I am just hoping that enough people will come out and protest it,” said Jessop. She is an ex-wife of Merril Jessop, the assumed leader at the Eldorado compound.

An ex-wife who as a teenager was married to Jessop at the command of her father. She was raised FLDS, she couldn’t say no, but she was shocked and horrified. No; sorry; men shouldn’t be allowed to marry off their daughters like so much livestock.

Scott McCown, a former judge and executive director of the Center for Public Policy Priorities, said…protective services could still remove the children after a full trial. McCown said there is a very real risk that if the children are returned to their parents they will be moved to another state, Canada or Mexico and be outside the jurisdiction of Texas’ protective custody. “One of the real dangers is flight, and the court doesn’t address that at all,” McCown said.

Oh well. So a few hundred kids have crappy lives, and raise their own children to have crappy lives, and so on forever; no big deal.

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