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Topic : 07/11 Abducted from School

Number of Replies: 99
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Created on : Thursday, July 03, 2008, 01:07:16 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
You might think of the classroom as a safe, protected environment for learning, but how safe is your child’s campus? Could a stranger take your little one right off the school grounds? That’s what happened to 6-year-old Kendall, who was abducted from a private Catholic school by a 47-year-old man she had never met before. Dr. Phil sits down with Kendall’s mother, Natasha, to hear her terrifying account of the abduction and the surprising racial aspect of the case. Did the school release Kendall to a total stranger just because he was black? Plus, Natasha sits face to face with the family of the man who kidnapped little Kendall. Emotions run high as they make a heart-felt plea for their son. Would he be better off in jail, or a mental institution? Next, Latoia's son, 4-year-old Zachari, was released by a teacher's aide to a complete stranger who rode up on a bicycle! Latoia and "Little Z" join Dr. Phil to tell how this potential tragedy turned out to be a comedic mix-up. But how could the school let this happen, and what measures are the administrators taking? And, Dr. Phil reveals what you need to know -- and more importantly, what your child needs to know -- to prevent an abduction, including some high-tech devices no parent should be without. Talk about the show here.

Find out what happened on the show.

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July 11, 2008, 1:44 pm CDT

People need to be responsible

I am bipolar, among a few other disorders. Under no circumstances does this give me permission to break the law, hurt children or do any of these things that are currently being done by these people. I feel that as soon as they are caught, they use the "mentally ill and off my  meds" excuse.  When they do this, they give people like me a bad name.  I have an illness, however, it does not define who I am. I take my meds daily and never miss a doctor's appointment.  Most people who know me think of me as a little 'quirky' but not anything more than that.  If somebody is off their meds, somebody around them knows about it and should be doing something about it. My daughter has power of attorney and durable power of attorney for my health. This is the way it should be. I feel it is necessary and we all sleep better at night.This is called being RESPONSIBLE.
 
July 11, 2008, 1:47 pm CDT

07/11 Abducted from School

Quote From: grandpoo

As a teacher, when I first heard the show's topic today, I sighed a little, and though..."Here we go, another reason for people to fear we aren't doing our job."  Local news stations sometimes use scare tactics for an interesting story.  Obviously, we're going to be very interested in anything that relates to the safety of our children.

When I thought about it, though, I started hoping that the parents of children at my school were watching.  We do have a very stringent policy at our school for child safety, and the problem we run into the most is parents being upset that we're making them sign, confronting them in the hallways when they haven't signed in, or not allowing their child to go home with someone who is not on their emergency contact list.  When a parent gets upset that I'm following the procedure, I very politely remind them that I do it only for the safety of their child.  Sometimes they then say, "Yes, I know, I'm sorry," and sometimes they continue to be annoyed.

Also, no matter what kind of policies are in place, it's impossible for the administration to know what's going on at all times and that her/his staff are following those procedures.  I thought the principal of the school sent a very good statement.  I know that I sometimes seem very "hardcore" when it comes to following the safety policies of my school [i.e. It doesn't matter that both parents are active members of the p.t.o...If they are not on the emergency list, they are not picking up someone else's child, but I really believe its absolutely necessary that when it comes to safety, we do not make exceptions.  Making one exception will not only make you vulnerable to doing it in the future, it also let's someone know that you're willing to make exceptions.  You can't be lax when it comes to the safety of children. 
I was so glad to read your response---we could have been cut from the same cloth, as I was going to say the EXACT same thing.  I am a teacher in San Antonio, TX and at my school, we try very hard to follow a very strict identification policy.  Parents do get very perturbed if I ask if they have a visitor pass, usually telling me, "I'm just going to the classroom" (or wherever).  I do wish their first reaction would be, "Oh goodness!  I forgot to sign in, thank you for keeping my child safe."  It rarely is though!  I'll keep doing what I do, and know that I do have everyone's best interest in mind.  Ruffled feathers are nothing to me compared to what the alternative can be! 
 
July 11, 2008, 1:48 pm CDT

Use Technology to Identify People

In this day and age why can't someone have a piece of equipment outside that will identify the persons who are allowed to pick up children?  I mean we all have cell phones and many have cameras, so why can't this technology be used to access pictures of the authorized persons allowed to pick up chidren?  With wireless Internet and laptops, it's easy, too.  Even if you had to drag a desktop computer on a cart to the pickup area, this would be better than letting students leave with strangers.

 
July 11, 2008, 1:51 pm CDT

aides and paras

I have heard both  "aides and paraprofessionals" blamed today for these incidents.  Dr. Phil goes on and on about how underpaid and overworked teachers are. Try being a paraprofessional, the pay is worse than working at a fast food place and paras are expected to be everywhere and doing everything. And when a problem arises, it is so easy to blame it on the para. It is possible they did not even know the actual rules for releasing a child because paras are not treated like certified staff and often not brought to meetings and made aware of issues such as this. Para educators are expected to do all jobs and they must now have an associates degree, but they are often treated like second class citizens and often blamed for things that are not their fault.  Dr. Phil, suggesting that a person who makes a mistake should have her job taken away--when she does not even make a living wage--seems unfair and harsh. If the paraprofessionals are trained and treated with respect they will all know procedures.
 
July 11, 2008, 1:53 pm CDT

Not the race card again

Look... I have 2 kids and I too would sue the school, ANY school that allowed someone other than my husband or myself to pick them up without my written permission. But to say that just because the child was the only black child in that school and that because the man that abducted her was black, was the reason the school asked no questions and allowed them to leave together is absolutely ludicrious!!! This could have been ANY child, black, white, hispanic, asian...And the little girl didn't say anything when he got her, like..."I don't know you"???? for a start!! Stop using the race angle AGAIN and just speak the truth that the school already ackowledged...THEY MESSED UP!!!
 
July 11, 2008, 1:58 pm CDT

Schools are too big

The problem is that schools are just too big.  Back in the day, everyone knew each other.  Teachers and parents do not take the time to get to know each other.  I have walked in to take my child a forgotten lunch.  The office sent me to the classroom.  The teacher was in the classroom but the class was not.  The teacher told me she didn't know where her class was at the moment!  Another time, I watched my child get on the bus in the morning.  The school called later in the morning to ask if I had forgotten to call to say my child was ill.  When I became panicked, the school checked into it and found that another child with the same first name was absent, not mine.  Yet another time, I was called to come pick up my son from school because another child was supposed to be picked up by his grandmother, but the teacher sent that child home on the bus and kept my child in the office to wait for his grandma to pick him up.  Not only was I upset because I had to take off work to pick up my son but the other child was sent on a bus to an empty house.  My sister has full legal and physical custody of her children.  She has given the schools a copy of her custody agreement and told them that her ex is not allowed to make decisions concerning their education.  Yet, time and time again, her ex will go up to the school and tell them to send all coorespondence to his residence, not hers, and they do it!  I also run a daycare center.  The bus company constantly allows children to get off at whatever stop they want to.  Why do we fill out all that paperwork, if they are not even going to look at it.  At my daycare children are not allowed to leave with anyone we don't know without a written notice and ID.  Sometimes we ID people we already know.  I used to teach kindergarten in a rural school.  I knew every family in my classroom.  If one of my kids missed the bus, I had to take them home.  We need to get back to community schools instead of these mega complexes.
 
July 11, 2008, 2:09 pm CDT

It happened to me....

I was working for an agency in town and went to pick up a child from a daycare.  They did not ask for identification and handed the child to me to transport.  I did not know what this child looked like and even identified that I didn't know this to the person working!  They still did not ask for identification.  They handed me notes to take to the parents, so I placed them in the seat next to me.  As I was leaving, I was suspicious as this child looked NOTHING like the parents.  I opened one of the notes to see the name of the child, who ended up being the wrong child!  I immediately turned around and drove back to the daycare.  I explained the situation to the Manager and she immediately blamed me for being irresponsible and her reply to me was "What am I going to tell the child's family???"  I let her know that was not my responsibility, but her's and she needed to instruct her staff to ask for proper identification when people are picking up their children and make sure that her staff knows the names of the children and can identify them.  Wow... I was pretty upset!  I will NEVER refer this daycare to anyone, instead I will warn people about this so everyone is aware.  This could have been a very scary situation for all people involved!!!!  Spread the word!!!! 

 
July 11, 2008, 2:18 pm CDT

Dr. Phil was too easy on the school board

It was getting to be the end of the show and he was talking to the school board about this lady who let this boy go with this stranger on his bike.  I don't care if this lady worked there for 400 years and baked apple pie for everyone every day.  It is totally besides the point.  This family whose son was taken should have been treated much better than they are by the school board.  The school board is protecting the lady who let the boy go with the stranger, more than they are to comfort the family. 

 

The school board members wouldn't be so happy to defend this lady and keep her around so willingly had it been one of their loved ones being sent home with a stranger. 

 

Schools have a no tolerance for any sort of violence such as even water-guns...they should have that same sort of punishment of their teachers when they make mistakes.  Maybe it would make teachers less likely to be comfortable in their positions by overlooking  what they think as nonsense procedures.  

 

This family needs an apology every single day until their son graduates out of the school by the school board and by the lady who let him go.  This family was treated very poorly. 

 
July 11, 2008, 2:41 pm CDT

07/11 Abducted from School

Quote From: tievah

The problem is that schools are just too big.  Back in the day, everyone knew each other.  Teachers and parents do not take the time to get to know each other.  I have walked in to take my child a forgotten lunch.  The office sent me to the classroom.  The teacher was in the classroom but the class was not.  The teacher told me she didn't know where her class was at the moment!  Another time, I watched my child get on the bus in the morning.  The school called later in the morning to ask if I had forgotten to call to say my child was ill.  When I became panicked, the school checked into it and found that another child with the same first name was absent, not mine.  Yet another time, I was called to come pick up my son from school because another child was supposed to be picked up by his grandmother, but the teacher sent that child home on the bus and kept my child in the office to wait for his grandma to pick him up.  Not only was I upset because I had to take off work to pick up my son but the other child was sent on a bus to an empty house.  My sister has full legal and physical custody of her children.  She has given the schools a copy of her custody agreement and told them that her ex is not allowed to make decisions concerning their education.  Yet, time and time again, her ex will go up to the school and tell them to send all coorespondence to his residence, not hers, and they do it!  I also run a daycare center.  The bus company constantly allows children to get off at whatever stop they want to.  Why do we fill out all that paperwork, if they are not even going to look at it.  At my daycare children are not allowed to leave with anyone we don't know without a written notice and ID.  Sometimes we ID people we already know.  I used to teach kindergarten in a rural school.  I knew every family in my classroom.  If one of my kids missed the bus, I had to take them home.  We need to get back to community schools instead of these mega complexes.
It's not so much that are schools are to big it is the staff is there for a paycheck and could care less what happens to our children.  What does it hurt to take just a couple extra minutes to make sure you are releasing the right child into the right hands  To me there is no excuse what so ever.  They have my child for school then they need to take care of my child while in their care.  My daughters father is a registered sex offender and I always take in the papers with a picture to make sure they do not release her to him.  One thing I do have going for me is my husband adopted her, but before that I believe they would have let him take her no questions asked, no matter what papers I had brought in to them. 
 
July 11, 2008, 2:53 pm CDT

07/11 Abducted from School

Watching the show my heart goes out to the parents of the mentally ill man. It goes to show what a failed mental health system in the US does to the mentally ill person and society. If the man had received help like the parents stated they had wanted for him before he was released from system, the kidnapping of a child may not have happened. I thought the show only encourgaged the stigma related to mental illness. If only we could face the reality that the mental health system is greatly underfunded to address this population. A population who has no control of their actions at times due to the physical functionings of their brain chemistry.  As a family member of a bipolar and schizophrenic brother of 10years I sympathize and only hope this show does not further stigmatize the mentally ill population and instead shows how this population is underserved and effects that can have on society.

 
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