Okay. So you're a parent. You have a kid whose fairly smart, and usually has a good head on their shoulders. The kid wants to be a dolphin expert some day. You can afford a descent vacation to take a field trip to Sea World. You let the smart kid who wants to work with dolphins to the area where kid can feed them. Kid gets excited over not having any fish left for dolphins, and picks up the empty container despite signs and warnings NOT to do this near the pool. Dolphin acts like a dolphin, reaches up, bites at the cardboard, and bites the kid's hand while at it. Kid is fine, just some superficial wounds, understands that she messed up... Sea World staff responds, attending to the family. Sounds like a learning session... but, the parents are mad because the dolphin "attacked" the kid? Um. No. The dolphin attacked the container, thinking there was food in it. Duh. The kid is worried more about the dolphin eating the cardboard container than her own hand. The parents want something done about it, even though there are isolated incidents such as this that happen. The last one was 6 years ago. Solution: Parents should keep better eye on their kids while going to sea world.
Okay, this is a bit odd, weird, and a mixed message to me. We are all aware of the Casey Anthony case, where she was found "Not Guilty" over the death of her daughter, Caylee.
There is a petition out there to sign "Caylee's Law", which, in a nutshell is to make it a felony for a parent NOT to report a child missing within 24 hours, and a child dead - accidental or otherwise - within an hour of finding out.
I signed it, because as a child advocate, I do this sort of thing, but, as a parent, I have to question WHY we need a law like this, when to NOT report is already gross neglect on the parent's part of the bargain. But, in the case of certain mothers, like Casey, obviously it's needed because some mothers just plain have no sense about protecting their own children, whether it's lack of it, or just don't care...
Anyway, after signing the petition, to which Senator Van Wanggaard got this letter on my behalf -
To: Sen.Wanggaard Subject: Create Caylee's Law, Not Reporting Child's Disappearance Should Be a Felony
Sen. Van Wanggaard
State Capitol, Room 319 South
2 East Main Street
On July 5, 2011, at 1:15 pm CST, Casey Anthony was found not guilty of first degree murder in the death of her daughter Caylee Anthony. The only charges she now faces are four counts of falsifying police reports, each of which only carries a 1 year prison term. Since she has been in jail since August 2008, she will be out of jail ENTIRELY too soon.
I'm writing to propose that a new law be put into effect making it a felony for a parent, legal guardian, or caretaker to not notify law enforcement of the disappearance of a child within 24 hours, so proper steps can be taken to find that child before it's too late.
This way there will be no more cases like Casey Anthony's in the courts, and no more innocent children will have to go without justice.
The case of Caylee Anthony was tragic, and there is no reason for another case like this one to hit the courts. Let's do what is necessary to prevent another case like this from happening.
To respond, email email@example.com and include a link to this petition.
Here is the response.
Thank you for sharing your opinion that Wisconsin should enact Caylee’s Law, stiffening penalties for failure to report a missing child or the death of a child. I value your opinion, and I appreciate that you took the time to share your opinion with me.
Several of my colleagues have expressed interest in drafting a version of Caylee’s Law, and Representative Samantha Kerkman (R-Powers Lake) is leading the way in the Assembly. Any child abuse case is a tragedy, and we must protect our children.
It is important to note that Wisconsin law already provides safeguards against incidents similar to the Casey Anthony case. Wisconsin Statute 948.21 states that, “Any person who is responsible for a child's welfare who, through his or her actions or failure to take action, intentionally contributes to the neglect of the child is guilty of…a Class D felony if death is a consequence.” There are additional state statutes that address hiding a corpse (Class F felony) and providing false information in the case of kidnapped or missing persons (Class H felony).
Again, thank you for contacting me on this issue. Should any legislation come before me in the Senate, I will keep your concerns in mind. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or concerns on this, or any other, issue.
Wisconsin State Senator
21st Senate District—Serving Racine County
Okay, so. Very good. He supports this, and knows the state laws that are already in existence concerning this issue, and is interested in our children's safe keeping.
So he says, "Any child abuse case is a tragedy, and we must protect our children". Yet this very same person told me ON THE PHONE while talking to him about April's Law that he "disagrees with Cory Mason's draft" because it didn't include a high school sweethearts clause...
Well, HELLO! When do high school sweethearts kidnap each other for the purposes of rape, sexually molest and possibly kill? Since when do high school sweethearts now construe a situation of an adult preying on a child, when most often there are, on average only 3 years between the two people at hand?
I am a little bit disgusted here, is because here a national case gets such high exposure, and a stand alone signature w/o comment gets this type of support for Caylee's Law (which I expect parents to follow even without this in place), yet, as a constituent who spent 3 years working on April's Law to protect our children from sex predators on and offline, with phone calls, emails, etc, and he won't support it because of a high school sweetheart clause?
I am really having a hard time digesting this, because, parents are supposed to be responsible for our children, and this should be a given to begin with, and he supports it... Yet with all my research that I've sent him of cases, right here in Racine of adults preying on children, teachers abusing students, etc... and he won't support that. So, what, it's okay to sexually abuse our children, but, if we cross the line and kill them, that's when it's wrong?
I'm just absolutely disgusted... I apologize for the lettering, but, I couldn't expand the email exchange. Please don't mind while my gaskets are blowing.
WOOT! Okay, sorry to have a party here w/o inviting people sooner, but, this is huge news, and I think it's exciting.
Representative Mason is putting the final touches on April's Law Wisconsin, to ensure that kidnapping for intent to molest children gets added into the current draft, and will hopefully be introducing it to the Assembly later this month. This is VERY exciting to begin with.
And now, even MORE on the good news, up and up, Senator Wangaard's office FINALLY contacted me about April's Law Wisconsin, and wants to set up a meeting in the first part of May.
I'd sent him a message through one of these other sites, and got this automated message back from him:
Thank you for contacting my office. I appreciate that you wrote to me to express your concerns. Please be assured that my staff and I are reading every email we receive. We are still working through a backlog of emails from the budget repair bill, but we will review your email as soon as possible.
Van Wanggaard Wisconsin State Senator Senate District 21—Serving Racine County
My response back was:
In reading every email, please ensure that you get back to me ASAP as for the April's Law draft that I've emailed to you several times. My home phone is 262-xxx-xxxx - we ought to do a meeting to talk about protecting our children from sex predators on and off line.
From J the legislative assistant:
Hello Ms. S,
I'd be happy to set up a meeting in Madison with Senator Wanggaard. We are currently scheduling for the first and second week of May on our calendar--you can give our office a call at (608) xxx-xxxx to set up a meeting or email me with some dates that work for you. The Senator is typically at the Capitol Tuesday-Thursday every week.
Office of Senator Wanggaard
So, I'm shooting for Monday, May 2, for an afternoon coffee/tea. I'm looking forward to it, and well, lets hope all goes well to get April's Law Wisconsin into the law books! Thanks for all supporters of April's Law, even if in concept only. For now, I'm happier than pie. WOOT!
Have we been corrupted? Law enforcement doesn't look good. The very people who are supposed to serve and protect are now perpetrators? I know, I know... Don't let one spoil it for the rest. It's just disturbing to me.
Anyway, a Racine police officer is accused of SEXUALLY MOLESTING GIRL. Of course he is asking the judge to DISMISS THE CHARGES because he "didn't do it". He is expected to GO TO TRIAL. The abuse has supposedly been going on for 2 years. The teen girl, wanting to remain anonymous, SPEAKS UP and I'm proud of her for being strong and brave. He'd been showing her porn since she was 10, which is a form of sex abuse in and of it's self. Even though he's been suspended with pay, now this same officer is RESIGNING, which in my opinion, makes him look guilty. And now there are NEW CHARGES against the officer. The only attorney I hear talking is the defense attorney. So what, the one representing the girl is on a gag order? How depressing that we are only hearing one side, which will get public sympathy for a probable abuser, making the potential teen victim alienated and worse. Even *if* she was making it up, she obviously needs help. Counseling. A safe place to be herself. Support. I believe her.
To ensure that this type of situation ceases to happen, please continue to sign the federal APRIL'S LAW PETITION to protect our youth from sex predators on and offline. And here is the companion petition for APRIL'S LAW WISCONSIN. These are two separate petitions, and are not competing each other, but complimenting each other. Please sign both.
To help ensure our men aren't getting abused, please sign the SEAN'S VOICE PETITION, for our unacknowledged survivors of abuse. All too often, men are reluctant to report abuse, because they are often laughed at, not believed, or expected to be able to take it or like it. This petition is in memory of baby Sean, who died at the hands of his mother. When his dad tried to protect him, Sean's mother would press charges and get him arrested, and he was abused also. Double whammy and more. We would never arrest an abused woman, nor would we tell her not to go somewhere safe with her children. So why don't we know the signs of male abuse? Why are shelter spaces so few and far between for the men? This needs to change.
Thank you for your continued support, and, on a lighter note, some good news...
My son will be fully done with his 4th grade curriculum this Friday, and did a rocking job all summer. He has amazed his teachers online, impressed family and friends, and as Mom, I couldn't be more proud. It hadn't been an easy year, as his online teacher had scheduled 10 mandatory elluminate classes on top of the regular curriculum, and then added an online math and reading skill companions, and a math elluminate class, for a total of 13+ extra classes per week... Many families struggled to keep up, and some are doing summer school.
Here is my smart boy, who even through challenges and long days, not only got ahead in his reading levels, but kicked butt on science and social studies as well. He'll be entering 5th grade slightly ahead in most subjects.
We will keep reviewing math, and encourage reading. He likes Harry Potter and Star Wars, along with natural science type books to read.
I also have to give credit to Mike, who got up and taught my son Chad, and did a great job. I was just the sub or the principal... I felt mean at times... lol. But of course hard work and success comes with a price.
Mike was a very good sport about everything, and even the special liaison who makes the home visits was impressed with Chad's progress. And doesn't it figure, that kids always out last their teachers? A favorite recipe from my house to you: Chicken Cacciatore ala Lika: 2 large chicken breasts, cubed big. A medium onion, cubed. A garlic bulb (use at least 4 cloves), minced. About 4 celery stalks, sliced. A green bell pepper, cubed. 1 large tomato, cubed. (Optional: Sliced mushrooms). 12 oz tomato paste. Italian spices. Salt and pepper to taste.
In a kettle, melt 2 TBS butter, add some olive oil, and stew chicken and onion with parsley until outsides of chicken pieces are white. Add other veggies. Sprinkle in 1 tsp oregano, 3/4 tsp basil, dash of salt, crushed red pepper or fresh ground black pepper.
Add the tomato paste, and add 4 cans of water. Bring to boil, simmer for 2 hours. The sauce won't be as thick as spaghetti sauce. Serve over pasta of your choice. I recommend a thicker noodle like thick spaghetti (regular or linguini would work too). The heartier the sauce, the thicker noodle you'll need.
Enjoy! Don't forget to sign the petitions... Enjoy your summer!
p.s. Please visit www.youthvoiceinitiative.org for more information about the cause. Feel free to ask me anything!
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