Florida's Child - Fatal Deception or Social Blindness?

Written by C. Bailey-Lloyd/LadyCamelot

Having had a personal opportunity to speak with Ms. Liles after all this time, she shared `Florida's Child' - Bradley McGee's life story with me. In her heartfelt words, she explained how she still advocates child abuse prevention, and still followsrepparttar case of Sheryl Coe, Bradley's biological mother. Today, we revisit Bradley's brief time on earth:

Most of you didn't know him. Most of you may never have heard of him. He was an innocent toddler, just a little over 2 years old. He worerepparttar 132178 face of many a child. Bradley, fondly known as `Braddie' to his foster mom, (Kip Liles), also borerepparttar 132179 fatal scars of abused & neglected children everywhere.

His story begins nearly two decades ago. Atrepparttar 132180 very tender age of just four months, Braddie was abandoned in a shopping mall (by his biological mother). Fortunately, an on-duty pretzel vendor took him to a local hospital where Braddie was quickly introduced torepparttar 132181 `system' of governmental child supervision.

After living in a safe foster home for nearly two years,repparttar 132182 `system' sent little Braddie back to his biological mother and stepfather. In merely 66 days after reintroduction into his original home, Bradley's life tragically came to an end (byrepparttar 132183 hands of his parents). Did Bradley becomerepparttar 132184 sorrowful product of a poorly constructed childcare system?

Bradley McGee, sadly, like many other abused & neglected children are often returned to their biological families only to find ill-fated tragedy awaiting them. In Bradley's case, countless pleas fell on deaf ears prior to his horrific murder in 1989. A number of persons, especially Ms. Liles, made several attempts to have Bradley removed from his neglectful home, all to no avail.

Upon his return, little Bradley incurred insurmountable, and brutal physical abuse. Beating after beating, his abusers finally took his small, innocent life by dangling Bradley by his ankles and repeatedly plunging his head into a toilet bowl. When they finally retrievedrepparttar 132185 battered tot fromrepparttar 132186 bathroom, they continued their torture by placing him in a cold shower to quiet his screams, and then beat him (with pillows) until his small body curled up into a fetal position. What was their reason for his fatal beating? He had soiled his pants. Inrepparttar 132187 end, Bradley purportedly ended up on a life-support machine where he died alone.

Bradley's mother (Sheryl Coe) had repeatedly mocked child welfare workers inrepparttar 132188 past by `hiding' when they (caseworkers) arrived at their mobile home to check on Bradley. [It is my personal opinion and review of said case, that logically, at some point, caseworkers should have made an effort to attain a warrant to enterrepparttar 132189 premises.] Psychologists who interviewedrepparttar 132190 Coes found that they were `immature and explosive.' How could a judge rule in favor of them (Sheryl & Thomas Coe) with this afore knowledge? The reason forrepparttar 132191 ruling was because psychological documents were never introduced intorepparttar 132192 hearing - a slight oversight?

Upon jury-trial commencement, Thomas Coe was sentenced to life in prison and Sheryl Coe was sentenced to 30 years; however, Ms. Coe was released after 9 years of time served. To date, she is again inrepparttar 132193 clutches of yet another court battle to retrieve another biological son in foster care.

Bradley is still remembered by Kip Liles (former foster mother), neighbors and by those who watched live news reports asrepparttar 132194 incredible drama unfolded on television. While I lived in Florida atrepparttar 132195 time, Bradley's story tugged at my heartstrings and resides in my thoughts forever. His story, like so many, needed to be told and retold until no child is left torepparttar 132196 wayside.

Below are some alarming statistics and information on Child Abuse & Neglect cases inrepparttar 132197 United States alone:

According torepparttar 132198 US Department of Health & Human Services, Administration for Children & Families, 2.6 million reports of child abuse or neglect were filed on 4.5 million children, of which 896,000 cases were substantiated in 2002 alone. In other words, a little over 12 children per 1,000 became victims of abuse or neglect by legal standards.1 But what substantiates abuse or neglect?

In a report byrepparttar 132199 National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information, over 40 percent of allegations are made by friends, neighbors and relatives. Sixty-one percent of all reports were found to be unsubstantiated, 30 percent of all reports included at least one victim of child abuse or neglect, and remaining reports were closed for other reasons. In 2002, 1,400 children died due to abuse or neglect. Infant boys were found to haverepparttar 132200 highest rate of fatalities - 19 per 100,000. Incredibly, nearly 1/5 of child victims had been placed in foster care at some point in time. 2

According to ChildHelp USA, `...homicide isrepparttar 132201 leading cause of injury deaths among infants (under one year of age) inrepparttar 132202 United States.' Furthermore, ChildHelp USA reports that '...the actual incidence of abuse and neglect is estimated to be three times greater thanrepparttar 132203 number reported to authorities.'3

Choice and Change, The Two Constants

Written by Clyde Dennis

OK, so here we are. We've switchedrepparttar calendars out and made our resolutions. Now it's time to set aboutrepparttar 132176 process of making those changes we've resolved to make. You haven't forgotten already have you?

I heard you say this year I'm going to... stop smoking, exercise more, take a few night classes, start saving for retirement, eat healthier, cut my alcohol intake by 50%, get more rest and on and on and on. Choices to change. I applaud you for living consciously enough to even realize that some changes might be good.

Unfortunately there are those who don't dare think that on any given day, we can in any way we choose change anything or everything about ourselves and thus our lives. It seems we've somehow been coerced into believing major portions ofrepparttar 132177 course of our lives are set in stone and are therefore unchangeable.

This of course could not be further fromrepparttar 132178 truth.

On any day we wish we can open a new book for reading or start writing a new and exciting chapter of our own, in our own. We can stretch ourselves to meet new challenges, or we can choose to shrink away from them. At will we can turn old friends new again, and new friends old. We can move up, or we can move on. The choices that we can and must make are essentially endless.

What we must not loose sight of is that these things are in fact CHOICES. And even more importantly we must realize it's through these choices that our history is being continually written.

We also of course haverepparttar 132179 choice and option of exercising our choice not to choose. I call thisrepparttar 132180 choice of mediocrity. This tag because not to choose is still a choice made. It's just allowingrepparttar 132181 choice to be made for you rather than by you. A very mediocre way to live. It's choosing to pretend to be alive rather than going ahead and doing it. I can't imagine though why someone would CHOOSE mediocrity. I Guess it's a comfort thing? I mean whatrepparttar 132182 heck, we're here anyway. May as well dorepparttar 132183 thing. Right?

Cont'd on page 2 ==>
ImproveHomeLife.com © 2005
Terms of Use