Monday, October 08, 2007

'Nuther Paris teen alleged abuse at Texas Youth Commission

Earlier this year, then-TYC inmate Shaquanda Cotton made national headlines when the Chicago Tribune compared her story (she was incarcerated for shoving a hall monitor) to a white girl sentenced by the same judge to probation for arson.

The article purported to show that Cotton received disparate treatment from the Paris judge, but Tribune Southwest Bureau Chief Howard Witt has now gone back to track outcomes for the white girl in the story, and finds that she suffered a fate worse and more traumatic than Shaquanda's ("2nd girl from Paris, TX allegedly abused in youth prison," Oct. 8):
The emotionally troubled teenager, who has been diagnosed with serious depression and bipolar disorder, ended up being sent to the same youth prison in Brownwood, Texas, where Shaquanda was incarcerated, because she subsequently violated her probation twice and the judge in the case finally threw up his hands.

While there, the teenager—whom the Tribune is declining to identify—was allegedly sexually molested by a male prison guard, who then threatened her to keep her quiet, according to documents and witness statements examined by the Tribune. She self-mutilated her arms with a knife, carving the word "Why" into her flesh, her mother said.

Last spring, the girl attempted to commit suicide by swallowing a handful of pills prescribed for another inmate. When a guard rushed into her cell to rescue her, authorities allege, the girl knocked the officer to the ground—an assault that tacked another 6 months onto her sentence.

Even worse, officials at the Ron Jackson State Juvenile Correctional Complex knew of allegations that the guard was sexually abusing the girl, but did not remove him from contact with female inmates until four months later.

In a letter to the girl's parents dated Oct. 18, 2006, prison Supt. Teresa Stroud wrote that "a formal investigation has been initiated" into allegations that a prison guard "touched [the girl's] buttocks and made comments about her anatomy."

The girl would later tell authorities that she was too frightened to talk to investigators about the incident, and prison officials ruled that the allegation was "unconfirmed," according to Tim Savoy, a spokesman for the Texas Youth Commission, the state's juvenile corrections agency.

But on Feb. 24, 2007, another abuse allegation against the same guard surfaced, and he was suspended with pay the same day.
This description sounds to me like the child in question needs serious mental health assistance that she's not getting at TYC. Her mother told the Tribune:
"I don't want it looking like we're trying to copycat the attention that Shaquanda got, but I think my daughter's story needs to be told," the mother said. "They should take into consideration that she has tried to take her life over this issue. She's really despondent. She blames herself for what the guard did. She just cannot forgive herself. And she is not receiving any counseling for what the guard did to her."
I'm glad that Witt followed up on this story. The portrayal of Shaquanda Cotton's case was an important but incomplete look at problems with Texas juvenile justice. The biggest issues aren't all or even mainly about race. White kids get abused as frequently as everybody else incarcerated in the Youth Commission, and many kids still incarcerated haven't received the counseling and support they need to get over what's happened to them. Kudos to Witt and the Tribune for sticking with the story.


Anonymous said...

I agree, kudos to Howard Witt and the Trib, but disagree that the question is whether white kids get abused at equal rates to kids of color in TYC. No kids in TYC should be abused.

The point that the Shaquanda Cotton story made was never that Shaquanda was abused in TYC because she was black, but that the juvenile court of Paris abused its authority by committing her to TYC custody for such a minor offense in the first place and that she was subject to such punitive action at the local level because of her race, but more importantly her mother's civil rights activism.

The story of the other girl shows how equally horrible a fit TYC is even for youth who have committed fairly serious and violent offenses, particularly those with mental health issues. It also shows -- again -- how an insular, closed institution that refuses to believe youth allegations as a general rule and conducts shoddy investigations with little oversight breeds abusive conditions. Frankly, the story of this other girl from Paris smacks of the same abuse uncovered at West Texas State School, particularly if this poor girl is made to stay at TYC for an additional six months.

Let's hope TYC and this putz Doug Wise that's quoted in the story can actually get it right this time.

Anonymous said...

Thank GOD for "outside" reporters & bloggers !

Anonymous said...

TYC is not equipped to "help" kids with serious mental problems. As a former teacher at Corsicana, where the "most seriously ill" youth are sent, even there the equipment and personnel to treat these children is not available. Periodically the nurses there have been referred to as "the angels of death".

Only when our lege realizes that it is balancing the budget on the backs of those least able to support the balanced budget, will anything begin to be done. Maybe I ought to say that the electorat learns that that is what is happening, because the lege doesn't give a shit.

Anonymous said...

So I'm confused, is it being stated that a year ago possible sexual contact took place with a TYC guard and nothing was done about it?

Anonymous said...

5:55 You, too are making assumptions - without anything more to go on but this mother's account, reported in the media, you assume that the TYC investigator did a shoddy job and that the girls are both telling the truth. What investigative training do you, have, may I ask? Every once and awhile these kids do tell a fib, and sometimes they get together to tell fibs. Kids often lie to get staff they don't like in trouble, and staff often lie to cover for each other. Absent any physical evidence, it is left to the investigator to sort out the he-said, she-saids from both sides. Even when something really did happen, the kids often destroy their credibility by "piling on" making additional allegations that are provably false. For instance, if you say A and B happened, and I can prove B did not happen, and it is your word against the other about A, whose story do you think I am going to believe.

There was a real cover-up in West Texas. I think it is significant that in the situation out in West Texas, the folks who were involved in the cover-up were able to keep the trained investigators away from the place. I can guarantee you, that no one is more angry about what happened out there than those of us who daily seek to dig out the truth to protect kids from the true predators out there.

I do not know which of the two investigators at Ron Jackson did the investigation the mother refers to, but I know one of them, and if she is the one who did the investigation, she did a thorough and conscientious job with what she had to work with.

Whitmire made a big deal of trashing the "amateur" investigators at TYC, but I would counter by asking about the closure rate of major police departments around the country.

One good thing that came out of the scandal is that we are finally getting some more tools with which to do our jobs. The addition of law enforcement officers has already proven to be a big plus. They bring with them not only a different set of investigative skills, but polygraphs and arrest power. (It is a crime to lie to a law enforcement officer.)

Anonymous said...

to 8:12 - Tell me, are the investigators using the polygraphs on the youth also? Is it also a crime for a youth to lie to a police officer? I ask because at one time we were told that if the youth was found to be lying about a staff in an investigation, the youth would not suffer any comsequences for that lie, even though many times the staff's reputation and career were ruined. Do these kids sometimes lie - absolutely. Do they sometimes tell the truth - absolutely. Is hard to tell the difference? Of course - but it is my hope that the new tools you speak of will help eliminate some of these issues and clear the muddy waters of TYC investigations.

Anonymous said...

Who knows what the truth is anymore? From the West Texas cover-up to the youth commission's own on-site QA monitors in Bronte apparently not doing their jobs (and all the missteps in-between), well, at this point TYC appears to be so full of sleazy, below average IQ incompetents that any accusation sounds reasonable. TYC's reputation and credibility is utterly and completely gone. TYC is an embarassment, a liability and a danger to the youth and adults alike. The $$$ that's going to be paid out settling lawsuits is going to be massive and will probably help bring about a merciful end to this joke of a state agency.

Anonymous said...

I believe I still have an email from a person that carried a lot of weight that it was OK for the kids to lie to him about staff. He said that if he tried to give consequences to youth who came to him with lies that they would clam up and not ever tell him anything. I told him that what I thought they'd do is quit coming to him with lies and only come to him when they had something that was true that needed to be dealt with. Just shows you that teachers know nothing and people who get put in charge of a facility when the Supt. is out know all. However, authority does have it's privileges. Oh, just in case you're wondering, the lie acceptor is not in TYC anymore and the teacher is. But don't ever think that there aren't others in power with the same attitude. Now, the teacher or staff lieing would not cut it (and I agree with that) but we need a level field if you know what I mean. Also, all the lies told are not thoroughly checked out as you might have expected. 225's are thrown out like so much trash because the student had a different story than what the 225 said and the person with authority didn't bother to ask the person who wrote it but couldn't give every detail in it since we were told to be brief in our writing. Yes, the little darlings will fig occasionally. You can usually tell when, their lips are moving. Now remember that lieing is omitting part of the story that one doesn't want to tell. You know, kind of like CO and the people in charge do the down line staff.

Anonymous said...

5:55. I believe the other point with the Shaquanda Cotton story was that she was being held beyond her minimum length of stay without sufficiently documented evidence to do so. I would say that wrongful incarceration probably amounts to abuse.

When are people going to wake up and realize the TYC model of using primarily minimally educated "down the line staff," who spend an undue amount of their time trying to write letigiously appropriate incident reports, to manage the day to day complex process rehabilitation of deeply engrained behavior patterns does not work.

The incident report focus of rehabilitiation, without creative in the moment identifications of alternatives to self destructive behavior is largely a waste of time and money.

The model of large numbers of youth on dorms on large campuses with the least number of possible staff is a breeding ground for abuse.

In my opinion, if youth are to be held accountable for the lies they tell, so should staff. If staff were scrutinized and disciplined for the exaggerated, or simply factually incorrect 225's they write we would have even more of a staffing crisis on our hands.

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:55 is spot-on, IMO.

There is a pile of literature out there showing that one reason for disproportionate minority confinement is that whites and nonwhites often (but not always) receive different treatment at every decision-making stage of the juvenile justice process - even when identical offenses are involved.

Historically, TYC prior to the Morales era segregated its inmates by race (even after federal policy required integration in the 1960s), punished Latino youth for speaking Spanish, used black youth as convict laborers, and "diagnosed" black youth as "aggressive homosexuals."

Does that mean white youth weren't also mistreated? Of course not.

And, back then, any and all allegations of abuse were treated with outright contempt, even when the evidence was blatantly obvious. Eventually published stories of abuse reached a critical mass and became impossible to deny, and were proved by FBI agents, Texas Rangers, social scientists, staff whistleblowers, reporters, and attorneys.

So here's my question right now: Exactly how many more stories need to break about individual abuse cases before we can at least suggest that youth allegations are treated with a presumption of disbelief, and that abuses are more widespread than TYC is claiming? Director Pope just stated the other day that "98%" of prior abuses have been corrected.

In the case of a girl who claimed to have been raped, why wasn't a rape kit performed immediately? Gathering physical evidence is the surest way to prove or disprove a claim, isn't it?

Back in the 1960s and 70s, it became clear that inmates stood to gain little, if anything, by openly claiming abuse. They risked further abuse, often at the hands of the same individuals whom they had accused. This story sure sounds like that.

If the girl and her mother are lying, let's see proof. Otherwise it is hard to expect the public to presume anything other than that there is some truth to their claims. Right now, fairly or unfairly, the burden of proof is on TYC not its critics.


Anonymous said...

Do you honestly believe any truth would ever come out of this current administration?

Anonymous said...

How depressing.

Anonymous said...

I am 8:12. We have been told that the polygraphs will be made available to the non-law enforcement investigators. Whether that is true or not remains to be seen. Kids do not get consequences for lying to the civilian investigators - in fact, I got in trouble for writing an Incident Report on a kid who I could prove lied to me in an investigation. The kids can, however, be charged if they lie to the law enforcement investigators. That said, one famous, now former TYC youth lied his butt off to me and the law enforcement investigators, and they could prove it, but they were not allowed to arrest him. No, there is not a level playing field. We work hard to get at the truth, but our hands are often tied.

Those of us who do investigations all felt supremely betrayed by the few folks near the top who covered up the West Texas crimes. In my opinion, Ms Barnard, the chief architect of the cover-up, should be in jail.

Casper, I could respond to you, but you have your mind made up, so why waste my time?

9:30 - I hear you. However, I cannot tell you how many times I have seen 225s that contained obvious exaggerations and falsifications. Some staff are so desperate to get a kid locked up in Security, that they add all kinds of things to the 225, often contradicting themselves. It cuts both ways. I'm not some young crusader right out of CPS - I have worked the dorms and I have worked as a Security Caseworker, and I had significant investigative training before coming to TYC. One of the reasons I took an investigator job is because I have seen first hand the inequities on both sides. I do what I can to get at the truth.

I am hoping that having the criminal investigators, with all the extra tools they bring to the game, is a step in the right direction. So far, I have been impressed with the quality of the ones I have met.

Anonymous said...


The staff I investigate almost universally assume that I am out to get them. People such as yourself seem to assume that we automatically disbelieve the kids because they are criminals. The bottom line is that guilty people lie, whether they be kids or staff. I had one superintendent publicly accuse me of coming to his campus with my mind made up that his staff were guilty of abuse. This is a guy who actively tried to hide evidence from me. Guess what? He tried that trick with the Rangers and got himself a new set of wrist jewelry!

Our former General Counsel, Neil Nichols, was adamant that we not use any coercive techniques in interviewing kids. He was also adamant that kids not receive any negative consequences for lying on grievances or to investigators. Though I disagreed with him on that point, I am sorely aggrieved at the shoddy treatment Neil got at the hands of Whitmire. Neil is an honorable man who was totally dedicated to protecting the rights of kids. His number 2, Emily Helm is also. As a result, they were both throughly despised by many of the "get tough" folks, yet in the end they got trashed by the "reformers".

In any organization, there will always be people who abuse their power. In any organization that involves kids, whether it be the Boy Scouts, Little League, churches or TYC, there is an attraction for sexual predators. The problem comes in when you have managers who feel that an abuse confirmation on one of their staff is a blot on the manager personally, or when they have a physically abusive staff who maintains order on the dorms through intimidation, and the manager is so worried about getting in trouble for disorder on the dorms, that he or she feels a need to protect that staff. It's called the "Zero defects" mentality. "Zero defects" was, and still is, alive and well in TYC. (That said, I cannot fathom why Barnard was so diligent in protecting Brookins).

I beleive very strongly that TYC needs to be aggressive in rooting out the bad apples. However, we need to be equally aggressive in protecting the vast number of good staff who come to work every day and give their best to try to make a change in the lives of these kids. That second group far outnumbers the first. As can be seen from the comments made on this blog, the abuse by two men in West Texas and the subsequent cover-up by about 4 people, has cast a pall on everyone who works for TYC.

Anonymous said...


In re-reading your post, I realized that I did not answer your question about the rape kit. I do not know all the circumstances of the allegation. I am under the impression that the allegation was not made until well after the alleged incident was supposed to have taken place. If that is the case, a rape kit would have been of no avail. Again, I do not know the sequence of events in that particular case, but I do know that on the campuses where I do most of my investigations, when a kid makes an allegation of recent sexual abuse, they are taken to the ER and a rape kit is done. The allegation is also immediately reported to local law enforcement.

Again, having our own criminal investigators within TYC is going to go a long way towards ensuring that criminal complaints are followed up on. Believe me, that is a big improvement, because in most cases, local law enforcement has shown little interest, even when civilian investigators such as myself have confirmed abuse.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:19 / 11:32,

Thanks for your response. I realize upon a closer reading of the original Tribune piece that the case may not have involved actual intercourse but rather other forms of sexual abuse. So I was likely mistaken to raise the question about a rape kit.

Other staff have written as you do about Neil Nichols. Although I have never had any contact with him, my guess is that his stance on investigating youth claims as you describe here stems from his having been at TYC during the Morales settlement.

My sense from what you and others have said about Mr. Nichols is that he was a proponent of rehabiliation who stuck around during the get tough shift and tried to mitigate the damage, but then got caught up, probably unfairly, in the scandals caused by those same get tough types.

I'm guessing the "reformers" you mention here are mainly legislators who haven't really exhibited much of a grasp of genuine "reform" outside of a shift to an even more correctional philosophy. Grits certainly has taken the view that the lege's demand for "heads to roll" resulted in the wrong people getting blamed, fired, or pushed out.

I also wanted to thank you for taking the time to explain some of the procedural workings and dilemmas of internal investigations within TYC. Very illuminating and I appreciate it.

Bill Bush

Anonymous said...

(From AP wire) "Wis. deputy flew into rage after rebuff
A young sheriff's deputy who opened fire on a pizza party and killed six people reportedly flew into a rage when he was rebuffed by his old girlfriend, and others at the gathering called him a "worthless pig."

FYI, TYC recently stopped using psych assessment as part of hiring process; now uses computer questions. I don't think this would pass the TCLOSE requirements and probably not Morales.

Anonymous said...


First let me say that I'm an African American that really loves and appreciates your blog. I usually find your comments to be fair and well-thought out.

That being said...your article comes across as divisive. You compare the Shaquanda case to the case of the White girl in TYC and go so far as to say that the White girl suffered more. Whoa...Was that necessary? You also state that "white kids get abused too." Why even go there?

Your comments imply that the abuse case somehow mitigates the well-documented misrepresentation of African Americans in the juvenile justice system.

What happened to both girls was WRONG. In my mind, they are both victims for totally separate reasons. Can't we advocate for both girls? It's not a competition.

Thanks for the opportunity to vent.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Thanks, 5:57, for your comments. FWIW, it was the Chicago Tribune that made the assessment that the white girl suffered "worse" abuse than Shaquanda Cotton, and if the allegations are true I think that's right.

Also, I didn't intend for my comments to "imply that the abuse case somehow mitigates the well-documented misrepresentation of African Americans in the juvenile justice system." It doesn't. But as I said, white kids are abused by the system, too. That doesn't mitigate what's happening to black kids, it just points out that racial aspects aren't all there is to the story.

Howard Witt's original stories on Cotton expressly were based on the idea that Cotton was treated unfairly because of her race. But I don't think any kids in TYC, white, black or green, are treated well. Witt's original story emphasized how the white girl supposedly got off light compared to Shaquanda. Now we know that the system treated both of them shabbily, regardless of race. best,

Anonymous said...


As a historian, you would find Neil to be a gold mine with regards to the history of TYC. You are correct - he and Emily did stick around to try to mitigate the damage of the "get tough" crowd. (As did many of us). The real tragedy in my mind about this whole sorry episode is that Neil had teamed up with Linda Reyes to turn the ship around when all this broke out. Now he, Emily, Linda and the folks they had put in place to truly reform the agency have all been purged.

I think Whitmire engineered the whole thing as a way to save budget money that he wanted to spend elsewhere. Remember, he is the head of the Senate Finance Committee, and he knew about the West Texas scandal way back in the previous session. After years of budget cuts for TYC, Linda's team was primed to request huge increases in the TYC budget. The real reformers had to be discredited and purged, because they were going to be too expensive. They were replaced by a bunch of folks from TDCJ who do not have a clue. I do not think that was an accident. Remember also, amid all the "reform" of SB103, TYC's budget was actually cut once again.

Anonymous said...

"I think Whitmire engineered the whole thing as a way to save budget money that he wanted to spend elsewhere. Remember, he is the head of the Senate Finance Committee, and he knew about the West Texas scandal way back in the previous session. After years of budget cuts for TYC, Linda's team was primed to request huge increases in the TYC budget. The real reformers had to be discredited and purged, because they were going to be too expensive. They were replaced by a bunch of folks from TDCJ who do not have a clue. I do not think that was an accident. Remember also, amid all the "reform" of SB103, TYC's budget was actually cut once again."

Whitmire is not the head of Senate Finance. You can do a simple Google search and find out who is. Also, your comment about Whitmire engineering the whole thing? Yeah, that's a respectable opinion. I'm sure he directed all those employees to molest and neglect kids, and that he also paid off the Texas Rangers to investigate the mess. You're doing NOBODY, especially the kids at TYC, any favors by belittling the reality of what happened to them or the staff who tried to help them, only to be retaliated against.

And why gripe about a Dem legislator in respect to finances? Is it the Democrats, or the Republicans, who are known for saving money through the starvation of public services and privatizing the public sector?

Anonymous said...

Go back to the archives and watch Whitmire in action in 2005.

Anonymous said...

10:01 - It's not about Whitmire being a Democrat, it is about Whitmire being Whitmire. Remember, he sold out his fellow Democrats in '05 during the redistricting fiasco. Whitmire is loyal only to Whitmire. He was not interested in the WTSS scandal in '05 - he had bigger fish to fry back then.

People who molest kids belong in prison, and those who cover it up belong there right along with them. As I pointed out in an earlier post, TYC, because it deals with kids, is a target-rich environment for pedaphiles,and as someone else pointed out, even more so than Little League, Boy Scouts and churches, because the kids already have 2 strikes against them. But they do make a lot of false allegations. Those two factors are what makes investigating allegations so challenging.

One TYC mother brought national fame to herself by "exposing" the abuse her son supposedly suffered at the hands of TYC. Everyone, MSM and members of the legislature included, assumed that her son was truly the victim she portrayed him to be. The key word here is "assumed". His allegations were thoroughly investigated not only by TYC's internal investigators, but by the Rangers, OAG and TDCJ OIG. Were any indictments brought? No.

All I am saying is, please do not equate allegations with proven fact. Those two guys in WTSS did molest those kids and it was covered up - by a total of about 4 people - not by the entire agency. There have been many other abusers who have been caught by TYC internal investigations. But, it is not enough to just catch 'em and fire 'em and turn it over to local law enforcement, who in most cases could give a damn about victims who are adjudicated for crimes and whose parents are not even constituents. As I said before, what we were missing, and now have, is criminal investigators and prosecutors who have the ability to take cases to criminal court if the locals are not interested in doing so. That is a big plus, and I give Whitmire and his colleagues kudos for that one part of SB103.

Anonymous said...

Texas correctional agencies need to learn several new words BACKGROUND CHECKS, LICENSING, PSYCHOLOGICAL TESTING, and QUALITY APPLICANTS. Texas is too busy trying to warehouse their inmates and could care less who the caregivers are.

I can really tell the Texas legislator this year was worried about the problems involving hiring good quality applicants to work in the Texas prison systems. The state was so worried, they gave their officers a 2% raise. The officers are still number 47 in pay and the worse paid large state correctional system in the United States.

Governor Perry and the Texas Legislators need a leason on RUIZ v. Estelle and how much this case cost the state. History repeats itself and low wage corrections is not the answer. Learn from your past mistakes. Texas is over 4,200 correctional officers short and the number is growing. Violence is up in the Texas prison system. A Texas Attica is just waiting to happen.

Wake up Austin!!!!!!!! You get what you paid for.

- No One Important

Anonymous said...

The molestations at WTSS are still allegations at this point, and both of those men were hired with psychologicals, background checks, and liscensing. They were both considered quality by previous employers. Where there needs to be some house cleaning is in the field of journalism. Sounds to me like TYC did everything is was supposed to do in this case, but the slant of the story is more tabloid gossip.

Anonymous said...

Whitmire is now out issuing press releases to counter criticism from his legislative colleagues claiming Geo's lobbyists are out to get him.

Anonymous said...

As long as TYC has TDCJ staff running the show juvenile care and safety will never be the issue.

They say what they belive you want to hear but are generally clueless. They do not understand existing policy and belive they can send a directive that will supersede written policy, look at the pepper spray fiasco.

Bill Humphrey was hand picked by Owens and Pope to provide oversight to them and to destroy what juvenile experts left in the field. He believes corrections are corrections, ask him.

This agency is truely a joke.

Anonymous said...

At best the Chicago Tribune story is horrible journalism and at worst - outright libel and false information. Remember, TYC staff may not speak specifically about any youth's case without the consent of the parent for a youth under 18 years old. Mr. Witt printed the "story" told by a mother willing to do anything to get her daughter out of TYC. There is MUCH, MUCH more to story and in youth's masterfile. BB requested proof TYC didn't do anything wrong. We can't present the information without violating the youth's confidentiality. The mother knew exactly what she was doing when she provided both exaggerated and clearly false information to that reporter when she knew we could not comment about her childs case because she didn't sign a publicity release. The information in that story are not FACTS. They are the desperate attempt by a mother to get her daughters sentence reduced and have her released - regardless of whether that young lady remains a danger to the community and herself. If Howard Witt thinks printing the story without any corroborating evidence other than a letter confirming an allegation was made is responsible journalism - I would hate to think what other trash he has printed.

Anonymous said...

5:02 - TYC did not do everything they should have done, but it did a hell of alot more that it has been given credit for. Lydia Barnard protected Brookins, plain and simple. He was caught red-handed downloading pornography on his state computer in San Saba, long before he went to WTSS. She snuffed that one. He was arrested for failing to answer court summonses for driving violations. She snuffed that one as well. She also, at the very least, dealt inappropriately with allegations that were made by concerned employees at WTSS. The abuse was later confirmed by internal investigations, as was the cover-up by Ms Barnard. TYC dutifully notified local law enforcement, the local DA, the Governor and key members of the legislature in 2005. Dwight Harris even tried to bring it up in an open hearing, and was essentially told to shut up by Whitmire. That is on video.

Two years later, TYC became the victim of yellow journalism and political shenanigans that ruined its reputation in the minds of most of the general public. Now the TDCJ crowd is systematically dismantling what is left. It is truly heartbreaking to those of us who truly believe that we have a calling to help kids turn their lives around. First we were betrayed by some of our own, then we were betrayed by the media and crooked politicians, and now we are having to put up with an incompetent bunch of people who refuse to take any responsibility for their own failures, blatantly lie (e.g. Pope's public claim to the legislature that the "new" grievance system was up and running and that the Youth Rights Specialists had been hired from within and were in place), and scramble to disown their own policies when they are caught, deflecting attention by firing folks who were conscientiously trying to do their jobs. Heartbreaking! Old Salty

spearshaker said...

Thank you Old Salty; class always shows!

Anonymous said...

You are spot on, 10:41.

Anonymous said...

It's sad, especially for those of us that have been around for a while. We've had the good,the bad and now the ughly. I can honestly say that when I came on board, I never imagined I would be living this nightmare!!

To those of you that assisted in the coverups, the unethical practices, the lies and the deceit; what goes around, comes around. I hope you can explain to your maker why you destroyed so many lives because of your unsatiable ego and avarice in climbing to the top and pulling your cronies with you. The fall was much, much worse and some did not deserve what they got. Was it worth it? Can you honestly say you sleep well at night? I bet you sit around justifying your actions, don't you?