Saturday, October 31, 2015

Columbia SC Classroom Assault: The "Aha" Backstory

I've stayed away from controversial topics here recently. Sometimes when you're working through your own personal drama, you just don't have the mental and emotional energy to focus on anyone else's drama. So I've kept it pretty light and fun for the most part.

But this week, I had to write about one particular news story. It just struck a nerve.

Most of you have heard about the teen girl assaulted by a police deputy in her Columbia, South Carolina classroom. Most of you have seen footage of the attack. All of us have come to our respective conclusions. I've heard several over the last week.

"The Columbia Sheriff was right to fire Deputy Ben Fields. This was police brutality at its worst."

"The girl deserved the treatment she got. With her horrible attitude and defiance, she needed a beat-down."

"The teacher is at fault here. Teachers should have better classroom management and control over their students."

"That girl's parents need to get her in check. If a child of mine carried on like that in class, she wouldn't need a deputy to drag her across the floor. I would have."

And on and on...

Yet here's the part of the story that really broke my heart.

That 16-year-old girl recently became a foster child.

The story from the New York Daily News...
"In an interview with the Daily News, Todd Rutherford, the respected Columbia, S.C. attorney representing the assault victim... revealed that his client, in addition to suffering injuries on her face, neck and arm, is living in foster care."
I don't know why the young girl is in foster care. Her mother and grandmother are both living, so she is not a legal orphan. And yet this teenage girl has already experienced a huge trauma -- the trauma of losing her family.

I read an article yesterday by Russell Moore, adoptive dad and President of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, that really hit home for me as an adoptive mother. His major point: prospective foster and adoptive parents should enter the foster/adoptive process with eyes wide open, understanding the challenges of raising children that have experienced the losses associated with being displaced from their biological families. His words:
"Potential parents should be told, from the very beginning, that every child adopted or fostered will be, in a very real sense, a "special needs" child. In every case of adoption or foster care, there's a tragedy. Someone died, or someone was addicted, or someone was impoverished, or someone left."
I have seen this reality in my own home in the eyes of my son and daughter that joined my family through adoption. They have known great loss. They have endured real trauma. They have experience a tragedy. The parents that birthed them, for reasons unbeknown to them, were unable to parent them. Before they were adopted, they were displaced from all they had known.

This is the tragedy this teen girl has experienced. This is the trauma she has endured. 

Unfortunately, she has endured another major trauma. One that's been played over and over again on the news and in social media.

So what should be our response?

Instead of jumping to swift judgements in situations like this, let us be swift to bow our heads and pray for all involved. This experience was traumatic for everyone involved -- especially a 16-year-old foster girl.

I'm praying that this young lady will find healing from the traumas in her life. Will you pray with me?


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks for reading Talithia, and for always encouraging me too!!

  2. There are always so many sides to one situation. Everyone has a story and many times the media will not tell it all, even if they know it. The story is tragic in many ways but prayer changes things and yes, I will pray for all involved.

    1. So true Pam. Yes, it is tragic for everyone involved. Praying with you Sis.