OH - Grandparents lock girl in bathroom for 6 years

Discussion in 'Crimes-Spotlight on Children' started by Melly53, Feb 9, 2011.

  1. Melly53

    Melly53 New Member

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    http://www.daytondailynews.com/news...-six-years-1076259.html?cxntlid=cmg_cntnt_rss

    Two Dayton residents have been accused of keeping a elementary-school aged girl locked in an apartment for six years, letting her out only to go to school.Brian G. Hart, 50, and his wife Rivae L. Hart, 49, have been in the Montgomery County Jail since Jan. 27. They were indicted Feb. 4 on charges of kidnapping — a first degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison — and third-degree felony child endangering, punishable by up to five years in prison.


    The girl told a school nurse about her captivity, and the nurse contacted children services, Tolpin said.
    Stevens said children services opened a case on Jan. 18. She said the girl was singled out for the treatment.
    Tolpin said the girl was locked in a bathroom, barricaded behind two dressers, from the time she came up from school until the time she left again the next morning.
    “Meals were inconsistent at best and basically the living conditions were deplorable,” Tolpin said.
    The girl slept on a fold-up cot with a blanket but no pillow, Tolpin said.
    The Harts told police that they started locking up the girl when she started exhibiting behavioral problems at age 3, Tolpin said.
    However, a psychologist examined the girl back then and said her actions were normal for a 3-year-old, though the Harts disagreed, Tolpin said.


    I just cannot understand people like this or their logic and reasoning. I am glad that the school nurse listened to this little girl and reported the abuse to Child Services. Too bad that it did not happen 3 years earlier the first time she told an adult at school.
     
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  3. mysteriew

    mysteriew A diamond in process

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  4. Missizzy

    Missizzy New Member

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    I've recently been researching to see if I can find an update on the Andrea and Scott Bass case. They are the parents who also singled out a child for bathroom lock-up. I've seen nothing.

    Rather than seek help, people do the most deplorable things to "control" children. I honestly don't get it. Weren't the couple worried that the child would tell? I wonder if an adoption subsidy or foster payment played a part in this. I'd really like to know more about this case. If the child does indeed have behavior issues, there are many options available and the school would have been a part of the team to access them. Something isn't quite right when a child only acts out at home.

    And sadly, if she didn't have issues before, she will now.
     
  5. oh_gal

    oh_gal New Member

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    Thank goodness this poor girl told the nurse! Who knows what kind of mental abuse she endured that might have made her think that she wasn't good enough for help!

    Family members can be the most despicable people, sometimes.
     
  6. Melanie

    Melanie Inactive

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    Bless the school nurse who didn't turn her back on this child. May the rest of her life be filled with love and understanding.

    As far as the so called grand-parents --well they're obviously no so grand!

    Mel
     
  7. MagicRose99

    MagicRose99 Watch out for my thorns!

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    from the article in the first link above:

    "Apparently, the girl confided with some adults when she was in the first grade, but nothing happened, so she had a distrust toward adults, Tolpin said"

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~
    "some adults" - this is what happens when a caring, trained adult actually listens to a child and acts, wherease "some adults" are a-hole idiots who are too afraid to get involved and ignore a child's cry.
     
  8. mysteriew

    mysteriew A diamond in process

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    She was 3! She wasn't old enough to tell if she had behavior issues! And any later issues she had couldn't have been too bad if she went into the bathroom on her own after school and didn't kick and scream.

    I keep trying to imagine me, at my age sitting in a room alone from 3:30/4 pm til bedtime. No TV, no radio, no computer, no knitting. No nothing.

    Hearing the sounds of the household on the other side of the door, but completely isolated from it.
     
  9. tlcya

    tlcya Well-Known Member

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    I saw this first thing this morning on the newsite I check daily. I knew you all would have a thread for this poor child. I am livid at these parents! BEHAVIORAL problems?? At 3?? That consisted of what - her not staying out of nonos? Her not being fully potty trained? What exactly do these heartless [insert epitaph here]'s consider behaioral problems in a 3 year old child?

    I am so heartbroken that this poor girl tried before to reach out for help (a scary thing indeed for achild who has known nothing but abuse and imprisonment nearly her entire life) and was ignored.

    I am so thankful this child gathered her courage and tried again by telling this school nurse. Thank you to this person, who finally, after all these years, heard this child and saw her pain.
     
  10. Cubby

    Cubby fly the W!

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    I'm so glad this girl had the courage to tell an adult again and thankful someone listened to her this time.

    A little OT, but I reported something to a school teacher when I was in 8th grade. I reported this to a then kindgergarten teacher and the child I witnessed being thrown around by another teacher. I was told to mind my own business. So I did. It wasn't until I became an adult it occured to me I should have sought out the childs parents or told my parents, but I did not think of doing either in 8th grade.

    I have taught my son, if he tells and someone does not believe him he must try another adult. I also used the above story as an example for my son. Kids needs to be heard and they need to know adults can be trusted.

    Kudos to the school nurse who listened and for this little girl having the courage to trust again.
     
  11. Missizzy

    Missizzy New Member

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    Folks--I am not defending these grandparents at all...not in the least. But please please listen to me when I say that most definitely 3 year old children can have tremendous behavior problems. We had a daughter, adopted from Haiti, who was diagnosed with homicidal tendencies one month shy of her fourth birthday. She would bite you hard enough to bring blood and giggle. She killed a large dog in the home she was taken to after she left us. She's still not fully verbal at age 22 and lives in a treatment home. So yes, children can be completely uncontrollable at very early ages. In fact, if you do some checking, preschool ages are when many serious disorders are diagnosed ie. Spectrum Disorder, serious ADHD, anxiety disorders, and Conduct Disorder.

    Now I am not saying that this child has these diagnoses at all. I am just trying to educate that they most certainly exist in children so young....especially if the child's health has been compromised in some manner ie parental drug use or extreme prematurity. Notice, grandparents are raising this little girl. There's bound to be a reason for that. And also notice that this child was taken to a psychiatrist. IMO, something was going on.

    Concerning the isolation, I can speak to that also. I lived for 6 years and five months cloistered in a bedroom, only faintly hearing the sounds of my family due to my degenerative disorder. I was totally bedbound and wore special earplugs to prevent seizures. I know the pain that this child endured. It's enough to break your heart and/or your spirit.

    Now I live alone, 20 miles away from any family and never see anyone. You guys are the only ones I ever talk to. But I have the freedom of not hearing the sounds of happiness and daily life. I keep myself busy. I have my knitting, my books, and my little dogs....total peacefulness. Isolation hurts. It hurts badly. But I chose it as the lesser of two evils. This child didn't get to make that choice.

    My prayers are with this child. Hopefully, she will be thoroughly evaluated and her needs met.
     
  12. Missizzy

    Missizzy New Member

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    I wanted to add that even in treatment homes, isolation is never used any more. It's been found to be contra-indicated in almost every instance. Children who are acting out need to be kept close by so they can be watched carefully. Even foster parents are forbidden from using any "go to your room" time-outs. All time-outs have to be in the main part of the home. Children might be acting out but they still require a caring adult close by.

    The days of the locked or padded rooms for children are long gone--proven to not work and to be abusive.
     
  13. alsmom

    alsmom mostly lurking

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    My grandsons' timeouts are always in their room. If they think they have an audience,they don't have a reset. They just continue. I send them to their room for some alone time to regroup. They know they can come out when their attitude changes. Usually, they are over it in about three or four minutes. If they come out and start up again they go back. That doesn't happen much any more because they know the drill. This works for us and I don't think there's any harm in it since they know they are the ones in control of how long they stay in their room.
     
  14. LCoastMom

    LCoastMom JUSTICE FOR CAYLEE MARIE - STILL WAITING

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    Alsmom, I'm glad this is working for you - I remember my mother pulling her hair out over my younger sister - if sent to her room she would say, Good! I wanted to go to my room and be heard singing in there! LOL.

    These beings need to be locked up, isolated and alone while everyone else lives in the next room. What their treatment has done to this child and any siblings is heartbreaking.
     
  15. mysteriew

    mysteriew A diamond in process

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    I wonder how old the girl was when the grandparents got her?
     
  16. Missizzy

    Missizzy New Member

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    alsmom--That's the way it is in most families. That's exactly what I did with our three eldest birth sons and then our two daughters adopted in infancy from Korea. However, I was speaking above (I should have clarified this) about children with any sort of special need or under the jurisdiction of the state. Isolation is prohibited in foster care or treatment homes. It is also not permitted in schools anymore, at least not in the states that I've done advocacy. And it is never suggested for children who are adopted past infancy, due to issues of abandonment. These kids absolutely must be shown that you are there for them, come hell or high water.

    We got very creative and used a kitchen stool. The child was asked to bring the stool close to wherever I was working and to sit there until they "centered" themselves and calmed down. They were often offered an incentive ie. "When you calm down, I'll be able to start dinner" or "When you get things under control, you can go back outside to play". It was totally up to them as to how long that took. We never lectured or talked to them while they were "thinking". In fact we had a number of kitchen stools for this purpose. I think we topped out at six. And yes, I have had all six filled for short periods of time as our eight youngest are very close in age. As they grew up, the stools found new homes. To this day, I can get any one of them (and they are all adults) to crack up by asking, "Do you need to sit on a stool?"

    I learned this trick at an adoption conference and it served us so well that our eldest, healthy children who have children of their own took up the practice.
     
  17. Missizzy

    Missizzy New Member

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    That's a good question, Mysteriew, I wonder too. More and more grandparents are raising their grandchildren and many of my adoptive family clients were grandparents. Without ongoing support many sank fast as children who had had their parental rights terminated often exhibited some major behavior issues. Typical parenting skills that worked with their kids don't work with some grandkids. There's got to be a very pressing reason for the state to terminate rights. However, this could have been an informal placement. Just the fact that the grandparents are raising these kids, though, tells me that there's more to the story.

    Being that the child was seen by a psychiatrist at age three is telling. Either the family has awfully good insurance or a pre-school or state agency ordered this visit. It's a shame that the family didn't access some of the support systems in place for parenting grandparents or return to the psychiatrist. My guess is that once they resorted to locking in the bathroom, they felt that they'd be found out and just kept doing it.

    I'm really hopeful that the positive connections that this child had at the school bodes well for her development. One other point I wanted to make is that it's highly possible that this child did better at school due to the routine and supervision. The family home might have been more chaotic which caused her to act out.

    We have one son who used to ask to go to juvenile lock-up as that's where he felt safest and most in control. The door is locked there. He has a conscience and didn't like the things he was doing--lying, stealing, setting fires--but he couldn't stop himself. He was an absolute model of behavior, though, when in lock-up. The judge finally gave an order that we could lock him at home--with a full array of safeguards (alarm system, emergency release, intercom system, monthly checks by DHS and his PO. It worked really well. But we were a specialized therapeutic adoptive home and had to complete lots of training to carry this out. This young man was born at 25 weeks as a twin and was crack, PCP, and heroin exposed. He and his twin sister came to us at age four years. And yes, his behavior was outrageous from the first five minutes in our home.
     
  18. tlcya

    tlcya Well-Known Member

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    snipped from OP

    The Harts told police that they started locking up the girl when she started exhibiting behavioral problems at age 3, Tolpin said.

    However, a psychologist examined the girl back then and said her actions were normal for a 3-year-old, though the Harts disagreed, Tolpin said.


    snipped from Missizzy's

    Being that the child was seen by a psychiatrist at age three is telling. Either the family has awfully good insurance or a pre-school or state agency ordered this visit. It's a shame that the family didn't access some of the support systems in place for parenting grandparents or return to the psychiatrist.

    Eiher that or these grandparents initiated the counselling through those very same resources you mentioned Missizzy, and when they didn't get the answer (behavioral disorder) that they were seeking, they resorted to this unacceptable "method" of control/discipline.
     
  19. Missizzy

    Missizzy New Member

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    tlcox--You could certainly be right. I'm very confused and bothered by this case. Due to confidentiality, I doubt we'll here anything from the school.

    Scapegoating certainly does happen, though. We've had a number of recent threads about it--Jeanette Maples, the Andrea and Scott Bass case, several children who were locked in closets. If you do a Google search on scapegoating children, quite a bit comes up. It's another nasty dynamic in often dysfunctional families. This is one of the primary reasons that DHS is often forced to separate biological siblings. If they have witnessed the scapegoating of a child, their empathy is effected and they can become abusive themselves. When questioned, even young siblings rationalize the abuse. It's really tragic:

    http://www.libraryindex.com/pages/1389/Causes-Effects-Child-Abuse-VIOLENT-FAMILY.html

    Causes and Effects of Child Abuse - The Violent Family


    "....The researchers identified four family characteristics that are likely to result in parental psychological violence. The first involves a scapegoat child, who may be different from other family members by his or her unattractiveness, slow mental abilities, or disability. The scapegoat may be an unwanted child, the child of a former spouse, or an adopted child. This child is typically neglected by the parents, who favor his siblings...."

    more at link

    And:

    http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~content=a904291362

    Empathy Deficits in Siblings of Severely Scapegoated Children

    more at link



    You'll note that almost always there is something that sets the child apart from the others, who are treated more lovingly. While a healthy family will embrace and support even the most challenging child, a dysfunctional family can turn on a child. And sometimes, even seemingly healthy families can sink to this level if they are confronted with an especially challenging child or one whom they've come to resent for some reason. The story of Cinderella is alive and well.
     
  20. gitana1

    gitana1 Verified Attorney

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    We love you Missizzy! I'm glad you are here to be a friend. You always have so much to add and such a huge heart for kids.

    Apparently, this little girl was on the honor role all through school. I doubt she had behavioral problems. I was best friends with a little girl who was horribly abused by her "dad'. It ended with her being pulled from school and trapped in her room for about a year I think. I was 13 and finally reported the case to a child abuse hotline after I walked to different schools in our area and found she was not enrolled at any and snuck down the side of her house and peered through the window. She was taken into custody but it did not end well, I think. I lost track of her and I used to have nightmares for years, of her trapped in her room, rocking back and forth with writing all over the walls that said "Help me, help me." And then she would turn her head and be little again but with an insane grin. Horrible dreams. Anyhow, my mom remembers her dad coming over to ask her advice about the girls behavioral problems but my mom never saw any wand was confused. I think some of these abusers see what they want to, to justify their abuse, and convince themselves it's true.

    I think 3.

    Here's a link about a neighbor who heard the child being abused, reported it and confronted the grandmother, all to no avail:


    "“I frequently heard a lot of commotion, a lot of kids crying,” said Ridge, who is four months from graduating from Ohio University’s medical school, where she is studying to become a doctor of osteopathic medicine. “I heard the little girl scream at one point and say, ‘Mommy, don’t hit me.’ ”
    At least twice, Ridge called 911 to report her suspicions, urged to do so by her mother, Lori Wulf, a registered nurse at Miami Valley Hospital, who told her daughter the police would contact Montgomery County Children Services.
    Ridge said she never saw a police car come out to investigate..."

    http://www.daytondailynews.com/news...by-memories-of-childrens-screams-1077571.html
     
  21. gitana1

    gitana1 Verified Attorney

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    Like the man from "A Child called It". His siblings joined in one the abuse with great glee. Horrible.
     

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