GUILTY WA - Hana Williams, 13, Sedro-Woolley, 12 May 2011

Discussion in 'Recently Sentenced and Beyond' started by Missizzy, Sep 30, 2011.

  1. Missizzy

    Missizzy New Member

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    While doing some research on another "spanking case" (Robin Pagoria), I came upon something that I thought was very pertinent to post here. I realize that the book in question is not Michael Pearl's but it's very similar and has a similar audience. The open letter is from a survivor of this sort of "biblically-based discipline" and I believe her words to be very powerful. I think, for many of us, spanking might mean an occasional swat on the bottom. That's not what Michael Pearl or Roy Lessin is advocating at all. Not at all.

    http://facebookwatcher.blogspot.com/

    [Note: Always upsetting FB pages profiled here]

    Scroll down to September 1, 2011 and read about Roy Lessin's book, "Spanking: Why, When, How?". Read the letter just under the photo of the book, "Dear Roy".

    That's the sort of "loving" discipline thousands of children are subjected to daily....and some die. Like little Hana and Lydia.
     


  2. Missizzy

    Missizzy New Member

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    http://www.komonews.com/news/local/131651828.html

    Charged mother of dead teen: ' I think my daughter killed herself'
    October 13, 2011

    "....."Yes, I think my daughter killed herself," Carri Williams told the 911 operator...."

    more at link (video and audio of the 911 call)


    As much as this death of this child pains me, it must be noted that families have almost no resources available on an emergency basis for children who are experiencing mental health problems. I have no sympathy for what this mother did but I understand, all too well, how things got to this point. That's what is so tragic to me. Even if a parent calls police about an out of control child, there is very very little that can be done. Most LEOs cannot legally restrain or even move a child against their will....even foster parents can't. There can be no "implied restriction of egress". Biological and adoptive parents can but that can be dangerous as the child can easily be hurt as can the parent. If the police were called, a full report would be taken and a team meeting at Mental Health would convene to determine the best interests of the child. There is typically a long wait for beds in mental health units and residential treatment centers. Often months.

    Unless a family has dealt with a situation like this, whether the child arrived at the home in this condition or if her treatment there caused it, there are so few resources. If the mother would have called 911 when her daughter was considered "out of control", most likely a LEO would have responded and attempted to talk the child into the house. That's all they can do. This child seemed to have no access to appropriate services to meet her needs. She needed to be placed in a higher level of treatment home. This death was preventable.
     
  3. Lori_TX

    Lori_TX New Member

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    I would think that this is more than the adopted daughter being out of control. I feel that from the probable cause document, she wasn't actually doing anything even remotely close to warrant disciplinary action, much less unrelenting abuse. MOO but I didn't read anything that she did other than take food because she was starving, stand in the "wrong" spot, cut the grass too short, or start her period. I think these parents were out of control with their rigid ideals way before these innocent children ever were adopted. I can see from their bio kids' statements that they were already subjected to that type of behavior and are so conditioned and isolated, they do not know anything different. Granted, the parents took it to an entirely different albeit deadly level when the adopted children entered the picture. Their actions were cruel and I hope they are held accountable. We are not talking about an out of control, rebellious kid that is challenging authority and breaking things or hurting people, etc. These people looked for opportunities to punish her and her brother. Even if they were awful and creating chaos and problems at every turn, it doesn't give those parents a license to abuse and kill. The fact that they KNEW the brother had a medical condition that caused him to have accidents, and they chose to punish him so unmercifully still, is enough evidence for me that they were truly cruel people. They should have never adopted these kids. But since they did, maybe their own obedient children will have a chance to actually live life and experience a carefree childhood.

    My opinion only.
     
  4. Missizzy

    Missizzy New Member

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    Lori--ITA, the obedient children fared reasonably OK. However, it's extremely damaging for children to see siblings (by birth or adoption or fostered) continuously scapegoated. It causes the healthy, bonded, imprinted child to lose their empathy for others. Thus, Hana's older siblings did not report this abuse nor rush to her aid. They followed in their parents' ways as that's the way they were taught. Note how they said that Hana "rebelled". That is so sad. I hope those children are getting treatment.

    Finally, finally, finally--there's some national coverage about the Pearl's methods of "biblical discipline". It's about time. Pearl compares disciplining children to training stubborn mules. To me, that is an altogether reprehensible statement.

    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout...dvice-scrutinized-child-deaths-160004793.html

    Pastor’s corporal punishment advice scrutinized after child deaths
    November 7, 2011

    "In recent years, several children have died after enduring extreme forms of corporal punishment from parents who had absorbed the controversial child-rearing advice of Tennessee pastor Michael Pearl. Now, the New York Times reports, Pearl himself is under fire.

    In their self-published book, To Train Up a Child, Pearl, 66, and his wife Debi, 60, recommend the systematic use of "the rod" to teach young children to submit to authority. They offer instructions on how to use a switch for hitting children as young as six months, and describe how to use other implements, including a quarter-inch flexible plumbing line. Older children, the Pearls say, should be hit with a belt, wooden spoon or willow switch, hard enough to sting. Michael Pearl has said the methods are based on "the same principles the Amish use to train their stubborn mules...."

    More at link


    I posted this upthread but if you missed it, it's an excellent description of Pearl:

    http://www.religionnewsblog.com/14520/michael-pearl-parental-advice-raises-abuse-questions
     
  5. Missizzy

    Missizzy New Member

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    The article released today about Michael Pearl links to this one:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/07/u...69-sOIfVIDXhA0ZvUClDPWjbw&pagewanted=all#

    Preaching Virtue of Spanking, Even as Deaths Fuel Debate
    November 6, 2011


    "More than 670,000 copies of the Pearls’ self-published book are in circulation, and it is especially popular among Christian home-schoolers, who praise it in their magazines and on their Web sites. The Pearls provide instructions on using a switch from as early as six months to discourage misbehavior and describe how to make use of implements for hitting on the arms, legs or back, including a quarter-inch flexible plumbing line that, Mr. Pearl notes, “can be rolled up and carried in your pocket....”

    More at link--note 2 pages (plus hundreds of comments)

    Interesting that Pearl does not approve of the adoption of older children. No doubt he knows, in his heart, that his methods can be tragic when used on these vulnerable children.
     
  6. mom2six

    mom2six Active Member

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    My heart breaks for Hana and her brother!

    I did want to point out for accuracy sake, that the plumbing line pictured up thread is not 1/4 inch as stated in the last articles posted. This link more closely fits the description of what they are using.
     
  7. Lori_TX

    Lori_TX New Member

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    Missizzy, I completely agree that these kids are going to have A LOT to sort through. After being conditioned to think one way for so long, witness the death of your adopted sister, etc., I pray that they are able to find peace and hopefully can choose a different path for themselves now. I also pray that the cycle if abuse stops with their parents. I feel that abuse creates an aftermath that navigates differently for each individual person, and that person will process or cope with what has happened in so many different ways. I bring this up because IIRC, each of your precious children dealt with their abuse differently. All had a different way of expressing their pain and all of their outcomes were different. Fortunately, your kiddos have you as their mom!! The power of love is amazing to me! Your grace in an inspiration to me, and your story touched my heart. Thank you for that! :)

    ETA: IMO - this whole "method" is ludacris!! I'm really hanging on to the hope that MOST rational adults are not going to try this out on their kids. Who switches a baby with ANYTHING - ever?? Insanity IMO and so very upsetting for the children that are enduring this type of discipline right now. To me, this is abuse...not discipline. :(
     
  8. Missizzy

    Missizzy New Member

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    Lori--Your words are kind and your comments are so true. Each child comes out of a traumatic experience with different lessons learned. There's just something so tragic about the way Hana's older siblings dealt with her death. They came across as almost indifferent--as if, in their mother's words, Hana "killed herself".

    I honestly cannot wrap my mind around whipping an infant or child with anything but this book teaches just that. And when you stop to think that this method is not just offered, it is highly encouraged for the parent and the child to be godly. As if you don't beat your child, you simply do not love them. This is not Jesus' teachings as I know them. I keep thinking of Jesus standing there and looking at a piece of plumbing line. I cannot believe he would see it as a tool of "guidance".

    Discipline and guidance and natural consequences of misbehavior is a loving and complex and challenging part of parenting. But this is abuse, IMO. I cannot fathom why people buy into this method. What do survivors of this form of discipline have to say? Do we have anyone on board who'd be willing to share?
     
  9. Missizzy

    Missizzy New Member

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    When we followed the tragic death of Lydia Schatz from the identical type of punishment, I found the following to be a helpful resource. This is a site for families who have chosen to break away from the quiverfull movement:

    http://nolongerquivering.com/

    An explanation of the philosophy of quiverfull families:

    http://nolongerquivering.com/what-is-quiverfull/

    Note that there's a couple of very interesting links here:

    http://nolongerquivering.com/2011/1...a-child-reacts-to-the-death-of-hana-williams/

    and

    http://nolongerquivering.com/2011/1...ook-training-children-to-be-strong-in-spirit/

    I honestly don't get the premise of this book. Beat the little ones into full submission? Carry around a plumbing line switch in your bra or pocket? Then expect them to be strong in spirit? I've raised 14 (plus a very extra, dear to my heart) and it simply does NOT work that way.
     
  10. Missizzy

    Missizzy New Member

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    Michael Pearl defends his approach to Anderson Cooper:

    http://nolongerquivering.com/2011/10/29/michael-pearl-defends-to-train-up-a-child-on-cnn/

    and a book on the subject:


    Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment by Janet Heimlich

    "....After speaking with dozens of victims, perpetrators, and experts, and reviewing a myriad of court cases and studies, Heimlich explains how religious child maltreatment happens. She then takes an in-depth look at the many forms of child maltreatment found in religious contexts, including biblically-prescribed corporal punishment and beliefs about the necessity of "breaking the wills" of children; scaring kids into faith and other types of emotional maltreatment such as spurning, isolating, and exploiting; pedophilic abuse by religious authorities and the failure of religious organizations to support the victims and punish the perpetrators; and religiously-motivated medical neglect in cases of serious health problems...."

    and

    "...While fully acknowledging that religion can be a source of great comfort, strength, and inspiration to many young people, Heimlich makes a compelling case that, regardless of one's religious or secular orientation, maltreatment of children under the cloak of religion can never be justified and should not be tolerated...."
     
  11. Linda7NJ

    Linda7NJ Well-Known Member

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    IMO The Pearls and their book is not the problem.

    While I don't agree with everything he says his words certainly do not advocate beating a child to death or starving a child to death. The blame lies at the foot of the parents.
     
  12. Missizzy

    Missizzy New Member

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    http://www.q13fox.com/news/kcpq-sta...ation-cases-20120125,0,295958.story?track=rss

    State reviewing adoption placement after child starvation cases
    January 25, 2012

    "The state Department of Social and Health Services is now reviewing how adopted children are placed in Washington after nearly two dozen high-profile child starvation cases last year. In 2011, DSHS reports 11 cases of severe abuse of adopted children, all which included starvation. Many of the cases involved foreign adoptions, including the case of 13-year-old Hana Williams in Sedro-Woolley...."

    and

    "...Mary Meinig, of the Office of the Family and Children’s Ombudsman, read case files on each child starved and found striking similarities. "These parents were withholding food, beating the children, putting them outside, locking them in closets, locking them in bathrooms or not giving them bathroom facilities,” Meinig said. DSHS oversees foster-care placements and assigns caseworkers who follow up with the families, but adoptions are a different story. “Once that adoption is approved and closed by the order of the judge, the child welfare agency would no longer have responsibility. The parents who have adopted the child would be legally responsible for the care,” DSHS Assistant Secretary Denise Revels Robinson said.

    In February, a work group of child experts ordered by Gov. ChristineGregoire will meet to discuss what more can be done.
    “We really want to learn from international adoption agencies what they do and what they look for and their follow-up after children are adopted here,” Meinig said. “It’s very serious business. We all promise these children a safe and loving family, and with these children we’ve failed to give them that and we need to know why...."

    more at link


    Also:

    http://www.komonews.com/news/local/...man-in-abuse-death-of-daughter-136843638.html

    Bail increased for Sedro Woolley man in abuse death of daughter

    "A judge has raised the bail amount of the man charged in the death of his adoptive daughter. Larry Williams' bail was increased to $500,000 on Friday. The bail of his wife, Carri Williams, remained at $150,000, and she remained free on bail. Skagit County Prosecutor Rich Weyrich said the amount was increased over Larry Williams' alleged attempt to contact his children via a third party -- a violation of the conditions of his release...."

    More at link
     
  13. LynnM

    LynnM New Member

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    I have been following this trial and hoping for justice for Hana. Is anyone else following the trial?
     
  14. LCoastMom

    LCoastMom JUSTICE FOR CAYLEE MARIE - STILL WAITING

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    Thanks for the reminder Lynn. Could you provide a link?
     
  15. Saffie

    Saffie New Member

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    http://blogs.seattletimes.com/today...n-trial-over-death-of-adopted-ethiopian-girl/

    Sadly, the trial did not get much press coverage nationally until the verdict was reached.

    Larry Williams:
    ◾No verdict on Homicide by abuse (jury hung)
    ◾Guilty of Manslaughter in the 1st degree
    ◾Guilty of Assault of a Child in the 1st degree

    Carri Williams:
    ◾Guilty of Homicide by Abuse
    ◾Guilty of Manslaughter in the 1st degree
    ◾Guilty of Assault of a Child in the 1st degree

    Larry Williams will appeal according to his defense. No word yet on whether Carri will also appeal.
     
  16. JoeFromLB

    JoeFromLB Well-Known Member

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  17. princesspjs

    princesspjs .

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  18. HMSHood

    HMSHood Admiral-Class Battlecruiser

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    I think any extreme this or that, be it religion or lifestyle is bad for people.
     
  19. Tulessa

    Tulessa Well-Known Member

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    Poor baby girl. :(
     
  20. Karmady

    Karmady Former Member

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    I have a friend who has adopted children and bio children. One of her adopted children is from a country similar to ethiopia, if not that country. I just can't recall exactly. By far, that child is unexpectedly and reportedly the most entitled, outgoing, disruptive and undisciplined of all of their children by a LONG shot. I would say selfish, aggressive, materialistic, manipulative, and similar compared to the other children. Which blows my mind considering you would think that a child coming from insanely deprived circumstances would be the opposite of that compared to an adopted US child--which they also have and he really is just the opposite. Also, you'd think a child raised in a horrid environment would have a heightened survival instinct that would cause them to stop behavior before it got to the point that the "punishment" was life threatening. I just don't get it!

    jmo
     

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