March 23, 2005

Jeb Bush Curtails Other Issues with Focus on Schiavo Case

*Warning* This is not an in jest blog.

I've been following the Terri Schiavo story- two sides going back and forth with well meaning intentions. While her plight requires urgent attention, it does not belittle the fact that Governor Bush has let many other issues lie on the tracks. The continuous thread of news stories regarding children being forgotten in the Florida system does not make me believe that Mr. Bush aims to protect all who are venerable. Maybe unfortunately for Schiavo, I believe people who have not yet had an adulthood in which to choose to develop the eating disorder which led to her vegetative state, should be more thoroughly protected than Schiavo who is at best, aware of a balloon. I know that every state has issues, but Florida, despite its beautiful appearance and friendly faces, does seem to have a few problems keeping track of children.

You may remember that a little girl went missing from the foster care system for over a year before anyone noticed and she finally turned up dead. You may recall that 7 adopted children lived in Florida while supposedly being home-schooled. It turns out that they were being tortured by their adopted parents. One teen weighed 70 pounds. No one in the school system checked out their home-schooling "techniques". Let us not forget Jessica Lunsford who was abducted and killed by a man who had been arrested 28 times, two of those times he had been convicted for molesting children. Despite his continuous offenses, he was not seen as a sexual predator by the Florida system and no one had kept track of him. Did I mention that he worked in the elementary school that Miss Lunsford attended last year? I guess nothing turned up on that thorough criminal background check that they did(?).

So, we have a woman who yes, should have every measure taken to make sure that she is properly represented by the law. However, while the press and the Governor grab hold the circus reigns of media madness, children are continually being neglected under Jeb's watch. Children's advocates like Bill O'Reilly catch so many of these stories which might otherwise go unnoticed. Mr. O'Reilly has asked Governor Bush to come on his show numerous times for interviews regarding his inability to address his state's inefficiency at protecting children properly, or at all.

Where was Governor Bush when they were searching for Jessica Lunsford? He was busy holding press conferences for a woman who probably has no idea of what is going on.


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