Ok, here goes. I gave myself some time after I read the story before I posted, in hopes that I would be able to be a little more articulate. Apparently, that’s not happening. Every time I think about this, my brain flits around and all I get are short snippets of thought. The words “What the fuck?” and “who in their right mind would…” and “duty to report? that’s bullshit!” keep resurfacing. Must twist brain into forming coherent thought.
It was a pretty ordinary morning at first. Colleen Leduc took her 11-year-old daughter Victoria to school. She’s not a big fan of this school, the people don’t seem to understand her autistic daughter’s needs, but it’s all she can do. She doesn’t have the money to get her daughter into the intensive therapy that she needs.
Anyway, she dropped her off, and not long after, she received a frantic call to come back. When she returned, there was a meeting convened in which the educational assistant that worked with Victoria was making allegations that she had been sexually abused by someone between the ages of 23 and 26. Not only that, the school had already called Children’s Aid. Ok, fine. But where did these allegations come from? The assistant had been to see a psychic, and that’s what the psychic said. She said she had seen some behaviour in Victoria that had made her worry as well, but that turned out to be related to a bladder infection she had, and not to anything sexual.
Now, are you starting to have the same thought snippets? I appreciate that the assistant was concerned, especially when Victoria probably can’t communicate very well, but in a case where a little psychic birdy told her so, would the first action be to call Children’s Aid? Wouldn’t it be more rational to call a meeting, say “I know this is weird, but this is what was said. Does Victoria have any contact with anyone between the ages of 23 and 26?” People can say it’s better to act fast, and the mother can say anything at a meeting. But the fact is, calling Children’s Aid in without any evidence isn’t going to help. They’ll come, find nothing, and close the case. So, if something’s happening, they would need more evidence to go on than the predictions of a psychic.
I love this little gem:
But under the Child and Family Services Act, anyone who works with children and has reasonable grounds to suspect a youngster is being harmed, must report it immediately…
Reasonable grounds! Reasonable! Are the random predictions of a psychic reasonable grounds? What’s next? Some Alpha-Bits cereal form the word sex and the cereal is trying to tell them something? I’m sure psychics are great, but I don’t think anyone should take drastic action based on the words of a psychic.
Luckily for Colleen and Victoria, Colleen had outfitted her kid with a GPS device that also recorded everything around her. This is because her daughter had been lost at school several times…stop the presses! Woe woe woe! Unless I’m reading the story wrong, this kid has a one-on-one assistant! How does a one-on-one assistant lose her only charge? I think that merits concern before some psychic prediction! I know kids with autism have a tendency to bolt, but that’s why you have someone tagged to them. If the kid bolts, the assistant goes after them.
Anyway, this thing had everything recorded, and the recordings showed no funny-business was going on, so Children’s Aid had no choice but to shrug their shoulders, apologize for having to bother her, and close the case, rightly calling it ridiculous.
Now, Colleen has pulled Victoria out of school and is staying home with her. She doesn’t know where she’ll send her next. The schoolboard won’t help pay for the intensive therapy, which I think is a damn shame since it was their employees who caused this whole disaster. I’m not a sue-happy person, but I think Colleen should sue the psychic, the assistant, everybody she can. This whole thing could have been stopped a hell of a lot sooner if one person had used common sense before setting the wheels in motion.