ALL THE MISSING CHILDREN?
SOME SAD NOTES FROM 1997 TO 2001
THE LOS ANGELES TIMES
last week of June 1999
As I was rewriting and condensing the piece THE
LATEST LEAST LIKELY MASSACRE I came across
the following article hidden away in the Metro section of the Los Angeles Times. I must stop here and say that
researching and adding tragedy to tragedy is getting me somewhat depressed, and I know that all these true
facts can be very depressing to my soul, especially after seeing this tragedy happen a million times a day...and
I know that this all may depress you as well as a reader of The News...so I begin THE LATEST LEAST
LIKELY MASSACRE with this article pretty much taken, from the Los Angeles Times.
Ranks of Homeless Children on the Rise,
They are hungry, anxious and often exposed to violence. They shuttle between shelters
and fall behind in school. They are the vulnerable new face of American homeless
Experts say that there are more homeless children in America than at any time since the
Great Depression. About 40% of America's homeless are now women and their children--
the fastest-growing group.
These are the conclusions of an unprecedented study unveiled Wednesday that shows that
this transient childhood on the mean streets of America is shortchanging children, robbing
them of education, health and emotional stability.
The study's report, presented Wednesday at a women's conference in Los Angeles,
documents how children are being scarred by the kind of trauma that ravages survivors
of war and natural disasters--condemning some to mental illness. It warns that their
harsh plight will squander countless potentially productive citizens unless action is taken
to arrest the disturbing trend.
"Young children are without homes in the largest numbers since the Great Depression,"
said Ellen Bassuk, the lead investigator in the study, who is a professor of psychiatry at
Harvard Medical School and president of the Better Homes Fund, which produced the
report, "Homeless Children: America's New Outcast."
Deborah Weinstein of the Children's Defense Fund, a Washington based group said that
it is "groundbreaking--and heartbreaking too." She went on to say, "One of the
most ominous findings of the two-year study was that an alarming number of the mothers
studied --92%--had been sexually or violently abused. Forty-five percent had been
sexually molested as children and 66% had been violently abused by an adult before age
18. Half had been homeless as children. Two-thirds of the women had been abused by
intimate male partners.
Forty-five percent have experienced major depression and more than a third had post-
traumatic stress disorder--a syndrome, first observed among Vietnam War veterans,
that subject its victims to recurring anxiety and depression.
Weinstein said such documentation is especially disturbing because it shows the lifelong
collateral damage of violence and stress. It suggests that homeless children--who often
are exposed to violent trauma at young ages, when their developing psyches are more
fragile--are being set up for the stress-related emotional problems that place them at
risk of becoming homeless adults, she said.
"Despite our affluence, we have quietly allowed a Third World nation to arise in our
country...While on the streets, homeless children endure such unsettling experiences
that a full third have mental disorders by the time they are 8 years old, Bassuk said.
She has studied the homeless for the past decade.
In more heart breaking words the study reported, "The study said that homeless
children's rate of sexual abuse is three times as high as other children, and they endure
twice the physical abuse. A quarter of them have witnessed violence in the family and
15% have watched their father hit their mother.
It only brings it home just that much more the need for us to continue to work on the idea
to produce more that moves money and attention to this great social need in our country
at this time in history. Please go back if you have not and read the facts that are spread
throughout the piece on the tragedy at Columbine High in Colorado. Please, take the
time...for if the children are the future of this Nation, as we hear so many times over and
over again...what is the future to be?
I would just like to say that the editors at the Los Angeles Times should have some shame
for putting this story in a small block on the Metro Section of the paper, with the main
part of the story being on the last page of that section. After researching the problems
with our Nation's children and youth for some 30 years...I will say it is men like this that
are part of the problem. Until the press, the government and the churches get up from
behind their conformable desks and do something...the future has ended before it was
We were the children,
Benford E. Standley
MORE BAD NEWS ON THE STATE AND FATE
OF THE CHILDREN AND YOUTH OF AMERICA
Some more bad news...as it seems to keep coming in. You think I need to know this tragic
story as well as I know it? You think I need all this pain in my heart and these torn feelings in
my gut? Does and/or should any man have to carry these burdens...seemingly alone I keep researching...
SANDY BANKS wrote a article on 4/20 in the year 2001. April 20, 200... four-twenty...
just a small headline there somewhere in the paper of a day the Lord knows somethings went
on in Waco, Montana and Oklahoma City...SANDY.BANKS@LATIMES.COM
FOSTER CARE: NOBLE CAUSE, TROUBLED SYSTEM
There is a drawer in my desk filled to overflowing with emails, letters and court records, cronicling
the sorrowful state of California';s system to protect abused kids. They arrive--questions, complaints,
pleas--from across a spectrum of interests whenever I write about foster care...They paint an ugly
pciture of a system that was created to serve the noblest of needs--rescuing children from neglect
and abuse--but too often compounds their tragedy.
There are more than 100,000 children in foster care in California--one-fifth of the nation's
total--and more than 100 enter the system each day.
"Its network of shelters and foster homes is supposed to offer comfort and protection for children
who cannot live safely with their parents at home. But it has operated so inadequately, with so
little oversight, for so long that some children who enter the system fare little better than they
might have at home," Banks said in the LA Times article. She went on to point out that, "Half the
children in foster care never finish high school. One-third spend their early adult years on welfare.
One in four land in jail. Another quarter wind up homeless. And 60% of girls who leave foster
care are pregnant within four years...Children who have come through the system often
complain that they were left to fend for themselves, treated more like juvenile offenders than
victims of abuse and neglect. Shelters are violent and overcrowded, supervision of foster homes
is lax, children are seen as little more than case numbers of sources of cash.
A grand jury review of the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Fimily
Services last summer stated, "The best interests of the child are rarely paramount."
The Foster Care Imporvement and Accountability Act of 2001 is being considered. One of
the things it extends to foster kids is such simple privileges as the right to make phone calls, to
receive mail, to stay in touch with brothers and sisters, to have a storage space for their belongings,
to not be locked in a room while in foster care.
"There's little dispute that bullying is a destructive force among the nation's 53.8 million
children in kindergarten through 12th grade. More than 160,000 skip school every day
because they fear bullies, according to figures from the National Association of School
Psychologists. Last fall, a study by the National Threat Assessment Center, run by the
U.S. Service, found that in more than two-thirds of 37 school shooting, the attackers
felt "persecuted, bullied, threatened, attacked or injured."
USA TODAY 4/17/01
Presidents come and Presidents go
Congressmen come and Congressmen go
the problems of the homeless kids just
continues to get worse and worse...
Democrats come and Democrats go
Republicans come and Republicans go
And where do the children go?
In an article in the Los Angeles Times on June 12, 2001, titled EDUCATORS ARE SPLIT
OVER SEPARTATE SCHOOLS FOR FOR CHILDREN OF HOMELESS, it goes on to state:
"As the U.S Senate prepares this week to address how best to educate the growing
number of homeless children, advocates for both positions are lobbying hard, in a
discussion filled with politics, emotion and anecdotal evidence but very few facts."
"About 1,350,000 that is 1.3 MILLION CHILDREN IN AMERICA ARE
BELIEVED TO BE HOMELESS---ABOUT 300,000 OF THEM IN
CALIFORNIA. Those engaged in this fierce debate about how best to reach them
worry that, without an education, these homeless youngsters will grow up to be
homeless adults... By LA Times Staff writer Maria LaGanga 6/12/01
The bad new never stops mommy...don't drown me mommy, why did you drown us
mommy...mommy what is going on mommy. It is hot and humid here in Houston
mommy. mommy? mommy?
Houston where the Nation became aware of the runaway in early 1970s, when
the little runaway boys were cut up and buried...
"Houston, I think we have a problem."
MARRIED WITH CHILDREN STILL FADING AS A MODEL
Households of unwed partners rose 72% in the 90s. single-parent homes also increased.
Americans in the 1990s continued a 30-year trend away from the traditional married-with-
children model, a movement that is gradually rewriting the notion of family, census data
released today show... Los Angeles Times May 15, 2001
The number of americans living alone grew almost twice as swiftly as the population, surpassing
27 million...Households headed by single mothers increased by more than 25%. Those
headed by single fathers, though still a demographic rarity, surpassed the 2 million mark,
up almost 62%. a 1998 census report found that 16% of children in single-parented homes
lived with their fathers, up from about 5% 20 years earlier.
"Nowdays, on school forms they have space to put two separate households.
Unmarried, With Children
Newsweek Magazine on May 28, 2001
Figures released last week from the 2000 Census show that this posmodern June would be almost
as mainstream as the 1950s cersion. The number of families headed by single mothers has increased
25% since 1990 to more thatn 7.5 million households. Contirbuting to numbers are a high rate of
divorce and out-of-wedlock births. for most of the past decade, about a third of all babies were born
to unmarried women, compared with 3.8 percent in 1940. Demographers now predict that more
than half of the youngsters born in the 1990s will spend at least part of their childhood in a single-
parent home. the number os single fathers raising kids on their own is also up: they now head just
over 2 million families.
In contrast, married couples raising children--the "Leave It to Beaver"
model- accoung for less than a quarter of all households!
As a culture, as a country and as a human society...do we have any idea what this is
doing to the fabric of our nation at this present time in History?
One thing everyone does agree on is that single mothers are now a permanent and
significant page in America's diverse family album...The median age for unmarried
mothers is the late 20s, and the fastest-growing category is white women.
One in six women will have an attempted rape on the by the time they are
18 years old...
NBC Dateline reports Jan. 2006, that every two minutes a woman is raped in the United States
FBI STATES THAT THERE ARE 3/4 MILLION CHILDREN MISSING
IN THE UNITED STATES ON JULY 23, 2001...THAT IS 750,000 CHILDREN
MISSING...SEEN ON TV ONE SAD AFTERNOON IN THE SUMMER OF 2001
NEWS REPORTS IN AUGUST THAT OVER 4,220 IN THEIR 20TYS ARE MISSING RIGHT NOW AND THAT
SOME 98,000 AMERICANS ARE MISSING, WITH 55,000 BEING FEMALE. 7,000 A DAY ARE REPORTED
MISSING...THOUSANDS ARE LOST AND NEVER MAKE IT TO TELEVISION...
BRAIN CANCER IS THE NUMBER ONE DISEASE CAUSE OF DEATH IN
CHILDREN UNDER 14 YEARS OLD. NEWS REPORT 9/3/01
These stories below are only the tip of the iceberg...the can of worms are in the cultural skeleton closet. We really just gasp
we don't really do anything about it...it just festers. the kids continue to watch the violent TV the violent news the violent
games, listen to the violent music, then we go "I just can not understand why this is happening to our youth when we read
In the late 1990s, it seemed like an epidemic had hit American schools: Children were acquiring guns and bombs,
and then going to school to kill teachers and classmates. Various cultural influences were targeted for blame, such
as Stephen King’s novel, Rage, a film, The Basketball Diaries, and the Pearl Jam video, “Jeremy.” Violent videogames
also entered the discussions, as did the influences of cults like Satanism. Yet a look back reveals some of the earlier
incidents as well. The
following is a timeline of school violence that grabbed national attention:
January 1979 – Brenda Spencer, 17, got a rifle for Christmas and used it to shoot into an elementary school
across the street from her home in San Diego, California. Eight children and a police officer were injured, and two
men lost their lives protecting the kids. When the six-hour standoff finally ended, Brenda explained with a shrug,
don’t like Mondays.”
March 2, 1987 – Nathan Ferris, 12, was an honor student in Missouri, where he finally got tired of being teased. He
brought a pistol to school and when a classmate made fun of him, he killed the other boy. Then he turned the gun on
himself. He had warned a friend not to attend school that day, signaling his plans, but no one had listened to this
Stephen Abbot & Jamie Rous (AP)
November 15th, 1995 – Jamie Rouse, 17, dressed in black, went into Richland School in Giles County, Tennessee, with
a .22-calibre Remington Viper. He shot two teachers in the head, one of them fatally. Then with a smile, he took aim at the
football coach, but a female student walked into his path and was killed with a shot to the throat. Rouse had told five friends
exactly how he had
planned this killing, but no one had called for help.
February 2, 1996 – Barry Loukaitis, 14, dressed up like a gunslinger from the Wild West and went into his algebra class
in Moses Lake, Washington. Concealed in his long duster were two pistols, seventy-eight rounds of ammunition, and a high-
powered rifle. His first victim was 14-year-old Manuel Vela, who later died. Another classmate fell with a bullet to his chest,
Loukaitis shot his teacher in the back as she was writing a problem on the
blackboard. A 13-year-old girl
took the fourth bullet in her arm. Then the shooter took hostages, allowing the wounded to be removed, but was stymied by
a teacher who rushed him and put an end to the irrational siege. In all, three people died, and Loukaitis blamed “mood swings.”
A classmate claimed that Loukaitis had thought it would be "fun" to go on a killing spree.
February 2, 1996 – David Dubose, Jr., 16, killed a teacher in a school hallway in Atlanta, Georgia.
January 27, 1997 – Tronneal Mangum, 13, shot and killed another student in front of their school.
February 19, 1997 – Evan Ramsey, 16, went to Bethel High School in Alaska with a shotgun. This is the place where other
kids called him "retarded" and "spaz." He killed a boy with whom he’d argued and then injured two other students. Then he
went to the administration office and shot the principal, Ron Edwards, killing him instantly. Police came quickly and ended
the rampage, which appeared to be
motivated only by some amorphous rage. Two fourteen-year-old friends who had
discussed Ramsey’s plan with him were arrested as accomplices.
October 1, 1997 – Luke Woodham, 16, worshipped Adolph Hitler, perhaps because it made him feel powerful in light of
the bullying he received from classmates in Pearl, Mississippi. When his girlfriend broke up with him, he went into a rage.
He slashed and stabbed his mother that morning, then went to school with a rifle and a pistol. Right away he killed his former
girlfriend and then another girl. Yet
he didn’t stop there. Seven other students were wounded before he ran out of
ammunition. He returned to his car for his other gun, and that’s where the assistant principal disarmed him. He complained
that the world had wronged him and he just couldn’t take it anymore. “I killed because people like me are mistreated every
day,” he said. “I did this to show society: Push us and we will push back.” Two members of his group devoted to Hitler were
charged as accessories to murder, and
others were arrested on the basis of a conspiracy, but those charges were
later dismissed. Woodham claimed at trial that he’d been possessed by demons that were manipulated by a member of his group.
December 1, 1997 – Michael Carneal, 14, liked to wear black and was thought by classmates in Paducah, Kentucky, to be
Satanist. That morning, he brought a gun to school and opened fire on a small prayer group. Three girls died and five other
students were wounded. Another student tackled him, and it was soon revealed that Carneal had a pistol, two rifles, and two
shotguns, along with 700 rounds of ammunition, all of it stolen. He’d threatened earlier to “shoot up” the school, but no one had
taken him seriously.
March 24, 1998 - Andrew Golden, 11, and his gun buddy, Mitchell Johnson, 13, dressed in camouflage fatigues and then gunned
down fifteen people at the Westside Middle School playground in Jonesboro, Arkansas. Five died, all of them female and four
were children. The boys had a van stocked full of ammunition and guns, which they took from their kin. Golden went into the school
and set off a fire alarm, then ran to
where Johnson lay in position with the rifles. As people
filed out for the fire drill, the boys began shooting.
April 24, 1998 – Andrew J. Wurst, 14, liked to threaten other people and then laugh it off. However, no one was laughing when
he took a pistol into the eighth-grade graduation dance in Edinboro, Pennsylvania, and killed a popular teacher. Then he opened
fire into the crowd, wounding another teacher and two classmates before he ran out. The banquet hall owner went after him,
disarmed him, and held him for
police, but the boy acted as if the whole thing was a big joke.
May 21, 1998 – Kipland Kinkel, 15, had just been expelled from school in Springfield, Oregon, for carrying a gun to class.
He returned with a semiautomatic rifle and went into the cafeteria, where he started shooting. He killed one student and wounded
eight others, one of whom later died, and he also caused a stampede that resulted in more injuries. He was disarmed and taken
to the police station, where he withdrew a hidden knife. He claimed he wanted to die. Police officers who went to his home
discovered that he’d killed both of his parents and had booby-trapped the house with five homemade bombs---one of which
he'd placed underneath his
mother’s corpse. His classmates had once dubbed him the student “most likely to
start World War III.”
This is just a few stories from the pages of the violent lives that so many of our children are living...the festering that is going
inside the family...the village is sick. We keep using the ole "out of site...out of mind" way of dealing with this...comes out
in the news and we just go, "O isn't that terrible." This is more than terrible...this is a sick warning to what we are going
to see more and more of...
Okay now what day is it in this sick sick journal of notes, quotes, facts and stats, blood and
tears...rain on the scarecrow...something is mad in the city jungle. I miss my kids. Hug
yours if they are near you right NOW!!!
SOME RAN EAST...SOME RAN WEST
by Benford E. Standley
"TRUTH IS LIKE A TORCH...
FROM IT WE SHIELD OUR EYES
FOR FEAR OF BEING BURNED"
in the sand
In Their Own Words
Poems and words from the streets
Sins of the Fathers
The Throwaway Child
What happened in Houston?
Down and out in L.A.
an ongoing saga of the homeless
Foster Lack of Care
Hey Mr. and Mrs. Bush
I found a few million left behind
WE WERE THE CHILDREN