LETTER: Troubled Youth? Don’t Blame The Children Who Are The Victims Of A Broken System

This letter is in response to the article in the Town-Crier “ITID Board Concerned About Troubled Youth Housed in The Acreage” (June 2).

I found this very disturbing, as it is promoting an extremely negative focus on these very troubled and vulnerable children. If ITID Vice President Betty Argue would take the time to understand the situation that has led to the need for these group homes, she might realize that the problems that have caused these children to be in the system is one that we all must own. There is so much more to this story than was portrayed in the article. It is unfair and misleading to tell only one side of the story. Everyone who condemns these homes and these children should be ashamed to call themselves decent human beings.

The need for these group homes arises from an extremely broken system within the Department of Children & Families and the Department of Juvenile Justice. It is too complex a story to tell here, but I would be only too happy to provide a deeper dive into the situation if the Town-Crier, ITID or anyone else cares to listen.

We have failed many of these children, and these failures have contributed to the need for them to be placed into the group homes. Many of them are simply victims of dysfunctional families — dysfunction that is so bad that the state has to step in and remove them from their homes. They are simply displaced. They are not all criminals. In fact, contrary to the belief expressed by Ms. Argue, the majority of them are not juvenile offenders. I have experience with this system. It is shamefully inadequate. And the children are paying the price.

Do not condemn the children. They are the victims. Until you know their stories, you have no right to judge. I also do not understand why ITID, Ms. Argue or any other member of the board of supervisors has any right to speak out as representatives of ITID on this subject. It is not ITID business. It is yet another overstep by the ITID Board of Supervisors into a realm in which they do not have any right to be involved. I challenge anyone who wants to criticize this situation to educate yourself on this issue. You may be surprised about what you learn. And if you don’t bother to take a deeper dive and understand, please don’t complain.

Tina Evans, The Acreage