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Thread: Toddler thrown onto freeway

  1. #201
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    Exclamation Re: Toddler thrown onto freeway

    Quote Originally Posted by Frankie's Market View Post
    Saying "shut the **** up and pay some social workers" is one way of shaking people up. My way is frankly saying, "Your outrage, concerns, and balloons/gifts for Cyrus are all a day late and a dollar short."
    I don't think anyone whose gone to Cyrus' memorial is trying to help him, or make a policy or political statement. These are people simply expressing grief, however they know how. I try to imagine our dear scrivener going there, catching a group of school kids or a young family, and telling them to "shut the **** up and pay some social workers." How is that productive? That's more than not feeling anything for this kid's death, as he suggests. That's judging and criticizing people who are wrestling with something within them. Not everyone is trying to solve all the wrongs in the world at every moment.

    If a teacher died, and a memorial sprouted up at the school's cafeteria, would you wag your finger and say, "Get over it, you should've made education a priority before this happened!" If a coworker lamented hitting a cat on the drive to work, would you say, "Quit yer sobbing, there are bigger problems out there than roadkill!" Do all mourners need to be "shaken up"?

    What you, Scrivener, and everyone else is saying is completely understandable and logical. Reduce bureaucracy. Invest in better social services. Teach the children well, yada yada yada. I just don't get why those concepts are being positioned as contrary to, or in the same context of, people feeling bad for the death of the kid.

    I think that's why I found some sense of perspective when I visited the memorial. At work, at home, here at HT, I'm embroiled in wide-ranging and sometimes heated discussions about priorities and laws and punishments. But however tacky or obnoxious that bridge has become, it's a place where I felt nothing else but sorrow. And that kind of clarity was nice. I wouldn't leave a bag of gummy bears or a four-foot-tall stuffed Pooh, but I wouldn't swear at someone who did, either.
    Last edited by pzarquon; January 24th, 2008 at 04:26 PM.

  2. #202
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    Default Re: Toddler thrown onto freeway

    For the record, I would like to say that "shut the **** up" is aimed at people wanting to blame CPS, not at people who are mourning.
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  3. #203
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    Default Re: Toddler thrown onto freeway

    A day or 2 after the Xerox murders in, what...1999?...I felt compelled to pay my respect but was clueless on how to do that. So, all I could think of was to place a lei on the wall outside the front door of the building. It was one of many. For some strange reason that brought some peace...just a little.

    While driving on the freeway last Saturday I was approaching the Miller St. overpass and could see the memorial and it's visitors. I was overcome with a major case of misty eyes. I wanted to visit the memorial but couldn't bring myself to do it. I think that's due to a child being involved.

    So, this morning I viewed PZ's blog and video. I had the same reaction as I did on the freeway.

    Enter bathroom. Reapply mascara.

  4. #204
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    Exclamation Re: Toddler thrown onto freeway

    Quote Originally Posted by scrivener View Post
    For the record, I would like to say that "shut the **** up" is aimed at people wanting to blame CPS, not at people who are mourning.
    I didn't get that impression at all, and I think Frankie's Market similarly interpreted your essay. Your set up seems to be, "I'm just not moved," and the crux is, "I don’t think it’s that I’m unfeeling: I think I’m responding in some way to the outpouring of sentiment." I read that as the outpouring of grief, not the outpouring of criticism of CPS.

    And from my own observations, while CPS is getting a fair share of knocks, I'm actually surprised the agency isn't the all-in scapegoat I was expecting it to be. As I said way back in this thread, there were forces aligned to protect this kid, and we essentially wish they did their job better -- and yes, to do so, they need more support.

  5. #205
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    Default Re: Toddler thrown onto freeway

    I normally organize my thinking better, but that night I was just getting some thoughts down so I could get to sleep...I didn't even know they were all going to be about that one subject; I kinda expected to write a few things about the latest Bruce Springsteen album, but it just never went there. I wrote the title last, something I often do when I haven't sat down to write with one particular thing in mind.

    I don't take back what I said about feeling strangely unaffected, but I wouldn't tell people who are affected to shut up about THAT.
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  6. #206

    Default Re: Toddler thrown onto freeway

    Quote Originally Posted by pzarquon View Post
    I don't think anyone whose gone to Cyrus' memorial is trying to help him, or make a policy or political statement. These are people simply expressing grief, however they know how. I try to imagine our dear scrivener going there, catching a group of school kids or a young family, and telling them to "shut the **** up and pay some social workers." How is that productive? That's more than not feeling anything for this kid's death, as he suggests. That's judging and criticizing people who are wrestling with something within them. Not everyone is trying to solve all the wrongs in the world at every moment.

    If a teacher died, and a memorial sprouted up at the school's cafeteria, would you wag your finger and say, "Get over it, you should've made education a priority before this happened!" If a coworker lamented hitting a cat on the drive to work, would you say, "Quit yer sobbing, there are bigger problems out there than roadkill!" Do all mourners need to be "shaken up.
    Woah!! You loaded up my post with a whole lot of sentiments that I was NOT expressing or intending.

    First of all, what I wrote was NOT a statement against the concept of expressing grief. It is natural for people to express grief over the death of a loved one. For people who knew Cyrus BEFORE he died or was a friend/relative of the families involved, it is totally understandable for them to grieve over his death.

    Even for people who did not personally know him or his family until that tragic day,... if they personally felt touched by his death and wanted to express their grief in some tangible way,... nowhere did I say that anything was WRONG with that. Implying that I (or anybody else on HT) advocated swearing at people who are mourning,... man, that's laying it on a just a little bit thick, don't you think?

    What I was trying to get across was the idea that while a lot of public attention and concern has been going out to the children who have suffered tragic ends (like Cyrus and Peter Boy), nowhere near enough attention has gone to the at-risk children who are still with us and for whom there is still hope.

    I noticed that in all of your post, you mention not a whit about the point I was making about the general public's indifference towards the at-risk population. Talk about missing the forest for the trees.
    This post may contain an opinion that may conflict with your opinion. Do not take it personal. Polite discussion of difference of opinion is welcome.

  7. #207
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    Exclamation Re: Toddler thrown onto freeway

    Oh dear.

    One, I read Mitchell's blog post and mention of "outpouring of sentiment" as a commentary on people who felt moved by Cyrus' death, and not -- as he has clarified -- critics of CPS. But that's the context in which I posited him delivering his "shut the **** up" message.

    Two, you invoked the mourners in your response to Mitchell's post, saying, "balloons/gifts for Cyrus are all a day late and a dollar short," noting that the message is "harsh," but explaining that "none of it does Cyrus any good at this point. He's gone from this world and nothing that anyone does will ever bring him back." To that, specifically, my reply was, I don't think anyone mourning his death or paying their respects at Miller Street is trying to do him any good or trying to bring him back. They can't change the past, but they're affected by it. They're simply saddened by his death and trying to express that.
    Is it too much to ask for people to direct just a tiny bit of the concerns they display towards Cyrus Belt and Peter Boy Kema towards children who are living on the fringe right now?
    No. My ultimate point is that people expressing grief does not necessarily imply that they're not enlightened, or not aware of the larger issues, or not trying to do something about saving the lives of currently at-risk kids. The impression I got from Mitchell's blog post (now corrected) and from your "harsh" truth is that mourning by the public is a waste of time and energy, and I don't agree with that. You've now also clarified that you don't see anything wrong with it, in which case, we're in total agreement, and probably always were.
    Last edited by pzarquon; January 24th, 2008 at 05:14 PM.

  8. #208

    Default Re: Toddler thrown onto freeway

    Quote Originally Posted by pzarquon View Post
    My ultimate point is that people expressing grief does not necessarily imply that they're not enlightened or not aware of the larger issues or not trying to do something about saving the lives of at-risk kids. The fundamental impression I've gotten is that mourning by the public is a waste of time and energy, and I don't agree with that.
    Well, if you read my post and the thought that popped into your mind at the end is "mourning by the public is a waste of time and energy," all I can say is that you're willfully misinterpreting and have totally missed the main point of what I was trying to get across, which is the attention that at-risk children living today deserves.

    But hey, that's cool. Hopefully, others will "get it."
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  9. #209
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    Default Re: Toddler thrown onto freeway

    Horrible murders happen every day. Many happen because of a drug or illness or abuse or lack of supervision or mistake by the authorities. This one just happens to be unusual in the way it was done.

  10. #210
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    Default Re: Toddler thrown onto freeway

    Quote Originally Posted by SusieMisajon View Post
    Horrible murders happen every day. Many happen because of a drug or illness or abuse or lack of supervision or mistake by the authorities. This one just happens to be unusual in the way it was done.
    Baby Cyrus' death was attributable to all of those.

  11. #211
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    Red face Re: Toddler thrown onto freeway

    Quote Originally Posted by Frankie's Market View Post
    But hey, that's cool. Hopefully, others will "get it."
    I'm sorry you still feel so combative. Obviously I misunderstood the target of scrivener's ire, and you have clarified that when you wrote:
    Your outrage, concerns, and balloons/gifts for Cyrus are all a day late and a dollar short. [...] Oh, I know. The public's reactions to this incident and their contributions to the overpass memorial are all well-intentioned and sincere. But if you want to get right down to it, none of it does Cyrus any good at this point. He's gone from this world and nothing that anyone does will ever bring him back. That may sound sound harsh, but it's true.
    That you were not being in any way dismissive of the people visiting and leaving gifts. I was clearly imagining things. And so I said, hey, I'm in complete agreement with you, and always was. People are sad, and Something Must Be Done™.

    Obviously this case and this issue is upsetting to everyone, and we're all responding in different ways. I know I'm not the only one whose unusually sensitive.

  12. #212

    Default Re: Toddler thrown onto freeway

    Quote Originally Posted by pzarquon View Post
    I know I'm not the only one whose unusually sensitive.
    No you're not. I'm right there with you.
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  13. #213
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    Default Re: Toddler thrown onto freeway

    Well regardless of what happened and who to look for to blame it all on, the fact is something's gotta happen so this can't happen again.

    It all comes down to money and yeah I agree that when we're getting all pissy about locker room facilities we really need to get focused on the more pressing needs like protecting human life.

    You know if we could abolish the entire UH sports program and focus on what a university is SUPPOSED to do I think we'd have more money to spread around to pay our underpaid educators and social welfare workers. Really now is sports all that important when there is human suffering going on at the same time?
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  14. #214

    Default Re: Toddler thrown onto freeway

    Here is my Letter to the Editor printed today in the Maui News.



    It’s children who suffer when welfare agency system fails

    The list of children who have died and nearly died from abuse and neglect in Hawaii continues to grow – Cyrus, Peter Boy and Shari. I am the paternal grandmother who joyfully adopted Shari, who was nearly beaten to death by her mother’s boyfriend in March 2006.

    One of the common threads all these precious children had in common were families with histories involving the Child Protection Services. In the two years since Shari’s near fatal beating we have been involved with many medical and educational professionals. They all say the same thing: Reports of abuse are made, the child is taken for a short period and then placed right back into the home.

    During the last call I made to CPS, I was told by Shari’s social worker that it was noted in her case file that Shari was “clumsy.”

    Less than three weeks later Shari was in a pediatric intensive care unit fighting for her life. X-rays of Shari showed previous rib fractures consistent with a “squeeze and twist” form of abuse. The pictures I had taken in February 2006 were also consistent with child abuse.

    I have absolutely no desire to start a personal war with the Department of Human Services. I do want DHS to hear my experience to hopefully initiate positive changes.

    Without change there will be no change. We will again read of yet another Cyrus, Peter Boy and Shari. It’s just a matter of time.

    Cheryl Oelrich

    Kihei

  15. #215

    Default Re: Toddler thrown onto freeway

    Quote Originally Posted by scrivener View Post
    For the record, I would like to say that "shut the **** up" is aimed at people wanting to blame CPS, not at people who are mourning.
    Come on over to my house bend down and slap Shari in the face! But don't hit her to hard because she is at risk for brain bleds due to the brain damage she suffered form her near death beating. Right after you do that maybe you can explain to her why and how she was left in such an abusive home. Someday she will ask me that very question.....should I tell her to "shut the **** up"? You definately hit a nerve!

  16. #216
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    Default Re: Toddler thrown onto freeway

    Quote Originally Posted by craigwatanabe View Post
    Really now is sports all that important when there is human suffering going on at the same time?
    Must be important to the late Patsy Mink to ratify Title IX.

    Maybe if Tunoa had been active in sports and come into contact with better mentors he probably might have a different perspective in life.

    Not everyone is book-smart. Gangs exist because they're bored and don't know what to do with their lives. Bored people tend to do stupid things.

    BTW, what does Tunoa's family (his parents and/or his siblings) have said about this waste of genetic lard? How do you co-exist with a family member who is an abuser?
    Last edited by Random; January 27th, 2008 at 02:09 PM.

  17. #217

    Default Re: Toddler thrown onto freeway

    I don't know what Tunoa's family has said about him but I read a news article that Tunoa's parents plan to seek custody of Janel Tupuola's two youngest children, whom they believe to be fathered by Tunoa.

    http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/ap...=2008801230407

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    Default Re: Toddler thrown onto freeway

    Quote Originally Posted by Adri View Post
    I don't know what Tunoa's family has said about him but I read a news article that Tunoa's parents plan to seek custody of Janel Tupuola's two youngest children, whom they believe to be fathered by Tunoa.

    http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/ap...=2008801230407
    What article?

    Should they be granted custody since they didn't have a handle on their own son?

  19. #219

    Default Re: Toddler thrown onto freeway

    Random: I linked to the article in my prior post (and the link is also in the part of my post you quoted)

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    Default Re: Toddler thrown onto freeway

    Quote Originally Posted by Adri View Post
    Random: I linked to the article in my prior post (and the link is also in the part of my post you quoted)
    Random, the article is not about the Tunoa family attempting to get the children. That reference is contained within the article about Janel's services.

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    Default Re: Toddler thrown onto freeway

    Paragraph seven of the story:
    Meanwhile, in an e-mail appeal for financial support for the five children and husband that Tupuola left behind, friends learned that Tunoa's parents plan to seek custody of Tupuola's two youngest children. Tunoa believes he is the father of Truelyn, 2, and Junior, 1, Tupuola's family has said.

    The Tupuola family is very upset at the idea and opposes the placement, said Gail Badajos, Tupuola's sister.

    "Nobody wants to place the children in that kind of household," Badajos said.
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  22. #222
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    Default Re: Toddler thrown onto freeway

    Quote Originally Posted by cherla42 View Post
    Come on over to my house bend down and slap Shari in the face! But don't hit her to hard because she is at risk for brain bleds due to the brain damage she suffered form her near death beating.
    Of course it's easy to accuse me of endorsing the abuse of children if I stick up for CPS social workers whom you think are complicit in children's harm, but do you truly think that's what a rational, thinking human being means? The fact that I disagree with you on who is to blame for the death of the boy (and I do disagree -- I am not backing down from my position) should in no way be taken as an insult to the children who, despite the system put in place to protect them, still suffer harm. It's a cheap shot, and you know it. I am in favor of lowering the drinking age to eighteen as well: Does this mean that I'm offering a slap in the face to families who've lost loved ones in drunk-driving accidents involving underaged drinkers? Hell no.

    You want to blame CPS. Fine. You are taking measures to make what you think could be meaningful change. Terrific. You are going to encounter people along the way who do not agree with you in full. To accuse those who disagree of slapping abused babies in the face is morally reprehensible and is not going to win anyone over to your side of the argument.

    A lot of readers here are giving you a wide berth because you have gone through something inconceivably awful. You deserve that kind of consideration. But if you're going to handle a disagreement about something by accusing me of slapping your daughter in the face, then let's take the gloves off and have at it, shall we? But don't hold the poor little girl up as a shield in front of you: Show me instead that my position is wrong! I contend that CPS is a vital, important agency who is understaffed and whose social workers and aids are underpaid. You hold that it is administered in an unwise fashion. I fail to see where my endorsement for increased pay and more staffing in any way contradicts what you have to say.

    You imply that CPS itself was a neglectful ward and therefore complicit in Shari's injuries and Cyrus's death. That's quite an accusation. To imply that CPS as an agency just doesn't care for the welfare of children is so wrong I don't even know where to begin, but I'll just say for now that you're talking about a lot of people who could take their talents and skills elsewhere and make a lot more money for a lot less grief than in the human services field, so to accuse them of child neglect is abhorrent. To accuse the system of being bogged down with administrative hassles and institutional quicksand is another story, and it's the approach I choose, rather than basically to call CPS and its administrators killers.


    Right after you do that maybe you can explain to her why and how she was left in such an abusive home. Someday she will ask me that very question.....should I tell her to "shut the **** up"? You definately hit a nerve!
    Apparently your answer is going to be something along the lines of, "The state of Hawaii didn't care whether you lived or died." After you've given her that answer, invite me over and I will answer her question. I don't know exactly what I'll say, but it will be along the lines of, "The evil people are your parents, not the group of human beings who tried in their own limited capacity to do the right thing. They are human beings, and sometimes even with the best of intentions, human beings make mistakes." I don't think it will help, because when a mistake results in the horrible injury or death of a human being, there's is really no consolation. I do get that, you know.

    No, I do not think you should tell HER to "shut the **** up," because if she someday blames CPS for her injuries, I don't think I could fault her: It sounds like you do, too. As I said, my statement was aimed at people who want to blame CPS social workers for Cyrus's death. The fact that you are insulted by it is unfortunate, but perhaps rather than at me, your anger should be directed at pzarquon, who posted the original link. You never would have known about my journal entry otherwise, so it's his fault, right?

    Of course it isn't. Yet that's the kind of thing you're aiming at me right now: I wrote something that was meant to express my frustration at a system that doesn't pay its social workers and aides enough. You took that as an insult to your adopted daughter. What puzzles me is that I am offering a suggestion that I think will make future children less vulnerable, yet you insist on calling it an insult to your daughter. I should turn around and accuse YOU of slapping young Cyrus's dead body in the face, since you seem to disagree with my position that social workers should be paid more. But I won't, because that would cheap.
    Last edited by scrivener; January 27th, 2008 at 07:11 PM.
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  23. #223
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    Default Re: Toddler thrown onto freeway

    Okay, I've been thinking about what I wrote, and I notice a HUGE flaw in my own reasoning. I don't take back anything I said (except for two bad editing errors I won't point out), but my flaw looks like this:

    I wrote, "Shut the **** up and pay some social workers" to a very nameless, faceless group of people who I anticipated were going to blame CPS for the death of this boy.

    cherla42 is, apparently, one of those people. She responded by indicating that what I wrote is so insulting, I might as well fly to Maui and slap her abused child, whom she also thinks was injured in part because of CPS's negligence.

    I wrote that it was a cheap move, but I never addressed the actual complaint, which seems to involve at least in part the "shut the **** up and pay some social workers" line. In a way, if that's all I'd written, that would be just as cheap and dismissive as I accuse cherla42 of being, except that I struck first.

    I already explained that what I originally posted elsewhere, in a space I reserve for my own thoughts about whatever's on my mind and from which I address a nameless, faceless, mostly imagined audience somewhere out there was mainly a string of unplanned, unorganized thoughts I wanted to write down before I went to bed. I wrote the title "shut the **** up and pay some social workers" at the very end, after my last paragraph. In truth, I don't really mean to say "shut the **** up and do what I think is right," because (a) I don't even say, ever, the phrase "shut the **** up" because I pretty much never cuss, depending on your definition of cussing, and (b) well, I don't really have a (b). I thought I'd think of one by the time I got here and I didn't.

    But I confess that I do FEEL that way a lot, for reasons I list in the original journal entry. There's always all this talking about what's wrong with teachers and social workers, and everyone complains about the result, but it seems to me that nobody ever actually does anything or wants to discuss how incredibly difficult it is to do these jobs effectively beneath a state bureaucracy that discourages initiative. "Shut up and pay them" is truly my sentiment, but it's not really a sentence I'd use in discussing the topic with someone else. Since it was quoted here, I can't blame cherla42 for feeling that it was aimed at her, one of the people here who has voiced the opinion that CPS is partially to blame.

    So I offer a small apology for a couple of things: First, that the title of a list of unplanned thoughts found its way to you and offended you; my words were meant not as a directive or imperative, but as a way of voicing my frustration hopefully to like-minded readers. And second, that rather than trying to understand why you might be offended, I sought to find fault with your response. I still think your response was a cheap shot, but I can definitely see it now as a cheap shot aimed at someone you thought took the first cheap shot. Please know it was never meant that way, though it was, in truth, meant. Just not that way.
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    Default Re: Toddler thrown onto freeway

    Scriv...wow. I keep editing and re-editing what I want to say (thank god for the backspace key). After reading your last post all I want to say is, "alright then...moving along now"

    As wrong as it sounds...you're right.
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  25. #225
    sansei Guest

    Default Re: Toddler thrown onto freeway

    hi this is sansei and today my mom and myself were coming home when we pass the overpass where the toddler was thrown over the overpass and when we passed it,i felt something when we passed it and it was a feeling of loss and i felt for the family of the toddler and where the killer matt higa lived and we saw the overpass where they put up the memorial and it was very sad so I Thought to share this with everyone.

    well thank's for your time

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