Archive for March, 2014

Du Pont Heir Who Raped His Three-Year-Old Daughter Won’t Get Prison


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Du Pont Heir Who Raped His Three-Year-Old Daughter Won’t Get Prison

Robert H. Richards IV may never see a day behind bars. Prosecutors and childrens’ rights advocates are shocked.

An heir to the Du Pont fortune, convicted of raping his three-year-old daughter six years ago, only faces probation and will likely never see prison time. A Delaware Superior Court judge said that Robert H. Richards IV, the great grandson of Du Pont patriarch Irene Du Pont, would benefit more from treatment than prison.

Richards is also the scion of another prominent Delaware family, the Richards (of the corporate law firm Richards Layton & Finger). His father, Robert Richards III, was a partner in the prestigious firm until 2008. Court records list…

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JUST KIDS presents an original documentary: THE TRUTH ABOUT OUR YOUTH

Activist Post: Child Protective Services Pays a Visit to Cannabis Freedom Advocate #news

Activist Post: Child Protective Services Pays a Visit to Cannabis Freedom Advocate #news.

Afghan voices: Female rapper Ramika

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-26784599 Video & text

Afghan voices: Female rapper Ramika

9 hours ago

In Afghanistan, young rappers gathered in Kabul earlier this month to compete to create a rap anthem for April’s presidential elections.

Ramika, a 19 year old female rapper from Kabul, was among the competitors, with a rap about the importance of participating in the elections.

The Taliban have threatened those who go to the polls, but many youngsters in Afghanistan say they are planning to defy such intimidation.

In the latest of the Afghan Voices series, Ramika spoke to BBC News about how rap allows her to express herself and tackle important issues….http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-26784599 Video & text

Egypt crisis: Young detainees allege torture

  • Egypt crisis: Young detainees allege torture

    Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood students and supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi run through smoke during clashes with riot police following a demonstration outside Cairo University on March 26, 2014
  • Thousands have been detained since last July, many at protests

    Brutal beatings, sexual abuse, and electric shocks are being carried out on detainees, including teenage children, in Egypt, according to testimonies gathered by the BBC.

    As many 20,000 people are estimated to have been held since last July in a sweeping clampdown on dissent.

    A growing number are now emerging from police stations and prisons with serious allegations of torture.

    The claims are denied by the military-backed interim government.

    ‘Electrocuted’For 15-year old Ahmed Abdel Fattah, the trouble began on 24 January, when his fondness for his mobile phone cost him his freedom.

    Ahmed Abdel Fattah, 15: “When they electrocuted me, I fell down.”

    ….READ MORE: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-26790381

Mentally ill suffer in US imprisonment cycle – Americas – Al Jazeera English


Mentally ill suffer in US imprisonment cycle – Americas – Al Jazeera English .

Mentally ill suffer in US imprisonment cycle


Hundreds of thousands of mentally ill people in the US are caught in a perpetual cycle of homelessness and imprisonment.

Last updated: 29 Mar 2014 16:46
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In the US, it’s estimated that nearly half a million mentally ill people are in prison.In the third of our four part series, Al Jazeera looks at the issue of the criminalisation of mental health in the United States.Many people find themselves caught living through a cycle of homelessness and imprisonment.Al Jazeera’s Rob Reynolds reports from Los Angeles.RELATED:

The number of psychiatric beds in the country has been cut from half a million to 35,000 over the last 60 years. ( 29-Mar-2014 )

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SLPS struggles to deal with deaths of students

SLPS struggles to deal with deaths of students  http://www.ksdk.com/story/news/crime/2014/03/27/slps-struggles-student-deaths/6987455/

When 11-year-old Antonio Johnson was shot and killed while he was sitting at the computer in his south St. Louis home Wednesday night, the Froebel Elementary School student became the 17th student of a St. Louis Public School to die this school year.


ST. LOUIS – When 11-year-old Antonio Johnson was shot and killed while he was sitting at the computer in his south St. Louis home Wednesday night, the Froebel Elementary School student became the 17th student of a St. Louis Public School to die this school year.

Superintendent Kelvin Adams says it’s the most he’s seen here. So he’s taking special steps to help students and staff having trouble with the trauma.

The deaths involved murders, car accidents, fires, and health issues. They didn’t take place at schools, but have a big impact inside them.

Crime tape and cops are more than a news story to Gateway High School Junior Stephanie Rone. She connects with what happened to Antonio Johnson….read more, please

STOP the Deportation of YASHIKA

http://youtu.be/32-tPM2nr64   http://linkis.com/wp.me/eXkPA

Juvenile Solitary Confinement: Modern-Day ‘Torture’ in the US

Juvenile Solitary Confinement: Modern-Day ‘Torture’ in the US.

Juvenile Solitary Confinement: Modern-Day ‘Torture’ in the US

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As a 17-year-old, Michael Kemp says, he felt like a caged animal.

For six months, his world was reduced to the size of a Washington, D.C., jail cell measuring maybe 8 feet by 10 feet.

During much of his time in solitary confinement, he spent 23 hours a day alone in the cell.

“You just like, ‘Man, I feel like an animal in here. I don’t even feel real … where I’m not even a human being,’” Kemp told JJIE. “You don’t feel like a human being.”

Kemp, now 24, who was convicted of armed robbery and says he ended up in solitary because he was caught with a makeshift knife, slept on a mat atop a steel bed in the cinder block cell and had little contact with others except by yelling through a crisscross of bars to other inmates.

“In there by yourself, you can go stir crazy because you ain’t got that interaction,” Kemp said. “You supposed to be growing as an individual, but you ain’t growing. You have no human connection with nobody else. You just in a room by yourself.”

Even now, seven years after his stint in solitary as a juvenile, Kemp says psychic scars remain, and he still tends to isolate himself in his home.

“I might go in the bathroom or be sitting in the living room and I be in there for hours, man, just looking in the mirror or just in a room, just like I don’t know why I won’t be active. I just find myself always isolating myself for some reason, man,” said Kemp, a boyish-looking, slim young man who wears his hair in long braids.

“It’s like if you put a grasshopper in a cup and then you place a top on it and it keeps on jumping and it keeps on jumping and it keep on hitting the top, keep on hitting the top, so when you take the top off, the grasshopper not going to jump out the top of the cup because it’s going to be so used to hitting the top of the cup, and it’s like that’s how it is. Sometimes it feels like I’m in jail when I’m not in jail.”

When you think of solitary confinement, perhaps you think of North Vietnamese POW camps like the one where John McCain spent more than five years in captivity or Alcatraz, where the “Birdman” Robert Stroud made solitary famous, or today’s Supermax prisons that house hardened adult criminals.

But in fact, thousands of juveniles also endure solitary confinement each year in the United States, often in tiny cells for 22 to 24 hours a day with little human contact, even though a growing number of experts say the practice causes irreparable psychological and developmental harm to youths.


  • In April 2012, the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry issued a statement concluding that solitary confinement of juveniles could lead to depression, anxiety and even psychosis and called for an end to the practice. “Due to their developmental vulnerability, juvenile offenders are at particular risk of such adverse reactions,” the AACAP statement said. “Furthermore, the majority of suicides in juvenile correctional facilities occur when the individual is isolated or in solitary confinement.”

  • Juan Méndez, the United Nations special rapporteur on torture, has found that solitary confinement can amount to torture and has urged a ban on solitary confinement of children and people with mental disabilities.

  • The National Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence, commissioned by U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., concluded in its final report in December 2012, “Nowhere is the damaging impact of incarceration on vulnerable children more obvious than when it involves solitary confinement.” The task force recommended the practice be forbidden. (The task force was co-chaired by Robert L. Listenbee Jr., who is now the administrator of the federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Listenbee did not respond to requests for comment.)

  • In his role as OJJDP administrator, Listenbee stated in a July 5, 2013, letter to an American Civil Liberties Union official that “isolation of children is dangerous and inconsistent with best practices and that excessive isolation can constitute cruel and unusual punishment,” which is banned under the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

  • Experts say adolescents are particularly vulnerable to psychological harm caused by solitary – sometimes known as room restriction, restricted engagement, segregation, isolation, lockdown or seclusion – because their brains are still developing.

Laura Markle Downton, director of the U.S. prisons policy and program for the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, which represents 320 religious organizations, said the campaign opposes solitary confinement of juveniles and views it as a form of torture.

“It’s really a moral question first and foremost,” Downton told JJIE. “When you think about if a parent were to lock a child in a closet, let’s say, for an extended amount of time, we would call that child abuse. And yet that’s essentially what we’re doing within our justice system.

“What we know is that isolation does not lead to rehabilitation. It leads to destruction and annihilation, and we believe very firmly as people of faith that this is immoral and that it’s wrong.”


Critics note that solitary – which youths have been subjected to in U.S. juvenile facilities for more than a century – often denies children access to education, mental health treatment, physical activity, and reading and writing material.

Despite widespread concerns about juvenile isolation, however, some correctional officers’ unions and corrections administrators call the practice a necessary option to maintain discipline and ensure the safety and security of facilities.

A November ACLU report calling for a ban on solitary confinement in juvenile detention facilities cited four reasons generally given to justify it: to punish children when they break facility rules; to protect a child from other children; to deal with children deemed too disruptive or out of control; and to isolate a child for medical reasons, including having a contagious disease or having expressed a desire to commit suicide.

Speaking of solitary confinement, Craig Brown, chief lobbyist for the California Correctional Peace Officers Association, which represents correctional officers in the state system, said: “Our feeling was, why ever deprive yourself of a tool? … Corrections is about tradeoffs, and one of the tradeoffs is if you don’t use a tool like this, you disrupt the program for everybody else.”

If the system did not rely on solitary, Brown said: “If you have somebody who is messing things up so other wards who are trying to participate and deal with their issues can’t do it, then what you’ve done is you’ve said, ‘Well, we’re not going to isolate this ward. In exchange we’re going to let him mess up the program for 10 or 15 other guys.’”

Referring to solitary, Brown said, “It’s necessary for programming, it’s necessary for staff safety, it’s for the safety of the other wards – at times.”

California state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco/San Mateo, a child psychologist, expresses a decidedly different view.

Yee has proposed a bill that would sharply restrict solitary confinement of youths in state and county juvenile correctional facilities.

Yee, who has treated youngsters in prisons, jails and health systems, told JJIE solitary makes youths more dangerous, more antisocial, more likely to reoffend, more likely to commit suicide and more likely to suffer a lifetime mental illness.

In solitary, Yee said: “Kids become depressed, they become disassociated, they begin to sometimes decompose psychologically. So there’s nothing good that comes out of solitary confinement for the youngster. It’s all bad, and it seems to me that if the [state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation] would just simply pick up a book on psychology and read it, they would understand that this is not a good thing for youngsters and not good for our society in general…. Torture doesn’t help anybody at all.”

Under Yee’s bill, solitary confinement could be used only when a juvenile posed an “immediate and substantial risk of harm to others or to the security of the facility, and all other less-restrictive options have been exhausted.” The bill also specifies that a juvenile be held in solitary only for the minimum time necessary to reduce the risk.

Bill Sessa, a spokesman for the California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation, which oversees the Division of Juvenile Justice, said state law allows youths to be held up to 23 hours a day in a room in a “behavior treatment unit.” But Sessa said youths have been allowed to leave the rooms an average of six hours a day most of the past year and that youths held in the rooms receive education and counseling.

Of Yee’s measure, Sessa said, “This bill is a solution looking for a problem that doesn’t exist.”

Yee said the department opposed a bill that failed last year that would have restricted solitary confinement of youths in juvenile facilities.

“If [corrections officials] had their way, they’d probably still have torture chambers in the state of California,” Yee said.

New Jersey also has become a focal point in the debate over solitary confinement of juveniles.

The New Jersey ACLU and other organizations petitioned the state Juvenile Justice Commission, in July to ban punitive solitary confinement of youths in juvenile facilities.

In a letter to Kevin Brown, the executive director of the JJC, the petitioners stated, “Solitary confinement is an extreme and inhumane form of punishment that is not evidenced-based, wastes taxpayer money, and jeopardizes public safety; this is especially so when the people being subjected to the punishment are children.”

The JJC, the state agency that oversees juvenile justice in New Jersey, rejected the petition to ban punitive solitary confinement of youths in mid-February.

Sharon Lauchaire, the public information officer for the commission, part of the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office, said the JJC would continue discussions with the ACLU about what is known in the state as “room restriction.”

“We have reviewed our use of room restriction in the past and will continue to do so,” Lauchaire told JJIE. “We will be soliciting feedback from the ACLU and other parties on room restriction.”

The denial of the petition came after a $400,000 settlement in a lawsuit over two boys who had been held in solitary in New Jersey for extended periods – one of them, for about six months.

Policies on solitary confinement of juveniles vary widely across the country.

Even critics of juvenile solitary acknowledge youths who are out of control or a threat to themselves or others may need some time alone but say this should be for minutes or hours, not days – and with close adult supervision.

Some states – including Alaska, Connecticut, Maine, Oklahoma and West Virginia – have banned or restricted punitive solitary confinement of juveniles. And New York State just banned solitary confinement of juveniles held in state adult facilities.

It’s impossible to say how often U.S. juvenile detention facilities use solitary confinement, as neither states nor the federal government publishes such data and almost no detention facilities make the data available to the public.

Amy Fettig, senior staff counsel with the ACLU’s National Prison Project, estimated that about 70,000 young people are being held at any given time in juvenile facilities nationwide and that in many facilities solitary confinement is “routine.”

In an October letter, the ACLU and numerous other organizations urged Attorney General Holder and OJJDP’s Listenbee to prohibit solitary confinement of youths in federal custody. In addition, more than 40,000 people have signed a petition calling on Holder to ban solitary confinement of juveniles in federal custody.

And on Feb. 28, U.S. Rep. Tony Cárdenas, D-California, proposed a measure that would ban solitary confinement of youth in federal juvenile facilities.

“Solitary confinement is something that is purely punitive, and it has nothing to do with rehabilitation,” Cárdenas told JJIE.

But despite concerns about the dangers of juvenile solitary expressed by the National Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence and by Listenbee, the U.S. government still has not banned the practice in federal detention facilities.

“There’s no prohibition,” Fettig told JJIE. “It’s sort of like, ‘Put your money where your mouth is.’”

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat who chaired a Feb. 25 Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing on solitary confinement, called on all state and federal facilities to end solitary confinement of juveniles, pregnant women and people with “serious and persistent” mental illness “except under the rarest circumstances.”  (Durbin’s office did not respond to requests to clarify what would constitute those “rarest circumstances.”)

“When it comes to solitary confinement, we know children are particularly vulnerable,” Durbin said. “The mental health effects of even short periods of isolation, including depression and risk of suicide, are heightened among youths.”

Supporters of a ban on solitary in juvenile facilities point out that many youths enter the facilities with mental illness and that solitary aggravates it.

“When you subject [juveniles] to extreme isolation and then you expect their behavior to change, well, that’s living in a fantasy world because you’re actually exacerbating whatever pre-existing problem that kid had,” Fettig said. “Subjecting them to solitary confinement isn’t going to turn them into well-socialized adults. It’s going to inflict more harm on them. So it’s actually completely counterproductive to what the system should be doing, and child abuse should not be mandated by the state.

“You literally are locking a child down with nothing to do, with no interaction, for 23, 22, 24 hours a day. In some ways, it’s common sense to look at the denial of education, the denial of drug treatment, the denial of adequate mental health care that exists in solitary confinement, and think to yourself, ‘Well, what’s going be the result for that kid? How could anything positive ever come from such treatment?’ And the answer is, it doesn’t.”

Bart Lubow, director of the Juvenile Justice Strategy Group at the Annie E. Casey Foundation in Baltimore, said solitary flies in the face of the rehabilitative goal of the juvenile justice system.

“All the evidence about the effects of isolation are that it is counterproductive to the goals of rehabilitation,” Lubow said, “so I don’t know how you can be doing rehabilitation based on that kind of extreme punishment.”

Fettig points out that the U.S. Supreme Court has cited research on adolescent brain development in ruling against extreme punishment for juveniles, including the death penalty and mandatory sentences of life without parole. The high court has based these rulings in part on research showing  that juveniles’ brains are not fully developed, and youths are more susceptible than adults to peer pressure, more impulsive, more likely to take risks, less likely to consider long-term consequences and more amenable to rehabilitation.

The Supreme Court should also ban solitary confinement of juveniles as “extreme punishment,” Fettig suggested.

“That mission in juvenile justice, which is rehabilitation, becomes even more critical in light of the science as well as in light of the top law, the Supreme Court jurisprudence in this country, that has looked at the science and looked at the law and our Constitution,” she said.

“We believe that those theories, that same science and judicial ruling can easily be applied to the most extreme forms of punishment that we see in the juvenile justice system … and that is the use of solitary confinement.”

A ban on solitary is long overdue, in the view of Tanisha Denard.

As a 17-year-old, she spent 2 ½ weeks in solitary at Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall outside Los Angeles.

Denard, now 19, told JJIE she ended up at Los Padrinos for a month because she failed to appear for court dates for truancy tickets she received for being late for school and was put in solitary after refusing to socialize or eat. (She graduated from high school in 2011 and now works as a youth organizer for the Youth Justice Coalition, which fights race, gender and class inequality in Los Angeles County’s and California’s juvenile justice systems.)

While in solitary, Denard came out of her cell only to use the bathroom and to shower and had little contact with others and no reading or writing materials.

If she weren’t in solitary, Denard said, she could have been doing homework or something productive that would have helped rehabilitate her instead of languishing in her cell.

Of solitary, Denard said: “It was dehumanizing. It felt like I wasn’t even a person in society. Nobody could see me. I couldn’t see nobody. So it feels like you not even there.”

Thus, like thousands of other children in the United States each year, Tanisha Denard became all but invisible – in the largely hidden world of juvenile solitary confinement.

Christian School Targets 8-Year Old Girl for Not Being ‘Feminine Enough’


See on Scoop.itup2-21

At TCS, God loves all of his children ? unless you’re gender non-conforming.

See on www.alternet.org

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The Excuse for Killing Trayvon Martin Has Become the Standard of Democracy | Common Dreams

The Excuse for Killing Trayvon Martin Has Become the Standard of Democracy | Common Dreams.

Published on Friday, March 28, 2014 by The Guardian

The Excuse for Killing Trayvon Martin Has Become the Standard of Democracy

Statehouses are supposed to be America’s laboratory, but the experiments are rigged. Since when is Stand Your Ground 2.0 the standard of justice?

An amendment in the Florida legislature tells us all we need to know about why stand-your-ground laws exist in the first place: to escape punishment for something that most people recognize is wrong. (Photograph: Zhao Hanrong / Xinhua / Corbis)The Florida House recently passed legislation that would seal the records of anyone who successfully sustains a stand-your-ground defense after a shooting. The proposal would allow a gun-wielding vigilante to escape not just any and all legal complications but also awkward interactions with curious neighbors. So Floridians think a stand-your-ground shooting might be something one would want to hide. Which might finally answer the question: does Florida have any shame?

Some of the state legislators were at least aware of the attention stand-your-ground laws have drawn. As Democratic Rep. Mia Jones explained to her colleagues: “The world is looking at Florida and … we don’t look good right now.” This is not, perhaps, a persuasive argument in a state that leads the nation in both incidents of human cannibalism and “zombie foreclosures“. The so-called “warning-shot” bill passed 93-24.

Shamelessness aside, the renewed passion of Florida politicians for the expansion and protection of this type of loophole – the very kind that let George Zimmerman run free, even if he got off on self-defense – at least raises a different question: Why are those local legislatures passing such embarrassing laws in the first place?

As the nation’s statehouses have splintered off from the on-year electorate, states such as Florida (really, especially Florida) serve up the best examples for how our “laboratories of democracy” have become playgrounds for mad scientists – particularly, the right-wing American Legislative Exchange Council. Almost all of Florida’s legislative antics (including some off-the-clock holiday jaunts) can be traced back to ALEC, including its original stand-your-ground law. ALEC designs the legislation, compliant legislators cut-and-paste it into law – literally, in the instance of Florida Rep. Rachel Burgin, who forgot to remove ALEC’s mission statement from the text of an anti-tax bill she submitted in 2012.

Anyone with even a casual interest in the escapades of “Florida man” and “Florida woman” knows that the state’s gun crazy extends beyond the crazy stand-your-ground law to which the death of Trayvon Martin introduced us all. The state has some of the most permissive open-carry and concealed-carry laws in the country (with the added bonus of not running mental health background checks on individuals who apply for the permits!). A bill currently before the Florida Senate (with the backing of the governor and the National Rifle Association) would extend conceal carry privileges to all gun owners “during a mandatory evacuation in a state of emergency”. Because we know how even-keeled and slow-to-anger people are during those types of situations. Last fall, Florida attorney general Pam Bondi joined the NRA in a bid to allow 18- and 19-year-olds to purchase handguns. Justin Bieber with a Glock – exactly what Florida needs.

But the gun laws themselves are just the collateral damage of a spun-out legislature that has become one of the most successful case studies for ALEC’s push to enact pro-business, pro-conservative legislation across the country. Florida’s stand-your-ground law, shepherded by ALEC protégé and then-state senator Marco Rubio, was the first of its kind in the nation. The process became a model not just for the expansion of the so-called “Castle Principle” legislation but for how to pass ALEC-scripted laws in general.

There are 13 ALEC-ordered bills in consideration in Florida right now, one of which would exempt companies from revealing the chemicals used in oil and gas extraction. Last June, Gov Rick Scott signed into law an ALEC bill that blocks local governments from implementing paid sick leave.

Florida is also the epicenter of many of ALEC’s other, broader legislative aims, from privatizing prisons and profiting from prison labor (Florida is home to the nation’s second-largest private prison firm) to, significantly, legislation sold as “vote fraud protection“.

Via voter ID legislation, ALEC insures that the democracy lab experiments are rigged. Jekyll shows up one day, Hyde the next. If we had consistent voter turnout, the government might more closely resembled the governed. Jekyll and Hyde might still both show up, but at least they’d be forced to work together.

Well, that’s not quite right, because as it stands, once one of them gets in the lab, he does everything he can to keep the other out. And the Republican Hydes are much, much better at this than the Democrat Jekylls. Indeed, ALEC’s minions spend much of their time establishing ways to preserve their control over the lab, rather than making any particular forward progress on other issues: of the 62 “voter ID” bills introduced in state legislatures in 2011 and 2012, over half were written or sponsored by ALEC-associated politicians.

It is telling that of all the measures the Florida House attached to its expanded stand-your-ground law, the most subversive amendment had to do with the power of the pen and not the sword – or gat, as the case may be. Because despite all the damage that guns have done to Florida (and, oh boy: gun injuries in the state are double the national average), it is the pens of Floridian legislators that have made it a model for the worst American democracy has to offer.


GOP Legislators Apparently Don’t Want More Money Going To Poor Schools

GOP Legislators Apparently Don’t Want More Money Going To Poor Schools

Posted: 03/27/2014 5:36 pm EDT Updated: 03/27/2014 5:59 pm EDT


NRW Jersey Gov. Chris Christie AP Photo Matt ROURKE / HUFFINGTON POST read more…


Judges, beware: Your job may be in jeopardy if you try to promote equal education for all students, according to a Center For American Progress report out Thursday.

The provocative new report outlines four cases — in New Jersey, Alaska, Kansas and Washington — where Republican legislators tried to or threatened to punish judges who ordered that the state give more money to disadvantaged districts. In these cases, lawmakers attempted to halt funding for courts, oust specific judges or restrict judicial authority to avoid providing districts with equal financial resources….


Juvenile In Justice: “Normal is not normal to me” B.X.,18

a child´s way from shadow into prison …it was not invisible

Activist Post: Paint Thinner in Children’s Cereal Exposed #news


Paint Thinner in Children’s Cereal Exposed


Heather Callaghan
Activist PostA lot of home builders and painters will know what trisodium phosphate (TSP) is. But a lot of them don’t know that they eat it for breakfast!Even though it appears right on the ingredients label, a lot of people don’t realize it’s an industrial cleaning agent. It gets worse (see below video), the government doesn’t even want you to clean with it because it’s considered bad for the environment. It’s an okay part of a complete breakfast though!

Nick Brannigan and Vicky LePage hit the streets of Las Vegas again to show people what’s up:


I referenced TSP when writing about various Cheerios debacles, saying that even if GMO-free, a lot of nutritionists would never recommend the cereal for its other ingredients. TSP appears in 6 varieties of Cheerios.

While it is not a paint thinner in and of itself, it is used to wash painted walls in preparation. It is also a degreaser, mildew remover, siding cleaner and can abate lead in paint with repeated washing. All of these types of applications come with first aid warnings due to its extreme alkalinity.Of course it is approved as GRAS (generally recognized as safe) by the FDA as a food additive. But the government has also decided it is bad for the environment because of algae blooms in fresh water. TSP was phased out of dishwashing and laundry products around 2011. But not for commercial use because, you know, they need to keep things clean for people. And not for chemical pesticides which many speculate is the real cause for invasive algae blooms due to waste water run off. Regular folk aren’t supposed to clean with it because of the environment – but it’s okay in their food…

Some people are actually buying TSP at hardware stores so that they can add them to their dishwashers and laundry detergents for more efficient cleaning. Now that they have gone through the trouble of finding it, does it bother them to eat it?

It’s not to say that the alternative cereal, Nature’s Path, is the best breakfast option or chock full of nutrition, but if you are the “cereal killer” of the household you can at least be sure that you’re not consuming an ingredient better left to scrubbing house siding. Plus, the owner of this independent, small company is unequivocally against genetically modified ingredients both for people and the land.

Nick Brannigan is an investigative writer and hosts Health Conspiracy Radio on NaturalNewsRadio.com Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5PM EST. He has been written about by other health writers like Jon Rappoport for his investigations into conflicts of interest with organic companies concerning the push for GMO labeling and the failure of Proposition 37.

On his show, he, along with co-host Leslie Ann Stoddard and their many guests discuss GMOs, fluoride, activism, the vibrational energy of food, homeopathy, factory farming, self realization, making lasting changes and much more.

Visit his website: http://www.healthconspiracy.com/
He provides 100% non-GMO apparel here.
Non-GMO Cooking Show
Visit Vicky Lepage’s Facebook page and Instagram @veganvicky

Heather Callaghan is a natural health blogger and food freedom activist. You can see her work at NaturalBlaze.com and ActivistPost.com. Like at Facebook.


Help Us Educate Parents With the Truth About Psychiatric Drugs! By helping CCHR distribute Psychiatric Drugs & Your Child’s Future booklet!

Help Us Educate Parents With the Truth About Psychiatric Drugs

• 280,000 babies from 0-1 year old are prescribed mind-altering psychiatric drugs.

• 198,000 children under the age of six are taking ADHD drugs which are in the same class as cocaine, morphine and opium.

• In the U.S. alone, 10 million children are currently being prescribed psychiatric drugs—more than 1 million of them are under the age of five.

Parents are quite simply not being given accurate information about psychiatric labels (mental disorders) or the drugs being prescribed to “treat” their children.

How can you help them get the facts? By helping CCHR distribute Psychiatric Drugs & Your Child’s Future booklet!

This easy-to-read, fully illustrated, 18-page guidebook is the perfect gift to give to parents so that they can make educated, informed choices.

The guidebook covers:

• The false “chemical imbalance” theory
• The difference between a “mental disorder” and a real disease
• The documented risks of psychiatric drugs
• Non-harmful solutions to help address a child’s problems of learning, mood and behaviors

By donating to CCHR’s public awareness campaign you help us get this guidebook distributed to educators, parents groups, schoolteachers, professors and medical and nursing students that tour CCHR’s free museum every week.

• $175 will distribute 50
• $350 will distribute 100
• $1,750 will distribute 500

Help us educate people before it’s too late. Click here to donate today.

Or, click here to purchase your own copies.

When Prescribing Psychiatric Drugs Becomes Reckless Endangerment

When Prescribing Psychiatric Drugs Becomes Reckless Endangerment


When psychiatrists or doctors prescribe dangerous, potentially life-threatening psychiatric drugs to children without the parent or legal guardian’s consent, they should be charged with reckless endangerment and/or child endangerment because these drugs are documented to cause side effects including, but not limited to, suicide, mania, heart problems, stroke, diabetes, death and sudden death…..


Psychiatry & Child Protective Services: Abducting and Drugging Children

Psychiatry & Child Protective Services: Abducting and Drugging Children


CCHR is calling on the Michigan State Attorney General to investigate DFS’s actions as well as the treating psychiatrists and those that claimed a mother legally refusing to give a child a dangerous antipsychotic drug—the subject of hundreds of lawsuits because of its side effects—was medical neglect.

By Kelly Patricia O’Meara
March 18, 2014

If, as the saying goes, “a society is measured by how it treats its weakest members,” then the high profile cases of psychiatric strong-arming, drugging, and abduction of 11-year old, Ariana Godboldo and 15-year old Justina Pelletier, paints a frightening picture of how far this nation has fallen.

The Godboldo and Pelletier families are recent examples of the state-sponsored neglect, abuse and assault that America’s children are subjected to when power is delegated to the psychiatric community, whose medical and scientific expertise begins, and ends, at subjective diagnosis.

Both chilling, real-life scenarios call into question why, on a state and federal level, these obvious violations of basic civil and human rights have failed to attract legislative and judicial investigation and disciplinary—if not criminal—action.

As a signatory of the 1984 United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, one naturally would assume the United States is committed to insuring basic human rights are protected, especially those of its children.

However, based on a 2013 United Nations special report on Torture and Other Cruel or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, there can be no mistake that the ill-treatment these families received at the hands of child protective agencies, and directed by psychiatrists, is a shocking commentary on the failure of governmental bodies to protect the weakest among us.

The 2013 UN special report clearly identifies human rights violations such as:

1.         “[M]edical treatments of an intrusive and irreversible nature, when lacking a therapeutic purpose may constitute torture or ill-treatment when enforced or administered without the free and informed consent of the person concerned.

2.         “Medical care that causes severe suffering for no justifiable reason can be considered cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and if there is State involvement and specific intent, it is torture.

3.         “Forced interventions, often wrongfully justified by theories of incapacity and therapeutic necessity [are] inconsistent with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

4.         “[D]eprivation of liberty that is based on the grounds of a disability and that inflicts severe pain or suffering could fall under the scope of the Convention against Torture. In making such an assessment, factors such as fear and anxiety produced by indefinite detention, the infliction of forced medication or electroshock, the use of restraints and seclusion, the segregation from family and community, etc., should be taken into account.”

As the Godboldo and Pelletier cases are individually explored, it becomes painfully clear that each of the families were the victims of outrageous civil and human rights violations, at the hands of those entrusted to protect them.

Godboldo-MaryanneA Detroit mother, Maryanne Godboldo, never could have imagined the emotional and legal nightmare that would unfold as a consequence of her daughter’s simple request to attend public school.

Ariana Godboldo was born with a defective leg, which was amputated below the knee, and with the use of a prosthetic, Ariana enjoyed a normal, happy life. In 2009, Maryanne agreed to allow 11-year-old Ariana, who, until then, had been home schooled, to attend public school.

As required by law, Ariana was brought up to date on her immunizations and, almost immediately, began exhibiting severe behavioral changes. Concerned by the radical changes in Ariana’s behavior, Maryanne sought help from The Oakland Children’s Center. The Center’s psychiatrist, Daniel Zak, pooh-poohed Maryanne’s belief that the vaccines could be responsible and, instead, prescribed as “treatment” the dangerous, mind-altering antipsychotic Risperdal.

After taking the drug for several months, Ariana’s behavior continued to deteriorate. Armed with a consent form that allowed her to discontinue the drug, Maryanne, in consultation with a second doctor, began the long process of carefully weaning Ariana off the Risperdal.

Upon learning that Ariana no longer was taking the psychiatric drug, the Children’s Center (and a reported additional three people) reported Maryanne to social services for medical neglect.  Despite heavy strong-arming by the Children’s Center to continue the medication, Maryanne refused and all hell broke loose.

On March 24, 2011, a social worker with Detroit Child Protective Services, without a legal order, called the police to remove Ariana from her home. The social worker had decided she was going to have Ariana drugged with Risperdal in an inpatient psychiatric facility. Detroit Police’s SWAT team broke into the home, forcibly removing Ariana. Despite CPS assurances to Maryanne that Ariana would be placed under the care of Maryanne’s sister, Ariana was immediately confined to a state-run juvenile psychiatric facility.

Maryanne was arrested and released on bond five days later. In the meantime, in direct opposition to Maryanne’s wishes that her daughter not be drugged, psychiatrist, George Mellos, at the Hawthorn Psychiatric Center, had begun administering to Ariana the antipsychotic Risperdal, and two other psychiatric drugs. Ariana’s prosthetic leg was removed, presumably to prevent her from escaping to her family.

Mellos, nor any doctor at Hawthorn, had Ariana’s medical records available for review and did not consult with her other health care providers. In fact, it took two days for the family just to locate Ariana. They didn’t have Maryanne’s consent, or in lieu of her, Ariana’s father or aunt, to administer any drug, least of all the powerful antipsychotic Risperdal.

Watch the video of Detroit attorney Allison Folmar’s
CCHR Human Rights award presentation

Maryanne’s attorney, Allison Folmar, after seeing Ariana at the psychiatric facility, reported that the 12-year old “was drooling and despondent.” Nearly two months later, Ariana was released from the psychiatric facility into the custody of her aunt.

In August of 2011, the eight felony counts against Maryanne were dropped on the basis that the court order used to seize Ariana was bogus. Finally, in September of 2011, the family court ordered Ariana be returned to her mother and, by December, all child neglect charges against Maryanne were dismissed.

While this tragic story received generous news coverage, many important facts failed to see the light of day, all of which point to incompetence, vindictiveness and a superiority complex among those within the state-run child protection services and its psychiatric masters.                                                                                                                                     http://www.cchrint.org/2014/03/18/psychiatry-child-protective-services-abducting-and-drugging-children/ video

For example, Detroit Family Services social worker, Mia Wenk, was assigned Ariana’s case, yet at the time of the siege of the Godboldo home, Wenk had never met Ariana. And, during the cross examination at the custody hearing, Wenk explained that “I told 911 I needed assistance to execute a warrant. I told them when they get the child out they will need to transport her in their back seat since they have a cage in the car. I never met her. I didn’t even know what she looked like.”

Wenk’s notes further reveal that when the order to admit Ariana to Hawthorn was authorized, it indicated “Not for Medication.” Yet, Wenk authorized the psychiatric hospitalization of Ariana and the administration of four dangerous psychotropic drugs, without reviewing the child’s medical records.

During her testimony, Wenk further admitted that she signed the paperwork to admit Ariana to Hawthorn, and to medicate her “if necessary” with Risperdal, Haldol, Abilify and Lithium. Wenk further authorized a list of 13 or 14 immunizations “if needed,” including one of those that Ariana’s mother believed caused Ariana’s severe adverse reaction in 2009, ultimately leading to the fraudulent psychiatric diagnosis that Ariana was “mentally ill.”

While there are numerous other examples of the abuse of power by Child Protective Services or Family Services, the above is ample proof that Ariana’s human rights were egregiously violated.  Not only did Maryanne refuse to consent to drugging Ariana, but she was willing to fend off an entire city’s SWAT team to ensure the protection of her young daughter. (See UN1)

Given Attorney Folmar’s description of Ariana as “drooling and despondent,” the medical “care” Ariana received at Hawthorn, at the direction of DFS, caused severe suffering with no justifiable reason. In fact, no medical tests were performed on Ariana to determine if she needed any “treatment.” And, in the case of psychiatric diagnosing, there are no tests available to determine any mental illness. (See UN2)

The forced drug intervention Ariana received at Hawthorn, without so much as even a medical history to review, and the pain and suffering she experienced as a result of her illegal commitment to the psychiatric facility and segregation from her family, is sufficient proof of the UN’s definition of torture. (See UN3&4)

The fact is Ariana was deliberately deprived of her rights, subjected to cruel, degrading treatment, beginning with the illegal order to remove (kidnap) her  from the home. The inhuman treatment was furthered by allowing an “assigned guardian” (DFS) to be a “substitute decision maker” to justify forced treatment and inflict severe pain by segregating her from her family.

The Pelletier Family

Although Maryanne and Ariana survived the assault, the nightmare of it lingers on. Slowly they will put their lives back together, but they will constantly be reminded with news of each new violation. There are many, including the Pelletier family, who has yet to make it through the Child Protective Services/psychiatric gauntlet. The civil and human rights violations are equally as tragic and egregious and those state-mandated to protect children are recklessly endangering the child because of psychiatric “advice.”

Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) is calling on the Michigan State Attorney General to investigate DFS’s actions as well as the treating psychiatrists and those that claimed a mother legally refusing to give a child a dangerous antipsychotic drug—the subject of hundreds of lawsuits because of its side effects—was medical neglect.

[Part II of this series will explore the details of Justina Pelletier, a 15-year old who has been held captive at Boston Children’s Hospital, Psychiatric Unit, for more than a year. The article also will explore the much needed remedies to hold responsible those who illegally violate the civil and human rights of these children.]

Kelly Patricia O’Meara is an award-winning former investigative reporter for the Washington Times’ Insight Magazine, penning dozens of articles exposing the fraud of psychiatric diagnosis and the dangers of the psychiatric drugs—including her ground-breaking 1999 cover story, “Guns & Doses,” exposing the link between psychiatric drugs and acts of senseless violence. She is also the author of the highly acclaimed book, Psyched Out: How Psychiatry Sells Mental Illness and Pushes Pills that Kill. Prior to working as an investigative journalist, O’Meara spent sixteen years on Capitol Hill as a congressional staffer to four Members of Congress. She holds a B.S. in Political Science from the University of Maryland.


We Need More Phillip Agnews: Why Investing in Youth Leadership Pays Off


We Need More Phillip Agnews: Why Investing in Youth Leadership Pays Off

Youth development doesn’t happen in a summer, but must be for the long haul, like social change.

Photo Credit: Dream Defenders; Screenshot / YouTube.com

Leadership — An Investment that Pays Off

In the 10 years since People For the American Way Foundation started a program to support the next generation of progressive leaders, we have seen what can happen when organizations make real investments in young people.

Sure, a weekend-long training can be useful as a springboard to identify and engage new talent, or as a supplemental learning experience. But at PFAW Foundation’s Young People For (YP4) program, we’ve learned that these short-term approaches to leadership development are a tiny component of what actually goes into developing…

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Social Worker for Every Child” Bill Passes

February 21, 2014

“Social Worker for Every Child” Bill Passes

In Edinburgh yesterday, the Scottish Parliament passed the “Children and Young People (Scotland) Bill” by a vote of 103-0 with 15 abstentions. This legislation, which is specifically intended to fulfill Scotland’s perceived obligations under the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), includes a provision to assign a specific government worker to every child at birth. These “named persons” will be charged with safeguarding each child’s welfare and with representing the state to the family. Giving a state actor, in place of or alongside parents, responsibility for children is a drastic measure usually reserved for cases of child abuse or neglect – but Scotland has deemed it necessary to guarantee the “best interests” of every child as called for in the CRC.

There is no doubt Scotland’s provision will be praised by the CRC Committee and held up to the rest of the world as an exemplary implementation of the treaty. Nor will it take long for other nations, hungry for the approval of these UN “experts,” to follow in Scotland’s shoes.

Surely such a thing could never happen in America, though. Boston and Edinburgh are separated by 3,000 miles of Atlantic Ocean (and a bit of Scottish soil) – a daunting stretch of ocean which many of our forebears courageously traversed to secure for themselves and their posterity the freedom to raise their families in liberty.

What’s more, our Supreme Court once held that “The statist notion that governmental power should supersede parental authority in all cases because some parents abuse or neglect children is repugnant to American tradition.” Parham v. J.R., 442 U.S. 584 (1979)

Unfortunately, we are not in that America anymore. One need look no further than the latest headlines to find parents right here in America having their decisions overruled without cause by government workers.

Fifteen-year-old Justina Pelletier has been held by the State of Massachusetts for over a year against her wishes, her parents’ judgment, or the advice of her doctors, because of a diagnosis disagreement with Boston Children’s Hospital. Justina, who was diagnosed with Mitochondrial disease (or “mito,” a chromosome disorder that creates a broad range of symptoms), went to BCH in February, 2013, for flu complications. While there, attending physicians rejected her mito diagnosis and removed her from her prescribed regimen, claiming instead that she had a somatoform disorder — that her problems were all in her head. When her parents disagreed, the hospital called in state actors to remove the girl from her parents’ custody. Although the prior mito diagnosis had been issued by a duly licensed physician at a respected teaching hospital, and although its treatment was effective for keeping her symptoms in check, the hospital accused the parents of medical child abuse for accepting their own doctor’s diagnosis over that of BCH.

Sadly, after a year under BCH treatment for her new diagnosis, it would appear Justina’s “imagination” is growing stronger; she is now wheelchair bound and deteriorating rapidly.

Desperate to save his daughter, Lou Pelletier last week defied a gag order issued by the court and took his story to political talk show host Glenn Beck. Now he has been charged with contempt for speaking up.

The Pelletiers return to Massachusetts family court on Monday (Feb. 24) in hopes that the judge might miraculously return their daughter to their care and let her get the help she needs. A trial date for the contempt charge has not yet been set.

Sadly, stories like this are not rare anymore, and there are more such cases every year. Maryann Godboldo in Detroit. “Baby Sammy” Nikolayev in California. Sarah Hershberger in Ohio. (These stories and more were included in our recent State of Parental Rights in America.)

Parents in America are losing their rights to, well, parent. How long will it be before our children, too, are assigned a social worker for life the moment they are born?

The proposed Parental Rights Amendment can halt this madness. It will erect a barrier around your parental rights that the state cannot violate. (In cases of abuse or neglect, however, the government would retain its rightful authority to intervene.)

And here’s how you can help.

First, if you are not yet receiving our emails, you can sign the petition to support the Parental Rights Amendment at ParentalRights.org/petition. Or donate to continue our efforts at ParentalRights.org/donate. You can also join the growing list of volunteers in your state by signing up at ParentalRights.org/volunteer.

Second, you can call your congressman and urge him or her to support HJRes. 50, the Parental Rights Amendment, by becoming an official cosponsor. They can contact Martha Van Lieshout in Rep. Mark Meadows’ office to be added to the list (which you can see at 4pra.us/House). You can reach your congressman through the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 or find their direct contact info by clicking on your state at ParentalRights.org/States.

Scotland will soon have a state worker assigned for every child, and other nations will no doubt follow. But here’s a better idea: How about a parent for every child? And let’s halt the government at the door!


Michael Ramey
Director of Communications & Research

Girl gang members face routine sex abuse: report the times co.uk.


200,000 Children Die Each Year Because India Doesn’t Have Enough Toilets

Pure ‘Insanitation’: 200,000 Children Die Each Year Because India Doesn’t Have Enough Toilets

More than 650 million people in this nation practice open defecation.

A child looks on from his cardboard bed in a garbage-strewn slum in New Delhi. (Photo: Tengku Bahar/AFP/Getty Images)

March 21, 2014       By

If you give a crap about saving the lives of 200,000 children each year, you’ll hear us out over the next three weeks as we wade into a topic that most of us over the age of six don’t want to talk about all that much: poop.

While the vast majority of Americans relieve themselves in a toilet connected to a septic or sewer system, this luxury isn’t available to 40 percent of the world’s population. About 2.5 billion people lack access to proper sanitation facilities, meaning they carry out their very private business in very public settings like streets or fields. In India the problem is especially rampant, with 650 million people forced to practice open defecation.

With so many people going to the bathroom—so to speak—outdoors, it’s difficult for them and others to avoid ingesting microbial-contaminated fecal matter, mostly because it seeps into groundwater. This can lead to diarrhea, which, because of the attendant problem of a lack of access to health care, killed 200,000 children in India in 2012 alone. There’s also a related public safety issue: Women waiting until after dark to take care of their business outside the home often become victims of violent crime.

To flush away this foul problem, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2011 launched the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge. The contest invites designers to devise low-cost toilets that capture and process human waste without piped water, sewers, or electrical connections and transform it into useful resources, such as fertilizer.

The Reinvent the Toilet Fair: India, a showcase of 16 prototypes of next-gen toilets, is set for March 22 in New Delhi, and our colleagues at TakePart Live will be there in production on a special hour-long episode set to air April 9 on Pivot.

In the run-up to that episode, we will be bringing you a series of articles, galleries, and memes that probe the medical, financial, environmental, and cultural fallout that occurs in a nation where half the people don’t have access to a toilet. We’ll take a closer look at No Toilet, No Bride, a social movement founded in 2011 that encourages Indian women to marry only men whose homes have a toilet. The idea is to get men to make an investment that will keep women safer.

We’re calling our series “Insanitation.” Why? Because it is full-on crazy that more people own cell phones in India than have access to a latrine.

Brace yourself for a whole lot of shit talking. It may make you cringe, but it makes others curl up and die. So pay attention, take action, and read on.



Global health and development coverage on TakePart is funded in part by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

On Three-Year-Old Thugs | Common Dreams

On Three-Year-Old Thugs | Common Dreams.

LUCIE brought me to this idea: “WELSH CHILDREN´S CANCER CHARITY – elusen canser plant cymru- LATCH

LATCH logo

Welcome to LATCH LATCH is a charity that supports the children who are receiving treatment for cancer at the Children’s Hospital for Wales and their families.

Having a child diagnosed with cancer or leukaemia comes as a devastating blow. Faced with a period of months and sometimes years of gruelling treatment and an unknown future, the related ups and downs are often referred to by families as like being on a rollercoaster.


March 14, 2014

PATCH bumps into The Secret Cyclers!

LATCH had a visit from the Secret Cyclers today.  The four cyclists are going to be undertaking a cycle ride from Birmingham to Pembroke via the Chil… More»

February 17, 2014

Support from Porthcawl Comp!

A Big LATCH Thank You to the staff and pupils of Porthcawl Comprehensive School who have raised £500 for LATCH.  Sandra Owen from Emyr Owen Branch a… More»

December 18, 2013

A Big Thank You to Year 8 Pupils of Eastern High School

Year 8 Pupils of Eastern High School in Cardiff called on the LATCH offices on Monday 16 December to personally deliver presents that they had donated… More»

December 18, 2013

Creative Crafts

 The children on Sky Ward were recently treated to handmade teddies, monkeys and hippo’s to name but a few that members of Creative Crafts have knit… More»

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Certain Small Ways…







Chief Standing Bear

Ponca Chief Standing BearStanding Bear in his formal attireNational Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution

On their journey westward in 1804, Lewis and Clark learned about the Ponca, a small tribe living on the west bank of the Missouri River and along what are now the lower Niobrara River and Ponca Creek in northeast Nebraska. The two did not meet as the tribe was on a hunting trip to the west.

Early Life And Movement To Reservation Standing Bear was born around 1829 in the traditional Ponca homeland near the confluence of the Niobrara and Missouri rivers. About thirty years later, the tribe sold its homeland to the United States, retaining a 58,000-acre reservation between Ponca Creek and the Niobrara River. On this reservation the Poncas lived a life of hardscrabble farming and fear-the United States did little to protect them from attacks from the Brule Sioux.

When the federal government created the Great Sioux Reservation in 1868, the Ponca Reservation was included within its boundaries, depriving them of title to their remaining lands.
Eviction And Removal In 1877, the federal government decided to remove the Poncas to Indian Territory. Standing Bear, a tribal leader, protested his tribe’s eviction. Federal troops enforced the removal orders, with the result that the Poncas arrived in Indian Territory in the summer of 1878. Discouraged, homesick and forlorn, the Poncas found themselves on the lands of strangers, in the middle of a hot summer, with no crops or prospects for any as the time for planting was long past.

Since the tribe had left Nebraska, one-third had died and nearly all of the survivors were sick or disabled. Talk around the campfire revolved around the “old home” in the north. The death of Chief Standing Bear’s sixteen-year old son in late December 1878 set in motion the event which was to bring a measure of justice and worldwide fame to the chief and his small band of followers.
Honoring A Son’s Wish Wanting to honor his son’s last wish to be buried in the land of his birth and not in a strange country where his spirit would wander forever, Standing Bear gathered a few members of his tribe-mostly women and children-and started for the Ponca homeland in the north. They left in early January 1879 and trekked through the Great Plains winter, reaching the reservation of their relatives, the Omahas, about two months later. Standing Bear carried with him the bones of his son to be buried in the familiar earth along the Niobrara River.

The Court Case – Standing Bear v. Crook Because Indians were not allowed to leave their reservation without permission, Standing Bear and his followers were labeled a renegade band. The Army, on the order of The Secretary of the Interior, arrested them and took them to Fort Omaha, the intention being to return them to Indian Territory. General George Crook, however, sympathized with Standing Bear and his followers and asked Thomas Henry Tibbles, an Omaha newspaperman, for help. Tibbles took up the cause and secured two prominent Omaha attorneys to represent Standing Bear.

The lawyers filed a federal court application for a writ of habeas corpus to test the legality of the detention, basing their case on the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. The government disputed the right of Standing Bear to obtain a writ of habeas corpus on the grounds that an Indian was not a “person” under the meaning of the law.

Landmark Decision The case of Standing Bear v. Crook began on May 1, 1879 before Judge Elmer S. Dundy in U.S. District Court in Omaha and continued into the evening of the following day. On May 12, Judge Dundy ruled in favor of Standing Bear, reasoning that he and his band were indeed “persons” under the law, entitled to sever tribal connections and were free to enjoy the rights of any other person in the land. The government appealed Dundy’s decision, but the Supreme Court of the United States refused to hear the case, leaving Standing Bear and his followers free in the eyes of the law.

Death And Commemoration Standing Bear died in 1908 and was buried alongside his ancestors in the Ponca homeland. At the eastern end of the 39-mile reach of the Missouri National Recreational River is a relatively new bridge. It links the communities of Niobrara, Nebraska, and Running Water, South Dakota. The official name of the structure is the Chief Standing Bear Memorial Bridge.Click here for more details on Standing Bear and the Ponca Tribe, with a list of suggested additional reading. (PDF file)