Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Letters to the Editor

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Letters to the Editor

Article excerpt

Child protection agencies need more workers

In response to the June 12 article, "Child-abuse claims vs. parents' rights": Children should be protected from abuse, even if occasional errors result in the children losing their parents temporarily. Which is worse for children, to be abused, or to lose their parents for a few days?

The state has a tougher decision. Given increasingly heavy caseloads, more mistakes by child protection caseworkers are likely. Certainly at some point, in some districts, the social cost of the wrongful removal of parents will outweigh the social benefit of protecting a few children. Raising or lowering the bar nationally will not necessarily help.

Increasing the number of caseworkers so that fuller investigations could be carried out would seem to be the best answer for both parents and children.

Lynn Austin Campbell, Calif.

Regarding the recent article on parents' rights in child-abuse cases: I've personally seen cases where a child protection agency will just harass parents until they give up. Locally, one of the most-used tactics is to ask the legal parents to sign over the right to authorize medical treatment to foster parents. This act is then used as evidence of the parents giving up their rights (or, if they refuse to sign, evidence that they don't really care about the child). Parental rights need to be protected.

Dan Lozer Le Mars, Iowa

Water-use issue in India - flush toilets

Regarding the June 11 article, "One man's mission to rid India of its dirtiest job": It is really unclear to me how mixing precious drinking water with human waste is the solution to India's problem of "untouchables." Once this contamination hits the water supply, they will think fondly of the days of the dry toilet.

Try taking the amount of water per flush times the number of old flush toilets. Now add the flushes of those 1.2 million new flush toilets many times each day, and what do you get? I imagine it is a massive sewage contamination issue in India.

Seems like they need to rethink the dry toilet instead of flushing their problems into the groundwater and spreading that problem to everyone. …

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