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CAS under fire for 'fiasco' when removing kids from school

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Lukes Dad's picture
on Tue, 03/26/2013 - 20:31
Fight Child Protection Department Corruption: 
CAS under fire for 'fiasco' when removing kids from school

Note: This article fails to report if the children removed from school were returned by CAS to the home they obviously did not want to be taken from. The only thing the school and CAS are concerned about is the fact that people witnessed their cruel act of legal kidnapping. So there you go, your children are not safe at school now, CAS is everywhwere. Children are far more likely to die in foster care than in the home.

NORFOLK - The local Children’s Aid Society is under fire after caseworkers pursued two children fleeing in the halls of a Norfolk elementary school.

The two children ran down the hall, screaming and crying from the caseworkers on hand to remove them from their rural school. Reports say the incident lasted for more than an hour.

One of the children seeking help clung to a group of older students, Including Rita Watermann's daughter.

The incident brought Watermann's daughter to tears, forcing the school to inform Watermann of her daughter's distress.

“Not only was my daughter affected and my other daughter affected but there were several other children … They were all very much in shock,” said Watermann during a telephone interview. “It was quite alarming and shocking. Both of my daughters were upset for the rest of the day.”

Watermann brought the situation — which took place at Walsh Public School in February — to light in a letter addressed to a number of officials. The Reformer was copied on the letter.

“The two young girls who were taken against their will were pursued down the hallways, were crying and screaming that they did not want to leave their school or home and during this fiasco the younger of the two ran to several older kids and clutched them in an attempt to find protection from the caseworkers and finally ran down the hallway asking for my daughter to stay with her before she was finally taken away. The incident stretched on for over an hour.”

Watermann was shocked when told about the situation from the school’s principal and later by her two young girls.

“Would someone please explain to me why the forcible removal of the two young girls had to be carried out in such an indelicate, indiscreet manner and so abruptly? Why did this occur during school hours? . . . What answers can you provide for them? The CAS had left an indelible impression in (her daughters’) minds and that of their classmates. They will never forget what occurred. Shame on you,” Watermann wrote in the letter.

Shannon Chevrier, director of services with the CAS of Haldimand-Norfolk, said the incident that sparked the letter was not “typical” and was the result of unfortunate unforeseen circumstances.

“We immediately responded to her (Watermann),” said Chevrier. “We acknowledge that it was an unfortunate situation.”

The CAS has a protocol developed with the school board to dictate how such situations should be handled, she said.

Wayne Baker, superintendent of education for elementary schools in Norfolk County for the Grand Erie District School Board, also noted that the two organizations have developed a protocol, but did not comment on this particular incident.

“We have a responsibility to work with the Children’s Aid Society (CAS) under the Child and Family Services Act when they are involved in a case related to a child in our school. Grand Erie has articulated this relationship through a protocol that we follow with The Children’s Aid Society of Haldimand & Norfolk. Cases involving the CAS are highly sensitive and we are unable to discuss these cases for privacy reasons. We have a relationship with the CAS that allows us to discuss matters related to our students. As always, we will debrief about the issues as they relate to our joint protocol,” said the written statement from Baker.

Chevrier said when a removal is necessary at a school a comprehensive plan put in place beforehand.

“Unfortunately, this (situation) went a bit astray,” she said. It was, however, quickly resolved at the agency's office, she said.

“It is very regrettable,” Chevrier said, that other children witnessed and were upset by the situation.

Sarah Doktor