The Silver Scribe

Child Legislation

Marimee Jules, Staff Writer

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Under the Utah Code 62A (Utah Human Service Code), there is legislation in section 301-311 that pertains to child abuse, neglect and treatment. Part 1 of Chapter 4a labeled “General Provisions” provides rules and guidelines for placement of children in foster care, Child Protective Services, but often times, children that are in foster care are seen as juvenile delinquents and are cast away. Kids that are coming from sexual, physical, and emotional abuse show signs of post-traumatic stress disorder causing some of them to develop unhealthy habits and behaviors, increased aggression, disobedience, and suicidal thoughts and behaviors. To the untrained eye this may be seen as extreme teenager rebellion.
A student at Riverton High, who will remain nameless for safety reasons, is currently in foster care and describes her situation as, “sometimes they take away personal things that I have that remind me of my parents, trash my room to find nothing, and make me stay up all night cleaning it up.”
There are many minors in our school who are in home situations that are emotionally, physically, and even sexually abusive homes. One in particular who will also remain unnamed for protective reasons had a mother who died 2 years ago. She lived with her father, and her five siblings. Her father was very negligent and emotionally abusive to her and her siblings, which led to child services getting involved and then she was placed in a foster home. Her 4 younger siblings now live in Idaho with their father in constant negligence.
She described her last encounters with her father as, “He’s a pathological liar and of course the court believed that he was telling the truth and I’m just a naive adolescent.”
Her father gave her an ultimatum saying that the only way that she would ever leave the home was if she got married. She is now 16 years old and probably the only married 16 year old at Riverton High!
When asking student Benjamin Anderson what he thought about this he said bluntly, “I think there are minor flaws in child legislation but the biggest issues lie in the different divisions.”

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The student news site of Riverton High School in Riverton, Utah
Child Legislation