Monday, January 05, 2015

Malnourished boy locked up and fed junk food twice a day

Seven months after a couple was arrested and charged, a trial date is to be set for a sad case regarding a 10-year-old boy being locked in a bedroom for up to two years.  Before moving on to the story, on a positive note, he has been living in foster care since his discovery and is said to be adjusting well.

The case first surfaced back in May 2014, after a tip from the public led to detection and intervention by the authorities.  When the child was rescued, he was underweight and confused, having been permanently confined to a filthy bedroom for 18 to 24 months.  He suffered from malnutrition as a result of a diet consisting of fast food given to him twice a day.  Also, he had never been to school.

Please do not misunderstand: In no way, shape, or form am I trying to make light of this case, and no humour is intended.  It is one of the rare times when I am being dead serious about the subject.  With this in mind, I must underline two significant facts that illustrate how it is our responsibility to ensure the health and well-being of our children: Not only was this child locked up and lacking the stimulation (school and other forms of socialization) that all human beings require to live, he was also malnourished because he was fed fast food for an extended period of time.  It is both of these factors combined that contributed to his poor state of health.

Ultimately, the blame is clearly on the shoulders of the so-called adults whose job it was to see to the care of the child.  There is no question that they failed extensively and should be held accountable.  In my view, the only form of justice that would serve to approximate what they did to this child would be to subject them to the same set of conditions: confinement without stimulation, living in filth, and fed a diet of junk food.  Food for thought, no?

- B. J. T. Pepin