Saturday, November 12, 2011
THIS IS NOT JUSTICE
by Ron Unruh
Justice does not mean treating everyone the same way but rather treating people appropriately. Neither Ayn Van Dyk who carries her mother’s surname nor her father Derek Hoare who is her primary caregiver and legal custodial parent, have been treated appropriately by the social workers and their immediate supervisors. That is, it means little that they hold meetings with Derek to mediate the parameters of a possible or an eventual return of this girl to her father’s immediate care, when the presenting issue was the Ministry’s avoidable removal of the child from his care and his home. That was inappropriate treatment.
To look after one’s own child should not require special pleading of human rights language but it definitely has in a case like Ayn’s, an autistic child of nine years of age, soon to be ten. To be made to bear personal responsibility for autistic manifestations at a public school and for a characteristic wanderlust from one’s backyard that warrants a physical apprehension and removal by strangers and a separation from the family who give meaning to her life is beyond scandalous. It is wicked. It is the epitome of incompetence.
Fair-minded people find no justification in the mission and policy of the Ministry of Children and Family Development, for seizing this particular child, defaulting to a hasty drug behavioural control program, placing her in environments and with people with whom she is unfamiliar, and distressing her so she carries a photo of her father everywhere and kisses that image in lieu of the real face, and is tortured by the knowledge that she can’t be with her dad and her brothers whom she adores.
This is not appropriate treatment and it is therefore not justice.