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Posts Tagged ‘abusive’

       Minnesota has had a couple of miserable examples of appropriate teenaged behaviors.  First, there is the case of Nicole Beecroft who was 17 years old in April 2007 when she gave birth to a live baby girl, on the floor of the laundry room, in the home that she shared with her parents.  They did not know that she was pregnant.  Not only did she hide her pregnancy; but, prosecutors alleged that she planned the death of her baby before it was born.  She stabbed her newborn daughter 135 times in the abdomen, chest and neck.  The baby bled to death; and that is when, Nicole Beecroft disposed of her child in the garbage can outside of her home. 

       A judge ruled on December 1, 2008 that Nicole Beecroft was guilty of 1st degree murder and will spend the rest of her life in prison without the possibility of parole.  What would possess a woman to not only kill her child but to do so in such an extremely violent way?  Why not give the child up for adoption?  Why not let the father raise the child?  Why not reach out to a parent, a teacher, clergy, counselor, neighbor or a friend? What was the reason behind stabbing an innocent, straight out of the womb infant? 

        Then today, there are reports that 8 Minnesota teenagers are facing charges of terrorizing and abusing nursing home patients.  The nursing home patients suffer from dementia and alzheimers disease.  The accused are minors, except for two young women, they all worked as part time aides at the nursing home.  They are accused of crimes such as spitting on the patients, physical assault, poking at them, and sexual contact with vulnerable adults.  These are serious charges and yet, they may only face 1 year in prison, and or, a fine of up to $300,000 if they are actually convicted.  I am sure that those who had alleged sexual contact will also have to register as sexual offenders for the rest of their lives.  Do you think those punishments are appropriate; if indeed, they are convicted of the crimes?  Are the punishments severe enough for the alleged behaviors?

         Where is the respect for children or for our elderly citizens?  Where is the respect for life?  In general, society has allowed our nation’s children to do what they want, with very little consequences.  When things go awry; many people find others to blame…there is very little accountability for those who go the wrong way. 

        Minnesota does not have a monopoly on violent or abusive teens; every state has such horror stories; that doesn’t make it ok.  Who is going to be the next vulnerable person?  What kind of depraved behavior is going to surface next?   We are raising a whole generation of human beings who have individuals who are either are unwilling, or incapable, of caring about other people in any normal kind of compassionate way! 

        The question is…what are we as a society going to do about it?  We had better figure out a way to understand these type of situations and change the course of these behaviors…otherwise, those most vulnerable, the elderly and the children, will be at substantial risk.  Those people at risk could be your loved ones; or possibly, even yourself! 

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       This recent news item flipped my sense of injustice/justice button.  I read a news report about an elderly woman who lives in New York City.  This woman’s name is Galila Huff and she is a smoker.  She owns a restaurant in town; but, she isn’t allowed to smoke there because state law forbids smoking in restaurants or bars. 

       Ms Huff has lived in her apartment for 15 years which is a few blocks away from her restaurant.  She has smoked in her apartment for years with no problems.  It is her personal place of residence.  The problem started about 5 years or so ago when new neighbors moved into her building.  They  allegedly started complaining about smelling smoke in the communal hallway. 

       Ms Huff made attempts to contain the smoke in her personal living space; after she was made aware of the situation by a letter from her neighbors.  She had the walls of her apartment insulated, she tried to quit smoking…and wasn’t successful, she purchased four large air purifiers, she had the airducts sealed, improved the windows, and still the neighbors complained about the smell of smoke.

       The neighbors allegedly filed a lawsuit.  They first sent her a letter telling her to quit smoking IN HER APARTMENT until such a time that she could ventilate the smoke away from the hallway outside of her door.  For the record, the neighbors are each lawyers.  They have a small child.  They claim that the smoke in the hallway endangers their health and that of their child.

      Since they moved into the apartment, long after Ms Huff established the apartment building as her residence, you would think they would have noticed the smell when they were considering moving into the building. 

        Regardless, i am not a huge fan of cigarette smoke.  I am myself allergic to it.  But, this legal fight seems a bit over the top to me.  I mean it would be different, i think, had Ms. Huff not taken some corrective actions to reduce the amount of smoke that could be released into the hallway. 

        She didn’t ignore their request. Doesn’t she have a right to smoke in her home?   Certainly, i can understand their right to a smoke free environment; but, since Ms. Huff did take action if they still felt that an excess amount of smoke was entering the hallway endangering them …shouldn’t they consider moving themselves?  Or perhaps, they could consider installing an air purifier in their own apartment.  This i am sure is very stressful for all involved.

        I guess, i don’t understand what more they can realistically expect Ms. Huff to do.  It seems abusive to me to continue to bully her when she has made an honest attempt to improve the situation.

        From what i understand, this shared hallway is like 10 feet wide and a hundred feet long and the neighbor’s doorway is 50 feet approximately away from Ms. Huff’s doorway.  Is Ms. Huff legally responsible to do more?  I certainly hope not. 

        I do believe in people respecting each others personal space when smoking…but, i also believe that once she was made aware of the problem, that Ms. Huff truly attempted to correct it.  To me, the whole situation is over the top. 

         Hopefully, the judge who rules on this suit will use a heavy dose of common sense to decide the case.   If all is right in the world, the judge will refund any excess court cost incurred by Ms Huff, after she attempted to reticfy the situation, due to the continued legal badgering from her neighbors.  That would balance things a bit i think.

      

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