http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/253811

Op-Ed: No Mothers Allowed

Posted Apr 25, 2008 by KJ Mullins
As of Thursday all the children from the Eldorado's Ranch have been taken away from their mothers. Prior to then mothers with children under the age of 5 had been allowed to take care of their own.
Untitled
The mothers are describing their final moments with their children as a emotional rushed time which they were rushed from the shelter they had been residing in.
"My two oldest were just terrified and they clung to me saying, `Mother, mother, we want to go with you,'" said Ruth, her voice breaking as she began to cry.
There were dozens of women who were bused away from their children on Thursday in the final parental clearing away for the children of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Texas custody.
The mothers had been staying with their children at the San Angelo Coliseum until legal efforts were rejected by the court on Thursday.
Over the next few days all of the children will have been placed in group homes, shelters and residences. Some of the locations that these children will be placed are hundreds away from their families.
"There are no words to describe how it was," said Velvet, a mother who was forced to leave her 13-month old. "We've been staying up nights to watch over the children because we didn't know what would happen."
Although many in the public have been behind the removal of the children others question if constitutional rights have been tossed aside as Texas deals with its largest child abuse case in history.
"It could very well be there's some good reasons to remove some of those children, absolutely," Doggett said. "But to suggest all of them be painted with this broad brush because they belong to a particular religion is a very dangerous thing, and that's why we have courts."
That is what is at issue. Is the removal of all of the children that belong to the church constitutional? Were each and every one of these children being abused? Is this a case of child abuse or has it turned into a witch hunt?
It has now been revealed that the initial call that started the mass exodus of children being removed from the ranch in Texas was made by a woman in Colorado who said she was a 16 year old who was forced into a marriage and her husband was beating her. That one phone call seems to have put into motion an investigation that had been in the works for some time.
The Texas authorities are not as concerned to where the call came from as to the abuses that they viewed when they entered the ranch.
"It's really what we found that mattered," Child Protective Services spokesman Darrell Azar said.
Now the community has seen the removal of 462 children. Those children are in the beginning of a long maze of court proceedings that will decide their final fate.
Will the future tell a story that gives a 'happy' ending or a story of the beginning of a nightmare?