Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Tejml: Stand up to protect abused kids in Denton County

By Sue Rosson Tejml

April is Prevent Child Abuse Month in Denton County. This is not a month of celebration. This is a “wake up call!” A challenge for those of us who treasure our beautiful Denton County and are proud Texans! If we dedicate our hearts, we can far better protect the abused children right here in our own neighborhood! In our very own backyards! What are YOU willing to do?

9/11 was my personal wake up call. A month later I read a tiny one page ad in The Cross Timbers Gazette. It asked volunteers in Denton County to train as CASAs – Court Appointed Advocates for Abused Children. I thought: “I can do this. It’s time for me to give back to this country I love!” I was formerly state bar board certified in family law and had served as an attorney ad litem for abused children in Matagorda County, TX.

It’s hard to fathom the depths of pain that abused children suffer. The Denton County detectives who taught our CASA class enlightened us. When you see a child whose hand is burned by scalding water and there is a distinct line above the child’s wrist, their hand was forcibly held under scalding water. If a child’s buttocks and feet are burned, but not their knees, they were trying to pull their legs up out of scalding water.

Pct. 3 Commissioner Bobbie Mitchell and Community Partners of Denton County VP Lorraine Perry, who is also VP of the Denton County Child Protective Services Board.

At the Children’s Advocacy Center, watching on the other side of one way glass with detectives and the District Attorney’s prosecutors, we saw the child use an anatomically correct doll to show the trained nurse how the accused person had raped or sexually abused them.

How severe is the problem in our Denton County? In 2022 Child Protective Services received 7,041 reports of child abuse that were assigned to Caseworkers. CPS received legal custody of 168 new children with an average of 322 children in protective custody. For safety and emergency reasons, the children are suddenly removed from their homes with often only the clothes on their backs! Can you personally help them!?!

Rainbow Rooms: Foster parents and CPS workers can bring abused children in their care to Rainbow Rooms in Lewisville and Denton to choose clothes, personal items, and even toys.

What can you give? Clothes and shoes any size, infant to teen; personal items (bottles and sippy cups, toothbrushes and toothpaste, body and face wash, shampoo and conditioner, brushes-combs-hair ties); toys (teddy bears, soft dolls, plastic balls, cars, books); holders for personal items (small suitcases, backpacks).

Anyone can give; individuals, churches, civic clubs, political groups, school organizations – any group with a heart to help abused kids suddenly removed from their homes.

Be creative! Order from Amazon or Walmart to deliver directly to the Rainbow Room!

Community Partners of Denton County is a non-profit organization, so any donations to the Rainbow Rooms are charitable income tax deductions. Learn more at dentoncountycommunitypartners.com or call 972-221-3910 (Lewisville) or 940-387-8544 (Denton).

Any little bit helps! You can do your part! Please stand up and be counted! If you love living in Denton County, if you are proud to be a Texan, if you treasure our incredible democracy – the United States of America!

Foster Parents: The Real Heroes! Every child in Denton County is entitled to be loved, cared for, nurtured, feel secure, and be free from verbal, sexual, emotional, and physical abuse and neglect. And every adult and teen who comes in contact with a possibly abused child is personally responsible to protect that child’s inalienable right to a safe and nurturing childhood! No child in America should be hungry! No child in America should wake up afraid of another beating and/or another rape or unwanted sexual touching.

Are you willing to accept the challenge to PERSONALLY protect an already abused child?!? Our children are the FUTURE of America! Our greatest asset! YOU CAN HELP!

 Mayor” Sue Tejml serves on the Denton County Child Protective Services board, Denco Area 9-1-1 District board and was mayor of Copper Canyon from 2005 to 2019.

CTG Staff
CTG Staff
The Cross Timbers Gazette News Department

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