August 5th, 2008
06:26 PM ET

Removing girls to protect them – again

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/08/05/fldswomenfldswomen.jpg caption="FLDS women at the Yearning for Zion Ranch in Eldorado, Texas, reacting to the removal of more than 400 children in April."]

Chuck Johnston
CNN National Desk

Two weekends ago, I saw the pictorial in the Sunday New York Times Magazine on the FLDS families living in San Antonio that were profiled, and thought to myself, what comes next in the investigation stemming from the April raid on the polygamy ranch in Eldorado?

And today we learned that the Texas Department of Child Protective Services is seeking foster care for eight children who returned to living with their families on the ranch back in June.

CPS is asking a judge to put the children into foster care because they say “their mothers have refused to limit the children’s contact with men involved in underage marriages.”

CPS is asking the mothers of all girls aged 10-17 to sign safety plans to protect their children from sexual abuse.

Mothers of the eight children who CPS is seeking foster care for have refused to sign the safety plan.

According to CPS, among other things, the safety plan requires that mothers keep children away from a man who “married underage girls or agreed to an arranged marriage on an underage daughter.”

CPS is asking hearings to be set for removal of the eight children.

No word yet on whether the court will grant the hearings.

Filed under: FLDS update • Polygamy
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Rick

    When you start making exceptions, you change the rules. If it's okay to disregard the constitutional rights of a small group of people because they have different religious beliefs, soon no one will be safe. I spent twenty years in the Military defending the Constitution, two years in the Middle East, and I don’t like the way CPS and local law enforcement get away with abusing the Rights that we, and the World, are led to believe that we have in the U.S. Why haven’t CPS and local law enforcement raided any Catholic Schools? Admittedly, many of the Catholic priests have been found guilty of molesting children without being prosecuted, and if you ever attended a Catholic school you know that abuse was prevalent.

    The Court has already stated the local officials were wrong. The tax payers not only in Texas, but even the rest of the country will have to foot the $30 million plus bill just for the foster care while these children were in State custody. These eight children that are currently in question are in “imminent danger” because their mothers will not sign a document that can be used against them in a court of law? The 5th amendment of the U.S. Constitution gives the mothers the right not to sign that document, and CPS has admitted in their court filing that the only reason they are seeking to remove the children is because the mothers will not sign this document. If only these mothers would consent to waiving their Constitutional Rights, CPS would feel that the “imminent danger” would go away and the children could stay where they are. Why don’t the CPS officials agree to waive their immunity against being sued for violating the Constitutional rights of U.S. citizens?

    I do not think that a 12, 14, or even a 16, year old girl should be married, but in Texas it was legal with parental consent up until a couple of years ago, when the law was changed as a result of the YFZ Ranch being established. It is still legal in many States today for “underage girls”, but not “underage boys”, to get married with parental consent. Sorry, for ranting but I have had more than my fair share of abuse at the hands of CPS for malicious accusations. A quick search on the internet will turn up many cases of abuse by these people.

    August 6, 2008 at 3:52 am |
  2. Alex

    Anybody who does not protect or is unwilling to guard the sanctity of children and juveniles is nothing short of a sick and twisted individual. For a mother under any circumstance who refused to safeguard her child's purity doesn't deserve to have custody of that child. It is sad that such a condition exists in any civilized society regardless of what one's religious belief's may be.

    August 6, 2008 at 12:24 am |
  3. Kent Fitzsimmons,Kewanee, IL

    Hey............their previous release was contingent on their cooperation with the authorities. You don't want to follow the law...........take the kids away again.............

    August 5, 2008 at 10:39 pm |
  4. Jo Anne Cummings

    I think this just shows us that the law "protects the guilty". What is it going to take for us to say "this is not right".....

    August 5, 2008 at 10:08 pm |
  5. Ron, Berkeley,Ca.

    YEAH, right... Tell us anything , Rick

    August 5, 2008 at 9:25 pm |
  6. Rick

    It seems to me that the suit in itself is evidence of coercion on the part of CPS. I had to sign a document like that several years ago, so I added "under duress" and a statement that my signature did not indicate or acknowledge any guilt or intent on my part, nor did it waive any of my rights under the constitution.

    It is their intent to use the document if necessary in court to make it look like you are acknowledging the possibility or they would not require that you sign it.

    I think that CPS should have all their immunities from prosecution waived, and then see if they can recognize the U.S. Constitution and the rights that U.S. citizens are entitled to. As long as they remain above the law, they will not recognize it, and they will continue to abuse the people they are supposed to protect.

    I have no connection to the FLDS, nor do I necessarily agree with their beliefs.

    August 5, 2008 at 9:02 pm |
  7. Mari, Salt Lake City

    This is sick, these women (and the men) are sick. What is more disturbing is that here in Utah, the "law" turns a blind eye to many of these polygamists who live in plain view of us, all. Sick.

    August 5, 2008 at 8:58 pm |
  8. Ron, Berkeley,Ca.

    Since when,don`t our children deserve to be protected? A pervert can be male or female. Whether it is a mother, a father, uncle, Etc. We need to always take care of , and protect our children. Anyone, with any amount of common decency knows what is happening and has happened to those young girls is down right evil.... If a human being, harmed an animal, Peta and the rest of the country would be outraged. And rightly so.

    August 5, 2008 at 8:39 pm |
  9. Annie Kate

    Thanks for the update on the FLDS children in Texas. I had been wondering what was going on with the case. I think 8 mothers not signing the agreement is a lot better than what I anticipated – which was a total refusal of all the mothers to sign the agreement or to fully cooperate with the Department of Family Services. The FLDS will call this religious persecution again but its not – that just their way of trying to divert attention from their abuse of underage children. I hope for the children's sake that the men who have participated in underage marriages will be tried and jailed for a long time.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    August 5, 2008 at 8:04 pm |
  10. Melissa Los Angeles

    I'm actually over this whole song and pony dance. The laws protect these idiots (men and mothers included) and allow these children to suffer. CPS did more than their part but was overturned on taking these kids. I'm past the point of caring since it won't change these mothers or the law.

    August 5, 2008 at 8:00 pm |
  11. Jolene

    I find it interesting that once they got the children back, no more interviews, no more cameras, no more wanting to show us what life is like on the compound. I'm glad we are seeing something develop on this case. Thanks for keeping us updated.

    Jolene, St. Joseph, MI

    August 5, 2008 at 7:07 pm |
  12. Cindy

    OK these FLDS women that won't sign the papers saying that they'll keep their daughters away from the sexual predators are just ridiculous! Do they not care one iota for their own kids? It seems not! If they don't want to protect them then they don't need the girls back. Getting put in foster homes is probably the best thing that will ever happen to them.


    August 5, 2008 at 6:39 pm |
  13. deborah, OH

    Thank you for the update on some of the FLDS children!
    With the charges being made against some of the men, you have to wonder if anything is going to change in the access the older men have to the children.
    Looks like that isn't going to happen any time soon, especially the availability of the young girls. It's still a very sad & pathetic situation.

    August 5, 2008 at 6:36 pm |