LUBBOCK, TX – Amid new concerns about child abuse, the Go Blue Lubbock campaign, held every April as a part of National Child Abuse Prevention Month, stresses the importance of protecting children and preventing child abuse on the South Plains.
With added pressures brought on by health concerns, job insecurity, financial strain, and other effects of the coronavirus crisis, children are at greater risk as parents and caregivers struggle to cope.
In 2019, there were 3,095 confirmed cases of child abuse in the Lubbock Region.
Fifteen children lost their lives in abuse or neglect related fatalities in this area.
The Lubbock area continues to have one of the highest rates of confirmed abuse or neglect in the state with an average of three confirmed cases in Lubbock County every day.
The public is invited to participate in the campaign by wearing blue on Go Blue Fridays throughout the month of April and sharing and tagging with the hashtag #GoBlueLubbock.
Waynesboro woman did drugs prior to baby being found dead
WAYNESBORO, VA – The case of a Waynesboro woman whose baby was found dead last year concluded Wednesday with a conviction.
Christian P. Haynes, 19, is facing the possibility of 10 years in prison after pleading guilty in Waynesboro Circuit Court to a felony charge of child abuse.
Zayden Haynes, just 7 months old, was found dead March 3, 2018, after his mother neglected to check on him for 15 hours, according to Waynesboro assistant prosecutor Elysse Stolpe.
The baby was placed in a crib with an adult blanket, an adult pillow and had a bottle propped up onto his mouth when Haynes last saw him the night before at 11 p.m., Stolpe said.
The next day at 11 a.m., Haynes heard the baby crying but opted to let him “cry it out, even though she hadn’t checked on him for about 12 hours,” according to Stolpe.
Three hours later, Haynes, 18 years old at the time, woke up shortly after 2 p.m. and posted a selfie online. Five minutes after that a 911 call was placed when the baby was found unresponsive.
Stolpe said Haynes began smoking meth three days prior to the boy’s death, which kept her awake for days. The prosecutor said Haynes was tired and “coming down off that high” when she failed to properly care for her child.
A search of Haynes’ residence revealed there was methamphetamine and marijuana in the home. A smoking device was found near the child’s crib and another one was discovered next to his playpen in another room, Stolpe said. Haynes also admitted to sometimes smoking meth inside a closet in the baby’s room.
Stolpe said a drug screen done at the home by an Augusta County Child Protective Services employee showed Haynes had meth and marijuana in her system.
“This underscores that drugs aren’t just a victimless crime,” Stolpe said. “A child is dead because his mother was too busy getting high and then sleeping it off.”
Stolpe said the Waynesboro Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office considered a more serious homicide charge, but said an autopsy was inconclusive in determining if the baby suffocated to death. “Sudden unexplained infant death associated with unsafe bedding” was listed as the cause of death, according to Stolpe.
Following her guilty plea, Haynes, who has no prior criminal record, was allowed to remain free on bond.
Parenting and Nurturing Classes are Typical
Order in Child Abuse Cases
BISMARCK, ND – Tuesday, KX News told you the heartbreaking story of a 12-week-old baby murdered, and her father accused of the crime.
The suspect Jose Rivera-Rieffel has a past history of child abuse. We’re continuing coverage tonight, as we look at child abuse in our communities.
The accused Jose Rivera-Rieffel was court mandated to take parenting and nurturing classes through the court system.
However, he never took those classes as part of his probation process.
We wanted to know more about what these parenting and nurturing classes are, and how they can help the community.
Constance Keller has been teaching families about parenting for 10 years. The program is run through the Department of Human Services and the NDSU Extension Service.
Keller says well over 50 percent of those who take the course are mandated to be there.
She says the most important factor is that parents leave the program more empathetic. Keller says if someone has empathy, they simply will not abuse their children.
The North Dakota Parenting Program Facilitator adds, “They’re going to learn how to respect their children and look at their children as other human beings. You know, not just something they’re caring for every single minute of the day, but they’re teaching them how to go out in the world and to be a good person.”
The NDSU Extension Service also offers parenting tips and classes for people wanting more information on being a parent.
The Extension Service says it’s a misconception that parenting education is only for those who are bad parents.