Like I said, it seems there have been numerous cases recently where obese children have been literally taken from their parents’ homes and put in foster care or made victims of the bureaucratic clutches of the Child Protection Services. “It’s quota time,” Allen reminds me. “They need to show they are effectively intervening and they are targeting obvious scapegoats such as fat children.” Dakota’s case was unusual…he had Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) at the time he was removed from his mother’s home, before she could have it diagnosed. He showed up after a bout of incontinence at the school nurses’s office. She took one look at his despondent face and the nurse called Child Protection Services to “take care of the smelly fat kid.” The nurse should have first called his mother, Sara, but the foster care got involved and set in motion the preparation of a summons for Dakota and Sara to appear in court. Problem was that in the meantime she had moved six blocks away and the summons was placed on the door of her prior address. When she failed to appear in court, that’s when they demanded she come down immediately whereupon they separated Dakota from his mother, putting her in one room and Dakota in another. Some sort of interrogation ensued and that’s the last time she saw him for SIX months! Dakota was whisked away to a camp first for two weeks and was given the inane tasks of chopping wood and mowing lawns…imagine giving an axe to an 8 year old! Sara was so distraught and contacted numerous human rights organizations before she called ISAA. We took on the case and I was listed at the contact person on the website. We were able to launch a petition and stage a campaign to get Indiana state officials and Congressmen to lobby for the reunion of mother and son. Unfortunately, it took almost six months, but we were successful ultimately.
Allen did manage to get a hold of Sara and I interviewed her late Sunday night and found out that Dakota is now in his teens. The upshot of his ordeal is that he never leaves her side. I suppose being summarily ripped away from your mother so suddenly at the tender age of 8 has had its repercussions and separation anxiety is the unfortunate bi-product.
As I told the story to the various producers, they saw the “sympathy” factor that my extreme case could bring to the subject matter. When I finally spoke to the final interviewer, Barbara Simon, I asked the question that probably clinched it – HOW DID THIS GRUELING SEPARATION HELP HIM IN THE END? Why are the children persecuted too? And why are the lobbyists, who are hounding Congress and paying them to literally ensure that products with high fat, sodium and sugar content be allowed to be proliferated, not be punished instead? Those are the people who should be persecuted. All we are doing is creating more cravings and habitual addictions that are elevating the risk of obesity which triggers the burden of diabetes, strokes and heart attacks in younger and younger people. While on the phone they imagine you on the show stating your case and getting the controversy going. I must have passed the test because the next call I received was from Fiona, who told me when my limo would arrive on Monday morning at 7:30 a.m. to pick me up.
Stay Tuned for Part 3