Monday, May 7, 2007

Speaking of Seeking Justice: Promoted from Comments

From Dan Hillman, this is a promotion from the comments.

When a Governor decides to replace a critical advocate, a principled person like DeAlvah Simms, it becomes obvious that politics, political survival, careers of commissioners and division chiefs, and maintaining the status quo, are all more important than the needs of the constituents, in this case: the protection of children.This letter may be too little to late, and it may not carry the weight necessary to sway the powers that be to reconsider their decision to remove Georgia’s Child Advocate, DeAlvah Simms, from her position, but it may be enough to encourage the movement to restructure the position. The Georgia Child Advocate position should not be controlled by the Governor. How can the Child Advocate do the work of ensuring that State systems are protecting children, when the position is directly overseen by the Governor? How can the State’s Child Advocate bring evidence to light that State systems have serious flaws, when it is ultimately the Governor who is responsible for those systems? How can we expect the State’s Child Advocate to pursue investigations, like the one which recently lead to the reassignment of a County and Regional DFCS Director, when reprisals and retaliation are real, and impending risks to her? It is a difficult job to protect children. Keeping people in place who are true child advocates, who put their own careers on the line to protect children, is what is necessary. Seek the truth, do the right thing, and always help the victims and the vulnerable among us... DeAlvah Simms did.

Dan Hillman

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