To the Editor: Congratulations on Wendy Davis’ article, “A Battered Mom Isn’t a Bad Mom, Court Tells City” [March 10]. In describing this, “huge win for parents, who typically face an uphill battle against ACS,” Ms. Davis and her sources, very appropriately, make no mention at all of how it is likely to affect children. But all us liberals understand that if it protects parental rights, it’s good. It’s not up to the government to unleash a lot of bleeding heart social workers to pump up children’s rights; children are their parents’ chattel. So it makes perfect sense not to pay any attention to what this court case means to the children involved. I’m glad to see you’ve come around to accepting what used to be a reactionary right wing idea!
— Michael A. Pawel, MD
August Aichhorn Center
Davis’ response: While it’s true that the interests of parents and children can be different, ultimately, the lawyers for Garcia’s children agreed with Garcia that the case should be dismissed. At trial, the Legal Aid Society, which represented the children, asked the family court judge to make a neglect finding. But on appeal, Legal Aid joined with Garcia in asking for dismissal. One reason was because the children, ages 15, 12 and seven at the time of appeal, supported dismissal of the case. The other reason was that Legal Aid no longer believed that the evidence at trial proved neglect. “We are no longer of the opinion that the record supports a finding of neglect against appellant,” Legal Aid wrote in its brief.