It doesn’t seem to matter how many news stories you read or how much research into the mind of those who commit crimes you complete, any report of a child being abused is still shocking and leaves everyone shaking their heads. This happened to me again today when I read the story of a thirteen-year-old who had been forced to kneel for nine hours a day, every day, for more than a week. If he dared to move, he was beaten with a stick.
Albert and Nancy Cusson of Lakeland, Florida have been arrested for their treatment of the teenager and are now jailed and facing charges of aggravated child abuse. The boy, who somehow managed to escape and seek help at a neighbor’s house, was barely able to walk when assisted by police and taken to a local hospital. Despite this obvious injury to his legs, as well as red marks that were discovered on his back, the Cussons seemed to justify their actions by insisting that their treatment of the boy was the only punishment that worked for him. His offense to cause such a drastic consequence? Not doing well with his school work.
57-year-old Albert Cusson told authorities that the chosen punishment did not cause the boy any injuries and that his father had, in fact, forced him to kneel for extended periods of time as well when he was a child. And, so, we see once again a glimpse into the sad reality that is the cycle of abuse.
I have unending respect for all members of law enforcement, and particularly those who see and investigate crimes against children every day. To be immersed in this tragic world and then go home to their families or even just their own thoughts must be a very difficult thing to do.
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