by Lauren Gard
A year ago, a junior at Castro Valley High was turned over to Child Protective Services by a mother the girl says could not handle her rebellious behavior. "...She did the only thing she knew that would give me a scare, that would force me to totally change my ways," Ashley Colomy writes in today's Daily Review. Instead of submitting, the girl ran away from home. When she came to school a week later, she was immediately "picked up by the police" and tossed in foster care. Finally an aunt took her in and gave her the kind of structure Colomy says she needs. It's not until the very end of the piece that she mentions that her parents are substance abusers: "two people who believe drugs and alcohol are their first priority, not their children." Salient little factoid, no?
Hats off to the Review ï¿½ the mainstream media should publish essays by teenagers and other marginalized groups far more often. But this piece is so muddled that it appears it went to press without an editor even giving it a once-over. Colomy blames only herself. She completely fails to address how her parents' addictions have influenced her self-described "life was one big party" attitude, much less her life as a whole. Nor does she suggest that perhaps her mother might have called county services to get help for herself, rather than asking Child Protective Services to cart off her daughter. (Indeed, a mention of how kids with drug addicted parents can find help might be helpful here.) Colomy wraps up the piece by thanking her parents "for letting me spread my wings." Every intoxicated parent should be so kind.