Child custody laws
need updated

Re: Sheridan Press article, Jan. 15

We read, with great interest, an article on the front page of the Jan. 15, 2018, Sheridan Press regarding “Lawmakers review child custody laws.” We especially liked the very last paragraph of the article, which was continued onto page two.

Our child welfare laws need to change. According to the government and our judicial system, it appears that family doesn’t matter anymore. There is now an incentive from our federal government given to each state, which is the more children in foster care and who are adopted out, the more money each state makes (less money is given for kinship care). It’s called Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997.

We believe that an employee of our local Department of Family Services should not be allowed to foster/adopt a child from the same county/office. Conflict of interest we would say! We are grandparents who have not been allowed to see our granddaughter for over a year now, because we checked the wrong box on a DFS form. In November 2016, our visits with her every Wednesday and every other weekend were discontinued. This is not what we were promised by DFS and their foster employee.

We have lived in Sheridan, off and on, almost all our lives and are just appalled at what is really going on in our local foster care… and our local DFS. The “F”, they say, stands for family? Not in their book. Not to mention the fact, that lies and false accusations run rampant.

We truly hope that there are some big changes in our custody laws forthcoming. Family needs to be number one and parental and family rights should not be tossed aside like they are nothing. Family court needs monitoring and decisions made by a jury, not a judge who works closely with DFS, CASA the GAL…it is all one sided!

We are not the only Sheridan citizens who are unhappy with the “system.” We have spoken with many that are unhappy — very sad that it is this way for the American families.

Because of our situation, I have become very involved in several national groups across the country that help to make people aware of the problems. Family Forward Project and Punished4Protecting are just two of them.

Let’s band together!

 Julie and Parke Mitchell




Anti-porn resolutions a waste of time

Re: Proposed legislation

In response to the cover story of Feb. 1 regarding Jenning’s anti-porn resolution, I would take great issue with his statement that he “has a hard time seeing anybody being against the resolution.” That’s the whole purpose of his willful misrepresentation of the resolution’s contents: to make it seem like it addresses something important. It doesn’t.

Jennings knows what a fluffy piece of cookie cutter legislation this is, so he’s forced to invent another, better, imaginary resolution that he can peddle to the media.

Unfortunately, this is perfectly in keeping with Jennings’ track record. Last year, he introduced the so-called “bathroom bill,” using the same hysterical “think of the children” rationale for his puritanical balderdash.

We could just laugh off Jennings’ continual sponsorship of silly and wasteful legislation, but when the state continues to cut funding for suicide prevention, a genuine public health crisis in our state, and Jennings then wants to open the door to funding this wrongheaded crusade, one can’t help but believe that he just doesn’t care much about his constituents.

 Josh Hanson




Public health crisis?

Re: Pornography legislation

Is pornography “a public health crisis leading to a broad spectrum of individual and public health impacts and societal harms” as Rep. Mark Jennings claims in House Joint Resolution HJ0001?

Let’s look at the data!

HJ0001 makes a long list of claims that don’t appear to be backed up by any empirical information. The claims boil down, essentially to this: pornography and its availability via the internet causes societal harm and increases the likelihood of failed marriages, sexual objectification of women and girls, risky sexual behavior in young people and sexual crime.

So are any of these things true? The clear and unequivocal answer is…Nope.

A casual perusal of readily available statistics illustrates that any of the metrics one would expect to be influenced by the evils of internet porn are trending in the exact opposite direction than would be expected if the claims in HJ0001 were true. According to the CDC, since the late ‘90s when internet porn became ubiquitous, per capita rates of many common STDs, teen sex, teen births, divorce and sexual assault have all substantially declined.

Scientifically-minded people will tell you that correlation does not equal causation, so we’re not crediting internet porn with reductions in teen pregnancy just yet, but we are asking our representative “where’s the beef,” Mark Jennings? This appears to be a solution in search of a problem.

Another disturbing aspect of this resolution is that it is a “cookie cutter” bill. Nearly identical resolutions are being introduced and passed in many other state legislatures. If you followed the 2017 Wyoming legislative session, you would know that some of the same legislators who sponsor HJ0001 (including Jennings) sponsored other cookie cutter bills dealing with the rights of religious people to discriminate and policing bathroom use for transgender persons.

Who is representative Jennings really representing? His constituents or special interests? What’s the endgame here? Censorship? Where is the data supporting the claims in HJ0001? Why is he focusing on pornography when we have a massive education funding shortfall and need real solutions for revenue raising?

No one claims that pornography is benevolent. For instance, addiction is real and can include addiction to pornography. All of the other claims in this resolution are trumped up hogwash. Jennings and his House allies are wasting taxpayer time and money with this nonsense. Stop putting forth cookie cutter, special interest bills, Mark Jennings!

David Myers