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Letter to the Editor: Saving Children From Fatal Beatings


James R. Dumpson Chair in Child Welfare Studies Anne Williams-Isom, D.Min., J.D., co-authored a Letter to the Editor published in the New York Times on November 3, 2021. Williams-Isom, along with co-authors Fordham Law Professor Leah Hill and Benita Miller, discuss inadequate child safety protections and argue for better efforts in New York City.

Please see below for the entire letter.

Anne Williams-Isom Letter to the Editor


Text Transcript:

Saving Children From Fatal Beatings

To the Editor:

Re “Children’s Beating Deaths Expose City’s Lapses” (front page, Oct. 27):

True, it keeps happening. Julissia Batties. Aisyn Emerson-Gonzalez. Jayce Eubanks. Legacy Beauford. All of these children were under the age of 8 and beaten to death at home. Undoubtedly, children deserve to have the circumstances that surround their deaths understood, but the adult violence that ended their lives is just the tipping point.

The overreliance on the Administration for Children’s Services to ensure that poor children are safe and thriving is based on flawed assumptions — that the broader society is fair and that correcting the behavior of parents deemed to have failed their children is primary. There was no one moment that would have prevented tragedy in these cases. They reflect a systemic breakdown.

If we continue to disregard the inadequate child care options, neglected neighborhoods, poor housing and tenuous financial circumstances that burden some families, we will continue to fail families. So as we prepare to usher in a new mayoral administration in New York City, let’s summon a renewed sense of political will and boldness to holistically advance efforts that truly keep children safe and families thriving.

Benita Miller
Anne Williams-Isom
Leah Hill


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