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Louisiana Ignores Wake-Up Calls

Louisiana Ignores Wake-Up Calls about Children’s Needs

We know the meaning of “wake-up call.” That’s the early morning phone call from the hotel’s front desk reminding you that it’s time to get up and be about the critical business of the day. (When we have nothing more important to do than sleep, we do not request wake-up calls.)

Louisiana ignores wake-up calls regarding our children with the greatest needs. What are the proverbial earplugs that allow us to miss the wake-up calls our children desperately need us to hear to rouse us from our slumber? Understaffed state agencies? Unmaintained facilities? The absence of a comprehensive plan to care for children? (Louisiana does have a 50-year plan to spend $50 billion on coastal erosion. We have nothing similar to address the well-being of our children. Surely, the well-being of our children are a better predictor of our state’s future than the location of our soil.)

Here are a few wake-up calls that have not yet awakened Louisiana.

November 16, 2022: Lacking space, Louisiana officials ask judges to release incarcerated youth early.

“Angola should be a wake-up call to the entire state of Louisiana,” Nelson said of the new juvenile justice facility he helped open at the adult prison. “So what happened in our state that that became an option?”

(Note: Senator Connick hopes placing boys in Angola will wake them up, while Nelson says placing youth in Angola should wake up the entire state of Louisiana. Louisiana has a lot of waking up to do!)

October 18, 2022: Louisiana juvenile offenders have been moved to Angola site.

Sen. Patrick Connick, R-Marrero, said about 10 young people were moved from Bridge City to Angola at 5:45 a.m. Tuesday. Connick’s district includes Bridge City, where neighbors have been upset about outbreaks and violence happening at the juvenile secure care facility.

“Hopefully this will be a wake-up call for some of those boys,” Connick said.

August 10, 2022: State officials must answer for keeping 2-year-old in home before fatal overdose, attorneys say.

Lawyers representing the family of the Baton Rouge toddler who died from a fentanyl overdose said Wednesday that his death should serve as a wake-up call for Louisiana’s Department of Children and Family Services, which lacks funding and failed to take proper action in that case.

September 9, 2018: Poverty data should be a Louisiana wake-up call.

“Poverty data should be a Louisiana wake-up call. While the national economy continues to gain momentum, far too many families in Louisiana continue to be left behind. Data released this week by the U.S. Census Bureau show that poverty and economic inequality remain stubbornly high across the state.”

2015: Still at Risk: U.S. Children 10 Years After Hurricane Katrina. 2015 National Report Card on Protecting Children in Disasters.

A decade after the nation’s Katrina wake-up call, America’s children remain far more vulnerable to disaster than they need be.

May 14, 2013: Time for a wake-up call.

As parents, business leaders, educators and other community members, we need to continue to pull together to provide the strong foundation that our public schools need.

December 7, 2010: DHH Secretary Emphasizes Urgency of Implementing Coordinated Care in Response to Drop in National Health Rankings.

The rank of 49 should be a wake-up call to everyone in the state, particularly those who are fighting to protect the status quo, because the status quo is not what our people deserve,” Secretary Greenstein said.

It’s time to wake up, Louisiana. Your children are calling.

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