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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.

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

Poverty data should be a Louisiana wake-up call, September 2018
“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.”

Louisiana juvenile offenders have been moved to Angola site, October 18, 2022
“Sen. Patrick Connick, R-Marrero, said about 10 young people where 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.”

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

Still at Risk: U.S. Children 10 Years After Hurricane Katrina. 2015 National Report Card on Protecting Children in Disasters, 2015.
“A decade after the nation’s Katrina wake-up call, America’s children remain far more vulnerable to disaster than they need be.”

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

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