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Author Topic: Cultural sensitivity lets woman in burqa w/o ID take & rape child from school
Pete at Home
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http://us.cnn.com/2013/04/30/justice/philadelphia-child-abduction/?iref=obinsite

quote:
The little girl's ordeal began January 14 when a woman wearing a burqa -- a head-to-toe covered garment with a slit for the eyes -- went to a West Philadelphia school shortly after classes started and scribbled her name on a sign-in sheet, police said.

The woman did not show identification but said she was the child's mother and wanted to take her out for breakfast. She then proceeded to the child's classroom and asked for the girl by name.

The girl was taken to a nearby house.
Good Samaritan finds kidnapped child

Once inside the home, authorities say, the girl was told to remove her clothing and was given a black T-shirt to wear. She was blindfolded and forced to hide under a bed, they said. At some point, the girl, now 6, was sexually assaulted, police say.


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scifibum
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Do you have any evidence that "cultural sensitivity" has something to do with it?

Since I don't wear a burqa, and I have no trouble getting my kids from school without any ID, it seems more likely to me that the school releases kids to parents a hundred times a week and got lazy about procedure, and didn't ask for identification.

If they'd asked for identification, without requiring the burqa to be removed they'd still have stopped this from happening.

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Pete at Home
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How so?

If you're in a burkha, it could be anyone's ID.

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TomDavidson
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Specifically, they would have to have stolen or faked the mother's ID.
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Pete at Home
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It seems particularly egregious to hand a kid over to someone that the CHILD cannot recognize.

Without the Burkha, the 6 year old could have at least said, "that's not my mom."

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
Specifically, they would have to have stolen or faked the mother's ID.

Most kidnappers in such situations are ex-spouses and other family members, and when you have access to someone's house, as family does, kiping an ID, or having an old expired ID on hand, isn't that hard.

No rebuttal to my argument that letting the kid actually see the face of who is picking him or her up, adds some measure or security?

If you showed up to pick a kid up from school with a halloween mask, or a bandana over your face, do you seriously think that the school would turn the kid over, with or without ID, without taking a look at you? If not, then how can anyone pretend that letting someone in a Burkha pick up a kid is anything other than an exception made for cultural sensitivity? Think.

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scifibum
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I think children whose mothers wear burqas probably recognize their mothers despite the burqa.

The school's policy, according to their statement, was that the person picking up children must present an ID that matches a list of approved persons. So all you need is an ID with one of the right names on it. It could be faked. This person didn't present ANY identification.

"Cultural sensitivity" could be a factor in a scenario somewhat similar to this one. It's not clear that it was a factor in this scenario. The burqa itself was probably taken as an indication of the correct identity, unlike a bandanna or a mask.

It seems that if the school had followed procedure, this wouldn't have happened. Procedure didn't require the person to remove the burqa; it wouldn't have required any presented ID to be valid, either. It's a pretty minimal standard of security as easy to defeat as it is for kids to buy beer. But it wasn't followed.

If it wasn't a factor, then hijacking the emotional impact of the horrible things done to this kid to make a point about cultural sensitivity is a bad move, IMO. So I was wondering if you have anything other than your assumptions about the motivations of the person who didn't ask for ID to go on.

[ April 30, 2013, 11:56 PM: Message edited by: scifibum ]

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Pete at Home
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Common sense says you look at who is coming to pick up a kid.

"I think children whose mothers wear burqas probably recognize their mothers despite the burqa."

Here, the kid didn't say anything. So presumably the kid didn't know anything was wrong.

"The burqa itself was probably taken as an indication of the correct identity"

And you think that makes sense? To take a burqa in lieu of facial recognition?

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djquag1
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If they'd followed procedure, the kid probably would have been okay. Probably, without a fake ID.

The hidden face of the kidnapper didn't help, at all. I have no problem with saying "Screw your religion, if you want to remove this child from our care, show us your face." Nor with making that a law.

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scifibum
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quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
Common sense says you look at who is coming to pick up a kid.

"I think children whose mothers wear burqas probably recognize their mothers despite the burqa."

Here, the kid didn't say anything. So presumably the kid didn't know anything was wrong.

"The burqa itself was probably taken as an indication of the correct identity"

And you think that makes sense? To take a burqa in lieu of facial recognition?

Nope. It doesn't make for a sensible policy. It makes sense that if the mother usually showed up in a burqa, then someone showing up in a burqa claiming to be the mother would be believed, though.
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scifibum
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As for the child not saying anything, the person went to the child's classroom, asked for her by name, and the child went with her, according to the story. She apparently told the front office that she was the mother, but didn't necessarily say that to the teacher in the classroom or to the child. It doesn't necessarily show that the child thought it was her mother; it may indicate that the child was conditioned to obey (like pretty much every child in public school).

Let me give you this much: If anyone is choosing to disregard safety protocols to avoid offending someone's cultural sensibilities, they should be slapped upside the head, because it will eventually lead to tragic consequences. Whether or not that has anything to do with what happened here.

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Funean
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This is my town, my partner's employer (and indeed, the principal of that school was her boss before she became principal of her own school), and I am distantly connected to the little girl's family. This had nothing to do with cultural sensitivity and everything to do with budget cuts (no adequate door security) and just flagrant disregard for very clear safety procedure. Procedure involves ID, visual inspection of the person, the ID, and the ID on file, printed name signature, comparison to list and signatures on file, and prior written authorization for anyone not on the list. Women who cover their faces must go to a room with a female employee and unveil so that they can be identified with respect to photo on file. NONE of these things were done properly, not because of any kind of sensitivity, just good old fashioned incompetence.

As far as the child is concerned, most five year olds go along with whatever their trusted adults tell them. If the woman told her "Mommy sent me" and the school let her take her, it's completely normal for the kid to go along with it. It's not like she was being violently snatched from a store or sidewalk.

Incidently the investigation is proceeding very quietly because it appears the incident may involve a rotating child brothel in West Phila and they want to get all the operators. [Frown]

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Pete at Home
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Thanks for the insight, Funean.
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Pete at Home
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given the fact that you offer us, I agree that if that entire procedure had been followed, that the atrocity would not have occurred.

I respectfully disagree with you that cultural sensitivity did not into the picture, because I don't believe that the woman came in with her face covered, under any other pretext, I.e face masked, that the school would have handed the daughter over so blithely.


in previous threads I talked about the Elizabeth Smart Case.

this is another example of non Muslims using burkas to bambooze culturally sensitive people and to prey on children in full public view.

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Pete at Home
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On the bright side, at least here I dont see anyone arguing consent ...
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Funean
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Quite frankly, at that school, she could have been a burly male in a T-shirt that read "Acme Human Trafficking" with a donkey cart a la Pinocchio parked out front and the front desk staffer wouldn't have looked up from her magazine. I'm not saying that your point might not be true in some cases, but this is a largely Muslim neighborhood--deveiling in the anteroom before pickup is a normal process, not one that would be skipped because someone was uncomfortable or oversensitive. And of course it is utterly forbidden for an adult to proceed unaccompanied to a classroom, let alone take a child away, irrespective of parenthood or ID. But, yes, this is an excellent case study for why every step of every procedure exists for a reason, and why we don't cut corners on established safety protocol.
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Pete at Home
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Surely that's a little hyperbolic.

I'm not sure that a complex protocol would be necessary if you came in, the person at the desk recognized you by face, etc. An overly cumbersome protocol is the first step leading up to no precautions at all when things get busy.

In any event, even ID would do for nothing if the state allowed people to be photographed in their burkhas.

It's bad policy to allow people to go around in masks, and facilitates abuse, as the Elizabeth Smart case showed. You simply don't know who is under there.

[ May 01, 2013, 08:47 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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Funean
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Nope. ID is required, period. At the very least it is CYA. All you need, in the case of an abduction, to be sued until you are a small damp smear is for it to be proven that an individual was permitted to take a child without being an approved taker-outer, which is documented acceptably only with ID, photo, and signature on file, and with an ironclad rule of review and comparison. That's not to say that every staffer takes ID from every parent, once they get to know them, but they darn well better have signed the kid out, and that signature had better match the one on file. Things may be different in small towns, but this is SOP in big cities.

That said, I absolutely agree that if you feel the need to wear a mask to leave the house, don't leave the house. I cede no legitimate or acceptable purpose for quite a few religious practices, particularly those which exist to exert control over their females.

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Pete at Home
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You may be right with large cities, and I've never lived in a city where there were numerous persons showing up to school in Burkhas. Vegas isn't exactly the trust capital of the world, but I've had bankers that know me waive ID requirements. Rarely but it happens. And from my experience, people put far more security on exchanges of money than on exchanges of children. [Frown]

" That's not to say that every staffer takes ID from every parent, once they get to know them, but they darn well better have signed the kid out, and that signature had better match the one on file."

Indeed. As time goes on there will be more and more video recordings for CYA, and burqas will become even more alien and risky to the system.

"That said, I absolutely agree that if you feel the need to wear a mask to leave the house, don't leave the house."

quote:
I cede no legitimate or acceptable purpose for quite a few religious practices, particularly those which exist to exert control over their females.
Indeed. As I see it, asking society to accept Burqa in lieu of ID is like asking a bank to accept a blood sacrifice and a holy oath to Ishtar in lieu of a signed contract. Freedom of religion and cultural sensitivity just doesn't suffice to turn our world on its head.
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kmbboots
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Burkhas aren't the problem. Burkhas don't kidnap children; people kidnap children. No point in banning burkhas.
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Blithereen
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Did anyone actually call for a ban on Burkhas, or was that another argument cut and pasted from somewhere else?

He said that we shouldn't compromise safety or security for cultural sensitivity, and that Burkhas shouldn't be OK where any sort of other mask would not be OK. Not at the bank, not on an ID card.

I don't think that even the NRA argues that you should be able to walk into a bank with a gun in your hand.

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D.W.
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quote:
I don't think that even the NRA argues that you should be able to walk into a bank with a gun in your hand.
Nope, not in your hand. Though slung on your back or holstered is A-OK. Unless the bank posts a sign asking you not to. Which those around here that I've been to don't.
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Pete at Home
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DW, I don't know what the law is exactly, but I'd be willing to bet that walking into a bank with a visible holstered weapon constitutes is committing some sort of crime or another in your state, unless you have some sort of special license or government role.
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djquag1
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Quick pass on google makes it look like there are few if any states that legally ban weapons in banks.

That just means that if the bank is concerned, it just has to put up a "No firearms or weapons in this building" sign and slap a trespass order on anyone who refuses to comply.

[ May 07, 2013, 06:42 PM: Message edited by: djquag1 ]

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djquag1
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Also looks like some states do make it a criminal offense to carry a firearm onto the premises of someone who has it clearly posted that they do not permit that.
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cherrypoptart
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The question I haven't seen asked here is would this kidnapper have been able to take this child out of school like that without the burqa?
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D.W.
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quote:
DW, I don't know what the law is exactly, but I'd be willing to bet that walking into a bank with a visible holstered weapon constitutes is committing some sort of crime or another in your state, unless you have some sort of special license or government role.
I'd take that bet here in Michigan. [Smile]

Now if you had a rifle slung to your back I think there is a very high probablility a cop would show up. But if you were doing so, in a bank, that was your desire, not to do any legitimate banking. Even so, the cops would in some varying degree of diplomacy tell you that you are a jackass and tell the bank to post a sign if they want to prevent the situation from repeating.

I remember finding it a little silly that I could have my pistol with me in the bank, but had to go without it from the bar to the car late at night even if I wasn't drinking.

I guess that even if I'm not drinking there are others in a bar who may be more inclined towards assault with drinks in them. Got to conceed I've never seen a drunken brawl break out in a bank.

[ May 10, 2013, 09:05 AM: Message edited by: D.W. ]

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