It’s never any fun turning on CNN and seeing Nancy Grace trash your hometown. But last night, Grace was asking some very intelligent questions about the four Houston-area toddlers who tested positive for cocaine.
The children are a two-and-a-half-year-old girl, a 22-month-old boy and 11-month-old twin boys. The parents, Emanuel Jones, 43, and Tammy Lynn Melton, 25, also have four-week-old twin girls and two older children from two of Melton’s previous relationships. All eight children were taken into protective custody. Jones and Melton were arrested.
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Nancy, I call her Nancy or Your Grace, depending on my mood…anyway, Nancy wanted to know why the entire family -- eight children, the two parents and the children’s great-grandmother -- were all living in a one-bedroom apartment. (The apartment is on the 5600 block of Holly View.) Surely this is the exact situation that warrants emergency housing assistance, which local service agencies can provide.
Nancy also wanted to know why the children, once taken into protective custody, were then placed back in their roach-infested home with the great-grandmother, a 67-year-old woman in poor health. The great-grandmother was there when they were exposed to the cocaine the first time. She was there when the children were living in filth. She didn’t look after them then, why do we think she’ll do a better job now? Yes, children are usually better off left with family than being pushed into the foster care system, but why does living with a great-grandmother trump living in a clean and safe environment?
Anyway, now that we have Nancy Grace focusing her big, giant CNN spotlight on us for being a city that not only lets its children ingest drugs but also live in squalor, I’m sure we’re going to see some rapid backpedaling by CPS and plenty of pontifications by honchos who will decry the situation.
I just wonder if we’ll see the kids moved to a safer environment? - Olivia Flores Alvarez