Roma Court Academy in palm Coast was the subject of two DCF and Flagler Sheriff’s Office investigations in 48 hours, one of them leading to a felony child abuse charge filed against a 51-year-old teacher.
Sarah Jones, 29, less than two months kidnapped her own two children from their grandparents’ home, and faced two first-degree felony counts. She pleaded to two third-degree felonies.
It’s been decades since Florida had an elected statewide official who paid much more than lip service to open government, and state and local agencies are taking advantage, showing more contempt than respect for the law, argues Florence Snyder.
In Florida if you can’t show that you’re working or meet the work requirements some other way, you get penalized and lose your food stamps for the following month. If you fail to meet the requirements again, it’s a three-month sanction and then six months.
Proposed language protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth in a DCF rule was opposed by the Florida Baptist Children’s Home and the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops, so it was deleted.
The bill, aimed at reducing instability for foster children, would match children with their best placement options — rather than, as critics charge, the first beds that are handy.
DCF did not deem urgent a message from a lawyer for the girl’s father the day before the killing warning that Jonchuck was “driving all over town in his pajamas with Phoebe” and “seems depressed and delusional.”
Records of the case reveal that many answers were already available — in the form of arrests that could have raised alarms at the state abuse hotline operated by the Florida Department of Children and Families.
Roy Miller, spokesman for the Children’s Lobby, said last month’s mass murder-suicide involving six children in Gilchrist County amounted to the last straw in the department’s response to a series of child deaths stretching back many years.
With Gov. Rick Scott, the entire Cabinet and many of the state’s 160 lawmakers out on the stump campaigning for re-election, the news about government in Florida has largely moved elsewhere.