2 more years of Commonwealth Center

Employees at the absolutely redundant Commonwealth Center for Children and Adolescents, just down the road from Western State Hospital in Staunton Virginia, expressed gratitude for the second year in a row at being saved from the sack. This development was reported in a story on Channel 29 News, CCCA Thankful For Future Funds.

Last month when the General Assembly voted to keep the CCCA in the budget, staff members breathed a sigh of relief not only for their own job security, but for the more than 600 kids they treat each year. The new state budget sets aside more than $10 million to keep the center’s doors open for at least another two years.

What you don’t get from this story is a single word from any one of those 600 kids these employees mention passing through their doors in a years time. If there were any words from the mouths of any one of those throw away kids, you had better believe that, in all likelihood, they wouldn’t be all that positive about the kind of treatment received. This is where people in Virginia send problem kids, after all, those kids that nobody wants to deal with.

Imagine a giant rug, imagine plastic children, and imagine a big broom. The CCCA is the rug these children are swept under.

This means two more years of ‘bad luck’ if you happen to be an unwanted child in the state of Virginia.

The Commonwealth Center’s staff argues the fight to stay open was about much more than just protecting the center’s 150 to 200 jobs.

I would argue, on the other hand, that the fight was about not much more than hanging onto these archaic posts long past any and all benefit that might have been derived from them.

Close the place down, save the kids, get rid of this torture chamber from the past once and for all!

The good news is that the state is not rebuilding this facility the way it is Western State Hospital, just up the road. Sooner or later the axe has to fall, but right now, it’s later rather than sooner.

A Note About The Name

Until 1996 the Commonwealth Center for Children and Adolescents was known as the DeJarnette Center for Human Development. It had been named for Joseph DeJarnette, a superintendent of Western State Hospital, in fact the superintendent who served longer than any other superintendent at Western State Hospital. It was changed because Joseph DeJarnette was also an outspoken proponent of eugenic policies that included the sterilization of mental patients.

Things just haven’t changed enough since Joseph DeJarnette’s day.

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