Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Like This Was Nothing.

Some days you get a small view of life in another home...

WASHINGTON, Pa. (AP) -- A woman in southwestern Pennsylvania locked her 10-year-old grandson in a feces-filled dog crate for about 90 minutes because he told his family he had been spiking their drinks with lamp oil and household cleaner, police said.

Rhonda Lehman, 51, also called Washington County's Mental Health/Mental Retardation office and said if someone wouldn't come for the boy, she would bury him alive in the back yard, police said.

Lehman has custody of the boy, who told police he was lacing the drinks with the oil and a cleaner named ''Bam'' because ''he was angry because he didn't get to go on a trip'' last year, said Washington police Officer James Markley.

It is possible the boy had been spiking the drinks for a while, authorities said. Family members became sick, but were not hospitalized.

On Saturday, the boy was put in a 3-foot-by-4-foot plastic dog cage with only a small metal door for him to look out, Markley said.

Lehman was charged with child endangerment and making terroristic threats.

Police also charged the boy's 24-year-old brother with simple assault and harassment for allegedly punching the youngster.

''When I asked the brother, I said, 'Why would you punch a 10-year-old in the eye?' he said, 'It's better than what I wanted to do to him,''' Markley said.

Markley said the defendants told authorities they don't believe they did anything wrong.

''They were very calm, like this was nothing,'' Markley said.

Ten is 5th grade -- wood shop and fractions -- Schoolastic says,

Your upper elementary-school child is becoming interested in the science of the world around him and about the way things work. Foster an interest in nonfiction with books about dinosaurs, bugs, outer space, volcanoes, and whatever else tickles his mind. Find books with colorful pictures and illustrations matched with simple text. For a more story-based approach to learning, The Magic School Bus explores most science subjects in a mission-based format that will appeal to your school-bus-riding child. Build basic research skills as your child practices "reading to learn."

What does this teach me about oil... well, that it's a poison lying around the house, for one. That toxins are weapons for another. That I should probably have a conversation with the kids about poison, and have the number for poison control close at hand, for another.

One of my favorite people in the world works helping families who are struggling in their daily life -- she says often, we're all struggling.

May that family in PA be safe, may that family be happy, may that family be healthy, may they live in ease.

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