Sometime I Cry: The System Which Has Failed Our Children


Graphic by Simran Dadra

Simran Dadra, Reporter

Gabriel Fernandez, Noah Cuatro, Anthony Avalos. 

Sometimes I cry when I think about these three names. 8 year old Gabriel, 4 year old Noah, and 10 year old Anthony were all children failed horribly by Child Protective Services. Even under the supervision of CPS, these three helpless boys were subjected to years of abuse and torture by their parents. These three innocent souls were murdered by their own parents as CPS failed to intervene and rescue the boys from their abusive households. 

Before I begin to criticize the flawed system of the Child Protective Services, I would like to take a moment of silence for Gabriel, Noah, Anthony, and all other children who have suffered similar circumstances. No child deserves to be treated this way. It breaks my heart to think about all the children who wish to be part of a happy, loving family but are instead given the short end of the stick. These children crave love and affection yet the only thing life has to offer them is pain and hurt.

Before CPS fails children they are failed by other people who are integral to their development, their parents. Parents who inflict pain upon their children should be stripped of their title as a parent. You have to be the spawn of Satan himself in order to abuse and torture a child. No words can describe how heinous, evil, despicable, and monstrous one has to be to commit atrocities against their own children. These people, who quite frankly must be sick in the head, abuse their children in unspeakable ways. For instance, in the case of Gabriel Fernandez, Gabriel faced much more than just regular beatings. He was forcefully fed cat feces and put to sleep in a small cabinet while being gagged to silence him if he screamed. It is gut wrenching to think that what happened to Gabriel is just the tip of the iceberg, thousands of children are inhumanely abused just like Gabriel on a daily basis. The sad reality is that many of the children will not be rescued. 

But why won’t these children be saved? The answer is simple. The system of Child Protect Service, which was built to protect children such as Gabriel from abuse, is heavily flawed. 

One flaw with CPS is that not all cases are looked into even when multiple complaints are made. In far too many cases of abuse, CPS was notified by neighbors and other family members that a particular child was in danger but these cases were never investigated by CPS. When CPS does look into cases, many children are not removed from their home due to a “lack of evidence” of abuse. The fact that children die brutal deaths even after CPS has gotten involved in a case serves as proof that CPS is ineffective. In fact, children under the care of CPS are 600% more likely to die a violent death. Every year, over 1,000 children die as a result of neglect or abuse, all of which can be preventable. It is time CPS is held accountable for its lack of action.

As a woman, and more importantly as a person who hopes to one day be a parent, I am appalled by the amount of children that die due to CPS’s failure to fulfill its duties. I am even more appalled by the fact that no one does anything to help and protect these children. It scares me to think that I live in a world where women fear losing their rights of bodily autonomy to the government for the potential saving of a life, but when actual children are being abused, neglected, and killed in broad daylight the government goes silent. 

My heart hurts when I think of how many children pay the price, often with their life, for the mistakes adults make. My heart hurts when I think of how bright the futures of the children CPS failed could have been. My heart hurts when I remember that just days before Gabriel Fernandez was fatally beaten by his mother, he wrote her a letter explaining all the reasons why he loved her. These innocent children, who were failed by the system, deserved so much better than what life offered them and because of this sometimes I cry.