Part II: The devil is in the details
By Linda A. Prussen-Razzano
History has long taught us that wealth does not necessarily indicate security, and that poverty does not necessarily denote moral frivolity. Caught between the environs of these two worlds are the working class, sometimes surviving paycheck to paycheck, possessing the means to visualize a brighter future for their children but not always the means to obtain it.
This is the world were Karen Maple lived, the world she fought to change for her children.
Sadly, in the real world, members of the working class are often easily manipulated by those in positions of authority. Without the financial means to sustain them, their only recourse is outside support.
When the video "Fugitive From Injustice: The Karen Maple Story" landed in my mailbox, I knew I would finally have a face to match that soft, breaking, youthful voice. The video, made by the State Chair of the Vermont Libertarian Party, shows Karen and a party representative talking candidly in the garden of a friend's home about her situation.
Karen is a petite woman with demure features, large brimmed glasses, and straight auburn hair. Her manner of dress was conservative and uncomplicated. She appeared nervous at the beginning of the video, but as the discussion progressed, her anxiety eased. She looked, in both manner and form, to be an average working class mother.
The video is important for several reasons: it allowed me to examine Karen's body language while she spoke (a key element absent from our telephone discussions) and she provided several other details not noted during our conversations.
According to Scott Berkey, Vermont Libertarian Party State Chair, "There is no way Ms. Maple's decision to keep her son out of the state educational system, or her refusal to submit bureaucratic forms to the government, can be construed as child abuse." According to Berkey, "The Maple case is an egregious example of vicious, bureaucratically-self-serving state interference in family life, and an unwarranted government intrusion in parental authority over children."
Later news reports indicated that Kupersmith was going to allow Karen out of jail if she turned over her children. She refused, stating: "I think it's crazy and unbelievable, and if they really cared about my kids, they wouldn't be hurting them so much." (WCAX TV3).
Karen's children went underground to avoid being placed into SRS custody.
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