NY CPS response comes under scrutiny after Jordan Brooks’ death

Lisa Marie Waldron (L) and Anthony Michael Waldron (R) appear in the photo

Court documents say a Child Protective Services officer in Upstate New York dismissed concerns about a disabled and abused teenager who ended up losing his life.

Jordan Brooks At the age of 17, he passed away in May 2021.

After a 10-month investigation, his mother, Lisa Marie Waldron43 years old and stepfather, Anthony Michael WaldronThe 37-year-old was arrested by the Oswego County Sheriff’s Office in connection with the boy’s death earlier this month. As previously reported by Law & Crimeboth are charged with second degree manslaughter, criminal negligent homicide and first degree endangering the welfare of a person incompetent or physically.

At the time of his death, authorities noted that the teen appeared to be “severely underweight” and had “a padding that covered a substantial portion of his body.” In February of this year, a medical examiner’s report determined the boy’s way of death was homicide and the cause of death was a combination of infection and malnutrition.

Two separate Empire State counties became aware of allegations of abuse and neglect in the years leading up to the teen’s death.

According to 15 court documents reviewed by news agency CNY Central focusing on the Syracuse areaTeachers have consistently raised “concern after concern” about Brooks’ health starting in 2018, when he was in 8th grade at the Central Mexico School District in Oswego County.

Teachers at the boy’s school said they noticed sores on the victim’s body that appeared to be caused by too much use of a wheelchair that he needed to move around. Teachers also said that Brooks was brought to school with a urine-stained diaper on multiple occasions.

Despite numerous calls to Child Protective Services, one worker there “was hostile and annoyed with school staff when making hotline calls” and “stated that in certain situations, In such situations, parents should be suspected because they are doing the best they can,” according to court documents cited by the magazine.

In April 2019, the documents said, a boy’s school aide noticed a “baseball-sized sore” on his hip. This prompted the principal to wipe Brooks’ urine-soaked wheelchair. A resulting CPS call led a caseworker to say she “couldn’t smell urine on his chair”.

They say a multitude of other health and care concerns have been raised by teachers and others at the school, and those concerns have slowly gone unaddressed. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit and schools had to close, things seemed to take a drastic turn for the worst.

In May 2020, the victim’s school assistant said Brooks appeared to be having difficulty with distance learning and recorded several instances where he cried during an online call and had difficulty getting himself up. head. Those concerns were referred to CPS – as well as the boy’s apparent problems with swallowing and lack of medical attention.

During this time, Brooks continuously lost weight.

On March 9, 2021, the boy’s speech therapist took a photo of the boy. They captioned the image with notes expressing concern about the marks on his face and dark circles under his eyes.

One excerpt read: “But CPS said, ‘I don’t know much about Cerebral Palsy but Jordan is happy to be homeschooled. The baby no longer has dark circles under his eyes and the marks on his face are excema, mom just gave me the cream she used. We will close this case very soon. “”

Exactly two months later, Jordan Brooks died.

While countless concerns have been raised over the years in Oswego County, there are even earlier signs of abuse.

On Monday, March 21, 2022, CNY Central also confirmed that concerns for Brooks’ welfare were raised by Liverpool Central School District staff and faculty to Child Protective Services staff in nearby Onondaga County.

The school district where Brooks attended through seventh grade is currently working with the Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office on a number of complaints filed with the county Department of Social Services during the time period in question.

Currently, however, the Onondaga District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick said there was no indication that social workers there were not responding adequately to those child abuse complaints.

The DA told CNY Central: “I would warn people not to draw any conclusions because so far I have seen nothing to suggest that the child’s needs have been ignored in Onondaga and, in fact, the complaints complaint has been resolved,” the DA told CNY Central in response to questions about the investigation there.

[images via Oswego County Sheriff’s Office]

Is there a trick we should know? [email protected] NY CPS response comes under scrutiny after Jordan Brooks’ death

James Brien

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