Avonte Fell Prey to Evil. We are Responsible.

18 Jan

*NOTE: the following was written before I allowed myself to read an article about the discovery of what are believed to be the remains of Avonte Oquendo, a young autistic and non-verbal teenager who went missing in 2013.  As pointed out by Flatbush Gardener, the story is inconclusive.  It’s unknown whether there was foul play, if this was an accident, or what happened.  I retract conclusions I made based on what I heard of the story before checking it out myself.  (As I responded to Flatbush Gardener who noted that it’s too soon to make conclusions, I just read a story in WSJ regarding what has happened – including that the remains have not yet been matched by DNA to Avonte.)  That said, there are significant lessons here, including the need for schools to better protect our children.  I’m sure I accepted the worst-case scenario that was recounted to me without checking the facts myself because of the horrible occurrences recently that seem to be on the rise – from outright torture and murder of young children such as recently occurred to a young boy left in the care of his babysitter when his father went to prison, the murder of the two young children in Manhattan also at the hands of their babysitter, to the Newton killings in early 2013.


I just learned the news.  I don’t want this to be real.  Avonte lost to evil.  If ever you didn’t believe in a heaven and earth and the forces of good and evil here, this is all the proof you should need.  A little boy whose parents dropped him off at school one day, trusting as best as can be, that they would see him at the end of the day, vanished.  Truer torture I can’t imagine there ever being than what happened in the hearts of those parents as they waited and prayed for their little boy to be found safe and returned to them.  I saw the cover of the Daily News today, that his remains were found and the clothes his parents described him as wearing were there.  I couldn’t bring myself to buy that paper.  I have been hoping against hope that he would be found.  I have waited and prayed.  I have believed in the goodness of humankind and prayed, and even kind of believed that he would be delivered somehow miraculously into its arms.  Those aren’t the arms that found him.  He was not with good people.  He was with monsters created by monsters: the result of a society that doesn’t take care of its sick, its depraved, that doesn’t identify and separate them to protect the rest of their neighbors.  We all really needed a happy ending to this one.  We all really need to fix what it is that is so wrong within us, within our communities, that allowed this to happen.  I won’t re-post any article about what happened to Avonte here.  I know from hearing it that it wasn’t an accident, that it was instead the evil among us.


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