As news stories show, being a child in Oklahoma can be difficult

The Oklahoman Editorial Published: December 4, 2011

IT would be easy to leaf (or click) through The Oklahoman, pause for a minute at the sad stories of children and then move on. In fact, that's what happens every day.

But when we looked more closely, just in the past several days, here's what we found:

Last Saturday, The Associated Press detailed the horrific story of nine children removed from their home amid allegations of sexual abuse and educational neglect and that the children were living in unsanitary and unsafe conditions.

Sunday, we learned about Jake Hedger, who died at just 9 months old. Officials ruled his death a homicide; the father said a doctor compared the boy's head injury to “breaking up a bag of ice.” Edmond police haven't caught Jake's killer and haven't been particularly open about the case, including whether they're focusing on the parents or the boy's baby sitter.

Also Sunday, Midwest City police warned that the death of a 13-year-old boy two days earlier may have happened as the boy tried inhaling refrigerant from a neighbor's air conditioning unit. The boy's father said his son was as an athlete who wasn't a “druggie,” and urged parents to talk to their children about the risk of inhaling refrigerant and other substances.

Tuesday brought news that a 14-year-old girl told police a man raped her after she fell asleep at the house she was visiting.

Wednesday's front-page news was about a teacher — yes, a teacher — who resigned amid allegations she had some of her third-grade students to her home where she had them dress up in provocative underclothes and took their pictures and video as they performed a cheer dance.

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