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Synopsis

"The Mailbox Syndrome- Child Abuse or Love Randy Jonas, a decorated Vietnam veteran, was upset about his thirteen-year-old son coming home late from school. The son’s misbehavior was the result of his hanging out with a gang whose leader had a personal grudge against the boy. To correct his son’s current conduct, Randy beat the boy causing bruises to his body. The school noti fi ed the Administrati on for Children’s Services (ACS) who then called the police. Randy was arrested and forced out of his home. His wife, Sonita, a schoolteacher, was given temporary custody of the couple’s two sons but was threatened by Randy’s unauthorized visit to the home. He and his wife had no prior contact with the law. They were now placed in the family court to answer charges of child abuse. Their home was closely monitored by the ACS, which had a history of encouraging the adopti on of minority children who were the subjects of child protecti on proceedings. Freedom from the oppressive reach of the authoriti es was in the hands of a judge who did not have an appreciati on for the societal conditi ons that impelled Randy’s acti on. Randy and his wife were represented by a female black lawyer and a male white lawyer who shared their view that the family was the best enti ty to rear a child even when the family may have committ ed a criminal wrong. ACS and its lawyers and agents did not embrace that approach. What followed was an intense fi ght about who should have custody over the two boys of Randy Jonas and his wife."

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