British Columbia has a dismal record when it comes to looking after some of its most vulnerable citizens.
This past year, we crawled up from our perennial spot as worst province for child poverty to second from the bottom.
Right here in the Okanagan, the Community Action Toward Children's Heath (CATCH) coalition estimates 23 per cent of Kelowna children under 18 were living in poverty in 2010.
But that's not all.
Children coming from some of the most troubled backgrounds are often the most likely to fall through the cracks.
B.C.'s children's representative Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond exposed a system this week that must do better.
It's not easy caring for children with complex care needs that can manifest themselves in violent rages.
But these kids need love and guidance, not to be Tasered, locked in windowless rooms or tranquilized.
Turpel-Lafond's report into the Tasering of an 11-year-old boy revealed he had been moved into different homes 15 times since 2001.
One foster family regularly kept the boy locked in a shed. Another put him in cold showers to punish him for wetting his bed, and his parents raised him for the first two years of life in an atmosphere of domestic violence, alcohol abuse, starvation and neglect.
That's enough to make anyone angry at the world - young or old.
But in what reality are three adult police officers (who all wear bulletproof vests these days) not enough to subdue a pre-pubescent boy wielding a steak knife?
Get real; tackle the kid and grab the knife from his hand. Did he really need to be stun-gunned? This kind of sad and appalling treatment just turns troubled kids into adult monsters.
- Managing Editor