BEAVERTON, Ore. - two children were taken by force.

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BEAVERTON, Ore. - two children were taken by force.

Postby tommixx » Mon Mar 23, 2009 8:43 pm

BEAVERTON, Ore. - Oregon's Department of Human Services says they are very concerned about how two children were taken by force from their older sister's home and a school and sent back to Virginia, where their parents live.

Stephanie Johnston, 24, was acting as the children's sole parent in Oregon. She is their big sister and has cared for the two (9-year-old Tavvi and 12-year-old Conner) since they moved from Virginia to Oregon to escape alleged abuse at the hands of their parents, who reportedly had drug habits.

Without warning, Virginia Department of Human Services workers barged into the girl's fourth grade classroom at Cooper Mountain School in Beaverton and took her away. Johnston said the girl was kicking and screaming.

"I cannot imagine what she was going through," said Johnston.

Then, the workers took Conner from the family's Beaverton home, without even letting him get his shoes. Conner's teacher said the whole thing makes her sick.

"They took him away, he didn't get a chance to say goodbye to his family, he didn't have his shoes and socks on. He was just ripped away from the home," said Linda Sessen.

What happened has parents, friends and teachers uniting in an Internet campaign of shared outrage.

"They just disappear and they're taken away? It's kidnapping," said Sessen.

And the concern isn't just limited to Web sites and blogs. Now Oregon's Department of Human Services, who said they had a deal with Virginia that promised safe and orderly contact with the children, is joining in.

"Unfortunately, Virginia didn't follow that agreement, so we're as concerned as everybody about the child, about the children and about this incident," said Gene Evans, Communication Officer with Oregon's Department of Human Services.

Evans said abused children should be treated delicately - allowed to bring belongings, to stay in touch, to say goodbye.

"And that didn't happen in this case and we want some answers," he said.

The children were removed by court order and are now in foster care in Virginia. A Virginia judge decided they should move closer to the home where they had allegedly suffered abuse.

"We're angry, we're enraged but we're also terrified and scared and we're sick to our stomachs," said Johnston.

KATU called Virginia's Department of Human Services and they refused to comment on what happened, saying it is confidential. But Oregon's Department of Human Services said officials in Virginia will have to answer to them.

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