I shouldn't be shocked by anything these days. The news headlines are so frightening at times, I dare not read the article that follows. And when it comes to issues with children and abuse, our systems are so flawed and broken that the thoughts of what is happening every day would leave me sleepless if I concentrated on those issues too long.
So, when reading the headline on CNN- Exchange students live American nightmare- perhaps I shouldn't have been taken aback. But as I read the article, I was horrified. One would think that exchange programs are closely monitored, that the young people we host here would be placed in homes that have been examined and approved.
Evidently, in at least these five examples, this was not the case. Not only were the host situations not monitored, exchange students were placed with convicted felons, and some were denied adequate food. One particular student broke my heart by saying that during his nine month stay he didn't have enough to eat, but didn't tell his mother for fear of her worrying.
Other students did complain though. They emailed and called the host organization, Aspect Foundation, that had placed them in sometimes dangerous conditions. They got no response.
And now, the State Department is involved. What I cannot understand most of all is that nothing was done for NINE MONTHS. There was no action taken by anyone until these students were preparing to end their stays here and return to their home countries.
If you read the entire article, prepare yourself. And imagine your child, or any child you know and love going to another country and suffering this kind of treatment. The fact that this happened in America still astounds me. What scares me even more is the thought that this might be happening on a more wide-spread scale than anyone is aware of.
Read the whole article here.
article and photo courtesy of cnn.com