BOSTON (CBS) – Over the years I’ve met quite a few people who tell me they rarely watch TV news, and as a 26-year veteran of the business I’m always eager to find out why.
And one reason keeps popping up – they can’t stand to watch stories about abused or endangered children.
For them, and for all of us, the story of Bella Bond, the two-year-old found murdered two years ago this month, has been especially tough to follow. Her innocence and vulnerability is haunting and the story of her mistreatment by the drug-addled adults in her life is especially depressing because it appears most of them did have some love for Bella, even as they failed to protect her.
A Suffolk Superior Court jury will decide, perhaps as early as Wednesday, whether or not the mother’s boyfriend is guilty of Bella’s murder.
Regardless of their verdict, there appears to be plenty of guilt – morally, if not legally – to go around.
For instance, we learned some time ago that the state’s Department of Children and Families did not properly investigate multiple warning signs of Bella’s neglect.
Her mother, Rachelle Bond, was an addict with a long arrest record and at least 12 incarcerations who had twice lost other children to DCF custody.
But in the end, the care of a child is the primary obligation of its parents or guardians, and there’s only so much the state can do about that. We all need to be more vigilant about how kids are being treated, and prepared to do or spend whatever it takes to protect them.
And that’s why we can’t look away from horror stories like that of Bella Bond, even if they make us want to shut off the TV in disgust.