Yesterday Ryan started telling me about a elementary aged boy in northern Idaho who was being beaten by his parents and was removed from his home and put with a foster family. Eventually, the boy went before a judge, who wanted to place him with different extended family members, his grandparents. The boy said that they would beat him as well. The judge suggested an aunt and uncle. The boy protested that they would beat him as well.
At this point I explained to Ryan that when a family is so dysfunctional as to beat a child in the way that this boy had been beaten, that often the violence is rooted in the extended family. As I waited to hear the conclusion of the story, I felt kind of a sad anticipation, and wondered if the reason Ryan was bringing this up was that one of our friends was taking in this young boy.
Ryan added that the judge asked the boy where he wanted to be placed, if he could choose any place. The boy answered, "I want to live with the Idaho Vandals, because they never beat anybody."