Text from the petition page:
Before dawn when I was 14 years old, three large men burst into my room while I was sleeping. As my parents watched, they pulled me from my bed, forced me to get dressed, handcuffed me, and dragged me from my house.
I had committed no crime; these men were not law enforcement agents. Nor was this a kidnapping. My parents had hired these men at the suggestion of a private residential treatment center for the purpose of transporting me to the facility by surprise. These men were professional “escorts”, making a living legally abducting minors at their parents request, often transporting them across state lines, as happened to me. I was taken from my home in Florida by plane to Georgia, and then to Texas, on to Nevada, and finally by car to a facility in Utah, where I stayed temporarily before then being transported out of the United States altogether to a facility in another country. This traumatic and dangerous practice continues today, and untold thousands of children are transported in this way every year to facilities across the U.S. and in other countries.
The U.S. Congress has the power and a moral obligation to outlaw this practice. The Commerce Clause of the U. S. Constitution grants Congress the power to outlaw the use of “escorts” specifically and the interstate transportation of minors for psychiatric or behavioral treatment generally, and Congress ought to do so. This practice is dangerous. In many cases, children are tasered, pepper-sprayed, or “restrained” during transport, which can and often does result in broken bones or other serious injuries. Even in cases where children are not physically harmed, this kind of trauma often causes psychiatric issues such as PTSD– issues that can affect these kids for the rest of their lives and hamper the abilities to be healthy and contributing members of society. If parents need help getting noncompliant children into treatment facilities, this function ought to be carried out by trained law enforcement professionals who will be accountable for injuries or mistreatment, and the facility the children are taken to should be located in their own home state.
A society can be fairly judged by how well it protects its most vulnerable members. Our children are our most important and greatest national resource, and ought to be treated as such. Protect our children. Outlaw private “escorts” and the interstate transportation of minors NOW.