Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Los Angeles Times Reporter Defends Child Abuse of 6 year old schizophrenic - Jani Schofield

This is a follow up post to the "6 year old Jani Schofield - schizophrenic or abuse victim?" I wrote.

I was quite disturbed after I learned of the abhorrent abuse this child had suffered before any mental health diagnosis was ever given to her.

On the Father's Blog (
http://www.januaryfirst.org/www.januaryfirst.org/Blog/Blog.html), he openly admits (and in my opinion touts those reading) that both himself and his wife physically and emotionally assaulted and starved Jani their daughter in a blatant attempt to "BREAK HER".

The fact that this abuse took place is not in debate here. The fathers own words are a confirmed admission of guilt. I covered that yesterday in my post. I again ask you to read that post, the father's blog, and the LA Times article which has now been circulated nation wide by various newspapers and major media companies. Link- http://www.latimes.com/features/health/la-he schizophrenia29-2009jun29,0,4834892.story

I called and wrote LA Times Reporter Shari Roan
the following email and followed that up with a phone call asking about a follow up article including these discovered abuse findings by the parents before any diagnosis was ever made or considered.

The following is the e-mail I sent:


Dear Shari Roan:

This story has caught the attention of many advocating for children. I came upon the parents of "Jani" web site and found some concerning "if not shocking" admissions by the father.

Now I have to wonder if this is in fact a child schizophrenic, or very smart child reacting to abuse before any diagnosis was made?

"We tried everything. Positive reinforcement. Negative reinforcement. Hitting her back (I won't tell you how many people told us that all she needed was a good beating). We took all her toys away. We gave her toys away. We tried starving her. We did EVERYTHING we could to try and break her. Nothing worked."
"The violence became so bad that at times Susan and I both lost it and hit Jani as hard as we could. We hit in impotent rage.
We got a referral to a psychiatrist.
Two months later, Janni was hospitalized for the first of what has since been four times, but in truth will be many more times.
Today, Jani is no longer a brat. Today, Jani is schizophrenic."


The following e-mail is from LA Times reporter Shari Roan in direct response to my inquiry:


Hi Stan,
Thank your taking the time to write. I certainly understand your concerns and thank you for caring. Too many children are horribly abused, and nothing is sadder than that.
I would like to share a few things with you,however. First, the Schofields are unusual people in that they are brutally honest about themselves, their lives, their flaws. That is disconcerting, but it is also noble on their part to be honest.
Second, the stress this family has been under for years is hard to understand if you've never had to walk in their shoes. They are exhausted, broke, heartsick and baffled. Both parents also admit they are in need of psychological counseling themselves due to depression and fatigue. It is awful that they have hit Jani, and they would be the first to admit that. So many people told them they were bad parents and needed to discipline her more severely. They tried that -- and it didn't work. They have also hit due to sheer exhaustion and loss of self-control. I know they have many regrets. But I also know they love their child and have tried desperately to help her.
Finally, having followed the family and Jani for five months and spoken to her doctors and therapists, I am certain this is not the case of a normal child who has been abused. This child has a horrible mental illness that has destroyed her and her parents.
Best regards,


My Commentary on the LA Times e-mail and reporting.

From what I gather
Shari Roan gives the parents a free pass on abusing their child because they were under some tough circumstances? If that were the case and law, I would say most child abuse would have to be excused then.

What truly disturbs me here is that you appear to have known about this abuse and excluded these pertinent facts from your LA Times article; and to take it one step further you did not not report known abuse to LA County Child Protective Services Authorities.

The fact that you excuse abuse based on diagnosis that could be considered extremely suspect in light of these extreme abuse allegations is a journalistic stain upon the news profession.

Maybe they have a hidden agenda at the LA Times? You have virtually made "Jani" a poster child for NAMI type organizations, The New Child Focused Psychiatry Modality, and play right into the hands of the Pharmaceutical Industry's marketing campaigns for more dangerous and life threatening drugs being distributed to unsuspecting parents and children .

How we as a free society and press can ignore pertinent facts such as a father that was investigated for sexual abuse, admittedly beat his wife, abused his dog, and abused his child; while being currently under investigation by Child Protective Services is beyond my understanding.

I can only rationally conclude in the best case scenario; the LA Times desperately wanted a powerful fluff piece that would touch the hearts of readers; without all that nasty facts and truth information getting in the way?

I would expect and even demand better reporting with less bias from a free press. I'm sure many readers on the Web may also agree.

Just An After Thought: I will give this little tad bit of advice to the LA Times and like Media outlets:

If your going to do a story about
"schizophrenics"; Just go visit any homeless shelter, state mental institution, big city back ally way, or prison. There are more than enough heart breaking stories and moving pools of tears to be shed in the countless lives discarded and imprisoned by a deemed "throw away" segment of our population. This is a condition and reality that really doesn't need the "hold up the Suffering Child" approach to be riveting reading or important information to share.

Blogs Reporting Truth and Asking Questioning :

NAMI-Pathos-Different Thoughts blog, where I found the link to Jani's father's blog

Monday, 6 July 2009-Jani: "schizophrenic", or a victim of child abuse?!-Different Thoughts blog

July 07, 2009-Father Of Girl With Schizophrenia Admits Hitting, Starving Girl-Furious Seasons mental health news blog, authored by award-winning investigative journalist, Philip Dawdy

Schizophrenia in children: January Schofield-Liz Spikol, The Trouble with Spikol blog-Liz Spikol is executive editor of Philadelphia Weekly. She writes the award-winning column The Trouble With Spikol, which began as a chronicle of her struggle with mental illness.


David said...

It's also disturbing how he really WANTS the child to be dx'ed Schizophrenic. Because, in his own words, "if she is not Schizophrenic, then she is just a brat". What kind of utter sh*t is that?

He refuses to look at any alternatives or advice as evidenced by his constantly shutting out people who have an alternative view. He says that she won't take vitamins (then how does he get the Thorazine pills into her, then?) and feeds her nothing but junk all day, supposedly has no time at all except to father her, yet has written what amounts to a novel on his website. And have you checked out the mother's radio show, "Bipolar Nation"? Creepy stuff, all around.

There is this frightening notion that's emerging, that it's somehow okay in the popular mind, to hit a frustrating child. So the question is, WHO are the crazy ones?

Anonymous said...

So, I guess the message is it's okay to beat your child if they have a mental disorder.


We need to get a bet going on when their book is coming out.

Anonymous said...

He also admitted to hitting his wife.

This guy has no business raising a child, and what's even more sick is the way so many people defend him. The guy is a monster, really.

And if the girl is so demanding so that he has absolutely no time to do anything, anything at all? Where does he find the time to do all this WRITING?

He admits to dragging the girl to her bedroom and locking her up when he's trying to hook up a printer. The girl wanted to play, or whatever.

I can barely read this guy's blog anymore, it makes me so furious. At him. And I've lived with mentally ill people, I have actually lived through this sort of thing.

The guy talks about "breaking" the girl? You don't break kids. And what's almost funny is that the girl seems to have broken him instead. She's far stronger than he is, that is clear.

Anonymous said...

There is no justification for beating a child or starving a child in attempt to break/control the child.

From the way these parents sound, they are looking for a place to dump Jani, it will be a relief for them, and they will admit that just like they admit child abuse and seem to be ok with it as an excuse to abuse a child, "because she has schizophrenia".

People with schizophrenia are discriminated every single day, and abuse of vulnerable victims of mental illness is an example right here on this blog in the "about me" page written by Michael Schofield.

Of course this situation is heartbreaking, of course medications are not a cure (or mental illness would not exist) but there is no excuse for the way this child was treated, and before any psychiatrist, UCLA or pscyhiatric medication was involved in Jani's chemical restraining.

She is being chemically restrained, with drugs not approved for children her age by the FDA and the side effects of the drugs will kill her, could cause permanent involuntary movements, and more.

Chemical restraints aside, these parents are a danger to the child based on their previous history of abuse and she should not reside with them, ever.


Mark p.s./Mark p.s.2 said...

"I'm not an abuser , that guy over there, he is, but not me! I'm a good guy really! Trust me."
The reply letter from the reporter is sickening, she blames the childs behaviour on mental illness as if it is an entity in control of the child. Like possesion, just like witchcraft.

"In physics the same laws are used to explain why airplanes fly and why they crash. In medicine the same principles are used to explain why people live and why they die. In psychiatry, however, one set of rules is used to explain sane behavior and another set of rules is used to explain insane behavior: sane behavior is attributed to reasons (choices), insane behavior to causes (diseases)." T Szasz.

Magical diseases as well, because they got no lab test to find the tiny bits of schizophrenia disease in the brain.

The kid should have been taken away, now it is too late. With the medical opinion of schizophrenia, chemicals restraints are/will be issued. The chemicals will subdue her wrong behaviour by deadening her brain and the parents will not physically abuse her anymore.
Well her owners might be happy for a bit of time, and that is who psychiatry is serving, not the child.

Radagast said...

Anonymous wrote:
"...The guy is a monster, really..."

He's apparently not in control of himself, that's for sure, but a monster. No, I don't think so - he wouldn't consider himself a monster, I hope (if people believe themselves to be monsters, then they will do monstrous things).

This is a very confused picture. The only thing we "know" is that the parents beat the child, and starve her, with the express intention of cowing her into obedience/subservience. This is not a good approach, as if it needed saying.

I strongly suspect that there is nothing wrong with the little girl that cannot be explained by her reaction to her parents' behaviour. I also suspect that there is nothing in the parents' behaviour that cannot be explained by their own childhood (and later life), experiences.

At the end of the day, the parents lack essential skills. They must lack them, because if they had better tools, then they would use them. Wouldn't they? Regrettably, for most people, the idea of acknowledging that they lack basic interpersonal skills would be so humiliating that it is easier to blame the outcome (a child that they can't communicate with), on the child herself. And then the child will be condemned to a lifetime's treatment that will presuppose that she will always behave in a certain way. And if she's provoked, she will.

There's nothing wrong with her. At all. Of that I'm confident.


Stan said...

I wanted to thank all those that have come here to read, express their opinions, and comment.

I will be off line for a day or two starting around 5 PM PST today.

So if your comment does not show up until Friday; it's not because it has been ignored or lost. I'm just away from the computer until then.

I send out well wishes to each of you.


David said...

Well I am glad to see that there are people just as horrified as me. What if she were labeled extremely physically disabled instead? You wouldn't see people "supporting" him, you'd see cries for his head on a platter.

And I can say that as someone who has the experience of both - was a physically disabled child, now am a "mentally labeled" adult.

Anonymous said...

Peace be with you Stan

I was struck by the fact that he said that Jami said "I want you to die!" Where the hell did a five year old learn that statement! It had to be from some experience. Maybe dad starves mom too?

love eternal

Anonymous said...

Michael Schofield's BLOG comment
Someone who cares,

"You asked about a trust for Jani. There is one, but I haven't felt comfortable asking the readers of my blog for money. However, since you asked, there is a trust fund set up for Jani at Bank of America. It is listed under my name (Michael Schofield) or Susan Schofield in trust for January Paige Schofield. The account number is 25451-44492.

Any money received is used to either pay outstanding medical bills that have been denied by insurance (sigh) or provide a cushion for Jani's future so she doesn't wind up homeless after we are gone."


They don't pay for those bills, there are hospital uncompensated care funds for kids; and they don't pay for the study she's signed up for, they pay for parent travel etc. She will have SSI and medicaid.

Anonymous said...

I just became aware of this article in the past few weeks when someone at the mental health agency that I work out spoke about it my group supervision. I am a therapist. Today I read the article and then found this blog. OK, I hear what you are all saying and there is definitely a lot of merit to it. There is absolutely no excuse for hitting a child!! For the past year I've been working solely with families who have Child Protective Services involvement. So I know what physical abuse and seeing domestic violence does to a child. Of course hitting Jani is not OK. But the question here was not whether physical abuse of a child is right, but whether Jani's behaviors are a reaction to her parent's hitting her. The rationalization that was used was that her parents began hitting her before the diagnosis of a mental illness was made. My response to this is the following. It is clear from the blog and the article that Jani's behaviors began at a very young age. Her parents noticed behaviors as an infant that are not typical for a child at that age. We can all agree that an infant only sleeping for a couple hours a day is concerning. These differences in behaviors and development continued throughout her first years. So unless there was abuse going on during her early years, that we don't know about then I would have to assume that her behaviors are not a reaction to abuse. Also, a mental health diagnosis not being made until after she was hit does not necessarily mean anything except for that she had not seen a mental health clinician yet. That does not mean that mental illness was not there. But, I do think that hitting Jani could definitely exacerbate her mental illness if there is one there. We know that when a person is stressed, symptoms tend to worsen. For a child, hitting could definitely cause emotional problems or worsen a mental illness. I am in no way defending hitting Jani, but I definitely could see her parents' frustration in the situation. I've even been frustrated after spending only a half hour with a child who was hitting, yelling, begin aggressive, etc.., and thinking I am so glad I dont have to live with this everyday like her mother does. I would feel extremely anxious before every session with this particular child. I also thought it was interesting that her father ended it saying that Jani is no longer a brat, she is schizophrenic. Some people hate labeling, and some think it is useful. In this situation it sounds like her parents were relieved to have a name for what was wrong with Jani. They probably had been blamed for years for their child's behaviors, and told that they were horrible parents. They were probably also blaming themselves. In fact, it used to be thought that Schizophrenia was caused by bad parenting. So for her parents to actually have that label was probably a huge relief for them. So, yeah of course hitting Jani is horrible and inexcusable, but I just wanted to add my thoughts looking at it from a family and therapeutic standpoint.

Stan said...

Dear Anonymous:

Here we go again, blame the so called illness and the child. That will never excuse severe abuse no matter what drum you wish to beat your old worn out tune upon. I guess you skipped where these abusers wrote about shaking Jani as a infant! You have heard of shaken baby syndrome? I would hope so as a Anonymous professional?

I personally have worked with about every kind of behavioral inclination and mental illness label there is out there. I have also dealt with some very violent individuals on many occasions.

Unlike you, I would welcome the opportunity to help Jani once all the chemical restraints were carefully removed.

But then we both know she is virtually locked into an uncaring and unforgiving mental health system now that rarely ends with pleasant results for kids that receive these labels.

In my opinion this is a classic case of a narcissistic and likely sociopath pompous ass using a series of victims including Jani in bad and sloppy attempt at the lime light and empowerment.

His constant craving for attention through media and his blog is about as blatant and twisted as it gets to be harshly frank.

So you can sit there in your easy chair Anonymous and tell us all how tough they have it.

I will only retort in kind that there are literally thousands upon thousands of great parents out there with children of various disabilities navigating their way through a broken system with very little resources that actually show real love by their actions, caring, patience, and compassion each and every day.

You won't see them or their stories in newspaper headlines, or see them pimping their story to TV networks, or outrageously trying to profit off their child's suffering; because they just quietly go about the very hard work and many times thankless task of providing what is in their child's best interest first and foremost each and every time.

If you wish to be just another suck up pasty for these poor excuses for parents and humanity. That is your choice Anonymous of course.

I believe I have made myself clear enough in this response: or do you need more excuses to play apologist here for Jani's parents abhorrent behavior.

Stephany said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

The parents caused this from the get-go!
The "expert" who talks about how the child was unusual from infancy, what her parents DID in response, was WEIRD.
He talks about needing to "stimulate" this infant 14 hours per day, OR ELSE!
Or else what??? What can an INFANT possible do? WHAT were they so afraid-of, that she would hold her breath forever?
PLEASE--anyone who doesn't understand how seriously MIND-F'd this kid is from what her parents put her through and ARE PUTTING HER THROUGH still, read that darn blog, the one where "no critics" are allowed.
So we're supposed to stand-by and see nothing but praise for this nut? (the dad of course)
How many times in the guys blog does he use the word "stimulate" & stimulation??
He was investigated for sex-abuse, he claims that his hand "slipped" into her vagina when he was vigorously washing her privates at age 6.
If she was already in a tub full of water, there is NEVER a need to help a child that age in washing, even if they won't do it themselves. He claimed that she wouldn't wash herself.
POPPYCOCK! A kid in a tub will get clean just fine WITHOUT ANY HELP EVEN IF THEY DON"T USE SOAP OR wash themselves.

Stan said...

Dear Anonymous:

I was unaware the father had gone into any detail involving the sexual abuse allegations against him.

If he did write about this on his blog besides mentioning the investigation ; please leave a link to these statements here.

At this point these parents have opened themselves up to much scrutiny, and have stated they are being investigated by Child Protective Services. It is in proper authorities hands now.

I can only hope and pray Jani comes out of this horrible situation with some quality of life in the future.

Anonymous said...

I saw these two on Oprah today. They are clearly losers who have no clue. First of all, negative reinforcement is not what the father labels it. And their attitude sucks. They said something to the effect, we know there is no cure or hope for Jani so we'll just keep her from trying to kill herself. They should do her a favor and send her to residential since they have clearly given up. I also highly doubt this child was born this way. Probably the vaccines they injected into her repeatedly. Read the autism blogs-same problem. Quit drugging the kids and filling them with toxic shit and maybe they'll have a chance at a normal brain!

Anonymous said...

hey doll, here's an updated story by Shari Roan about Jani in Dec 2009.


Stan said...

What would anyone expect from Shari Roan and the LATimes. It's not like they are going to become real journalist and report the whole truth @ this juncture.

Thanks for sending this newest article along. Though I'm honestly not surprised one bit by this kind of pandering by them.

Stan said...

Comment from Angie on 6/18/2010 went something like this: Blah Blah Blah....How dare you expose these parents....Blah Blah Blah.....

Angie, have heard all of this before. You have come to the wrong site to play apologist for abuse. Ignoring the facts does not make the facts disappear after all.

Stan said...

Angie was back again in stellar style & form 6/18/2010 with another comment that went something like this:

Blah Blah Blah I can't believe you didn't post my apologist babble Blah Blah Blah......I'm not coming back here anymore you big meanie Blah Blah Blah....

OK folks, this is not a cool aid drinking contest or a party to make friends and excuse abusers.

That facts, evidence, and my opinions are stated quite clearly in the few post on this issue.

So until a preponderance of evidence is presented proving other wise drawn conclusions, the post here will stand as written thank you very much.

You don't have to agree or even question why pertinent facts & evidence were buried from the many Corporate main stream media outlets on this issue. That is your personal prerogative and choice after all to stay immersed in ignorance.

As I have clearly stated here before, if you are coming to this blog thinking this is great platform to play apologist from, you are very much mistaken and your comments will not be approved.

You can take your whining snivel over to the creepy fathers blog and voice it there. I'm sure they will be received with open arms and an outreached hands asking for MONEY.

Angie said...

What are you 5? Grow up and get off your "Mommy, I can't leave my house-I'm afraid of the people outside-hoarding-internet educated" rump and go find a medical journal and interact with something other than a profile pic and a video avatar.

There is nothing at all based upon fact here, only your inane rantings and "opinions".

Do not bother to respond, you're going right into my Spam box with those from De Lotto Nederlands.

Stan said...

I just had to let this last comment from "Angie" through here, because it's a great example of the kinds of unhinged riff raft I have dealt with since bringing this topic and information to the greater public eye.

These kinds of comments that come in from the Schofield wacky fan club site never seize to amaze me.

Angie, thanks for the great laugh, you have made my day so much more cheerful......now skedaddle along and play whacked out goof ball somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

I know this blog is really old. Many of the comments made were spot on without even having the full of the facts. Here is yet another quote from Michael Schofield admitting to abusing Jani as an infant:
‎" And so a sense of failure grew in me until it exploded one night in impotent anger and I shook her.

She was two months old. I shook a two month old infant, screaming at her "WHY WON'T YOU SLEEP!" She screamed harder and I immediately felt guilty and tried to make it better. Eventually, she calmed down and fell into a fitful sleep in my arms and I watched German TV at four in the morning knowing I was a baby shaker. " Michael Schofield janisjourney.org
‎"My anger is still an albatross I wear around my neck. Today, of course I know I did something wrong. And it was not the last time.

There were other occasional moments of violence. In her anger, Susan would sometimes accuse me of triggering Jani's violence. That is until she too was driven in desperation to hit." Michael Schofield janisjourney.org

And his book will be out next year and is already being advertised on amazon call "January First". It's time to dredge all this up and not allow Michael Schofield to capitalize on the abuse and exploitation of his own daughter.

Anonymous said...

I am the father of a son who was
diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia at age fifteen. We, my wife and I were his caregivers in our home for nearly nineteen years. He was unconditionally loved. He died October 30, 2009. Complications of his medication. After he died I searched for answers. Too late.
Read: Healing Schizophrenia by
Dr. Abram Hoffer. Read the Adrenochrome Hypotheses. Study his research. Then read: Mad In America
Bad Science, Bad Medicine, And The
Enduring Mistreatment Of The Mentally Ill. by Robert Whitaker. As you are reading you will slowly realize what I have come to know. Very important reading on this subject.Adam was our only son and only child.

Stan said...

Another child abuse supporter thought they would try to use this blog comment section as a mouthpiece to pimp their nonsense and support for these whack job parents that are using a child for their own selfish gain...That's not going to happen....go away...you came to the wrong blog...

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