NEW YORK -- Children's Express, a privately funded news service, is real world journalism reported entirely by children 13 years of age or under whose tape-recorded interviews, discussions, reports and commentary are edited by teenagers and adults. By Glenn Golz, 13; Donna Gilbert, 12; Andrea Miralia, 12; Laura Herbert, 9; Asistant Editor: Felicia Kornbluh, 17.
Some grandpartents push food in you. No matter how big you are, they'll say you're too thin. Grandparents try to make you happy. They believe you. They rub your back. Maybe you get a trip to Florida every December. Maybe you just go out for ice cream and go to arcades and sleep over and talk and be close.
A kid should not be deprived of his grandparents just because his parents don't get along. But sometimes that happens.
Say the mother and father break up. The mother leaves. The father doesn't want anybody to remind the children of the mother. So he cuts off the mother competely. And her family, too. Then it's just a mess, because the mother's family never gets to see the children.
It happened to Edith Engel. She's a grandmother, she loves her grandchildren, but she can't see them. But she's not sitting back like other people.
She is trying to get The Uniform Grandparents Right to Visitation resolution passed so that grandparents in all 50 states can see their grandchildren no matter what.
'What we want is a law that each of the 50 states will adopt based on this model,' she explained.
'Many grandparents are involved in this fight for visitation rights,' she went on. 'We went down to Washington and testified. They came from California, Michigan, Iowa, New York, Washington -- and they talked.'
The House of Representatives passed the resolution unanimously. Now it has to be approved by the Senate.
We think she's doing the right thing. Imagine how awful it would feel to know that you have grandparents but you can't see them or talk to them. It's an important relationship. We could see that it hurt her when she was talking about it.
'These kids don't know half of their beginnings, their roots,' she said. 'Adolescence is a period where there's a lot of confusion about what you are. You want to know where you come from. If you don't know where you come from, how do you know where you're going?'
after you've been forbidden to see your grandparents or forbidden to see your grandchildren, all your emotions have just been cut in half like a piece of paper. You can't sew it back up again. You can't get all the way back to the way things were and so maybe you're afraid to start again.
We think she is a very brave woman who is willing to stand up for what she believes. She has a counseling group to help other grandparents. She tells them not to quit.
'We are trying to get the message across to kids that we haven't turned away from them, we haven't abandoned them,' she said.
We think grandparents should be allowed to see their grandchildren even if their child was divorced and their ex-son-in-law or daughter-in-law had custody over the grandchildren. They should still be able to see them. That's a right they should have.
Ms. Engel is trying to prevent other people having to go through the suffering she and her grandchildren are going through.
'Let's think of the children,' she said. 'If you really care for your children, you're going to realize that to cut them off from one family will do some permanent damage.'
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