Why you won't find my opinion in the newspaper
In my fifteen years as a journalist (five of those writing as an opinion columnist about being a stay at home mom), I have never come across something as horrible or tragic as the story about Lisa Batstone.
She is currently facing a second-degree murder charge of her 8-year-old daughter, Teagan.
She was a stay at home mom, who in recent years, returned to work in the educational field - and lived in my community. It has been written repeatedly that she was "good with children" and "she was a good mom".
I am struggling very hard to understand how this can be written about a woman who is currently facing a second-degree murder charge of her own daughter.
I wrote a letter to the editor of the Peace Arch News, which printed the headline "She was a good mom" and ran it on the front of their newspaper.
The editor wrote me back advising that they would not publish my letter.
And that "the community would understand the context of the article, and decide for themselves".
The full article can be read here:
I told him that I respectfully disagree.
I don't believe for one moment that my words cannot be read, nor should they be held back. The newspaper opened the door for criticism when they printed that as their headline.
So with that said - below is my letter - not to the editor - but to my readers. I leave it up to you to decide how you feel about it.
Lisa Batstone was not a good mom.
In recent articles it has been said that she had attempted suicide at least once and was believed by others that she suffered from mental illness before being charged with second-degree murder of her daughter in December.
There were also incidents that her ex-husband, Gabe Batstone said, should have been questioned regarding parental custody in their divorce.
Her swings from elation to depression were erratic, intense and out of control for three months prior to her crime, according to CBC.
This one horrific, unspeakable act was the end to a tragic life lived with a woman who was not in her right mind.
This is the exact opposite of a good mom.
If Teagan was infact, being raised by someone who experienced such highs and lows, who suffered from such depression; she was impacted negatively every single day of her young life.
If Lisa Batstone did do this, imagine how confused, how scared and sad this little girl was, at the realization that she was dying at the hands of the woman who was to protect her.
Don't sugar coat what happened here.
Lisa Batstone may look like a normal, caring, happy woman in the Facebook photos of her and her daughter that are cropping up everywhere, however, behind these photos is a woman who was extremely disturbed.
We do not know what went on behind closed doors.
For Lisa Batstone's father, Barry Hamilton to say that he loves her unconditionally and blew kisses to her during her court appearance, makes me uneasy.
How can you forgive someone and stand by them when they are charged with murdering your grandchild? Doesn't there have to be a line that a person crosses that severs ties, no matter what the relation?
As someone who wrote for years in this community about motherhood, and has a daughter the same age as Teagan, I can not let those words be what describes a woman who is charged with taking her own daughter's life.
I used to receive emails from many single moms who lived tough lives raising their children on their own. Mothers who worked long hours, sacrificed their own lives for the good of their children. These are the good moms. These are the ones who deserve to be recognized and praised.
Not Lisa Batstone. Now not - not ever.
Thoughts/Insight/Response? Email me at: Kelley2000@hotmail.com