It’s official. I’m a card carrying radical activist now. I drove to West Virginia today, to rattle a cage and poke a tiger with a stick. I distributed more than one hundred flyers that asked: “What is going on in the family court of Judge Lori B. Jackson, and why is she putting children in the hands of a known abuser?”
My husband drove because A) he had the day off, and B) he was a little concerned about the potential for trouble. The poor guy wasn’t out of the car for more than a few minutes of a twelve hour day! (Yes, he’s my hero…)
It was a four-hour trip each way, but the weather was beautiful and the leaves are beginning to turn in the mountains, so it was like a scenic Sunday drive, only a day late. We looped through Bridgeport, Clarksburg and Shinnston, and we brought the camera and the digital voice recorder in case of confrontations. Fortunately there were no negative encounters, possibly in part because I moved too fast to bother with the camera. (And really I was OK with that; I didn’t want to stand out so I wore dull, unflattering clothes, no make-up, and I plastered “The Hair” down flat.)
Not many stores had community bulletin boards, but a few gas station clerks let me tape flyers to walls or leave them on the front counters. I handed most of the flyers directly to people in parking lots, saying, “I’m publicizing a local child abuse case, may I give you this? There’s a website at the bottom.” (My husband followed closely in the car, just in case a quick exit became necessary.) The responses were overwhelmingly positive, and only two people turned me down; I didn’t argue. One gentleman, not knowing the specifics of this particular case, said he nearly lost a granddaughter to abuse. “They keep putting those kids with the wrong parents!” No kidding.
I posted several flyers in the public library, and then went over to the TV station (WBOY 12news) and the newspaper (Exponent Telegram.) I told them they might want a heads-up because they’d likely be hearing from the public. I spoke only to a receptionist at the TV station, but at the paper a reporter brought me to his boss; her eyes lit up and she said, “We’ll definitely look into this!” Time will tell if she meant, “Oh boy, this is going to be juicy!” or, “Uh oh, I’d better call Lori!”
I kept thinking I could reach more people by walking down the main streets wearing a sandwich board (not entirely out of the question in the future, but don’t tell my husband just yet, M’kay?) However, it’s fair to say that my mission was a success; a whole lot more people know about the Kirk case today, than knew yesterday. I can’t control the outcome, but maybe I helped protect a couple of children today. And I hope I ended a corrupt judge’s career.