Beyond the Gravelles

Recently, I served on the Gravelle jury. It was a daunting and difficult task. What was most evident in this case was that these chi
Sandusky Register Staff
May 9, 2010


Recently, I served on the Gravelle jury. It was a daunting and difficult task. What was most evident in this case was that these children have been failed - both by their adoptive parents and by the agencies in charge of their supervision. While we, the jury, have held the adoptive parents responsible for their part in this failure, no one has addressed the failure of the personnel in whom the citizens trust with the oversight of society's most vulnerable.

In the state of Ohio, it is the responsibility of all to report suspected cases of child abuse and neglect to the public children's services agency. In this case, jurisdiction falls under

the scope of the Huron County Department of Jobs and Family Services, and in particular, Huron County Children's Services.

There was ample evidence presented at trial that private citizens and a respite care worker did due diligence in reporting suspected misconduct in the Gravelle home. Caseworkers testified and notes from a meeting were presented into evidence that undeniably prove the director of Huron County Children's Services, David Broehl, and other members of the county agency were made aware of deplorable conditions in the Gravelle home in October 2003. The presence of "cages with sirens" was reported and documented two years before the children were removed from the home. For two years the agency chose to do nothing. For two years the children continued to live under deplorable conditions because no action was taken. Two years! Why? Where is the accountability of the county agency and its employees? Where is the ethical responsibility of these agents?

I urge the Board of the Huron County Commissioners to hold their employees responsible for their actions, and lack of action, in failing these children. Restore public trust in the agencies under your employ. Show these children you will not fail them again.

Nancy Whitacre





did elaine thompson report the cages or any abuse. she made over $100,000 off the kids. you were there. i didnt see all the evidence. how do you feel she fits in



It is pleasing that others reconize the need for changes....
These children were failed by there parents....then by the agency that wasto protect them.....they should be held accountable......and penalized for there actions as well.....
I am very disappointed at the actions of the social workers......seems there only care was that the child or children were placed in adoptive homes....
Rarely do you find a social worker or a govenment agency whom really cares and has compassion for these children....
Furthermore....I also feel that the parents of these children need to be held accountable. The parents should have to pay support for these children or they should also be locked in cages with the social worker......maybe then they would truly understand the mental anguish these children endured.....
I pray for the children.....and I also pray for the parents and care givers....because someday they will have to face or heavenly father and answer to why they did not care.


I do not know if Elaine Thompson or her partner Mershona Parshall (aka Priscilla Parshall) reported the cages to the county. I have a feeling they will get off on technicalites. I guess if they reported the cages they are innocent because they were compliant. But these therapists travel from state to state looking for new kids to make money from. Adopted kids are such easy marks.