Every loss of a young person’s life is tragic. It’s particularly tragic when that young person feels so desperate, alone or alienated that they commit suicide to escape the pain.

The suicide of Maisie aka Charles Knowles at Long Creek Youth Development Center in October struck our community deeply.

Few people feel this loss as acutely as the staff and administrators who work with society’s most vulnerable children. These people are dedicated to caring for the kids who everyone else, including parents, have given up on.

As a volunteer at Long Creek, I see the work these people do day in and day out. To many of these kids, the staff at Long Creek are the first caring adults in their lives.

The implications raised by Press Herald reporter Matt Byrne in his article Wednesday highlight a growing trend toward editorial commentary replacing journalism.

Byrne states that this is the first suicide at Long Creek “in decades.” But rather than letting that remarkable fact stand, he implies that this “raises questions about whether Long Creek is capable of fulfilling its most essential task – keeping the children in its care safe … .”

Byrne insinuates that the state Corrections Department’s refusal to answer his questions is a sign of evasion. It is not. It is a law in place to protect the privacy of these young people to afford them a better opportunity for a clean start upon release.

It’s difficult enough to prevent this kind of tragedy in the general population. Considering what the staff at Long Creek faces every day, it is miraculous this doesn’t happen more often. They deal with the most difficult cases, like that of Knowles.

Let the investigation run its course before you take out the pitchforks and torches.

Jim Bouchard

Brunswick