In the Rilya Wilson tragedy, sorry isnt good enough

caines | 12/20/2012, 4:30 a.m.

There are times when its fitting to say, Im sorry. Here are a few examples when proper decorum would suggest an apology: youve entered a crowded elevator and bump into an elderly woman; you dial your best friend on your cell phone but get the wrong number; you forget to pick up hamburger buns at the grocery for the family cookout and have to make a quick return trip; your wife has on a brand new dress and you fail to acknowledge how lovely she looks this one may take more than just Im sorry but were sure you get the point. However, sometimes even the most heartfelt apology acknowledging ones error just aint good enough. So, when the former child welfare caseworker for young Rilya Wilson, Deborah Muskelly, testified recently in court and said, Im not proud of what I did; I am very sorry, we just werent convinced. Nor could we care whether shes sorry or not. It has been confirmed that little Rilya suffered physical and emotional abuse prior to her disappearance and probable murder. She probably suffered more than we will ever know. And she was let down by adults whose job it was to protect her to keep her safe to make sure she had the chance to grow into a lovely young woman. And more than just Muskelly knew what was going on or at least they should have. Ever since the case gained national attention, we saw politicians, educators, state employees and even private citizens show how effectively they can play the blame game. The sad thing is some are still attempting to point fingers at others so as to remove the spotlight from themselves. As the question goes, where does the buck stop? Muskelly was just a low-level caseworker. What about Kathleen Kearney who was tagged by then-Governor Jeb Bush to overhaul the dysfunctional Department of Children and Families and make it better in her stead as DCF secretary? What about the then-Blue Ribbon Panel that pointed the finger at those at the bottom of the totem pole but found nothing wrong with those who were making the big bucks at DCF and therefore should have been making the equally tough decisions. What about those in our community who knew something was awry in the house where Rilya spent her final days but remained silent? Sorry will not bring Rilya Wilson or other children who have suffered similar fates back. Sorry will never be enough to ease the pain that Rilya endured during her all-too-short life on Earth. In the last moments of her life, she had to have wondered why, despite her many cries, no one bothered to answer.