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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Sophomore LHP Shane Sdao (38) reacts after a strikeout during Texas A&Ms game against Texas at Disch-Falk Field on Tuesday, March 5, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
A Sunday salvage
May 12, 2024
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The Northgate district right adjacent to the Texas A&M campus houses a street of bars and other restaurants.  
Programs look to combat drunk driving
Alexia Serrata, JOUR 203 contributor • May 10, 2024
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Junior Mary Stoiana reacts during Texas A&M’s match against Oklahoma at the NCAA Women’s Tennis Regional at Mitchell Tennis Center on Sunday, May 5, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
No. 13 A&M upsets No. 5 Virginia in dominant fashion, 4-1
Roman Arteaga, Sports Writer • May 17, 2024

No. 13 Texas A&M women’s tennis met Virginia in the quarterfinal of the NCAA Tournament on Friday, May 17 at the Greenwood Tennis Center...

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Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
Bee-hind the scenes
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Scenes from 74
Scenes from '74
April 25, 2024
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The Battalion May 4, 2024

People should pay attention to the sad facts of the Andrea Yates case and her depression

Andrea Yates is not a common topic of conversation. The names Noah, John, Paul, Luke and Mary Yates may not sound familiar either, until one realizes that they are the names of five children drowned in a bathtub by their mother, Andrea. In the days following the murders, pictures of the Yates family were on nearly every newspaper and magazine across the country.
Then, time passed and other news became top story. Many forgot about the case and the woman who has been sitting in jail since June. But the trial is beginning and it is important for people to start paying attention to her and the factors involved in this extraordinary and sad crime.
The case became news again when Yates was deemed mentally fit to stand trial. Some may believe that Yates is insane and should be admitted to a facility that can help her and not serve traditional jail time. Others may believe that she committed cold-blooded murder and should receive the death penalty, not even life in prison.
This incident is going to force society to look deeper into diseases that plague many women each year, such as postpartum depression, and also take a serious look at the growing number of children dying with only their mothers to blame.
No one should deny that Andrea Yates is sick. She drowned all five of her children, one by one in a bathtub, then laid their corpses under sheets in the master bedroom. There is undoubtedly something wrong with her. The problem is that there is not just one disease that has symptoms of “drowning one’s children.” And because there is not one simple disease, there is not a simple treatment or even specific warning signs.
It is believed that Andrea Yates suffered from postpartum depression, but there is so little known about this disease that it is hard to understand how it could have affected her so drastically.
This trial will look deeper into what this disease is about and people must start paying attention so that there can be a better understanding of it.
Maybe the disease can be better treated with drugs in the future or maybe people who are diagnosed with having postpartum depression will be discouraged from having more children. This case could help further research other diseases that are associated with postpardum depression.
This case is about more than finding what was wrong with Andrea Yates. It is about finding what is wrong with any mother who injures or kills her own child. It is also about finding a way to punish people who think killing a child will go unnoticed.
Not all people who suffer from postpardum depression kill their children, and, more importantly, not all the people that are killing children are suffering from any disease at all. In the last few years, it seems a growing number of stories have surfaced of mothers playing a purposive role in the death of their child. Unexplained deaths blamed on shaken-baby syndrome or infants being left in automobiles and dying because of high temperatures are common. Sadly, there are mothers who see murder as a way out of tough times with their children.
For the judge and jury involved in the trial of Andrea Yates, their focus should be solely on her and the deaths of her five children. But for everyone else, it is time to focus on this issue as a current problem in this country.
This trial will uncover new understandings for diseases and new laws that hopefully will make the problems underlying this case not as frequent in the news. People must pay attention as the details of this trial unfold and realize that there are great lessons to be learned from it.

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