From Amarillo to Houston, children from the polygamist ranch in west Texas are settling into new surroundings, and caretakers are getting cultural pointers on how to deal with them — such as no television, no movies, no radio and nothing red.
"The color 'RED' is not acceptable for clothing," said a memo that the Texas Department of Child Protective Services sent to caretakers for the 462 children seized this month from the Yearning for Zion ranch after a tip on possible abuse.
Members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a renegade Mormon splinter group, believe red is reserved for Jesus Christ, according to officials in Utah. So workers at the children's shelter in San Antonio spent part of last week taking anything red off the walls and floors.
Another memo from state officials to caretakers describes the children's dietary and clothing needs.
Some officials said they were sensitive to potential culture shock among the children, who led a sheltered life on the ranch near Eldorado.
"Help them with self-esteem, guilty feelings, shame, confusion about mainstream culture, and learning basic decision-making skills," said another memo to caretakers.
The last busloads of children from the group left the San Angelo Coliseum on Friday, headed for shelters and group homes around the state. One bus had to stop several times on the way to Brazoria County, south of Houston, because some of the children got motion sickness.
"Some of them probably haven't even ridden in a vehicle before," state trooper Dial King told the Houston Chronicle.