mike tang and son

Dad Sentenced to 56 Days Hard Labor for Making Son, 8, Walk Home at Night: “I’d Do It Again”

You’ll recall the case of Mike Tang, the California chemist who made his son Isaac, age 8, walk home a mile at night to teach him a lesson: Keep cutting corners on your homework and you could end up not HAVING a home.

Of course someone saw the child outside alone and called 911. The police came, and Mike was jailed for the night. Eventually he stood trial, and the arresting officer testified that not only did he find Mike’s choice of discipline criminally dangerous, he (the cop) wouldn’t even let his own daughter, age 20, walk home at night.

The jury agreed with the officer. Tang was found guilty of child endangerment and sentenced to 56 days “hard labor” — that is, picking up trash and other menial work–  which he has, to date, refused to do. As reports Reason.com (a site I write for, too):

[T]here’s an outstanding arrest warrant for his failure to comply. He scrawled a response on top of the warrant and mailed it back.

“Fuck you all!” Mike’s written response begins. “Walking on a public sidewalk at 7:45 p.m. is not child endangerment.”

Is Mike right, or did he jeopardize Isaac’s safety? And was it appropriate for the police to intervene?

“It rises to the level of unusual. It rises to the level of, perhaps, controversial. But it was not literally dangerous. That’s not a crime,” says journalist and Reason contributor Lenore Skenazy, founder of the Free Range Kids movement.

Watch the full video above and decide for yourself.

Approximately 5 minutes. Produced by Zach Weissmueller. Camera by Weissmueller and Alex Manning. Music by Blue Dot Sessions.

Share the video if you feel like starting a conversation on when it is appropriate for the authorities to intervene in family life. – L.

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Mike Tang’s response to the system that found him guilty of child endangerment for making his son, 8, walk home at 7:45 p.m.

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91 Responses to Dad Sentenced to 56 Days Hard Labor for Making Son, 8, Walk Home at Night: “I’d Do It Again”

  1. SKL April 12, 2017 at 11:13 am #

    Crazy. I have let my kids walk a mile without me when they were younger than 8yo.

    The cop who wouldn’t allow his 20yo to walk alone – isn’t that a crime, preventing a 20yo from going where she wants, when she wants?

    The cop and the court are both nuts.

  2. Coasterfreak April 12, 2017 at 11:24 am #

    His response = perfect.

  3. Workshop April 12, 2017 at 11:28 am #

    I wish Mike luck in his quest, however Quixotic it may be.

  4. DL April 12, 2017 at 12:08 pm #

    I LOVE his response. Exactly what I would have said. And how can any parent not allow an adult 20-year old to walk home???? The cop is an ass and so is the jury.

  5. Dienne April 12, 2017 at 12:14 pm #

    I think Mr. Tang needs to re-visit his approach to his son. Frankly, I think he’s a hypocrite. His son took shortcuts on homework, something that is usually menial, tedious and pointless except to instill authoritarian obedience into children. Apparently Mr. Tang wants his son to unquestioningly comply with this kind of mindless authoritarianism. But him himself feels free to cuss out such authoritarianism when it’s imposed on him. Hmm.

    And, incidentally, how the hell is making your kid walk home alone related to him not doing his homework (the connection give strains credulity)? If you must punish (and rarely if at all must you if you understand behavior as communication), at least find a punishment that fits the crime.

  6. ejc April 12, 2017 at 12:27 pm #

    Wow. I have to say I wholeheartedly disagree with his approach to the warrant. He’s going to find himself arrested again and in worse trouble than he was to begin with. How is that helpful to his family? That said, though, I think it was ridiculous that he was found guilty of the charges, or even that there were charges to begin with. Jailing him overnight at the time of the incident seems like overkill as well. This is the sort of thing that should’ve gone by with perhaps a warning from the police. A very sad situation overall.

  7. James Pollock April 12, 2017 at 12:30 pm #

    “And, incidentally, how the hell is making your kid walk home alone related to him not doing his homework”

    Why would there be one? Might as well ask what the relation is between abusing your child and picking up trash on the highway.

    “Frankly, I think he’s a hypocrite.”
    Yes. Or, to put in parenting terms, he doesn’t model the behavior he expects from his son.

    And, again, safety wasn’t at issue here. The statute Mr. Tang was convicted under has two branches. If the child was in danger, the result is felony charges, and if the child was NOT in danger, the result is misdemeanor charges. Mr. Tang was charged with, and convicted of, a misdemeanor. Nobody… not the prosecutor, who selected the crime to be charged, the judge, who allowed the trial to proceed, nor the jury, who voted to convict… claims that the child was in danger.

    May we assume his appeal didn’t go to his liking? Or is it still pending?

  8. Dienne April 12, 2017 at 12:37 pm #

    “Why would there be one? Might as well ask what the relation is between abusing your child and picking up trash on the highway.”

    I would very much ask that question. Our criminal “justice” (sic) system is monstrous. It’s all about power and control. Punishment to keep the masses in their place. If it were at all about justice, Mr. Tang would simply be mandated to complete parenting classes, which said classes would focus on other ways to work with his son rather than trying to inflict the horror of homelessness on him to terrify him into obedience.

  9. Dean April 12, 2017 at 12:38 pm #

    I grew up in the same general area, walking, bicycling, playing on vacant lots, to and from schools, and anytime between dawn and late evening. Don’t recall any child ever hurt or abducted. Wondering about my friends’ kids, they sometimes bicycle, or even walk(!) a half-mile that includes crossing a federal highway, to see what’ in MY refrigerator after the family’ evening meal.

  10. Kenny Felder April 12, 2017 at 12:38 pm #

    I know I’ve said this many times, but some Good Guy Lawyers need to start a Free Range Defense group. At the same time, I have to believe that his lawyer would start by telling him that “fuck you” isn’t helping his case.

  11. John B. April 12, 2017 at 12:38 pm #

    I’m guessing that anytime a “child endangerment” case goes in front of a jury, probably 99% of the time the defendant will be found guilty no matter how frivolous the case is. Because this is American mentality. All children are tender and in dire need of adult protection, no questions asked! So the jury’s verdict could have been based on the charge and not the evidence.

    As a conservative person, I am normally for law and order and rebellious reactions usually don’t impress me BUT I think I can make an exception for Mr. Tang’s response!

    I’m just curious about the Tang’s ethnicity. They’re obviously Asian so I’m wondering if they’re Filipino. The reason I’m curious is that the Filipinos tend to be very free-range with their kids and I’ve said this many times on this site. They don’t believe danger is lurking around every corner just because their kids are out and about. They are where America used to be in the 1920s. If Mike is a first or even second generation American, perhaps he was raised very free range so there may be a cultural conflict involved here. Either way, I hope he wins this case and if he does win I hope it sets a precedent for future cases!

    Unfortunately I’m not holding my breath that he will win. 🙁

  12. Jason April 12, 2017 at 1:19 pm #

    I thought this can of worms had been closed up tightly…

  13. Resident Iconoclast April 12, 2017 at 1:41 pm #

    I suppose it’s possible to criticize whatever behavior Mike is “modeling.” However, I’d appreciate it if Lenore could link to or provide more information regarding how we might assist Mike with his inevitable legal bills that will be coming. Whatever his “parenting” model might be, I find his political and legal response quite inspiring. I appreciate his willingness to risk harsh punishment for disobeying the court’s order. What he’s objecting to is being punished for his parenting, when there really isn’t any evidence that his son was in any actual danger.

    I’d rather have him stand up to the court the way he did, than to suffer some cop’s testimony that he “wouldn’t let his 20 year-old daughter walk home.” What kind of evidence is that? Well, it’s an opinion and it’s inadmissible.

    C’mon people. Civil disobedience isn’t always neat and tidy. I have $100 to give to Mike’s legal bills. More power to him.

  14. lollipoplover April 12, 2017 at 2:20 pm #

    I don’t think colorful language helps this case, but I also think sticking up for our children’s right to be pedestrians at reasonable hours no matter the reason is a good fight.

    My middle daughter, source of all of my grey hairs, texted me last night (I didn’t see it) close to 9 pm, telling me she had to make a recipe for Colonial days in her social studies class the next day. I didn’t get the message until I walked in the door (from an extra innings baseball game) and refused to go back out for her lack of planning. She said she’d get marked off for it and I told her she should for being irresponsible. I told her we had some ingredients but we were out of eggs as they younger kids had dyed Easter eggs and they were all hard-boiled. We have a farmstand that sells eggs and is self serve several blocks from our house, but she wouldn’t bike there in the dark…for eggs. She figured out to call her best friend across the street who brought her over 2 eggs to make her assigned recipe, and she finished making it @11pm that night. I am sure she was tired this morning, but GOOD. Maybe she will prepare next time.

  15. Douglas John Bowen April 12, 2017 at 2:33 pm #

    I’ll concur with those objecting to Mr. Tang’s verbal objection. But speaking only for myself, I indeed do see the link between being unable/unwilling to do one’s homework, and therefore being “sentenced” to walk home. Parenting is a craft, not a science, and while an adult brain might strain for the linkage, I can see where a teen might get it.

    I know this, in part, because it was applied to me when I was young (though bad schoolwork wasn’t the trigger). And — sorry, doubters — in my case, my mom’s judgment was sound. It worked. I remember it to this day.

    Haven’t been able to pull off something similar with my own child, in part because he knows how to walk places. Even homeward bound.

  16. SKL April 12, 2017 at 2:44 pm #

    Dienne, I disagree with your hypocrisy comment. Parents are supposed to have a lot more authority over 8-year-old children than the US government and its representatives have over free citizens. When they are 18 they can do whatever they please.

    We all parent differently, but the question here is not discipline logic, it’s safety. If the kid was safe, who cares whether the dad made him walk or read the dictionary or spit nickels for blowing off school. Maybe he has good reasons to hold school work to a very high priority in his home. That’s his prerogative. Kids have been punished for school issues throughout history in ways far more unreasonable by today’s standards.

  17. Stan Borden April 12, 2017 at 3:02 pm #

    Good for him. I’ll donate as well. I’ll also repeat his sentiments to the judge, jury, police officer, and prosecutor… to their faces if they like. I can do a month or two for contempt, even though I’ve never been arrested or in legal trouble. Heck, I’m retired. Make it three months.

    I know times have changed, but I used to walk almost a mile to my elementary school and farther than that to junior high and high school. That’s not a harsh distance. I hope he sticks to his guns and they end up choking on their nonsense. Let the man parent. He’s being responsible.

  18. PDB April 12, 2017 at 3:15 pm #

    7:45pm is night now?

  19. Dienne April 12, 2017 at 3:30 pm #

    Sorry, SKL, but the way we raise our children is directly related to the way the government “raises” (treats) us. When parents start respectfully raising their children as autonomous human beings with rights and dignity, those children will grow into adults who act with, and expect to be treated with, autonomy and dignity. So long as we use power and control to force our children to obey our dictates, the government will use power and control to force us to obey its dictates.

  20. SKL April 12, 2017 at 3:36 pm #

    Dienne, do you have kids, and what are their ages?

  21. James Pollock April 12, 2017 at 3:40 pm #

    “We all parent differently, but the question here is not discipline logic, it’s safety.”

    The question is not safety. It never has been about safety. Mr. Tang was charged under a statute that has two prongs… one that applies if the child is in danger, and one that applies if the child was NOT in danger. Guess which one he was charged under?

    Mr. Tang was charged with being cruel to his child, and didn’t bother defending himself against that charge… he wanted to focus on defending himself against a curfew law that he was not charged with violating. His legal strategy was similar to defending yourself against a charge of vandalism by saying “it can’t be arson, because I used a key to scratch up the paintjob of that car, not a blowtorch.”

    He definitely did it. Maybe what he did shouldn’t be considered a crime, maybe it should be. The jury that heard the evidence thought it should, and I haven’t seen anything that would overrule their decision. Now… there’s a couple of possible interpretations of Mr. Tang’s intransigence. One is that he wants to be voice against the state’s intrusion into the private affairs of its citizens. If that’s the case, the next step is to report for trash duty. If, that is, you believe the most famous person to lead a successful effort to roll back unjust, oppressive laws (see “Letter from Birmingham Jail”, which (spoiler alert) was written by someone serving their unjust sentence. Another interpretation, of course, is that Mr. Tang is refusing to report to serve his sentence because he just doesn’t want to do it. Yet another interpretation is that all this “big picture” stuff is unimportant to him, he just wants to focus on raising his child. I think we can cross that one off the list. If he wants to teach his kid that you have to do the things you have to do, whether you want to do them or not, you don’t show this by swearing at the people who’re telling you what you need to do, and then refusing to do it. If you want to establish that not doing what you’re supposed to do has severe consequences, you don’t show that by refusing to do what you’re supposed to do.

    On the other hand, if you want to establish that a jury was right to convict you of being abusive towards your child, being verbally abusive towards some random court clerk is TOTALLY the way to go.

  22. Dienne April 12, 2017 at 3:43 pm #

    Two bio kids – age 8 and 10, one step-kid, age 14 (who’s only lived with me for about a year, so I can’t claim much credit for her). All three are very cooperative and a joy to be around, and I’m not the only one who says so. They also, however, are not afraid to have their own opinions and stand up for themselves (with the exception to some degree of the step-kid who was raised in a much more authoritarian home). They have no need for being sneaky or rebellious because they know I’m always willing to work with them to get to “yes” rather than punishing them for going behind my back.

  23. Dienne April 12, 2017 at 3:46 pm #

    James Pollock – you and I are not often in agreement, but I have to say that that was quite well said. Thank you. That’s what I was trying to say, but you said it quite a bit better than I did.

  24. Donna April 12, 2017 at 3:47 pm #

    We have had numerous conversations on this blog with Mr. Tang. Based on those interactions, I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that Mr. Tang’s delightful personality, rather than his punishment choice, is responsible for 90% of what occurred in this situation.

  25. Jessica April 12, 2017 at 4:10 pm #

    Dienne
    Your comment about his being hypocritical is very interesting. (And for the record, I think this guy obviously got railroaded. But anyway.) You’re right– his son writing “Fuck you, Dad, this punishment is illogical!” on his homework would be a parallel response to what his dad is modeling.

  26. Jessica April 12, 2017 at 4:11 pm #

    Donna
    Hilarious; you’re right. And of course personality shouldn’t matter in court, but it does.

  27. Eric S April 12, 2017 at 4:54 pm #

    I stand by this guy. If people are going to be so quick to judge, then maybe the whole country should make a standard for all parents. A one size fits all manual that every single parent MUST adhere too. Kind of like the Constitution, but for parenting. I absolutely, positively guarantee, no parent will go with this. Even the sanctimonious, busy body, I now everything parents. People are hypocrites. Let’s put it this way, if this wasn’t an issue 20 years ago, and the decades upon decades before, it shouldn’t be an issue now. Many of the same parents who would condemn this man, grew up the same way Isaac did. They walked or biked to school on their own with friends, they went to the park by themselves, walked to the corner store, the mall. All over the neighborhood. The very things many parents don’t allow their children to do now, they did freely growing up. Hypocrites. Cops, jury, and judge, and the witnesses. All hypocrites.

  28. JP Merzetti April 12, 2017 at 4:58 pm #

    Well now.
    It um, wasn’t endangerment after all.
    It was just bucking the system (or at least this appears to be the real crux of the matter.)

    But (as usual) – the BIG thing that seems to be missing from this picture is just this:

    Word from the star of the show, actually…
    No – not Dad.
    Junior himself, large as life.
    How exactly did he, and does he…feel about his situation?
    Apparently that doesn’t seem to matter.
    As if he was just a dumb pet (speak to me with thine eyes, oh Fido!)

    Forgive me, but I guess I just get a little fed up with so much blather over tots who aren’t exactly tots but still are never heard from, as if they’re all clueless, lifeless, cabbage patch dolls.

    Yeah. When I was his age a mile walk was a walk in the park. It was a toasty roasty good time. It was absolutely nothing to get hung up about. (It was actually quite lovely, really, as I remember. Would not have wanted to do without it.)
    Point: It was NEVER punishment! (Imagine that?)

    I sympathize entirely with Mike, and I sorely wish there were about another 10 million of him seething just below the borderline. Just a small army.

    And yet….and yet…..what’s Junior’s opinion about that long walk? I really wanna know. It matters.
    That’s what disturbs me the most – that it doesn’t seem to matter at all.

    A lonely kid on a lonesome sidewalk at 7:45pm. All alone. All by himself.
    As helpless (I’m led to believe) as a newborn?

    Oh yeah, but then – sidewalks aren’t what they used to be, anymore.
    No-one’s on ’em.

    except a kid moving in an independently mobile motion…………………..

  29. Dienne April 12, 2017 at 4:59 pm #

    “Many of the same parents who would condemn this man, grew up the same way Isaac did.”

    Yes, that’s why many of us condemn him.

    “hey walked or biked to school on their own with friends, they went to the park by themselves, walked to the corner store, the mall. All over the neighborhood.”

    This isn’t about letting kids have freedom and doing free-rangy sorts of things. It’s about using the threat of homelessness as a punishment to scare a kid into obedience, when the “crime” was, in fact, a kid being a kid (choosing his own books). If this was about Mr. Tang letting his kid walk home from the park or a friend’s house at 7:45, I’d be completely on his side. But then, if that were the case, he probably wouldn’t be charged with cruelty. As has been pointed out, the safety factor was not the issue here.

  30. Ben April 12, 2017 at 5:00 pm #

    I have the distinct feeling, I’m missing information here.

    1. Title mentions “walk at night”. 7:45 pm is barely evening, let alone night. Was the sun still out at the time?
    2. Whether you agree with the court or not, writing “fuck you all!” as a response sounds to me as a very poor choice of words and it might imply he has anger management issues that need to be worked out.
    3. What about the child? Was he capable of walking the required distance? Did he know how to cross a road safely? Did he actually know how to get home from where he was?
    4. Was the neighbourhood unsafe? If so, why?
    5. The testimony about the cop’s daughter is irrelevant. She’s a girl and 12 years older than the boy in question and she has a cop for a father. Their situations are nothing alike.

  31. Dienne April 12, 2017 at 5:02 pm #

    “Yeah. When I was his age a mile walk was a walk in the park. It was a toasty roasty good time. It was absolutely nothing to get hung up about. (It was actually quite lovely, really, as I remember. Would not have wanted to do without it.)
    Point: It was NEVER punishment!”

    Sigh. Except in this case, it *was* a punishment. Explicitly so. When you were his age, did your father ever take you to show you where the homeless people sleep, threaten you with being homeless yourself if you didn’t obey, then make you walk home from there? No? Then your experience isn’t comparable.

  32. Rebel mom April 12, 2017 at 5:25 pm #

    How can we help this dad?? MYOB police officers and judges (and nasty neighbors and do gooders, too!).

  33. JulieH April 12, 2017 at 5:56 pm #

    Some of you that are offering to help support his defense financially may have missed some of the previous discussions wherein Mr. Tang opted to represent himself in the original dealings. It was clear that Mr. Tang, based on information he himself provided, was out of his legal league.

    He did not properly raise objection to things that should have been objected to. He also continued to foist the wrong argument as James mentioned in an early comment regarding vandalism and arson – which may not make much sense if you didn’t go back and read the previous threads regarding this situation. Again, the charges were clear, he chose not to address those charges but some other windmill.

    To my understanding, the ship has now pretty much sailed on these things (James or Donna – feel free to correct me if I misunderstand) as an appeal does not serve as a means to reargue a case, but rather to discuss appropriate application of law or process to information that was already provided.

  34. JulieH April 12, 2017 at 6:07 pm #

    Dienne — It is really hard to determine the cruelty of this situation without more intimate knowledge of the parent child relationship for THIS particular case.

    I can follow the father’s logic. We don’t know what else he tried.

    My younger dd is a gentle soul – all I have to do is whisper a calm comment about my displeasure in her ear.

    My older dd is stubborn as all get out – I have always had to be VERY creative with her – for example, when she was maybe 4, she would refuse to put her coat on…not because she could evaluate that “she didn’t need a coat” but because she preferred to be contrary. So I would put her in the car, leave the heat off, and roll down a window a bit (not one that would blow right on her) for the drive to school.

    Now if you look at those two approaches to parenting, you may say that the second is cruel while the first is the way parenting should look. But I would tell you that you are wrong – you have it backward. For older dd, it is just what she needed to understand the situation, and she laughs about it to this day. For younger dd, even a calm comment can be absolutely crushing at times – she needed something even more gentle.

    We are just missing too much information to be able to say if the punishment was cruel or too far removed from what it was trying to teach. It would have been a cruel thing to do to my younger dd (and she probably would have refused to go back outside again for months), but it would be just the right approach to get older dd’s attention.

  35. donald April 12, 2017 at 6:26 pm #

    Remember the game, ‘Operation’? You remove plastic body parts with tweezers. If the tweezers touch the metal sides of the hole while you’re trying to remove the body part, you don’t get the points for the operation that you’re trying to perform.

    I don’t mean to go way of topic. However, this reminds me of ‘danger’ and ‘moral judgment’. When many people assess danger, they jump to moral judgment but still thinking that their assessing danger. They ‘touch the metal sides with their tweezers’ and accidentally shift into moral judgment mode.

    Although I disagree with Mike Tang’s actions, I really don’t think there was anything dangerous about it. This is all about moral judgment and has little to do with danger.

    On another note, ‘danger’ has become a trump card. ‘Danger’ can be substituted for, ‘because I said so that’s why’! A toddler may complain about having to eat his green beans and asks, “WHY DO I HAVE TO EAT THEM”? The parent can respond with “BECAUSE I SAID SO THAT’S WHY”! However, an adult can’t say this to another adult. They instead say, “I’M RIGHT BECAUSE MY WAY IS SAFER”, or “WHAT YOU’RE DOING IS DANGEROUS”!

  36. donald April 12, 2017 at 6:36 pm #

    “Mr. Tang’s delightful personality, rather than his punishment choice, is responsible for 90% of what occurred in this situation.”

    YOU HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD!

    Children don’t always listen to their parent. However, they never fail to mimic them. The child ‘cutting corners’ on his homework is one of the ways for him to be rebellious. He ‘needs’ to do this in order to be the delightful personality like dear ole dad.

  37. Jessica April 12, 2017 at 6:40 pm #

    James:
    Thank you for clarifying. (I’m just taking your word for the whole misdemeanor vs felony thing because I’m too lazy to actually read about what went down). This case should be printed in textbooks under “why not to defend yourself in court, particularly if you have a bombastic, impulsive personality.”

  38. JP Merzetti April 12, 2017 at 6:49 pm #

    So he’s being punished for being mean to his kid.
    By a court.
    When my dad was mean to me, I punished him by leaving him in the dust, in my wake.
    And proceeded on into my life of personal freedom. (Not at the age of 8 – but at 16.)

    Forgive me – but I think how this all played out in my life, was entirely more honorable, and fair.

    Here in my little megalopolis, I’m eternally and inexorably surrounded by no end of multi-ethnic parental mixes, who do all kinds of things to their kids (by way of discipline) that I don’t happen to agree with.
    Should they all be inundated by lawyers and judges and juries and courtroom procedures?

    Do we keep all parenting styles strictly in line by threatening the ones we don’t agree with – with litigation?

    Again. This all started with a kid on the street.
    And ends up in a court of public opinion.
    And what does this end up teaching the kid?
    Just how vulnerable his father really is?
    Or just how much any one of us, or all of us together – care about him more than his own father?

    ps.
    (When I left dear old dad, I brought along with me about 47 thousand survival skills that he taught me real well.
    It only took me about 3 decades to admit that.
    Some things….you only ever see in a rear-view mirror.)

  39. SKL April 12, 2017 at 6:54 pm #

    Well I dunno, when I was a kid my mom threatened to send me to an orphanage when I acted up. My dad used to threaten to feed me to the baby monster in the basement. Once he even carried me down there (and may still have the scars to prove it).

    “Study or you’ll have a hard life, here’s a taste of it” sounds relatively reasonable to me.

    My kid just got a tongue-lashing (from an auntie) for not doing well on a math test. I guarantee she would have rather walked a mile – heck, 5 miles – than listen to that. 😛

  40. meg April 12, 2017 at 8:30 pm #

    I can’t possibly be the only one hoping Mr. Tang shows up in this thread & starts arguing with everyone again, can I?

  41. lollipoplover April 12, 2017 at 8:56 pm #

    “I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that Mr. Tang’s delightful personality, rather than his punishment choice, is responsible for 90% of what occurred in this situation.”

    I 100% agree.
    Most of the time it’s not what is being said, but how it is said.

    You can get your point across, but having some decorum and civility will demonstrate more about personal character than just about any degree or reasonable argument you are trying to make.
    There’s no need to be a douchebag.

  42. donald April 12, 2017 at 10:03 pm #

    “Mr. Tang is refusing to report to serve his sentence because he just doesn’t want to do it.”

    Like father like son. I still say that what Mr. Tang did was not child endangerment. I’m saying that it’s a small wonder that he’s having problems with his kid. His son ‘cuts corners’ on his homework simply because he doesn’t want to do it. He also wrote, ‘Fuck You’ on his paper just like dad did.
    (his son writing “Fuck you, Dad, this punishment is illogical!)

    Although I agree that Mr. Tang didn’t break the law, I think that he should serve 56 days of picking up trash. His crime wasn’t child endangerment. His ‘crime’ was his terrible performance in court.

    “His legal strategy was similar to defending yourself against a charge of vandalism by saying “it can’t be arson, because I used a key to scratch up the paintjob of that car, not a blowtorch.””

    James, I often disagree with you but not this time.

    This ‘crime’ is not really worth 56 days but it will set an example for his son. (Do what you’re told) Obviously, the son has been learning for years to resist authority. This is why dad has his hands full.

  43. James Pollock April 12, 2017 at 10:50 pm #

    “of course personality shouldn’t matter in court, but it does.”

    Actually, personality does matter in court, because it should. There’s rules about how and why it can be introduced as evidence, but it CAN be introduced as evidence.
    See FRE (Federal Rules of Evidence) 404, 405, 406.& 608.

    “Although I disagree with Mike Tang’s actions, I really don’t think there was anything dangerous about it.”

    Neither does anyone else.

    “I stand by this guy. If people are going to be so quick to judge”

    Are you not being quick to judge, having made up your mind after hearing only one side?

    “I still say that what Mr. Tang did was not child endangerment”

    Correct. Which is why he wasn’t charged with putting his child in danger.
    Here’s the statute he was charged under:
    California penal code section 273a(b)
    Any person who, under circumstances or conditions other than those likely to produce great bodily harm or death, willfully causes or permits any child to suffer, or inflicts thereon unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering, or having the care or custody of any child, willfully causes or permits the person or health of that child to be injured, or willfully causes or permits that child to be placed in a situation where his or her person or health may be endangered, is guilty of a misdemeanor.

    Mr. Tang was convicted of causing or permitting a child to suffer unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering, in conditions not likely to produce great bodily harm or death.

    “Although I agree that Mr. Tang didn’t break the law”
    You’ve seen Ms. Skenazy’s spin on the story, which, I think it is fair to say, puts a lot of spin in Mr. Tang’s favor (a MUCH better job than Mr. Tang creates writing for himself). The jury got to see all the evidence, and observe Mr. Tang directly, and they convicted him. I don’t believe that juries are always right… I am, in fact, openly skeptical… but I don’t see any evidence that suggests they got this one wrong.

    Mr. Tang had an opportunity to argue that his actions did not violate the statute he was charged under. Clearly, that argument was underwhelming to the jury.

    “This ‘crime’ is not really worth 56 days but it will set an example for his son.”
    Hard to tell. The goal of sentencing is to provide a strong enough disincentive to cause the offender to change his or her behavior. There’s been no sign yet that this threshold has been reached. Perhaps six months of weekends picking up trash will have the desired effect. I wouldn’t bet on it, but… maybe actually doing it will cause a change. More likely, I would wager, is that Mr. Tang devotes the same level of diligence to his trash pickups that his son applies to his homework.

  44. JAL April 12, 2017 at 10:50 pm #

    Mr. Pollock, just to clarify, both prongs of the statute require endangerment. A felony charge applies if that danger is likely to cause great bodily injury, and a misdemeanor for any danger not likely to cause great bodily injury.

  45. James Pollock April 12, 2017 at 11:14 pm #

    “Mr. Pollock, just to clarify, both prongs of the statute require endangerment”
    No, they do not.

  46. JAL April 12, 2017 at 11:27 pm #

    OK, I must have missed the part of the case where the prosecutor alleged the child suffered actual unjustifiable physical injury, and/or actual unjustifiable mental suffering. I thought the case was strictly about Mr. Tang telling his kid to walk home. My mistake.

  47. Puzzled April 12, 2017 at 11:59 pm #

    Sigh. While the description given here is accurate, the difference in impression between that description and actually speaking to the ‘gentleman’ in question leaves me wondering about the other stories I’ve taken at face value. Who knows how many of them also were actually stories about incredibly unpleasant people, doing crazy things, then putting a spin on them when describing the situation, while refusing to do anything at all to help themselves?

  48. Katie G April 13, 2017 at 6:36 am #

    @ Kenny Felder- p[eripherally, the Home School Legal Defense Association addresses free range issues as they are part of home school, so something like that exists to a tiny degree. However, I do agree that some sort of parenting rights, free range, lawyers’ association ought to exist too.

  49. Donna April 13, 2017 at 7:13 am #

    Folks, Mr. Tang has made it perfectly clear what happened here.

    Someone called cops because an upset (not happy, carefree) kid was walking down the street.
    Cops talked to kid and called dad.
    Dad was an ass and was eventually arrested for a crime that is essentially defined in layman’s terms as “being an ass to a kid.”
    Dad represented himself where his defense was not “my act didn’t violate the statute I was charged with violating” but was instead “my act did not violate a completely different statute that I was never charged with violating in the first place.” Not surprisingly, he was convicted.
    Rather than address the issue like a rational human being, Mr. Tang chose to be an ass from beginning to end. That is a really stupid tactic to take when one is charged essentially with being an ass.
    Mr. Tang appears dedicated to this route though and it will apparently take him into the county jail.

    I am as opposed to a parent being arrested for allowing their children to roam as the next person here, but THAT IS NOT WHAT HAPPENED HERE. While I feel sympathy for Mr. Tang’s family, I feel none for him. This is a situation totally of his own making. His choosing to act like a sane human being at any point during these proceedings could have resulted in a completely different outcome. If he had calmly and rationally explained his position to the cop, he may never have been arrested. If he had hired an attorney and not dealt directly with the solicitor, thus proving himself to be an ass, charges may have been dropped. If he had presented a legitimate defense at trial, he may have been acquitted. If he had proceeded with any decorum in the court room, he may have received a lesser sentence if convicted.

  50. Dienne April 13, 2017 at 8:00 am #

    “Dienne — It is really hard to determine the cruelty of this situation without more intimate knowledge of the parent child relationship for THIS particular case.”

    I would agree. And the jury, who had more of that information, convicted him.

  51. Dienne April 13, 2017 at 8:04 am #

    “I can follow the father’s logic. We don’t know what else he tried.”

    Tried to do what? The kid’s “crime” was reading books the father didn’t approve of. Why on earth would you fight with your kid about what books they’re reading, especially an eight year old? As long as they’re reading anything, celebrate it. I was always in the advanced reading group at school. When I was eight and I could read books on my own at home, I read “Frog and Toad”. Obsessively. My parents didn’t choose to fight me on this. The following year I read The Lord of the Rings series. Reading happens in its own good time, unless parents/teachers choose to make it into a fight. What are the chances that Tang Jr. is now going to become an avid reader?

  52. Donna April 13, 2017 at 8:22 am #

    “Mr. Tang had an opportunity to argue that his actions did not violate the statute he was charged under. Clearly, that argument was underwhelming to the jury.”

    Maybe if Mr. Tang had actually argued that his actions did not violate the statute he was charged under, he would have won. However, every indication from Mr. Tang is that he argued that his actions didn’t violate a completely unrelated statute and, therefore, cannot be convicted of violating the statute he was charged under.

  53. Puzzled April 13, 2017 at 8:26 am #

    >I would agree. And the jury, who had more of that information, convicted him.

    Exactly. It seems that lately, the nation’s past-time has become, not baseball, but expecting our opinions on everything to be heard and taken seriously, regardless of our lack of knowledge. I think a lot of online anger comes from just this – people leaving comments on news sites, frustrated that the world isn’t changing simply because they think it should, and so leaving increasingly angry comments.

    In addition to second-guessing every jury, even though we don’t know what went on in the courtroom, we now expect to second-guess every corporation, judge people for their selfies, and weigh in on FBI investigations, relying not on facts, but on ours guts.

  54. Donna April 13, 2017 at 8:34 am #

    “‘Study or you’ll have a hard life, here’s a taste of it’ sounds relatively reasonable to me.”

    Hmmmm. So not being particularly interested in reading equals homeless. Not getting a doctorate in math or not making a good living working in a trade such as plumbing or auto mechanics. But strictly homeless.

    The homework issue was not studying. It was that the child read a book that Mr. Tang felt was too “babyish.” Unless he was trying to slide by with writing a book report on “Pat the Bunny” when he is in 3rd grade, I fail to see the problem here. Let kids read what interests them. At that age, my child often read books below her reading level because her reading level exceeded her maturity – she read at a middle school level, but was not particularly interested in the topics of books geared towards middle schoolers. She wanted to read about 8 year olds doing 8 year old things, not teenagers doing teenager things. I could occasionally steer her to level-appropriate books, but she also wanted to read what her friends were reading.

  55. Papilio April 13, 2017 at 10:07 am #

    @Dienne & Donna: It sounds to me that the kid had to read a book as part of his homework – so I wouldn’t be surprised if it had to be of a certain level. In that case, reading your little sister’s – easier – book is not doing your homework.
    Now, the use of homework for 8-year-olds has never been proven, I do think it makes Mike’s reaction more understandable than if the son had been reading that easy book for fun.

  56. Papilio April 13, 2017 at 10:07 am #

    Forgot the word BUT

  57. Dienne April 13, 2017 at 10:16 am #

    For anyone who hasn’t already done so, do be sure to click over to the previous thread on this topic and read Mr. Tang’s own responses as they become increasingly hostile and unhinged over the course of the thread. Mr. Tang demonstrates perfectly what he got arrested for and convicted of and why.

  58. Dienne April 13, 2017 at 10:22 am #

    Papilio – I’m aware that the issue was homework. Doesn’t change the point. Neither parents nor teachers should fight with a kid over reading a “grade level” book like that. The goal is to get kids interested in reading – punishing them for doing so is going to have the exact opposite effect. Mr. Tang should have sat down with the teacher and said, this is what he’s choosing to read, I support him reading what he chooses. Both Mr. Tang and the teacher could have talked with Tang Jr. about why he’s choosing easy books and try to entice him into reading something more challenging. But, again, punishment is not the answer, unless your goal is to turn him off from reading forever.

    None of which, incidentally, has anything to do with what Mr. Tang was arrested for and convicted of. I don’t care what an eight-year-old child does, there’s no excuse for threatening him with homelessness and then abandoning him a mile away to prove it.

  59. SKL April 13, 2017 at 11:39 am #

    Well the issue for me is that dropping your kid off a mile away from home is not “abandoning” and I wouldn’t really even consider it punishment. I mean big deal, the kid had to walk a mile. My kids were walking that far regularly when they were under 2yo.

    So the dad decided to do some kind of object lesson, big deal. Maybe he even realized afterwards that he was being an ass. I’ve had that experience too. It’s not a crime.

    I got the impression the boy cheated on his homework. I would punish for that.

    I don’t know the legal details, maybe he did act stupid and make things a lot worse. But he should never have been in this position in the first place over a school-aged kid walking on a sidewalk. And a cop who says he wouldn’t let his 20yo daughter do that walk was probably also acting like an ass. Some people don’t respond well to cops being obnoxious for no good reason.

    When cops should never have been involved in the first place, that is the issue to me. How you then interact with the cops is a different issue.

    And I can understand not wanting to do the “hard labor,” as that teaches the kid that the government has the right to decide when the kid gets to walk down the sidewalk and everything else. Very bad message. I would have a hard time going along with that. I know I wouldn’t write “F U” on the letter, but I would look into appealing it.

  60. Puzzled April 13, 2017 at 11:52 am #

    Mr. Tang should have sat down with the teacher and said, this is what he’s choosing to read, I support him reading what he chooses.

    I can’t imagine that conversation going down that peacefully.

    Mr. Tang has accomplished one seemingly impossible task, though – getting Donna, JP, and myself all to agree on something.

  61. Dienne April 13, 2017 at 1:07 pm #

    “When cops should never have been involved in the first place….”

    The cops got involved because they were called. Should they not have responded? Or, perhaps, the “busybody” that saw a young child upset and alone shouldn’t have done anything?

  62. Dienne April 13, 2017 at 1:09 pm #

    “I can’t imagine that conversation going down that peacefully.”

    Well, that’s okay. No one said raising a child would be easy. But if your teacher wants your kid to read and your kid is, in fact, reading, but the teacher just doesn’t like the book he chose, don’t you think you as a parent should have your kid’s back?

  63. test April 13, 2017 at 1:32 pm #

    @Dienne “But if your teacher wants your kid to read and your kid is, in fact, reading, but the teacher just doesn’t like the book he chose, don’t you think you as a parent should have your kid’s back?”

    I don’t think so. It is ok for the teacher to give kids limited selection of books to choose from or to choose one book the kid should be reading. I would intervene only if the teacher attempted to control out of school reading, assigned too much reading or assigned books that I consider inappropriate for some reason. However, there is absolutely nothing wrong with teacher saying that book must have certain length, difficulty, being written in specific style, specific century or any other criteria.

    Not every reading assignment has a goal to make kids like reading nor it has to have it as a goal. Plenty of times the goal is to challenge them with something more difficult, expose them to new style of writing or teaching them something entirely different.

    We however don’t know whether “baby book” characterization was teachers complaint or Mr. Tang restriction. I would not be surprised if it was his own restriction (given how opinionated he tends to be in general).

  64. Dienne April 13, 2017 at 2:12 pm #

    “I would intervene only if the teacher attempted to control out of school reading,”

    That’s exactly what this was. Homework = “out of school”.

  65. test April 13, 2017 at 2:15 pm #

    @Dienne By out of school reading I meant “reading that is not assigned by school”.

  66. Papilio April 13, 2017 at 2:56 pm #

    @Dienne: From what I gather, the kid had been doing poorly in school for a while – this book incident was just the drop that made the bucket overflow – and he decided to try this unusual way to show the kid what happens when you’re a slacker in school.
    You’re focusing only on the drop, while Mike was addressing the whole bucket.

  67. SKL April 13, 2017 at 3:58 pm #

    Dienne, to answer your question, the busybody might have been justified in asking the kid what kind of distress he was in, but upon finding he was crying because of non-violent discipline and on his way home, busybody should NOT have called the cops. Do I need to start worrying about the cops being called every time my hormonal drama girls get upset?

  68. Dienne April 13, 2017 at 5:21 pm #

    “Do I need to start worrying about the cops being called every time my hormonal drama girls get upset?”

    If you abandon your girls near a homeless encampment and threaten them that that can be you, perhaps you should be, yes. Especially if your girls are eight years old.

    Once again, though, I’ll repeat – the people who had access to all the information in this case made the unanimous decision that Mr. Tang’s actions constituted cruelty. We can second-guess them all we want, but we don’t know what they knew the they’re not here to present their side of the story. We’ve only heard Mr. Tang’s self-righteous version.

  69. Donna April 13, 2017 at 6:12 pm #

    “the busybody might have been justified in asking the kid what kind of distress he was in, but upon finding he was crying because of non-violent discipline and on his way home, busybody should NOT have called the cops.”

    People constantly say here that interference should not had unless the child appears to be upset. Now we have a child who was upset and the standard has apparently changed.

    And why are you so sure that someone called the cops? Were those facts given in the original report (I don’t remember)? It could just as easily been that a patrolling cop SAW an upset boy walking down the street and stopped to check on him.

  70. James Pollock April 13, 2017 at 6:22 pm #

    Donna, here’s the original story. To save you some time, yes, someone called the cops young Isaac Tang.

    http://www.freerangekids.com/dad-gets-56-days-hard-labor-for-making-son-8-walk-home-at-night/

  71. Donna April 13, 2017 at 6:42 pm #

    “Do I need to start worrying about the cops being called every time my hormonal drama girls get upset?”

    If them getting upset automatically means that they then leave the house and wander down the street alone obviously upset, possibly.

    Personally, I am not remotely bothered by the idea of police being called when someone sees an obviously upset young child walking down the street alone. I am not sure why anyone would be bothered by this. The first thing that would jump to my mind is not that the child is the subject of some weird punishment and the parent is going to end up being arrested. It would be that the child is lost or hurt or was involved in an accident or something similar.

  72. SKL April 13, 2017 at 6:53 pm #

    Donna, even if I thought a kid seemed to be lost or hurt or scared and in need of help, I still would not call the cops without checking with the child and giving it some thought. The first thought being, if this were my kid, would I want the cops involved?

    Perhaps I am biased since I had someone call the cops on me for a completely safe parenting choice.

    And no, I don’t think the standard is that you call the cops whenever you see a kid upset. An upset child alone on the street, especially one who doesn’t seem to be heading anywhere in particular, deserves concern in the form of checking with the child. Child checks out safe and not lost, you don’t call the cops. Even if the kid is lost, if you can help him find his way home, you don’t call the cops. It should be clear by now that calling the cops all too often means criminalizing decent parents.

  73. Donna April 13, 2017 at 7:06 pm #

    “even if I thought a kid seemed to be lost or hurt or scared and in need of help, I still would not call the cops without checking with the child and giving it some thought.”

    And if you can’t stop at that moment and offer any assistance, you’d just keep going on your way and not seek any help for the child assuming what? That someone else will help? Wasn’t there a news story a few years ago about some men who saw a very small child wandering alone and did nothing for fear of being accused of something to the child and the child ended up drowning?

    “The first thought being, if this were my kid, would I want the cops involved?”

    I think a more appropriate question would be, if my kid were walking down the road alone obviously upset would I care if the police were called? My answer is no. Depending on what caused the upset, I may be embarrassed that the police wasted their time on this issue, but I would not be bothered that they called.

  74. Harrison April 14, 2017 at 6:22 am #

    That must be a rough neighborhood if the cop wouldn’t let his 20 year old daughter walk home alone at night….or he is too overprotective.

    But I agree with most comments here that there is no connection between walking home and cutting corners on homework. It’s like killing a mosquito with a hammer…

  75. Jennifer C April 14, 2017 at 7:35 am #

    @dienne

    “But if your teacher wants your kid to read and your kid is, in fact, reading, but the teacher just doesn’t like the book he chose, don’t you think you as a parent should have your kid’s back?”

    No, not if my kid just wants an easier book so he can have an easier time with the report. I’ve seen kids who have parents who always take their side regardless. Spoiled little horrors, the majority of them.

  76. delurking April 14, 2017 at 8:44 am #

    What Mr. Tang fails to understand is that the United States has an adversarial justice system. Apparently he believes that we have an inquisitorial justice system. He can scream all he wants about the unfairness of it all, and indeed in many cases (including possibly his) an inquisitorial system would result in a fair outcome (i.e. no punishment) with less effort on the accused’s part. However, inquisitorial systems give more power to the justice system overall, and thus are more likely to, on net, to result in injustices to the people. The decision to use an adversarial system was made centuries ago, and if Mr. Tang does not recognize that fact quickly and start acting appropriately, things will get worse and worse for him.

  77. John B. April 14, 2017 at 12:22 pm #

    “Personally, I am not remotely bothered by the idea of police being called when someone sees an obviously upset young child walking down the street alone.”

    @Donna:

    Back in 1961 when I was 5-years-old, I arrived home from Kindergarten when my mom told me that my pet turtle, named Myrtle, had just died. I was so devastated that I went for a long walk, sat down on the church steps and cried. I was all alone and I wanted to be. I remember a few adults walking by me as I sat there crying. So should they have called the police? Is it that unusual to see a 5-year-old kid crying? I know I would have been even more upset if two uniformed policemen started questioning me about my emotions.

  78. SKL April 14, 2017 at 12:32 pm #

    I don’t think a kid crying is or should be a police matter. Whether they are indoors or outdoors, alone or with people.

  79. Donna April 14, 2017 at 12:43 pm #

    John- I said nothing about SHOULD call the police. I said that I have no objection to them calling the police.

  80. Jennifer C April 14, 2017 at 12:57 pm #

    Instead of calling the police, why not simply ask the child what’s wrong? I don’t see any reason to immediately involve law enforcement.

  81. Dienne April 14, 2017 at 2:45 pm #

    Okay, so you see an upset kid walking down the street. You stop to ask the kid what’s wrong. The kid says something like, “Dad showed me where the homeless sleep and then he made me get out of the car and he drove off.” Now do you call the police? I sure the hell would.

  82. test April 14, 2017 at 3:04 pm #

    @Dienne The dialog toy wrote implies that kid is abandoned. Which would be cause to call cops. If the dialog would implied the kid knows how to go home and is upset primary about being punished, I would not call cops.

    Then again, I consider 8 years old walking normal. So there is only upset part and I understand why kid would be upset in that situation. I would not see it as case for cops.

  83. SKL April 14, 2017 at 5:04 pm #

    Well if you’re saying the kid lied about what happened and made it sound like an actual crime, that’s different. But that is not in the facts as given. According to what was provided for me to read, a citizen saw the kid and called the cops, and the kid told the cops that his dad had made him *walk home* from the mall after giving him a tonguelashing which included information about homelessness. (“Dad told me to walk home” and “now I think I’m homeless” can’t both be true at the same time.)

    I don’t relish making my kids cry, but sometimes a kid crying is an indication that the parent’s message hit home. I’ve been through a few things with my kids where behavior change was very hard to accomplish, but very important. When a talk led to heart-felt tears is when I knew it hit home. (And yes, this is something that happens with adults too.) Involving police would have been no help at all. For an 8yo, one hopes the cops will deal very gently with them – but that can actually undermine the parents’ attempt to make them see the seriousness of the situation.

    Even a cop who is a great guy might overreact if called for a “child in distress.” They HAVE to come, of course, and then they probably can’t just leave the kid with a pat on the head, but need to contact parents etc. There is going to be some accountability for the cop if anything happens after the police encounter. At best, calling the cops on a non-criminal, non-dangerous situation is going to make kids confused about the role of cops in their lives. At worst, it’s going to break up families for no good reason. So no – don’t do it, unless you have good reason to believe it’s a police matter. The police have better things to do anyway.

  84. SKL April 14, 2017 at 5:08 pm #

    Dienne, if a kid told me the words you suggested the kid said, I would follow up with a question, “and where are you going now?” “Home.” “You know how to get home from here? Can you point to where it is from here?” And since this kid clearly knew how to get home and it wasn’t far, then I would give him words of encouragement and be on my way.

  85. Jennifer C April 14, 2017 at 5:09 pm #

    @Dienne

    Except that he told the police that his dad told him to walk home–meaning that he obviously wasn’t abandoning him or leaving him homeless. Why would I call the cops again? At the most I would probably just walk back home with him.

  86. Donna April 14, 2017 at 5:22 pm #

    I didn’t say calling the cops would be my choice or is a best choice. However, I am not going to fault someone for calling the police to check on an obviously distressed child. There could be many, many reasons that that was the best recourse for them in particular to help the child.

    Most police departments believe in community policing these days. It isn’t all about crimes and criminals. Our local police go to the ‘hood and play basketball with kids. There have been a couple times that they’ve been in our neighborhood and just stopped and chatted with my daughter when she was little and gave her a sticker.

  87. Jennifer C April 14, 2017 at 8:41 pm #

    @Donna- I do get what you’re saying, particularly about community policing. I just would at least try talking to the child first–and even seeing what I could do to personally help. Calling the police, for me, would be a last resort–not the first action I would take.

  88. James Pollock April 14, 2017 at 9:10 pm #

    “I don’t think a kid crying is or should be a police matter. Whether they are indoors or outdoors, alone or with people”

    OK. And some people think it is, or should be. Anyone think they’re going to change anyone’s mind? No? OK, then.

    (Here, again, we have a case where I didn’t see it. The person who did see it made a decision based on what they saw. I don’t have any information that shows they were wrong.)

    I will point out one thing, though, that hasn’t come up. Much has been made of the fact that this happened on the path the boy takes to school. But… what it looks like in the daytime, and what it looks like at night, might be different enough to leave him lost or disoriented enough to not be sure he knew the way home. Yes, that’s speculation. But it’s not certain he really did know his way home, or have confidence that he knew the way home.)

  89. Matthew Dowd April 20, 2017 at 2:27 am #

    I missed this story earlier, but it’s very interesting. As an initial point, I am the lawyer that represented the Meitivs and their “free range kids” in fighting back against Maryland Child Protective Services.

    With Mr. Tang’s case, it seems like the biggest problem created in the case was when he tried to act as his own counsel. The Meitivs had just as challenging a case, if not more so, but they had excellent counsel who spent many, many hours.

    I hope Mr. Tang has good appellate counsel here. It’s still a winnable case.

  90. James Pollock April 20, 2017 at 3:21 am #

    ” I am the lawyer that represented the Meitivs”
    ” The Meitivs had just as challenging a case, if not more so, but they had excellent counsel who spent many, many hours”

    I have no doubts on either point, but the second one sounds a bit dodgy when you say so yourself.

  91. Sande April 24, 2017 at 9:48 am #

    Mr. Tang was trying to teach his some something, which is what a parent does. Crazy that he was arrested and I agree with his response. If we do not stand up for what we believe in soon we will all be arrested for stupid things, especially it seems in the good old USA!