Mom Arrested for Letting 9 and 3 y.o. Walk to McDonald’s

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A South Carolina mom who let her 9-year-old nephew walk her 3-year-old son to the McDonald’s less than a quarter mile away has been — I’m sure you can finish this sentence in your sleep by now — arrested and charged with child neglect.
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The reason? According to WSPA News 7:
The officer says the boys had to cross a street and pass several businesses and homes to get to the eatery, putting their safety at risk.
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Oh if only the kids had passed something less inherently dangerous than a home! Or business!
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The mom, Tiesha Mesha Hillstock, 24, told the police the unthinkable: She had TRUSTED the older boy to “take care of his cousin.”
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Which, apparently, he was doing. Nonetheless, when the kids were spotted without an adult, or drone, or armored tank to keep them safe, the cops swooped in and accompanied them back to their home. The Spartanburg Police Department then issued an arrest warrant.
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Because, you know: Anytime a child is unsupervised, a parent must be arrested. It’s as simple as that. Now imagine if your own childhood had been lived under constant, state-mandated adult supervision. 
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Seems like America would like nothing better than to raise children who are completely inert unless an adult is one arms-length away to make sure nothing happens.
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And nothing will. 
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That’s why I urge you to bring up the idea of your town going Free-Range. All it takes is adopting the Free-Range Kids & Parents Bill of Rights: “Our children have the right to some unsupervised time, and we have the right to give it to them without getting arrested.”
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Bring that bill to your mayor, or city council. Write a letter to the editor of your local paper about it. Towns that go Free-Range can expect an influx of parents delirious at the idea they can legally let their kids walk and play outside. Expect delirious kids, too.
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Go Free-Range. Officially. Town-wide. – L.

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Since when are kids allowed to walk outside?

Kids walking on their own? I’m lovin’ it. 

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60 Responses to Mom Arrested for Letting 9 and 3 y.o. Walk to McDonald’s

  1. BL April 7, 2016 at 9:19 am #

    The old McDonald’s motto: Super Size Me!

    The new McDonald’s motto: Supervize Me!

  2. Peter Brülls April 7, 2016 at 9:35 am #

    As a sanctimonious German, I see the bigger problem in sending them to a McDonald’s.

  3. BL April 7, 2016 at 9:42 am #

    @Peter Brülls
    “As a sanctimonious German, I see the bigger problem in sending them to a McDonald’s.”

    Hmmm. Maybe you can work on the problem more locally:

    http://www.statista.com/statistics/256044/mcdonalds-restaurants-in-europe/

    “Germany was the European country with the largest number of McDonald’s restaurants in 2015, with 1,478 restaurants.”

  4. SKL April 7, 2016 at 9:48 am #

    My mom should have spent the majority of her life in jail, I guess ….

    Except, that was perfectly ordinary when I was a kid. And a lot farther than a quarter mile.

    I’ve probably mentioned that I started babysitting at 9 for my kid brother, and at 10 for other people’s kids. And no, we didn’t stay in the house the whole time.

  5. Maura April 7, 2016 at 10:03 am #

    When I was 8… 9…10…11.., I wish my mother sent me to McDonald’s. Instead she sent me up the street (across the street and past several houses) with one of my younger brothers, to buy cigarettes for her at the gas station on the corner. Always with the same instructions:

    1) Bring back change
    2) Don’t get hit by a car. I don’t have time to get to the Dr. today
    3) Do NOT leave your brother there again. And I can see the “For Sale” sign you have hidden under your shirt. Hand it over.

    Aaah, the 70s and 80s…

  6. Katie April 7, 2016 at 10:28 am #

    I agree with Peter the only crime here is going to McDonalds! At least they were walking there.

  7. Peter Brülls April 7, 2016 at 10:32 am #

    @BL Oh, I’m not saying that German don’t consume a lot of fast foot, including McDonald’s. It’s just those who don’t are more sanctimonious about it. Though in this case, I happen to agree: Teaching kids to get a couple of burgers and fries and pop instead of learning how to make a simple, healthier meal is a bad idea which leads to the world being overweight. But we actually don’t know if that happened here.

  8. LauraL April 7, 2016 at 10:42 am #

    The kids could have just been going to get an ice cream cone. They have those there.

  9. Backroads April 7, 2016 at 10:44 am #

    Boo.

    If your 9-year-old can’t navigate a quarter-mile radius, you have failed as a parent.

  10. BL April 7, 2016 at 10:51 am #

    @Peter Brülls
    “It’s just those who don’t are more sanctimonious about it.”

    There are sanctimonious people everywhere, including where I live (Pennsylvania).

    “Teaching kids to get a couple of burgers and fries and pop instead of learning how to make a simple, healthier meal is a bad idea which leads to the world being overweight.”

    No argument from me. I live within walking distance of a McDonald’s and haven’t been there for years.

  11. BL April 7, 2016 at 10:54 am #

    “If your 9-year-old can’t navigate a quarter-mile radius, you have failed as a parent.”

    I think I’ve told the story in full at least six times on this blog about moving to a new town (small town of 5000 people) at age 8 and exploring it by myself while the moving van was being unloaded.

    Sigh.

  12. Katie April 7, 2016 at 10:57 am #

    @BL Germany by population is also the second largest country in Europe so I’m not sure that your statistic means much. Germany, particularly Berlin, is also known for having an unusually large number of vegan restaurants.

  13. Beth2 April 7, 2016 at 11:03 am #

    “As a sanctimonious German, I see the bigger problem in sending them to a McDonald’s.”

    Goodness, no! Feeding your children fast food and take out is MUCH safer than feeding them home-cooked meals. After all, don’t you know that cooking at home is the number one cause of HOUSE FIRES!? If that mom had cooked the kids lunch, and it had started a fire, and for some reason none of them noticed the fire, and no alarms went off, and then they all collapsed before they could escape the house, and none of the neighbors called the fire department when they saw the house ablaze, well then…those kids could have DIED!

  14. Donna April 7, 2016 at 11:20 am #

    “Teaching kids to get a couple of burgers and fries and pop instead of learning how to make a simple, healthier meal is a bad idea which leads to the world being overweight.”

    In a world where doing one thing one time does not preclude doing another at a different time, it is actually possible to both teach your child to make simple, healthy meals AND allow them them occasional McDs.

    That said, another article indicated that they went to the McDs to play in the play area, not to eat.

  15. Donna April 7, 2016 at 11:29 am #

    This would definitely not be my personal choice, but it is not something that I think someone should be arrested for doing either.

  16. lollipoplover April 7, 2016 at 11:38 am #

    Looking at the “Crimes against Children” section that follows this article (kids testing positive for meth, killing their own babies) I think *walking unsupervised* as a danger and a threat to children would fall way down on the list of what would be considered a crime when parents are likely the biggest danger to their own children.

    When I was 3, my sister (8) would bike me in the BASKET of her beach cruiser to the local market in town. She usually had to pick up a grocery/sandwich order or buy mom cigarettes. If we had change, she would let me buy a piece of candy. It’s one of my favorite memories growing up! I loved sitting in that basket and holding the food on the ride home.

  17. Agent0013 April 7, 2016 at 11:56 am #

    If a cop wants to bring my kid home because they were out on their own then I think I can consider that they are a danger to myself and my family. I should be in my rights to shoot on sight any cop that approaches my home for such stupid reasons. It’s called self-defense. If the world is so dangerous, then defending myself is only correct, and the police are the most dangerous thing out there at this point! This crap makes me angry!

  18. John April 7, 2016 at 12:07 pm #

    Goodness, during the early-1960s, my neighborhood friend Kevin who was about 9-years-old at the time, used to push his baby sister Megan in her stroller around the block everyday, unattended by any adult! Today, Kevin is a successful Ophthalmologist and his sister Megan is a successful Attorney. I’d say they turned out just fine! But today, his parents would probably be arrested.

  19. Amanda April 7, 2016 at 12:17 pm #

    I don’t want to make assumptions about race simply based on a name, but I do wonder how many of these “cases” originate in racism. In my own city I’ve seen police cars stop and pull over, flashing their lights, at small groups of black children, when right across the street a larger group of white kids walks by with no attention whatsoever.

    There seems to be a growing movement that believes low-income white women and black women in general don’t deserve to be parents. I don’t think this is in any way about “safety,” but something more insidious and evil in our culture.

  20. hineata April 7, 2016 at 12:34 pm #

    The issue is right there in the burg’s name. Who knows when Leonides and the other 299 will sweep back into town? Foolish woman, sending her children out sans shield and sword….

  21. Momof8 April 7, 2016 at 12:48 pm #

    Well, they were kidnapped. Plucked right up and forced to get into a stranger’s car. So it was dangerous to let them go. #arrestthecop

  22. James Pollock April 7, 2016 at 12:49 pm #

    My answer to this is the same as it’s always been… it might be neglect to let kids walk on some streets, if there’s something particularly dangerous about it (such as high levels of industrial traffic no provision for pedestrians, and pedestrians not typically found there, or a highway with no pedestrian crossing, or an active construction zone… an area that is unsafe for any pedestrian, made even more dangerous by the fact that children are not expected there and are smaller and harder to see.)

    It’s possible that the police department knows of such a danger, and has just been sloppy in pointing it out. It’s also possible that there is no such danger, and these young Americans’ right to travel unimpeded within our borders has been grievously infringed. I don’t know for certain which one is true, but I think that one is more likely than the other.

    Or, maybe the police are announcing that they are so incompetent that EVERY street in their town is unsafe for children.

  23. Dom Greco April 7, 2016 at 1:09 pm #

    This blog post is very thought-provoking, as are your other earlier blog posts. Among the questions that it provoked in my mind are the following:

    1. Conflicting standards for permissible child educational, intellectual & social experiences. How does one reconcile what appears to me to be (X) the society’s increased emphasis on exposing younger and younger children to ever increasing independent academic and intellectual responsibility, and (Y) at the same time, the society’s increasing reduction in exposing such young children to independent social experiences and responsibilities?

    2. Overwriting parental judgments to protect children’s “mental health”. If it is justifiable for the will of the majority to by law substitute its judgment for those of parents as to the physical well-being of the child, then does that not also logically justify the majority substituting its judgment for those of the parents with respect to the mental well-being and beliefs of the child?

    For example, might such majority someday determine that parents should be arrested for child abuse for endangering their children, where the majority determines that the beliefs that the parents are imposing upon their children constitutes “child abuse and neglect”, because those beliefs are in the opinion of the majority not supported by sufficient independent objective evidence?

    3. What criteria should be used to determine appropriate limits. What objective criteria should be used to draw the line between when and under what circumstances the majority of society should be permitted, and justified, in substituting its values, judgments, and beliefs for those of the parents as to what should be permitted, and not permitted in the raising of children?

    I wonder.

  24. sigh April 7, 2016 at 1:13 pm #

    Crime rates are down, police are sitting idle.

    We have too many cops in certain places, not enough in others, perhaps.

    But justifying your existence by “protecting” citizens this way is tragic beyond measure.

    If kids are playing in traffic in ways that disrupt the flow, by all means, it is a public safety issue.

    But kids crossing the street? If they obeyed the laws and crossed without fault, why arrest Mom? I’m starting to just not care how busy the roads are, how ominous-looking the businesses may be, how un-nutritious the destination’s fare. I just don’t care.

    If kids aren’t a danger to others or their property, and their activities have some nail-biters worried but are in no imminent, life-threatening danger (and no, crossing the street legally doesn’t qualify), then move along, folks, nothing to see here.

    But police gotta police, I guess.

  25. Wendy Leibowitz April 7, 2016 at 1:35 pm #

    Was it actually against South Carolina law for these kids to be out alone??
    (I was babysitting two younger siblings when I was nine years old. We’d wander all over the place.)

  26. lollipoplover April 7, 2016 at 1:39 pm #

    McHoverin

    “The officer says the boys had to cross a street and pass several businesses and homes to get to the eatery, putting their safety at risk.”

    By the same reasoning, those drivers like the minivan mother with 2 toddlers who went to a Starbucks during a blizzard, that my husband, a plow driver, had to pull out of a ditch after the mom slid off the road. Will they also charge these parents with neglect? Those kids could have been hurt, too. What about the mere act of eating FAST FOOD? Talk about at RISK…type 2 diabetes and obesity are leading risk factors for one of the biggest killers in America- heart disease! Why not just ticket every driver, with children, in the drive-thru lane (and check to see if they are all in carseats and seatbelted- I think you can ticket for that too)?
    Why stop at just the walking *unsupervised*?
    What a crime wave- Children walking short distances unsupervised. Oh, the humanity!

  27. EricS April 7, 2016 at 1:50 pm #

    @ Backroads: “If your 9-year-old can’t navigate a quarter-mile radius, you have failed as a parent.”

    And if we won’t let a 9 year old navigate a quarter mile radius, or have any type of responsibility, or learn life skills that they will need within a few years, we have failed as a society. We’ve only proven how sanctimonious, illogically fearful, and ignorant we really are.

  28. Dee April 7, 2016 at 2:05 pm #

    I definitely don’t agree with this, but her name is Tiesha Mesha?

  29. Michael Fandal April 7, 2016 at 2:18 pm #

    I would suggest that any child or children walking purposely without adult or teen ager company be trained to juggle at least 2 billiard balls3 even better. More importantly they should become proficient at hurling the balls with all their might threatening them. A speeding billiard ball in the face can ruin someone’s day. Before my 35 year stellar public school sub teaching career came to an end after I pressed a squeaker in my shirt pocket to get junior high school class’s attention and a student fabricated story I called it my man boob. I fight it and lost. Too many in our government are deranged. The way out is the way in. I would suggest some of the best karate black belts below age of ten try walking the same route wearing their gee and belt and see if there is a change.
    I like your strategy. The question of free range kids ought to be posed to presidential candidates.

  30. Ben April 7, 2016 at 2:39 pm #

    Personally, I can agree with the police that putting a 9 year old in charge of a 3 year old is probably not a good idea.
    Thing is, if you want a parent to look after both of them instead, arresting them is not the way to go.
    A parent in jail can’t look after any kids.

    Don’t arrest parents for letting kids walk free, it doesn’t help anyone.

  31. James Pollock April 7, 2016 at 2:42 pm #

    “For example, might such majority someday determine that parents should be arrested for child abuse for endangering their children, where the majority determines that the beliefs that the parents are imposing upon their children constitutes “child abuse and neglect”, because those beliefs are in the opinion of the majority not supported by sufficient independent objective evidence?”

    This particular “someday” is a considerable distance in the past. Parents who choose faith healing over evidence-based medicine for life-threatening illnesses can be, and are, charged with criminal child abuse. (And, I will add, should be. An adult may knowingly choose to forego medical treatment… but society frowns on people making this choice for others. Thus, the importance of establishing advance medical directives when one is clear-headed and fully rational.

  32. James Pollock April 7, 2016 at 2:46 pm #

    And, I forgot to add, this is also increasingly true for “pray-away-the-gay” youth “treatment”.

  33. Elisabeth April 7, 2016 at 3:09 pm #

    I’ve been thinking about this incident (and so many like it) in the context of the current abortion debate over “when abortions are illegal, should women be punished for having one?” (Hang in there with me…)

    I’m not taking a position on who should be held accountable for seeking an abortion if they were illegal (full disclosure: I’m downright pro-choice). But many anti-abortion advocates jumped up in response to Trump saying “no, no, you can’t punish the woman who gets an abortion.” Isn’t it weird, however, how willing people are to say “you would not be culpable if you broke a law in order to avoid impending parenthood,” but then turn around and say to parents “you are absolutely culpable and may lose your children for making decisions that are actually within the law but that we don’t like?” (And yes, I’m assuming the same people who would deny women access to abortions are the ones who support punishing parents like Tiesha. I concede it’s not a 100% correlation, but in terms of social messages we hear in the mainstream media, we hear both messages…a lot.)

    Because, let’s face it, many of the working (poor) single-moms that so many of these “parent arrested” stories are about (and no, i have no idea whether Ms. Hillstock is in that category or not, but go through Lenore’s archives, and I think my assertion holds) are ones who get boxed into having to take risks that so many of us less hard-shipped parents aren’t comfortable with just to get their kids fed and the rent paid. And I would bet that there are good handful of those who considered (legally) ending a pregnancy but didn’t want to face the gauntlet of protesters at a clinic or maybe just the silent judgment of people not in their shoes. So, talk about your Catch-22! “You better have that kid and take on the responsibilities of parenthood, young lady, but once you do, don’t you dare think you’re responsible enough to determine what’s best for that child or we’ll take him (or you) away!”

    Hypocrisy, much?

    okay…let the backlash begin…i’m ready…

  34. LGB April 7, 2016 at 4:17 pm #

    Is it premature of me to guess that Mom was black? And perhaps lower income? This demographic seems to get disproportionately targeted for prosecution in these failure-to-helicopter-parent cases.

  35. Curious April 7, 2016 at 4:17 pm #

    Is this arrest a case of racial profiling?
    Or is it systematic harassment, arrest, fines, penalties and fees by local enforcement to make up for the municipality’s budget shortfall?
    Things are seldom what they seem these days.
    Dig deep to ferret out the truth.
    Is there a pattern in the community?
    If it is not about raising smart independent and self-reliant kids, then take on the cops and CPS. Take back your rights to make decisions for your family.

  36. JR April 7, 2016 at 4:33 pm #

    LOL… Elizabeth, I’ll play ball with you, but in a different direction. (I’m pro-choice also, FWIW.)

    Trump was responding to a hypothetical question. “IF abortion were illegal, THEN should women be punished for it?”

    The logically consistent answer, of course, in that scenario, is YES.

    Anti-abortion advocates say that abortion is actually murder because they believe a fetus should be a legal person from the moment of conception. Now, if a mom called out a hit on her five-year-old child, both the hit man and the mom would be arrested for murder. Therefore, if the law is changed to define a fetus as a legal person, then a mom who calls in an abortionist to destroy that fetus is as guilty of murder as the mom who calls in a hit on her kindergartener.

    I’m not saying I agree with this perspective. I’m simply pointing out the reasoning behind it. And isn’t it funny that all those hardcore pro-life advocates ran like little bunnies to distance themselves from the “punishment” scenario? Seems like they’re not willing to put their money where their mouth is.

  37. Jill April 7, 2016 at 4:33 pm #

    Let me guess, the mom was not rich. At least the police didn’t shoot the nine-year-old, insisting that he looked like a grown man and didn’t stop when ordered to. At least she can be glad about that.

  38. James Pollock April 7, 2016 at 5:01 pm #

    “Trump was responding to a hypothetical question. “IF abortion were illegal, THEN should women be punished for it?”
    The logically consistent answer, of course, in that scenario, is YES. ”

    That’s not the only logically consistent answer. Look up the historical answer to the question. (in most cases, it’s been NO. I’ll leave out the armchair analysis of why this should be.)

    “Anti-abortion advocates say that abortion is actually murder because they believe a fetus should be a legal person from the moment of conception.”
    A fetus does have legal rights from the moment of conception. It’s just that those rights are not superior to the mother’s rights to select her own medical treatment until the fetus reaches the point of viability outside the mother’s uterus. Compare to another scenario: I am a person. I have a right to live. In order to live, I need food. That doesn’t mean I can go to the grocery store, fill up a cart with food, and leave without paying based on my right to live… the store has property rights in the food on its shelves that are superior to my right to possession of that food, despite my need for food to live.

    The real ethical dilemma is elsewhere.
    Pro-life advocates generally believe that the life begins at conception (there’s a logical hole there, which I will skip over for now) AND that the right to life supersedes the mother’s rights, and therefore that abortion is murder. BUT many will balk at requiring a fetus conceived in rape to be carried to term. Well, that fetus didn’t rape anybody, why isn’t it murder to terminate that pregnancy?

    Finally, one last thought experiment. The basic question of abortion laws generally comes down to who should decide… government, or the pregnant woman. The pro-choice side picks one way, the pro-life side picks the other. But the pro-life side seems to assume that the government is and will always be pro-life. Once you’ve decided that the government should decide who gets an abortion (or doesn’t), what happens if the people who run the government decide that the population should be reduced, and starts deciding that people not only CAN have abortions, but starts ruling that people MUST have them? Or just decides to start sterilizing the “undesirable” parts of the population? (and yes, this ISN’T just a thing that happens in China, and it DID happen here in the U.S.)

  39. Anna April 7, 2016 at 5:20 pm #

    Elisabeth: “(And yes, I’m assuming the same people who would deny women access to abortions are the ones who support punishing parents like Tiesha. I concede it’s not a 100% correlation, but in terms of social messages we hear in the mainstream media, we hear both messages…a lot.) ”

    I don’t see a correlation there at all. Granted, this is purely anecdotal, but I’m pro-life and Catholic, as are ost of my friends, and in our circles, everybody is the exact opposite of a helicopter parent. The kids play outside together while the parents hang out, most everybody is quite laid back about supervision, and it’s normal for 9-year-olds to help care for 3-year-olds, whether their own siblings or just other kids in the group. To me, free-range parenting pretty naturally follows from a culture where larger families are normal and expected.

    Personally, I see this punitive attitude that demands helicopter parenting as all of-a-piece with a pro-choice worldview: i.e., it’s your choice whether to have that kid, but if you do decide to keep it, you darn well better do everything just so and don’t you dare touch a piece of sushi or drink a coffee while you’re pregnant! Also, to me it seems natural that if you firmly plan to just have one or two kids, you’re more likely to view them as projects that must turn out perfectly, and will if you only try hard enough.

    Now, neither of us has any proof for our perception here, but just wanted to point out, your assumed correlation is not obvious or self-evident.

  40. Elisabeth April 7, 2016 at 5:45 pm #

    Agreed, James. I’ll never be able to find the logic in conservatives belief that the government has too much power over the abstract individual but currently not enough over women’s bodies and livelihoods. So, from there I would point us back to the CRAZY of allowing the government to decide not only who does, and potentially who does not (and this is real already — forced sterilization happens), have children but also arbitrarily whether a parent is worthy of autonomous decision-making regarding her/his children. And the fact that so many of us true sons and daughters of liberty, acceding to the notion that the government is allowed to just step in ad decide

    And can we go back and arrest the cops who gunned down Tamir Rice in Cleveland for “Child Endangerment?” Or can we arrest police for neglect when they don’t enforce restraining orders and the result is often tragic?

    Yes…I went there…

  41. JulieC April 7, 2016 at 6:20 pm #

    Elisabeth –
    i’d have to say I see no correlation there either. I haven’t seen any studies done on free-range parenting and one’s political beliefs, but as Anna pointed out, anecdotally, I know people who are quite liberal politically who are also what I would consider over-protective, helicopter parents.

    I checked the voter registration stats for Silver Spring Maryland, where the Meitiv kids were picked up by the police and CPS. Turns out to be 71% registered Democrats. And Rhode Island, home of many attempts by the state legislature to criminalize so many parenting decisions is a noted Democratic stronghold. On the other hand, some mighty silly rules about parenting are being enforced by states like Texas.

    As to the abortion question, there are so many inconsistancies surrounding this issue on BOTH sides. Personally, I am opposed to abortion in most cases, but I have no desire to see the laws change. Is that an inconsistency? I guess so, but abortion is a tough issue, or at least, in my opinion, it should be. I don’t think it is the same as having your teeth cleaned, for example. I think it ought to cause a person to pause and think long and deeply before taking that step.

    I also checked the CDC stats on race and abortion. Percentage-wise, African American women abort their pregnancies at a higher rate than other groups.

    As for the politics of it, Mrs. Clinton just got into trouble for *gasp* referring to the unborn as a person — a person who has no rights as far as she is concerned, but still, the Planned Parenthood types were livid that she didn’t use the preferred term: clump of cells, or, if you must, fetus. I always find it amusing that when the clump of cells is wanted, it’s referred to as a baby. In fact, I seriously doubt either of the Clinton’s are referring to Chelsea’s latest pregnancy as a clump of cells 😉

  42. James Pollock April 7, 2016 at 6:52 pm #

    “I’ll never be able to find the logic in conservatives belief…”

    I think you’ve made a fundamental error about what conservatives actually believe (although, to be fair, I think a lot of conservatives make the same error.

    Conservatives only believe that the government over-regulates the individual where they, themselves, do not want to be regulated. When the government regulates things they want regulated, they’re all for it. That’s why, when the conservatives capture control of the federal government… it gets bigger.

    As a general rule, conservatives don’t like having their financial activities regulated, but are just fine with it if other people’s social (sex) lives are constrained by law. Conversely, a lot of liberals don’t like having their sex lives regulated, but don’t mind it if other people’s financial activities are constrained by law. Libertarians are people who don’t like either one, but can’t get organized because no two of them agree about what they believe in.

    So, for example, when the Republicans were controlling the White House last, they tried to use federal power to crush state’s efforts to offer “death with dignity” and “medical marijuana”, even though both of those sure look like individual liberties. They’d desperately like to regain the Presidency, so they could pass more laws to restrict same-sex marriage.

  43. MarkM April 7, 2016 at 6:54 pm #

    Unfortunately, after a bit of google, it is quite apparent this is not her first run in with the law. Please note that I am not defending the arrest, just suggesting there may be more going on here. So, she was apparently booked into jail on: 5/5/2009, 9/12/2015, 9/28/2015, 1/6/2016, 3/28/2016, and 4/3/2016.

    That being said, I looked at google’s pictures of the likely roads near the various McD’s in the area. They look reasonably rural with the exception of a 4 lane road – which had a perfectly good sidewalk on one side. Anyone have more information as to her address and which McD’s the kids went to?

    Most recent arrest with some more detailed records:
    Last Name First Name Middle Name Suffix DOB Race Sex Booking Date Booking Time Release Date Release Time
    HILLSTOCK TIESHA MESHA 04/17/91 B F 01/06/16 17:03 01/07/16 02:02
    Street Address: 139 OVERBROOK CIR
    City/State/Zip: SPARTANBURG, SC 29306
    Race / Gender: B-BLACK, NON-HISPANIC / Female
    Date of Birth: 04/17/91
    Height: 5’04”
    Weight: 140
    Booking Time/Date: 17:03:50 01/06/16
    Booking Number: 16-00227
    Arrest Agency : SPARTANBURG PUB SAFETY DEPT
    Arrest Officer : Parris
    Statute Offense Court Warrant Bond
    16-11-0520 3428 MAL INJ REAL PROP =<$2000 2015A4210204268 0.00

    Prior arrest (missing some information, so this could be untrue):
    Arrest Date: 2015-09-28 10:35:00
    Age: 24
    Address: DOES NOT REMEMBER HER ADRESS, SPARTANBURG, SC 29301
    Street: DOES NOT REMEMBER HER ADRESS
    City: SPARTANBURG
    State: South Carolina
    County: Spartanburg
    Zip: 29301
    Weight: 163
    Height: 5'04"
    Booking Date: 2015-09-28 10:35:00

    First arrest I could find:
    Arrest Information:
    Name: Tiesha Mesha Hillstock
    Location: Spartanburg, South Carolina
    Age: 18 years
    Processing Date: 05-05-2009
    Booking Charges:
    UNLAWFUL USE OF 911 NUMBER
    USE VEHICLE W/OUT CONSENT-TEMP
    RESISTING ARREST NO ASSAULT
    TRESPASS AFTER NOTICE
    DUNCAN MUN CT SENTENCE
    SPTBG MAG CT B/W
    PETIT LARCENY =

  44. James Pollock April 7, 2016 at 6:55 pm #

    ” Personally, I am opposed to abortion in most cases, but I have no desire to see the laws change. Is that an inconsistency? ”

    Actually, I think that’s the majority position… simultaneously anti-abortion (it’s a terribly inefficient method of birth control) and pro-choice (you are the one who should be deciding when (if) you have kids)

    I summarize it as “just because I don’t want an abortion doesn’t mean I want the government telling me I can’t have one.”

  45. MarkM April 7, 2016 at 7:15 pm #

    Sigh – of course, after I hit post, I find the information I was looking for. Her current address is apparently: 242 Broadview Drive, Spartanburg, NC. The McDonald’s in question is probably the one at 106 Garner Road, Spartanburg, SC 29303.

    Broadview Drive, per Google maps, is a small road with a 25 mph speed limit. The McDonald’s faces Garner Road but there is a driveway basically which lets out onto Broadview.

    Here is a clear picture of the “road” the kids had to cross with clear visibility of the McDonald’s:
    https://www.google.com/maps/@34.9668684,-81.9290317,3a,75y,256.19h,60.68t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sjPuVcNJMgJYy7vR_NvsoKw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

    Bottom line – if the mom had been on her front porch or in her front yard, she could probably have watched the kids all the way into the McDonald’s. The biggest risk these kids were running was probably from the cars going through the drive-in window and/or crossing the parking lot.

  46. JR April 7, 2016 at 7:32 pm #

    @James… (I know, dear readers. Why do I engage the troll? Sigh.)

    The doctrine of “fetal rights” is a complex one and varies from country to country, as well as from state to state within the USA. Legal precedent in the USA generally concurs that a state’s interest in a fetus increases as the fetus gets closer to viability and birth. It would be more correct to promote the conflict as one of “competing interests” instead of “competing rights.”

    I am certainly aware of different historical approaches to abortion; I took an entire law school-level class on that subject. Historically, abortion was outlawed because the methods used (poisoning, penetration) posed a dire threat to the mother’s life. In most cases, the fetus was not even considered an interested party until the “quickening” occurred around month 4 or so. And even then, it was not considered a legal person in the same way that a post-birth person was.

    The fact that certain pro-life advocates balk at requiring a fetus conceived through rape to be carried to term, or cringe at the idea of punishing a pregnant woman for having an abortion, is not evidence of an ethical dilemma like you claim. It’s evidence that the people who promote the idea that “life begins at conception” are not internally consistent in their values. Despite their public proclamations to the contrary, they recognize in their gut that a fetus is not the equivalent of a post-birth human life.

    My statement stands: IF abortion is murder, the way some hardcore anti-abortion folks see it, THEN a woman who has an abortion is a murderer. I don’t agree with the first premise one bit, but the conclusion is logically consistent. Perhaps both sides will see the horror of this potential alternate reality and find some common ground.

  47. James Pollock April 7, 2016 at 8:21 pm #

    ” It would be more correct to promote the conflict as one of “competing interests” instead of “competing rights.””

    Why and how are these different things, as opposed to different ways of saying the same thing?

    “I am certainly aware of different historical approaches to abortion; I took an entire law school-level class on that subject.”
    You took a law-school level class on history?

    “until the “quickening” occurred around month 4 or so.”
    And what does “quickening” actually mean?
    This is related to a practical concern, not an ideological, medical, or legal one. If a woman made use of an abortifacient before her pregnancy was showing, there was no way to tell she had terminated a pregnancy. THAT’S why they didn’t bother to make terminating a pregnancy pre-“quickening” anyone else’s business… they had no way of knowing when or if it had happened, much less proving it.

    “And even then, it was not considered a legal person in the same way that a post-birth person was.”
    And still aren’t. And a person born 17 years ago is not considered a legal person in the same way that a post-majority person is (er, unless accused of a class A felony, in which case they will be. Gee, it’s almost like the law has a lot of different rules which apply in different circumstances.)

    “not evidence of an ethical dilemma like you claim. It’s evidence that the people who promote the idea that “life begins at conception” are not internally consistent in their values.”
    Like the first quote above, this sounds like two different ways of saying the same thing. Explain how they’re different?

    “My statement stands: IF abortion is murder, the way some hardcore anti-abortion folks see it, THEN a woman who has an abortion is a murderer.”
    Do you even recognize that you’ve changed your statement here, even as you insist that you haven’t?

  48. Katie April 7, 2016 at 8:28 pm #

    @MarkM
    I agree. I zoomed out and there isn’t even a car on that road. Good luck though with some of the so called “free rangers” who will swear to you that parking lots are the most dangerous thing ever (or at least will when it fits there point).

  49. Jessica April 7, 2016 at 9:36 pm #

    I had two routes I could take on the way home from school. One was good for warm days and took me down residential streets with lots of trees and was super pretty. The other took me down the main drag and was great during the winter cause when I got too cold I could duck into one of the stores and warm up. Lurking in the Weeds was a pet store that specialized in reptiles and fish, and there were a few cute boutique shops as well. It’s mind-boggling that no one ever thought to protect me from those dangerous business and sketchy houses.

  50. jan smith April 7, 2016 at 10:19 pm #

    These days the editor of your local paper is probably part of the problem, ie one of THEM. Once upon a time, you didn’t get to be an editor until your kids had grown up and taught you a few things.

  51. Michelle April 7, 2016 at 10:35 pm #

    Parents arrested for walking their kids to school!

    http://www.fox26houston.com/news/117783912-story

  52. James Pollock April 7, 2016 at 11:39 pm #

    “Parents arrested for walking their kids to school!”
    (Technically, it sounds like they’re being cited, not arrested, although if they don’t pay the fine, they could wind up with an arrest warrant or an order to appear in court.)

    Wow. I am of two minds on this one. One says “gee, I hope someone gets a lawyer and sues the bejeezus out of this school district.” A private school could get away with this. A public one, not so much.

    The other one says “I wonder what happens if a child refuses to get on a bus and tries to walk home (alone) instead. Or just sits down on the front step of the building. After my petition failed, I think I would have tried to organize the “walker” parents to have our kids do that, while we stood as close as we could get that wasn’t on school property. If that didn’t work, then I’d be all “fill up the jails”, sending a copy of 42 U.S.C. 1983 to the principal of the school, then showing up to pick up my kid from school. If anyone, whether it be cop or teacher doing dismissal duty, gets in the way, ask them if they are intentionally separating us from our kids by force under color of law without due process, and filming the response. If the answer is “no”, pick up the kid, if the answer is “yes”, well, there’s the start to a pretty good college fund.

    The relevant part of that statute:
    Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress

    When I was in grade school, I lived right next door to the school. As in, there was a chain-link fence between my yard and the schoolyard, and the driveways were maybe 8 feet apart. I think taking a bus would have meant a longer walk for me, because I would have had to walk back from the closest bus stop.

  53. Catherine Caldwell-Harris April 8, 2016 at 8:47 am #

    So sad. 9 years old is frequently (depending on the child of course) a fine age to be in charge of younger children, including three year olds. It i a way to give the 9 yo responsibility. Everyone wins with sibling (and cousin) caregiving.

  54. Catherine Caldwell-Harris April 8, 2016 at 9:08 am #

    I enjoy reading this blog but it also makes me scared. Yesterday my two twin boys (age 6) and I were out playing in the park, in a huge downpour, since I had just picked them up at the bus stop on my bike (it was warm even tho rainy). We went to the community center to stay dry; but one child insisted we go to the pizza place to get ice-cream, he stormed outside, stood crying on the sidewalk by a somewhat busy street, rain pouring down. I stayed 50 feet away at the community center with my other son, watching him, going back and forth to him, by biggest worry that a neighborhood busybody would see a child “left alone in the rain on a busy street” and call the cops.

    I didn’t give into his 6 year old tantrum, and eventually he came back to the community center, having learned that he could not manipulate me into the ice-cream buy. It is better for him to walk back on his own then me physically carry hm (if I even could). that tantrum was over and he was back to being a happy kid.

    But the the image of him crying in a raincoat, on a sidewalk, apparently alone, is still in my mind.

    So here is my point — *to lay down rules we often have to walk away.* Fear of someone calling the cops on a child apparently unsupervised definitely makes it hard to utilize a basic parenting tool.

  55. JGM April 8, 2016 at 10:27 am #

    I was curious and a quick google search verified that the young lady has a previous mug shot. Her hair is cut in such a way that she appears to be a young black male. She is 24 with a 9 year old so previous teen Mom.

    It is interesting that the headline on the news clip reports the Children’s ages as 6 and 3 (not 9 as is stated in the article).

    So you have a young person known to law enforcement behaving in a way that disobeys the mores’ of the dominant culture.

    She is toast.

  56. ChrisG. April 8, 2016 at 11:29 am #

    I remember riding my bike to the liquor store to get my mom cigarettes. This was the 60s.

  57. Elisabeth April 8, 2016 at 1:02 pm #

    JGM: “I was curious and a quick google search verified that the young lady has a previous mug shot. Her hair is cut in such a way that she appears to be a young black male. She is 24 with a 9 year old so previous teen Mom.”

    I believe the 9-year old was her nephew. Her child is 3.

  58. angela] April 8, 2016 at 6:35 pm #

    This article left out the fact that the children had to cross a busy main road in order to get to mcdonalds. If you read the original news article you would see that this site left out important details that actually would put a 3 year old in harms way.

  59. James Pollock April 8, 2016 at 7:47 pm #

    “This article left out the fact that the children had to cross a busy main road in order to get to mcdonalds. If you read the original news article you would see that this site left out important details that actually would put a 3 year old in harms way.”

    How do you arrange your life such that your 3-year-old never has to cross a street? This is dangerous only if the 3YO doesn’t know to wait until told to cross, and the 9YO can’t operate a pushbutton at the crosswalk. Or are you claiming there’s no crosswalk?

  60. Sam April 18, 2016 at 7:03 pm #

    The kids walked on the sidewalk, in broad daylight, to the neighboring store, so what’s so wrong with that?
    A 9-y old is legitimally allowed to walk to school or football field by his own, so he’s a non-issue.
    Walking a 3-y old by hand should also be enough-they’re on the neighborhood, not out in the ocean.
    And the fact that they went to McDonald’s doesn’t change anything-if they were to go to K-Mart, would that’ve been ok then?
    Over protecting simply raises kids to become more dependant and needy for an older age, till they break loose, which will eventually occur.