This is NOT a Crime! Cops Charge Dad Who Let Kids Play Alone in Park for 2 Hours

Readers! As we approach our third annual, “Take Our Children to the Park…And Leave Them There Day” (Saturday, May 19), this story is outrageous. Apparently a dad let his two kids, ages 6 and 9, play in a local suburban Pittsburgh park on Saturday morning for not quite two hours while he did some shopping and took a shower. That is, while he went about the tasks of everyday life.

Meantime, a woman noticed this unusual thing: Kids playing without an adult around! That this fact was “disturbing” to an onlooker is what is so disturbing about our culture. For millennia, kids kept themselves occupied while their parents were otherwise engaged. A 9-year-old watching a 6-year-old was NORMAL, not a REASON TO CALL THE COPS.

But call the cops she did. And when they got there, they charged the dad with two counts of child endangerment. Meantime, of course, child protective services is investigating, too. Because any time you trust your children or your community, YOU cannot be trusted.

That’s what we’ve come to. You are punished for believing in your kids’ self-reliance and the neighborhood you chose to raise them in. Hence, the Free-Range Kids movement. Hence this Free-Range Kids blog. Hence…I wish I knew. We have GOT to turn our country around or children will be prisoners of their parents, and vice versa, all in the name of “caring.” Ask me, that word is missing an “s” at the beginning. – L.

UPDATE! “Police Chief Defends Charges Against Dad”   

Do you suppose the parents of these kids were charged with endangerment, too? I don’t see them hovering.

, ,

180 Responses to This is NOT a Crime! Cops Charge Dad Who Let Kids Play Alone in Park for 2 Hours

  1. Michelle Hedstrom April 11, 2012 at 10:56 pm #

    First time I’ve created an account on one of these random sites you link to and posted a comment. Stuff like this just really irks me. The busybody who freaked out is the real problem in this scenario. I’m guessing all real crime in that city has been solved and there’s no real child endangerment going on so the cops need to invent some?

  2. Michelle April 11, 2012 at 10:58 pm #

    This is very disturbing to me! My kids (5, 7, 8, 10, 13, and 14) walk to and play in our local park without me nearly every day. The only restriction I’ve placed on them is that the 5yo has to have an older sibling with her. I would have absolutely NO PROBLEM with my 5yo and 7yo playing alone at the park all day long if they wanted to. They’ll come home when they’re hungry!

  3. m April 11, 2012 at 11:01 pm #

    Unbelievable and a terribly statement about society!

  4. Tairgire April 11, 2012 at 11:02 pm #

    This is what makes me scared of letting my kids play alone in the park. I’m not worried about “stranger danger” or any of that. I’m worried about some busybody getting het up and calling CPS and losing my kids for doing absolutely nothing wrong.

  5. Carolyn April 11, 2012 at 11:15 pm #

    holy crap! When I was five we moved to a new city. Me, my 9 year old brother and 6 year old sister were sent off to explore the neighbourhood on our own. What was my mother thinking???

    This is seriously outrageous. Please keep us updated if the charges actually hold up because I can’t imagine this would be the case.

  6. PreachesToChoirs April 11, 2012 at 11:22 pm #

    Do thes cops stop by the school playgrounds at recess and charge all the parents of THOSE kids with not hovering over them 24/7? Or do they even HAVE recess anymore in that area?

  7. Kelly April 11, 2012 at 11:26 pm #

    I can’t imagine doing anything other than maybe walking up to the kids and asking something like “Everything cool?” It’s not like a toddler who wouldn’t be able to answer a question very well.

    This stuff makes me so nervous because it seems like you can get arrested for things that aren’t even against the law.

  8. MaeMae April 11, 2012 at 11:26 pm #

    I just created an account and left a reply as well. This is crazy.

  9. Sarah April 11, 2012 at 11:38 pm #

    I’m wondering if this family is from a different culture and therefore didn’t anticipate the potential “child endangerment” charge. What they must think of this society if that’s the case! How is this the land of the free?

    I dislike how the news article is written. He thought he was gone for 45 minutes, but it was actually two hours . . . as if that’s supposed to be shocking somehow? What’s the real difference between 45 minutes and two hours in terms of safety? It’s not like he left them there for 8 hours or 24 hours. I’m glad people are commenting about what a waste of the police’s time and resources this was.

  10. Beth April 11, 2012 at 11:45 pm #

    Well, obviously the area of this park is rife with violent crime….wait a minute. If it was dangerous for 2 kids of this age to play at the park for 2 hours, shouldn’t the cops be far too busy dealing with all the crime to handle a complaint like this?

  11. somekindofmuffin April 11, 2012 at 11:56 pm #

    I left a comment on that site as well. I would encourage everyone here to post a comment as to the ridiculousness of what happened over there to show some perspective.

  12. kate griffin April 12, 2012 at 12:05 am #

    This is really scary. I let my 8 and 12 year old go off to find a bakery in Paris when we were vacationing there, the first morning! Guess we would get bad parent award for that one. Well, they found the bakery, anyway.
    I also just heard about some parents in a “new parent” group who take turns staying up all night long with their baby to make sure it doesn’t die of SIDs. That’s the most insane parenting thing I’ve ever heard.

  13. Railmeat April 12, 2012 at 12:12 am #

    “This stuff makes me so nervous because it seems like you can get arrested for things that aren’t even against the law.”

    This is a big deal, and it seems to be happening more often. If we aren’t a police state now, we soon will be. The combination of not knowing or trusting our neighbors, coupled with the ‘worst first’ thinking that Lenore regularly describes, means far more to our culture than just our children becoming incompetant, fearful, overweight slugs.

    This is going to get A LOT worse. Especially in larger metro areas where we all rely on police departments that are becoming increasingly militarized, and that few folks connect with, other than in cases like the article referenced.

    A possible solution: Just like Lenore says – Know your neighbors, trust them, TALK TO THEM, build a community where the cops aren’t the first thing you call when something seems a little peculiar, even to the fearful busy-bodies. Live in smaller places where the cops are actually part of the community; where you see and interact with them (and them with you) outside of their on duty times.

    But that isn’t gonna work in big cities. Stories like this anger me, frighten me, and ultimately depress me.

  14. Diane April 12, 2012 at 12:13 am #

    I just wrote a little blurb about CPS overstepping their bounds on my own blog. How can we tolerate this. Parents shouldn’t have to be afraid to let their kids play away from them. What can be done?

    One of the big problems I see is that CPS actually gets paid to to remove children from their homes. We need to change our laws.

    In my state, Utah, a good law maker wrote this law, HB 161(sub2) Rights of Parents and Children (L. Christensen) PASSED House 54-13-8 and Senate 25-4-0 and signed by Governor Herbert March 22, 2012. This bill requires the state to provide in-home services for struggling parents and seek qualified extended family kinship placement, before pursuing foster placement. Still, I think we can do better.

    Parents should not be charged with child endangerment for letting their kids play or even leaving them in a car for 10 minutes, and CPS should not be allowed into anyone’s home with evidence of serious abuse.

  15. Amy O April 12, 2012 at 12:20 am #

    I completely agree with Taigire. I’m much more scared of the judgment of my neighbors and the police about allowing my daughter freedoms than I am of any imagined dangers she may face.

  16. Jenny Islander April 12, 2012 at 12:31 am #

    Wow, I love living in my backward small town. I regularly send my 8- and 5-year-old downtown together to get themselves a soda or return a library book. The 8-year-old sometimes goes by herself, even. And nobody bats an eye–even though they are often down there during regular school hours, because homeschooling takes less time.

  17. B April 12, 2012 at 12:35 am #

    It is a sad statement on our society that more of us (me included) are afraid of CPS than we are of kidnappers. I WANT my kids to be able to play by themselves. I want to be able to run into a store and leave my two kids in a running, air-conditioned car. I want my kids to grow into independent adults, not sniveling brats. We’ve given the power to these red-tape mongers, “for the sake of the children!” Or at least that’s what they trumpeted when they wrote the law. But we’ve provided perverse incentives for CPS to do what is often the worst thing that they could.

  18. victoria April 12, 2012 at 12:51 am #

    Echoing the comments that my biggest worry about my child playing alone outside is not kidnappers, injury, or her becoming the victim of a crime — it’s someone calling CPS and tearing my family apart.

  19. Michelle Hedstrom April 12, 2012 at 1:01 am #

    The comments on the article are the best especially “Mary Smith” who said that kids get abducted ALL THE TIME. I just looked up the statistic for her. On average, 115 kids are the victims of the “stereotypical” kidnapping (don’t know the person, lured, etc..) While obviously that’s still 115 too many, what was the injury car accident statistic? That was way high I thought.

  20. antsy April 12, 2012 at 1:05 am #

    I had to go to court (two appearances, not including the advisement hearing, which dragged out over nine months) after my rising second grader was accidentally left in a community center garden for thirty minutes. Ridiculous – as are all of these stories we read here! My parents bought me a bike in first grade so that I could get to school and back by myself. I rode that bike to the gas station by myself to put air in the tires. I began babysitting for my newborn baby brother when I was nine and was allowed to play in the park alone as long as I wanted at that age. If we don’t succeed in changing things back to the way it used to be, there will be nobody left who remembers when children were allowed and encouraged to be independent and responsible. There is no way that treating children of all ages like babies is BETTER for their welfare!

  21. CrazyCatLady April 12, 2012 at 1:07 am #

    Oh for goodness sake! Not that long ago, my daughter had a big project with some other kids, at the other kid’s house. I sent my boys across the road to the park to play. For hours every day.

    Not that long ago, we met some friends in another town at a park. We both had to drive. School let out while we were there, and there must have been a couple dozen kids in the park without adults. My friend and I, and a parent with toddlers, were the only adults there. For several hours. All the 5-14 year olds were playing on their own. I have no idea if they had parents at home or not. I don’t really care if they did or not.

  22. pentamom April 12, 2012 at 1:31 am #

    “Govindaraj Narayanasamy, 38, of Scott, was charged with two counts of child endangerment after township police said he left the 6-year-old girl and 9-year-old boy alone in the park for nearly two hours Saturday.”

    I’m not sure whether the reporter or the police are the ones at fault here, but someone needs to retake kindergarten math. One plus one does not equal one. The kids weren’t alone if there were two of them.

  23. Selby April 12, 2012 at 1:36 am #

    The world is going crazy. I both commented and emailed the “reporter” on this spectacular piece of journalism and pressed him to get and publish the name of Madame von Informant. She gets no privilege of anonymity. If she’s going to throw some poor, innocent father under the bus, she better stand up and give her name.

    (Yeah, right, like that’ll ever happen)

  24. PreachesToChoirs April 12, 2012 at 1:37 am #

    @pentamom not to mention adult that called the cops! She may have been creepily watching from afar, but she was there too and therefore the kids were not only not alone, they even had adult supervision!

  25. Michelle April 12, 2012 at 1:45 am #

    I think I’m going a bit overboard commenting on that article. I just keep seeing nonsense that needs rebutting! I’m “MP” over there, if anyone is interested.

  26. Railmeat April 12, 2012 at 1:54 am #

    Railmeat here Michelle . . . I hear you loud and clear. But I have to get back to work now.

  27. alfwatt April 12, 2012 at 2:01 am #

    I’m just going to leave this here:

  28. Lollipoplover April 12, 2012 at 2:15 am #

    Pentamom, I agree 100% that these children were not alone, they were with each other. And since when did age 9 become the new 3?

    They were in a park getting fresh air and happily playing instead of being “locked up” inside an LA fitness child care, playing with contaminated toddler toys. Dad was probably saving the 9yo the humiliation of being babysat. I guess he should have driven them home and plunked them down in front of the TV to take his shower.

  29. pentamom April 12, 2012 at 2:17 am #

    And PreachesToChoirs, it’s more than likely that if it was a nice enough day for the kids to be at the park for hours on a Saturday morning, there were OTHER PEOPLE there as well.

    But you know that parents have those amazing shield-ray eyes that are the only things that protect children from harm AND provide instantaneous cures to accidents or sudden ills. And they’re kid-specific unless they’re assigned specifically by a parent — no other adult can provide the shield rays unless the parents have specially assigned them the duty of watching the kids. I always forget that.

  30. Donna April 12, 2012 at 2:18 am #

    Did anyone see a recent “What would you do?” (My Tv options are limited in American Samoa) in which a mother kicks her kids out if the car ànd tells them to walk home? The “mom” is angry and not being free range, although the “mom” really does nothing more than yell at the kids, kick them out the car, drive off and come back to get them a few minutes later. Not great parenting but not mommy dearest either. It was very notable in that when the actor was dressed up as low-class (beater car, cheap clothes, smoking) everyone interfered, called the police, confronted the “mother” and formed a protective barrier around the kids. When the exact same woman did the exact same behavior only in nice clothes and with a Mercedes, only one person said a thing.

    I think there is a high likelihood that Govindaraj Narayanasamy is being charged with “parenting while Indian” more than anything else.

  31. Valerie April 12, 2012 at 2:26 am #

    Everyone should read the comments over on the articles’ site. Good work, guys!

  32. pentamom April 12, 2012 at 2:33 am #

    Oh, some the people commenting on that original article are NUTS! (But kudos to those providing voices of sanity.) These kids playing where others could see them weren’t safe because years ago a girl was molested in a hidden wooded area after meeting a guy on the Internet and going to meet him at the park? ONE OF THESE THINGS IS NOT LIKE THE OTHER!!!!!

    I’d really lose hope if I didn’t remind myself that not everyone thinks that way — even most of the commenters on that article.

  33. Michelle Hedstrom April 12, 2012 at 2:55 am #

    Railmeat and Michelle, I’m commenting over there as “Michelle” :)

  34. Michelle Hedstrom April 12, 2012 at 2:59 am #

    I’m *almost* having fun commenting back to some of those people..

  35. pentamom April 12, 2012 at 3:00 am #

    “Did anyone see a recent “What would you do?” (My Tv options are limited in American Samoa) in which a mother kicks her kids out if the car ànd tells them to walk home? ”

    I actually have a friend who did this when her 13 year old son was filling the car with unacceptable levels of attitude. Only she wasn’t just being angry and reacting carelessly, she was a pretty Free Range parent, and it was a deliberate response. They were about three miles from home.

    The kid was fine. He’s also about 25 now and much more considerate of others. 😉

    You are so right that there’s race/class at work with stuff like this.

  36. pdw April 12, 2012 at 3:04 am #

    I once called the cops on a kid playing alone in a park without adult supervision. Of course, he was naked at the time.

  37. Michelle April 12, 2012 at 4:20 am #

    Well, I’m done commenting on that article. I said that “Mike” (is he the author of the article? It appears so.) was using a red herring fallacy, and now my comments are all being rejected for “violating the TOS.”

  38. Jen Connelly April 12, 2012 at 4:53 am #

    Reblogged this on Just Another Blog by Jen and commented:
    Ugh, just ugh. The comments on the linked article make me sick (not the ones saying the dad did nothing wrong). That poor dad should move up here to Washington where it’s perfectly normal to see kids that age at parks alone or walking around their neighborhoods.

    My favorite comment was by Regina who said, “You didn’t stand behind them during their first steps? I’m not saying the entire time they were learning. But I’m assuming you were near. Which was exactly my point. You didn’t baby proof your home? not excessively but enough to keep the detergents from being ingested? or the outlets from getting played with? If you didn’t, fall to your knees and thank your lucky stars your kids are ok. Like I said, it’s risk ASSESSMENT. And, like I said, this is about judgement.”

    That just cracks me up. I have 5 kids and they have all survived my apparent negligence because we don’t do any of that baby proofing. I don’t hover around my kids, not even the toddler.
    The kids are also free to come and go as they please. They roam all over the neighborhood and are always at the park. They sometimes take the 1yo, too. The few times I’ve seen adults at the park (when we’re driving by) they have been with toddlers or preschoolers. Anyone older than 5 rarely has an adult with them. It’s pretty normal around here.

  39. Michelle April 12, 2012 at 5:13 am #

    Jen, I have 7, and I sure didn’t follow my babies around as they learned to walk, unless I was enjoying watching them learn. And while I do keep dangerous chemicals put away, I don’t have any of those child locks on my cabinets or outlets. Why would I want to end up with a 4yo who doesn’t understand not to stick a fork in an outlet??

  40. Beth April 12, 2012 at 5:42 am #

    Or, Michelle, a child who doesn’t understand the word “no”!

  41. Jenna April 12, 2012 at 5:47 am #

    Wow, my kids play at the park across the street from our house in our quiet neighborhood all the time without me there. The younger two, who are 5 and 4, just have to have an older sibling with them (the older ones are 7 and 9). In fact, I even let them take the 1-year-old in the stroller for a walk around the block without me sometimes. That’s kind of the way it is in our neighborhood though. All the parents let their kids outside to play without hovering.

  42. Jenna April 12, 2012 at 5:52 am #

    @ Donna–I didn’t see that What Would You Do episode, but my mom did the same thing to my older brothers when they were 12 and 13. We were probably about four miles from our house on the way home from church one Sunday and they both just kept going on and on, whining and just spouting negativity and refusing to back down from whatever their argument was about, so my mom pulled to the side of the road and kicked them out of the car. They made it home just fine and learned a lesson too.

  43. msmustela April 12, 2012 at 7:00 am #

    If you read the comments on the story, 99% commenting think this situation is outrageous and that the a six and nine year old are perfectly ok playing at the park by themselves for two hours. Even better is when anyone pipes up in the comments on how you can’t let kids do that anymore lest they be kidnapped, someone using actual data lets the objecter know that that’s codswallop. Makes me have good thoughts about people and the future.

  44. Aquinas April 12, 2012 at 7:24 am #

    If I can add a twist that almost no one knows about this story…my husband was at that park yesterday when the news media showed up to get footage of the park and he and all his co-workers were very upset because they thought that the media was tipped about what they were doing. Who are they? Several federal agencies making a drug bust at a residence very nearby that was happening simultaneously in two other cities. Agents have been working on this case for over a year and they yielded assets totaling close to a half million, although they know there is a lot more. This is a nice suburban area. What if the father would have left his children there the day the agents made their bust? I’m sure that the agents would have cleared the park considering that they were expecting that there may be violence but I guess that we can teach our kids how to defend themselves if they would have gotten caught in the crossfire.

  45. Beth April 12, 2012 at 7:29 am #

    Aquinas, please read more on this blog and about the free-range philosophy, before making the ridiculous assumption that we want our kids to be shot by federal agents (or anyone).

  46. linvo April 12, 2012 at 8:08 am #

    Aquinas, I don’t live in the US, but your comment makes me assume that shoot-outs killing innocent bystanders are rife there. Just like in the old cowboy films I used to watch as a kid! Sounds very exiting…

    (I am in a very sarcastic mood today)

  47. linvo April 12, 2012 at 8:10 am #

    Oh and of course, if the dad would have been with his kids he would have been able to shield them from stray bullets. Because all parents have to be bulletproof. By law. Aaarggghh!

  48. Karen Green April 12, 2012 at 8:29 am #

    I am all for free range but 6 and 9 unsupervised for 2 hours does call for a call to the cops. THis is too young.

  49. Lauri April 12, 2012 at 8:57 am #

    Obviously the nature of the park would an important factor to determining just how “negligent” this dad is. My community is going to have a LOT to say about this…

  50. linvo April 12, 2012 at 8:58 am #

    @Karen, what on earth do you base such a black and white statement on? Too young for what? For playing?

  51. Jenn April 12, 2012 at 9:14 am #

    This worries me because in the fall I will be going back to work full time and was hoping to have my 8 and 6 year olds walk home from school alone. They finish school at 3:00 so by the time they walk home it will be 3:15. I will finish work at 2:45 and should be able to meet them at the school by 3:00 but I figure if they walk home together (after a few practice runs this spring and summer with me following), I won’t have to hurry nor worry about bad weather or traffic. My next door neighbour will be on maternity leave so she offered to be available to them in case I am delayed. Now I wonder if someone will `worry’ about my children walking home alone!

  52. Roberta April 12, 2012 at 9:34 am #

    I’m normally in 100% agreement with all things free range. But a similar situation in my neighborhood leaves me really bothered.

    2 elementary school kids walk a block from school to a “park” next to my house and stay there for an hour or two until mom picks them up. Every day. And the “park” is a small field with shut-down splash pad.

    I’m not at all worried that any thing bad will happen to these kids. I’m just annoyed that they are not well behaved. When my kids (4 and 7) go out there, they can’t get along and I’ve got to get involved.

    So I guess I believe in free range, but only when the kids are responsible and well behaved enough to be on their own.

  53. Buffy April 12, 2012 at 10:05 am #

    But Roberta, that is one of the basic tenets of free range; that kids are given more responsibility and more privileges once they are taught how to handle them and have proven that they can. Free range is not about sending kids to the park who have never been taught how to relate to other people.

    In fact that sounds like something a helicopter parent would do – keep the kids bubble wrapped and watched over 24 hours a day, and then all of a sudden one day, when they’re maybe a teenager, send them out to the world and hope they can deal with it.

  54. Donna April 12, 2012 at 10:28 am #

    @Jenna and Pentamom -The kids in the “What Would You Do” thing were younger than teens – probably around the 6-9 age. It was interesting to see the markedly different reactions to “rich” and “poor” mother and made me wonder how many of these stories we read here are really about class/race.

    @Aquinas – Are you bullet-proof? Because I was not invested with the power to deflect bullets upon giving birth (or if I was, nobody told me). If my children are in a park during a drug bust that causes bullets to rain down on the park, what exactly am I going to do about it? I suppose I would be calming — if I wasn’t freaking out about the flying bullets … or dead from one of the flying bullets. But either way, I’m not going to always accompany my children based on the off-hand chance that a multi-state drug bust will be occurring nearby at that very moment.

  55. Uly April 12, 2012 at 10:29 am #

    Roberta, have you ever spoken to these other kids’ parents about how their children behave?

  56. Violet April 12, 2012 at 10:36 am #

    We live in a police state, Aquinas. I was in the front yard with my 2 year old and a neighbor girl who was about 6 at the time when the swat team, with guns displayed, descended upon the house next door in my quiet suburban neighborhood at 5 pm. So, to some extent, I am more afraid that my child will be harmed by a cop than by a kidnapper. Cops cannot be trusted.

  57. Nebraska RSO April 12, 2012 at 10:37 am #

    When I was a kid my parents didn’t follow me and my brother anywhere. We wandered and explored nearly every square inch of our town, and even off in to the countryside all by ourselves.

  58. Myra Jo Martino April 12, 2012 at 10:41 am #

    Wow, my entire neighborhood would be on the CPS list then!

  59. pentamom April 12, 2012 at 10:58 am #

    “I’m sure that the agents would have cleared the park considering that they were expecting that there may be violence”

    So what’s the beef? You’re “sure” that the kids would have been safe during the drug bust but they could have been hurt during the drug bust if the cops hadn’t done what you’re sure they would have done? Which is it?

  60. April F. April 12, 2012 at 10:59 am #

    I an not at all surprised this has happened since I now can join the ranks of “legally bad parent”. I was at work and my hubby was watching my son. My son, who is 7, told hubby that he was going to visit his friend who lives across the street and four houses down. This is normal for him and his friend and other kids in the neighborhood. However, my son instead decided to try and walk 2 miles to the library and didn’t tell my husband. Some woman saw him walking and called the cops who picked him up. My son was able to give him our address like we taught him and they brought him home to my hubby. I feel that this should have been the end of it, especially since my son’ story and hubby’s story matched. Instead, they called CPS. We’ve had to be interviewed in our home, my son has been interviewed at school, neighbors and family have been called. Luckily the case worker believed our story and thinks we are good parents is helpful, but I still wish the police didn’t overreact and call CPS. My son lied, got caught and was brought home to a parent who doled the appropriate consequence. That should have been it. Now, I can’t free range like I’d like to do anymore, but at least CPS guy was satisfied with our solution of walkie talkies while he plays outside.

    I guess that was more of a vent than a comment, but if police can over react in my situation, I can definitely see them going ballistic over this man leaving his kids to play alone for two hours.

  61. pentamom April 12, 2012 at 11:01 am #

    Donna, I agree that the younger age is maybe a bit different from the 12-13 age Jenna and I cited. It just reminded me of the incident with my friend — and I’ll bet the percentage of people outraged at doing it to a 13 year old wouldn’t be that much smaller than those upset at doing it to 6-9 year olds.

  62. Angela Brengman April 12, 2012 at 11:09 am #

    Sadly this too is my WORST fear for my children; the CPS call. I have no problem allowing my 5 and 4 year olds to play outside while I clean the house. They ride there bikes or climb trees, and I’ve been told NUMOROUS time by neighbors that they are ready to call CPS. Thankfully I haven’t had a visit, but I’m sure it’s just a matter of time since I WILL NOT stop my children from playing outside “unsuperviced” in the front of my house. I can’t stand it when people make assumptions and the result could have worst concequnces. Don’t people understand CPS is for children that are being ABUSED, NEGLECTED, or EXPLOITED???? You don’t call CPS because you don’t “like” or “agree with” a parenting decsicion. Something really does need to happen. This can’t keep going on.

  63. CrazyCatLady April 12, 2012 at 11:30 am #

    As long as the kids are behaving themselves and getting along, the 6 and 9 year old should be fine. Around here, when school lets out, the parks are flooded with kids ages 5 and up, who are there mostly with out parents. Mostly because parents with toddlers might show up to get some outside time.

    Yes, a year ago some dimwit tried to shoot someone else at one park, not right after school though (it was getting dark, as I recall.) The parents understand this was a rare thing, made more rare by the fact that they caught the dimwit and he is in jail. Yet, no one seems to be calling CPS on these kids. Because there is no reason to call the police or CPS.

  64. Vaughn April 12, 2012 at 1:02 pm #

    I’m currently fighting CPS. I let my 4 year old play in the front yard with his dog after dark.
    We live in a townhouse. The front yard is like 15′ x 20′ and the windows were open. I could hear the boy and the dog. The dog is a male black lab that is fiercely loyal to that boy. And yes, it was after dark, but it was winter. It was 7:30PM at the time the cops showed up. Dinner had just been put on the stove. I still feel like I did nothing wrong.
    I fear the social worker and the judge more than the criminal. And now I hate my neighbors too.

  65. Nort of 49 April 12, 2012 at 1:17 pm #

    I had my mother pull the “get out of the car, you’re walking home quit pulling attitude like that” when I was 19 or 20. ( i think i was 17, actually) She was telling me off that my behavior was atrocious and that if I couldn’t be civil around her friends, I shouldnt have come at all. (gee…I told her I didn’t want to come with her… Moot point, but, whatever…)
    So, she stopped the car, yelled at me, then started it up again, each time threatening me with having to walk. Finally, I had had it and got out and started walking. She got even madder. Drove off, came back, demanded I get in and I refused. She started spouting danger danger everywhere stuff.
    I made it home, on my own speed and my own time and nothing happened.

    Today, during spring break, this lady comes knocking at my door and yells at my husband for being an irresponsible parent because the kids were found inside the building next door. She didn’t care if they had rescued a small dog of of one of the employees that tends to get out. Nope. The kids were unsupervised. Even I got hell and I’m not supposed to do anything (post surgical-on bed rest). So, once again, even though the kids were doing a good deed, we’re expecting CPS to show up and grill us. That lady scared my kids so much that they refused to go back out all day. Not good, IMO.

  66. gap.runner April 12, 2012 at 1:45 pm #

    Even though Stalinsim died in the Soviet Union upon Josef Stalin’s death in 1953, it’s alive and well in the States. It appears to be only a matter of time before a “Gulag Archipelago” is built in the States for all of those parents who refuse to follow helicopter parenting practices. We already see free-range parents being “denounced” to the authorities by their neighbors and well-meaning busybodies. Last September I blogged about Stalinist practices and parenting in the States and how they are very similar. I’m posting the link for those who haven’t seen it yet. I’m sure that Comrade Stalin is looking up at the States from Hell and giving a big thumbs-up.

    Stories like this one make me glad that I live in Germany, which is still very free-range.

  67. Andy April 12, 2012 at 2:53 pm #


    Either you are exaggerating, or you have no idea what Stalinism and police state are. If it would, this blog would not exist and even if it would you would not dare to comment on it.

    The USA and Russia in soviet era are nowhere close, not even in this case. The least important thing is, that Stalinism was definitely not helicopter towards kids.

    The paranoia in Russia had clear political purpose and come from top. It was Stalin who enforced basically everything from top to down. They even had quotas on number of executed “enemies”. In USA, it is the society that demands this level of children protection. The citizens are pressuring on government to make and enforce those laws and government responds. Not other way round.

    That is completely different thing and the solution in both cases is also different. In Russia, you would have to wait it out until Stalin changes his opinion. In USA, you may try to convince your fellow citizen. Or even better, try to find causes of that heightened need for control of everything. I’m sure your family is not going to jail for your actions.

    I understand your outrage with the case, and I honestly hope that my kids grow up before this kind of thinking comes here. However, I honestly believe, that this kind of exaggeration is equally dangerous then the original paranoia.

  68. Andy April 12, 2012 at 3:00 pm #

    @Jen Connelly “You didn’t stand behind them during their first steps?”

    Honestly, my answer to that Regina would be that I did not. She stood up once in a while and I did not rushed to her each time. She sit down right after most attempts (half controlled fall :) ). Until one day she made few steps and then fallen down.

    How these people manage to be after the child when it tries those steps? My daughter was highly unpredictable in that regard.

  69. Krista April 12, 2012 at 6:35 pm #

    This must be a suburban thing. I live in the city. Kids play unchaperoned all the time and it’s not an issue.

  70. Selby April 12, 2012 at 7:34 pm #

    Is there any legal recourse if someone calls CPS on you and you are exonerated? Libel, slander, defamation of character, breaking the 9th commandment? Anything?

    Just curious….

  71. Kat April 12, 2012 at 8:18 pm #

    It’s heartening to read some of the comments on here and know that there are still communities out there where children can play unsupervised and parents don’t have to fear CPS. It’s also incredibly disheartening to hear about people who have had CPS called on them for totally benign incidences.

    I remember when I was a kid, we used to roam the neighborhood and the woods beyond it from sun-up to sundown, coming home only to eat and then we were right back outside again. My childhood was filled with woodland forts, street hockey, bikes that could take us anywhere, and the feeling that some new adventure was always just around the corner. (And this was all during a time when it was statistically LESS safe to be outside than it is now!) We learned so much about problem-solving, personal responsibility, what we were capable of creating, and just good honest fun without adults hovering around us 24/7.

    I find it so sad that most kids today don’t get that kind of childhood experience. I hope that I can provide something similar to my own kids, in spite of those out there who would want me to do otherwise “for their safety.”

  72. Shay April 12, 2012 at 8:20 pm #

    I don’t understand why a call to the police is the first recourse. Why not talk to the kids first, find out their story, maybe get the parent’s cell phone number or offer to walk them home? Calling the police instead of dealing with the children directly smacks of officiousness and sanctimony, rather than any actual concern for the children’s safety.

  73. pentamom April 12, 2012 at 8:39 pm #

    “You didn’t stand behind them during their first steps?”

    This question only makes sense if your children are unusually tall (as in giants) or your floor is strewn with sharp objects. When children fall taking their first steps, they collapse less than 12 inches onto their bums. Raising 5, I’ve never seen one go over head first or backwards, risking head injury. That happens when they’re older and faster, and no, I don’t walk behind them when they’re 4. What does a falling beginning walker need to be protected from?

    And how that turned into, “Oh, and you don’t put your detergents out of reach, either?” is rather mystifying.

  74. Freedom for Kids April 12, 2012 at 9:05 pm #

    This is a quote by a Supreme Court judge. It chills me to the bone, because I know in my heart it is true:

    “There is no system ever devised by mankind that is guaranteed to rip husband and wife or father,mother and child apart so bitterly than our present Family Court System.”

    Judge Brian Lindsay
    Retired Supreme Court Judge)
    New York,New York

    It is very difficult to be a parent today, especially a “free-range” one, because of of all the reporting to Child Protective Services for reasons other than true child abuse or neglect. Once Child Protective Services enters your life you are never the same again.

    I feel for all the wonderful and loving parents who are dealing with ridiculous and false allegations of child abuse/neglect.

  75. Kacie April 12, 2012 at 9:42 pm #

    The only thing that concerns me is that the father “did some shopping.” How long was he gone and how far was the store from the park? And did someone know where he was? If something had happened to one of the children – a broken arm, perhaps, or bloody lip – would the children have had an adult to go to if Dad wasn’t home? I’m all for letting the kids play in the park up the street from home, but an adult needs to be nearby, at least. Which is not to say I think the man should be ARRESTED, but maybe a “warning” that he shouldn’t leave the vicinity.

  76. culdesachero April 12, 2012 at 10:10 pm #

    I’ve just become aware of the term Anarcho-tyranny. Punishishing the innocent with ever more restrictive laws and regulations(tyranny), while real crimes are rampant and left unchecked (anarchy).

    You can believe what you want about the current level of crime, but, the perception that it is increasing is all that is necessary to justify the tyranny.

  77. Uly April 12, 2012 at 10:30 pm #

    Freedom, Lindsay wasn’t a Supreme Court Judge. He was a judge on the NYS supreme court, which is what we call our second tier court of appeals. The NYS “supreme court” is superior. By saying he’s retired from the Supreme Court without giving any context there, you’re giving his comments a weight and an authority they don’t deserve. Not that he didn’t accomplish something in his life, but it wasn’t what most people think when they read those words.

    (And once again, high school civics comes in handy online!)

  78. Uly April 12, 2012 at 10:36 pm #

    We live in a police state, Aquinas. I was in the front yard with my 2 year old and a neighbor girl who was about 6 at the time when the swat team, with guns displayed, descended upon the house next door in my quiet suburban neighborhood at 5 pm. So, to some extent, I am more afraid that my child will be harmed by a cop than by a kidnapper. Cops cannot be trusted.

    What reason did they have for going to your neighbor’s house at all?

    I mean, if they were just there for overpaid parking tickets, you have a point. If your neighbor is actually a bank robber who spends his free time brewing meth, the cops’ behavior might have been justified. Just living in a “quiet neighborhood” does not mean that your neighbors aren’t also criminals. Unless we know what happened, we don’t know if your conclusion (“this is a police state, those actions were totally unjustified”) is accurate.

  79. antsy April 12, 2012 at 10:39 pm #

    Some people have mentioned the possibility of a race/class connection. I don’t know. I’m white, and feel like I’m getting an unfair amount of police harrassment when it comes to my children. I’m not even what I would call “advanced” Free Ranger, although I want to be! It can’t be the location because it’s happened to me in three different states. Maybe it’s my looks?! Maybe I look like easy prey. I wonder if the police would have left more quickly and skipped the charges and CPS reporting if my husband was the one there instead of me. Or maybe this sort of thing is just getting to be more of a problem for everyone.

  80. Roslynn April 12, 2012 at 10:42 pm #

    I allow my under 10 crew go across the street to the park all the time. I do request that they bring one sibling with them so if someone gets injured, the other can come get me.

    I understand that there are “bad people” in the world, but these days I think many of the “bad” people are the ones that get CPS out for non emergencies.

    Two weeks ago, my 2 yr old went walking out our back door. His father was just turning the corner (we live in the corner lot) and my son made it to the main sidewalk from our back door path. Someone “doing good” snatched up my child, brought him to the back door, that I was walkin out of to retrieve him, and promptly shoved him at me and stormed off. Not 3 hours later I had a CPS agent at my back door saying there was a report that my baby was roaming the streets unsupervised, and that my HOUSE was FILTHY?!!!

    She knew she couldn’t say that she witnessed a child walking across their own back yard, so she turned it into something huge.


    Now, any time that someone calls CPS and my name is involved, they will investigate if it would have been something they would have looked into or they would have skipped all together.

  81. mountainmornings April 12, 2012 at 11:16 pm #

    Just watched To Kill a Mockingbird the other night for its 50th anniversary, and I kept thinking about your POV. Scout, Gem and that other boy (probably Truman Capote) had the run of the town, day and night. They stood up to an angry mob at the courthouse and avoided a rabid dog. I was glad the President introduced the film, but the delay of justice for Trayvon Martin makes me wonder how much we have changed.

    I was also thinking that I only had to come home when it got dark back in the 50s…When I mentioned this to my older cousin (who lives in NY and does not have children) she kept saying, “But it’s different now.” Somebody needs to put up the facts – relative to the population, are there more stranger abductions today? I think not!

  82. Freedom for Kids April 12, 2012 at 11:19 pm #

    @Uly—I copied and pasted the quote as I found it online. I didn’t research this judge or verify his credentials or the quote attributed to him. However I did feel the words chilling and apropos to this discussion. I have come to believe Child Protective Services and the courts do more harm to families than good. Whatever context this judges words were spoken in, I still think his words stand alone, and are a window into his experience and observations.

  83. Amanda Matthews April 12, 2012 at 11:31 pm #

    @Kacie, if one of the kids had been injured, the father could have been called, just as the father WAS called. If it warranted a trip to the ER, and ambulance could have been called and the father could have met the children at the hospital. These kids were obviously capable of playing at the park, and even if you don’t consider them so, there WERE adults around.

  84. Uly April 13, 2012 at 12:00 am #

    I copied and pasted the quote as I found it online.

    Oh, I know you did, without any attribution either. The only evidence I can find that this guy even EXISTED is people passing around that one single quote.

    However I did feel the words chilling and apropos to this discussion.

    Would you feel the same if they came from the garbageman, or if they were made up to make a conversation or viewpoint seem more important or more valid than it is? That’s not to say that “child services overstep” is necessarily NOT a valid position, but you’re weakening your argument by relying on unvetted “quotes”.

    Whatever context this judges words were spoken in, I still think his words stand alone, and are a window into his experience and observations.

    And what experiences and observations are that? You certainly don’t know. I don’t know! He might never have even existed for all either of us know!

    And if somebody who truly thinks children must be supervised at all times sees you passing around this incredibly dubious quote with one immediately falsifiable “fact” (there’s plenty of lists out there of actual Supreme Court Justices so we can see who is or is not on the list), they’ll just dismiss your entire argument out of hand because you clearly either have no trouble just making things up OR you have no interest in distinguishing truth from fiction. And then, when you say things that ARE true (like “it’s a lot safer today than it was when I was growing up in the 80s and 90s”) they’ll think “Well, that guy’s a liar, why even give him the benefit of the doubt this time?”

    You’re weakening your argument by relying on possibly fake quotes from people who didn’t do the job you claim and who can’t be tracked down.

  85. Kacie April 13, 2012 at 12:11 am #

    @Amanda, I guess I wouldn’t want my 6- and 9-year-olds riding in the ambulance by themselves. Somehow that disturbs me. That’s a very scary thing for a child.

  86. Freedom for Kids April 13, 2012 at 12:29 am #

    Here is another “quote” I found online:

    “There is something bad happening to our children in family courts today that is causing them more harm than drugs, more harm than crime and even more harm than child molestation,” said Judge Watson L. White from Cobb County, Georgia, Superior Court.

  87. Kiesha April 13, 2012 at 12:43 am #

    I would have been pretty pumped to get to ride in an ambulance by myself as a 9-year-old. But then again, I was always one of those kids who desperately wished for a broken ankle so I could have crutches and a cast and get special attention.

    In middle school the kids with crutches got to use the ELEVATOR. I was insanely jealous.

  88. Uly April 13, 2012 at 12:53 am #

    Well, unlike the other one, that judge definitely exists.

    Now the trick is to show that their quotes have value. Even a genuine supreme court justice can say some stupid or wrong things. Just posting quotes does not an argument make. If family courts and child services are causing more harm than good, it should be incredibly easy to back that up. Because I assure you, the very first thing anybody is going to say in response to that quote is “prove it”.

    That’s probably why most people skip the quotes and go straight to the anecdotes (preferably with links to news articles), presumably because anecdotes at least show that something has happened. Not that they’re entirely without their flaws.

    I wonder, are there any statistics showing the rate of removals from families on falsified or exaggerated charges? I mean, that’s what interests me, and that is what you’re saying, yes? That CPS takes too high a percentage of low or no-risk children from non-abusive parents in comparison with the number of actually abused children that they help. I think we all know that being in foster care is detrimental to kids and that foster families are not safe from abuse, that doesn’t need proving.

    And I’m not just talking either. I really DO want to know what the numbers are, state by state. Does anybody know where to start looking? (Obviously, they’ll be full of bias on both sides, but ANY start is better than no start.)

  89. kathrynrosedesigns April 13, 2012 at 1:07 am #

    I was talking to my mom about this yesterday and she and I wondered if there is more to the story. The woman who called the cops knew the girl, perhaps this was a common occurence? Something she felt was symptomatic of a larger problem? Or, did she feel like the dad left her in charge without asking? I know a lot of stay at home moms feel that way – because I’m the one home people assume I will watch out and that’s an unfair burden.

    I feel that way sometimes – I let my now 7 and 9 year olds walk to the bus stop and back, but I wonder (hope) whether they are behaving properly. When I drop them off myself they are known to run around like wild things with me working to keep them out of the rockery, etc. I wonder if other neighbors feel like I’m putting them on the spot to police my kids when I’m not there. On the one hand, we are a community, and of course I would step in if I thought a child needed help, but is it fair to assume others will take care of their needs?

    Kind of a fine line, I guess…

    I left the 7 and 9 year old at our neighborhood park – probably 4 blocks away – while I walked the 1 and 3 year old home to pick up the 12 year old and load the car to drive to softball – then we picked them back up on our way out. I was ok with this, it gave them a few extra minutes. But I was hesitant because another family was at the park (I didn’t know them) and on my way home I ran into another neighbor I do know who was heading there. I worried, would they feel imposed upon? And, yes, would they turn me in to someone? but mostly would they feel imposed upon.

    When the 12 year old walked with most of her middle school to our little town center last year on the last day of school, I told her not to go to lunch at a sit-down restaurant, it wouldn’t be fair to the wait staff to have to deal with tweens. As it turned out, she was very well-behaved (we managed to spy a little while we had our own end of year celebration) but some weren’t – stealing candy from the bulk bins, wandering stores with an open gallon of chocolate milk and bag of marshmellows (lunch!) etc. It made me feel good that mine was behaving, but again, wondered how did the stores feel about 300 middle schoolers descending on them? Did they feel responsible for them? Not sure..

    I want to print out some of those Free Range cards to give to the kids with a “I was misbehaving – please turn me in to mom” line so I know if they’re being a problem. Hopefully I’ve taught them well enough.

    And now the 1 and 3 year old have been alone out in the back yard long enough so its time to move on :)

  90. LRH April 13, 2012 at 1:16 am #

    This is why, as I have said 30,000 times before (seemingly), I am so glad we have a place in the boonies where my kids are able to be kids, on our private property, where we are far less (if at all) subject to any of this sort of legal nonsense. My yard, my rules. Out here, I am the law, and the same goes for others with places in the boonies like this–on their own property, within limits, they effectively are the law, as well it should be. Even so, it is goofed up that the same can’t apply for people who drop their kids off at the city park.

    The problem is the busy-bodies, who frankly ought to be strung up to a tree and left that way, have the power, via CPS and over-reaching police departments like the one in this story, to meddle and interfere. To wit, we basically need a parenting amendment at the Federal level that says effectively this: unless I am molesting my kids, denying them an eduaction or smacking them aside the head with a wood plank, my right to parent them is ABSOLUTE. Moreover, anyone who attempts to interfere with this shall be guilty of a misdemenor & subject to legal penalties (I’m thinking 6 months in jail).

    Seriously–I do think that anyone who bugs the police or CPS for this sort of thing should actually be subject to jail time for harassment. A parent’s authority (again, so long as they’re not molesting, physically awful in their treatment, or denying their children an education) should be that absolute.


  91. LRH April 13, 2012 at 1:24 am #

    Also, I wanted to say (besides “oops” on mis-spelling eduaction, ha ha), that the earlier link that was an update to the original, I actually laughed at the part where they mentioned the “firestorm” over “a group called Free Range kids.” (Needless to say I didn’t like the police chief’s defense of his actions & his continued refusal to state who placed the call.)

    Right on! Way to go. More of that sort of activism is exactly what we need to be doing as much as possible.


  92. Beth April 13, 2012 at 1:25 am #

    @Keisha, I was like that too! Crutches seemed like the *coolest* thing to me when I was in middle school!

  93. Arthur April 13, 2012 at 1:44 am #


    Surely the court will throw it out?

    Contact Alliance for Childhood

  94. Uly April 13, 2012 at 1:54 am #

    I’m not holding my breath on that one, Arthur.

  95. Freedom for Kids April 13, 2012 at 2:16 am #

    @Uly– I don’t much like being told I make things up, or that I have no interest in distinguishing truth from fiction. I am a person who probably has a different life experience than you have, has a different kind of thinking mind, and most probably a different education than you have.

    I am a mother who had the Department of Children and Families come knocking on my door for no reason other than a bitter ex-friend trying to hurt me. When such a thing happens, when a government agency comes knocking on your door in the form of a young, childless woman nearly young enough to be your own daughter who starts asking intrusive questions, tells you to clean your house, questions your children, questions your children’s pediatrician, doesn’t even know the state education law when she is investigating you for possible unlawful homeschooling, it changes everything about your life and your understanding of how things work. Some of that understanding is in the form of new facts come to light, some of in the form of intuition.

    While I am glad that particular social worker did find the neglect allegations to be unsubstantiated, she did make several erroneous remarks and observations in her report. For example, she said I had been “minimally cooperative” when I actually had let her into my house, allowed her to talk to my children, gave her the pediatrician info, called my husband on the phone so she could speak with him, showed her rooms in the house she didn’t ask to see. I realized that it was up to this particular individual whether or not this investigation stopped at this point, or went further-even to the point of having our children removed from our care. It was up to this person, who showed up to work on this particular day, and was assigned to my particular case, while in her own particular mood, with her own limited understanding and perceptions whether or not I and my family were in big trouble. Perhaps I sound dimwitted, but this was a stunning revelation for me.

    I spoke with a lawyer and learned things about the law that I had never known before, and I read online about DCF and DCF and CPS abuses of power. I found stories and “quotes” online from those who would seem to be in the know regarding how courts are run. I found much of this information to be somewhat paralyzing at times. I am on a journey here, and still trying to understand, to share, and to help.

    I find it VERY scary that people who do not know me, my intent, my integrity, my children, their capabilities, my goals for them, etc. have the power to make judgments about how I parent, how we live, and whether or not we get to continue to live together as a family based on their limited perceptions, or their own egos or desire for authority over others. And I find it very distressing that loving, responsible, albeit imperfect parents all around us are experiencing the very same thing.

    I personally don’t care much about statistics. What I know now is that everybody’s lives are in everybody else’s hands: from the busybody walking by, to the (fill in the blank) who wants to control others, to the “I’m going to cover my ass” mandated reporter, to the ticked off ex-friend/spouse, mother-in-law, neighbor, to the “I’m going to save the children” social worker, the pompous cop; the lawyers, the judge.. The fact is that we each have such little control over our own children and families was really the point I was trying to make.

    It makes free-ranging all the much harder. And to make even worse: if you let your kids play unsupervised in the front yard, or you step away from your car for a minute with a sleeping babe inside, or permit your young child to ride his bike around the corner and out of sight, the Supreme Court now says the police can strip search you to boot if they arrest you for it.

  96. MaeMae April 13, 2012 at 2:38 am #

    @Freedom for Kids-I wouldn’t waste your time arguing with Uly. She’ll always be right and always know more than you and always pick apart your statement item by item. I’ve learned to choose my battles. 😉

  97. Freedom for Kids April 13, 2012 at 2:41 am #

    Oh, I didn’t know.. Thanks for the tip–:)

  98. Uly April 13, 2012 at 3:05 am #

    That’s terrible, Freedom. However, that story of yours? That’s a good argument.

    Random unsubstantiated quotes from the internet whose veracity cannot be counted on? That’s a TERRIBLE argument. And if you can’t be bothered to check your sources then you admit you are somebody who doesn’t care about the truth.

    MaeMae, I’m right in this instance. She gave the wrong attribution for a quote and thinks that doesn’t matter. It really, truly does, because if you’re supporting your argument with things that aren’t true the people you’re talking to will find it out. It took me literally 30 seconds to find out that that judge was not who he’s made out to be in that quote, that the only source for that quote is internet messageboards, and that the only proof that that person even exists is those same messageboards. That makes it a weak argument, and you can’t use weak arguments to shore up good ones. A chain is only as good as the weakest link and so on.

    As for knowing more, I don’t know about that. I said clearly how many things I don’t know. But if you’re dumb enough to think nobody cares that you’re either making things up or plagiarizing from people who make things up, well, then I guess I do know more than you. But then, so does any small child.

    There are a LOT of useful things you can say to shore up an argument that child services has too much power. Lazy googling for an unsubstantiated quote isn’t useful or helpful.

  99. Amelia blacks April 13, 2012 at 3:19 am #

    Wow really y’all just for this I live in Alberta, Georgia and I let my 2 and 4 year old walk to Disney world leaving a child alone in a park is not that bad…. We should let kids roam I mean my kiddies came back a few weeks later and they were fine

  100. jlue April 13, 2012 at 3:27 am #

    The U.S.A., is quickly becoming a country that I do not recognize. When government tells us what to think, what to do and how to do it, we raise a generation who will police those who do not quickly get in step. That is what happened here. The father decided something for himself rather than letting the government tell him what to do and that is not acceptable in the ‘new order of things’. Will we be able to return to “sanity”? It looks doubtful.

  101. Amelia blacks April 13, 2012 at 3:35 am #

    Wow really y’all I mean I’m from Alberta , Georgia and I let my 2 and 4 year old walk to Disney world they really wanted to go. This is nothing they came back fine a few weeks later

  102. Freedom for Kids April 13, 2012 at 3:46 am #

    Uly—Maybe I don’t know how to check my sources. There are quotes written all over the place, on the internet, in books, by ordinary people and very famous people, long dead people, etc. Unless these people can verify the quote for me themselves, personally, how do I trust what I am reading?

  103. ironwing April 13, 2012 at 4:22 am #

    Too many cops. Cops being taught that bullying is their only job. People taking their lead from the cops and thinking that they have the right to bully fellow citizens in the name of “security” and “safety”. A society that glorifies guns, violence, and paramilitary behavior above education, creativity, or productivity.
    And I hope somebody explained to the two kids that they didn’t do anything wrong, because they’re going to be confused, frightened, and eventually bitter.

  104. mollie April 13, 2012 at 5:04 am #

    My ex-sis-in-law is the type who would phone the cops in a situation like this. She was also in her glory back in 2001 when people were advised to contact the authorities if they say anything “suspicious” going on in their pristine, middle-class neighbourhoods that might smack of terrorism…

    When my ex threatened to call CPS on me for letting my 7-year-old walk a mile to school unsupervised, or go to the store four blocks away alone to get a lemon for me, or whatever little thing like that, I understood that it was not in my child’s best interest to continue allowing him the freedoms he had in my house until his dad relaxed and was ready for it.

    I mean, it was in my child’s best interests to develop his independent decision-making skills and overall competence, but it was not in his interest to have his parents so bitterly at odds about his care, or to have a CPS worker come in and potentially prevent him and his sister from having time with their mother.

    It was hard for me to choose, and I resented the fact that I was making it, since a few decades ago I would not have feared that CPS would take my kids away over something that all kids were doing back then. But what is, is… and I worked with it. Two years later, my ex relented, my son was turned loose, and apart from being the victim of his dad’s “caring” (yes, with an initial “s,” how aptly put, Lenore!) in telling him that the whole world was out to get him and take him away, he’s a good kid. And it would seem 11 is the cutoff age here, when people turn away and shrug instead of getting all “het up,” as someone said earlier.

    Just last night, at a friend’s house, a 9-year-old came over to get the 11-year-old to play kick the can at the park a block away with some other kids after dinner, this was at about 7:15pm, and when the 9-year-old was asked what time she had to be home, she said, “Just before it gets really dark.” Ah, yes, the dream is real after all!

    But in talking to a woman today, I found out that her daughter’s 16-year-old friend is forbidden to sleep over anywhere or have a sleepover guest. And she’s certainly not permitted to go anywhere on her own! This woman was shaking her head over it, so I referred her to Lenore’s TV show. She’d seen a tiny clip of one episode, and loved it.

    Keep it up, Lenore, this site galvanizes the community around this issue and makes it more possible for the voices to be heard, and your TV show broadcasts sanity into hundreds of thousands of homes and minds… thank you, thank you, thank you.

  105. sploop April 13, 2012 at 5:19 am #

    haha, I think people just say “stalinism” because a whole generation of folks were raised to think of it as the opposite of freedom, when in fact there are a whole LOT of interesting ways to oppress people for no discernible benefit.

    “Freedom” is the weird thing, the exception. It takes a weirdo to be a free person.

    Anyway, hope the judge throws it all out. Ridiculous. My 6-year-old had the roam of the neighborhood, thanks partly to the influence of this blog. Also my own selfish laziness. Yes, motherhood did not turn me into a selfless, child-centered saint, why do you ask? I’m still an adult human being with adult interests, and the prospect of spending the next ten years of my life hovering over my kids’ every move made me want to stab something. Parents and kids need some freakin space from each other.

    Anyway, it’s been great. A year later he’s resourceful, respectful and a sweet kid. Still alive! 😉 My neighbors freaked at first but they’re used to him tooling around town on his bike now. My five-year-old daughter will start getting more free-range when she expresses an interest in it. For now she’s very content in the yard. Subsequent children will get more range as they learn to deal with the dangers of car traffic, which is really my main fear.

  106. Hineata April 13, 2012 at 5:19 am #

    Once again, I feel so glad not to live in the states. My husband actually broke my son’s femur when he was 7 months old, when he slipped while carrying him down a wet driveway. The surgeon took a good look at the xrays, noted he had no other signs of old damage and just waved us on, no CPS, no social workers, and that was for actual damage on a small baby.

    Its a lot easier to migrate here than to get into the US – maybe y’all should consider it. At least your kids could play in parks unmolested by interfering adults…

  107. Donna April 13, 2012 at 6:38 am #

    Hey, Hineata – Completely unrelated question (except that you just invited us all to immigrate to NZ). Are there thrift shops in Auckland where I could pick up some really cheap kid’s clothes? I’m thinking of heading to Auckland for a week or so this June or July and my daughter has no cold weather clothes.

  108. John April 13, 2012 at 6:55 am #

    Karen Green (from a post way above), I hate to tell you this but if you believe that a 6- and 9-year-old playing in a park unsupervised warrants a call to the police, then you are NOT free range.

  109. mollie April 13, 2012 at 7:40 am #

    Here’s how I imagine it:

    WOMAN: (To herself) Hmmm… I see a girl and a boy playing in the park together, but I don’t see their parents. That’s strange. I’ll keep an eye on them.

    *10 minutes later*

    WOMAN: (To herself) Huh. Now I’m feeling more anxious; I see no sign of the parents, and those kids are all by themselves in the park. There isn’t another adult there, and no other kids. If one of them got hurt… I’d feel like it was almost my fault! I mean, I should do something! Plus, it’s just not safe these days for them to be there alone! Anything could happen! A stranger could drive off with them!

    WOMAN: (To 9-year-old boy) Hi there, I see you’re playing here in the park, nice day, isn’t it? Um, I don’t see your parents around, do they know where you are?

    BOY: (To woman) Yeah, my dad knows we’re here. He said we could play.

    WOMAN: (To boy) Well, where is your dad, then?

    BOY: (To woman) I think he’s parking the car at LA Fitness.

    WOMAN: (To boy) He’s where?

    BOY: (To woman) He’s parking the car at LA Fitness.

    WOMAN: (To boy) Oh, I see.

    WOMAN: (To herself) Well, that’s bizarre. LA Fitness is three miles from here. What’s going on? These kids have no one to go to if they get hurt, and he’s God-knows-where. What sort of father…? This is ridiculous. I’m calling the police.

    WOMAN: (To police) There are two kids, young kids, playing in the park across the street from my house. And they’re alone. There’s no one there. I mean, their parents aren’t there.

    POLICE: (To woman) Did you speak to the children to ask them about their parents’ whereabouts?

    WOMAN: (To police) Yes, and the boy said something about his dad being at LA Fitness, which is miles away! I don’t think they are safe being there alone!

    POLICE: (To woman) Thank you, we’ll have a patrol car drive by and check it out.

    POLICE: (To boy) Son, how long have you been playing here alone?

    BOY: (To himself) Wow, this is terrifying! The police are here, in their uniforms, they look mad, I must have done something wrong! I have no idea how long we’ve been here, but if it’s wrong, I’d better make it sound shorter!

    BOY: (To police) Um, I dunno…. about 45 minutes?

    POLICE: (To boy) No, it’s been nearly two hours. A woman called us here because she said you’ve been here alone for quite some time. Where are your parents, son?

    BOY: (To himself) Oh no, he caught me in a lie, and it’s wrong for us to be here at the park alone, Dad did something wrong, now we’re in trouble!

    BOY: (To police) My dad is parking the car at LA Fitness. He said he’d be right back.

    POLICE: (To himself) What the hell? This kid has no idea what’s going on, he isn’t old enough to be by himself in a park for this long! This father is negligent. I’ve got a good mind to throw the book at him. How totally irresponsible.

    POLICE: (To boy) How can we contact your father? I’d like to speak with him right now.

    POLICE: (To father on phone) Sir, we received a complaint about your children at the park and are now here with them. Do you understand that your children were in the park alone? Do you know how long it’s been that they have been here by themselves?

    DAD: (To himself) Oh no, the police! How could I have been so stupid to let the kids play in the park by themselves? Did they cause trouble, or is it just wrong here to let kids play by themselves? Who called the police? I’m in trouble! Good thing I’m on my way there, but I’d better minimize the time I was away, because clearly they’re treating it as an offense.

    DAD: (To police): I’m very sorry for the trouble, Officer. I went to Wal-Mart to get some snacks for the kids, we’d been playing tennis. I was just going to run in and out, but it was Easter, and very busy, so I left. I thought instead I’d have a quick shower at the Fitness centre. I was only gone about 45 minutes.

    POLICE: (To dad) Wrong, sir, that is wrong. You were not gone for 45 minutes, you were gone for nearly two hours, which has put your children in danger. You are being charged with two counts of child endangerment.

    DAD: (To himself) Child endangerment??? How could this be happening? I was getting them some snacks! I love my children! They wanted to stay here in this park and play! I didn’t mean to be gone so long! This is so terrible!

    DAD: (To police) I know I was wrong to leave them so long, Officer. I didn’t mean to. I won’t do it again. Please don’t charge me.

    BOY: (To himself) The police are arresting my dad! I never should have asked to stay here and play, and now everything is terrible! I’m a terrible person! The police are mean! My dad is a criminal! This is terrible!

    So. If this is kind of how it went, how exactly did calling the police “protect” these children? What if the lady had said to the boy, “Do you have your dad’s number? I just want to talk to him to make sure he’s on his way or knows where you are.”

    Anyone who argues that the strategy of calling the police was the one that best supported safety and well-being for these children need only speak to the children and ask them how it was for them, being questioned by police, having their father questioned by police and issued a citation, and all of the subsequent interviews by CPS… let’s not forget the court appearances, and the interrogation by judges!

    When a simple phone call to the father would suffice! Or better yet, just let it be, unless the kids are in real trouble!

  110. Karen Green April 13, 2012 at 8:27 am #

    @ linvo this is my opinion which in the free country that we live in is my right to have. Just because it differs from yours does not mean that it is wrong.

    Much would depend on where the park was!

  111. km April 13, 2012 at 8:46 am #

    Everybody should know how grow kids, with courage and self confidence, how?

  112. pdw April 13, 2012 at 8:49 am #

    Don’t forget that the lady did wait for an hour after the kids told her dad was just parking the car. She may not have followed the best course of action by bringing the police into it, but she did (a) talk to the kids first and (b) wait for a perfectly reasonable length of time for the dad to come back, based on what the kid said.

  113. linvo April 13, 2012 at 8:51 am #

    @Karen, are you for real? You quote your right to an opinion as your defence but then would call the cops on a parent for having the opinion that his kids are mature enough to play in the park by themselves?

  114. Donna April 13, 2012 at 9:18 am #

    @ Karen Green –

    Interesting that you state that your opinion is not wrong just because it is different from mine but yet insist that my opinion – that 6 and 9 year olds can play unsupervised at a park – is not just wrong but sooooooooooooo wrong as to be CRIMINAL.

    You are now backpedaling on your original statement and saying that “much depends on the park.” Much depends on the children involved and you, as a stranger, don’t know my children at all. You don’t know what they are capable of. You don’t know what they like. But both 6 and 9 year olds are able to fully communicate. It is pretty easy to ascertain whether they are abandoned or simply playing at the park. It is pretty easy to ascertain whether this is a different parenting choice or neglect.

  115. Karen Green April 13, 2012 at 9:54 am #

    @ Donna Ummm where did you get the idea that I said your opinion was wrong? I simply stated MY opinion to the article it was not in response to anyone. I am not back pedaling on anything. I personally feel that this is too young that is all. Not sure how you got the idea that I was directing anything at anyone.

  116. Karen Green April 13, 2012 at 9:55 am #

    @ livno I refuse to argue I simply stated my personal opinion of the article. Please find someone else to argue with.

  117. hineata April 13, 2012 at 10:25 am #

    @Donna – must be, but I’m not sure exactly where! Will look it up and get back to you. Onehunga (one of the suburbs) will definitely have some, but what are you doing for transport? Will you be renting a car? Not sure what American Samoa is like, but a lot of travellers to NZ complain about public transport, is all…we are used to it, even if we moan about it, but it can be pretty sporadic. So, depending on where you’re staying, could be a pain to get to.

    Alternatively, hit Wellington first. Catspaw and I can bring our various spouses and kids and meet you in the foyer at Te Papa – a very public place on the waterfront, on the tourist trail, yada yada, in case I turn out to be some raincoat wearing weirdo! Seriously (and rights for raincoat wearing ‘weirdos, I say!) we can then pass on (clean) old coats etc, of which I currently have several, Midge having finally grown out of some. How tall etc is your girl?

    We can then do a bit of sightseeing, and the kids can drag your daughter up all sorts of cliffs etc she’d probably rather not climb :-)

  118. Donna April 13, 2012 at 10:30 am #

    @ Karen Green – You stated “I am all for free range but 6 and 9 unsupervised for 2 hours does call for a call to the cops.” That appears to be a statement that, in your opinion, anyone who believes that 6 and 9 year old children are mature enough to be left unsupervised for 2 hours is not just wrong, but so wrong as to be criminal.

  119. linvo April 13, 2012 at 11:33 am #

    After reading that update I still don’t get this. What on earth did the officer really base his decision to charge this man with child endangerment on?

    Surely “he must’ve been uncomfortable with what he did” isn’t enough to defend a criminal charge? You’d have to have nerves of steel to not feel uncomfortable when being questioned by an officer who clearly thinks you’ve done something wrong.

    And the “no contingency” argument makes no sense to me either. The law doesn’t state that there is a difference between leaving kids unsupervised with or without cell phone, does it? I grew up well before the existence of mobile phones and obviously no one thought it was a problem.

    I would argue that if you cannot trust on the community to help your child in the very rare event of an emergency, that is a pretty sad state of affairs. I would like to ask the people who think that is a reason not to leave your kids alone anywhere if THEY would just keep on walking if they saw a child that needed medical attention or other help. If they would, they obviously are part of the problem. And the more people give in to this “It is not my job to look out for anyone else’s kids” attitude, the more our community will come apart at the seams.

  120. Donna April 13, 2012 at 6:11 pm #

    Wellington is something to think about. It’s just going to be a quick trip if we come this winter, not a grand tour of NZ (we’re doing that in January with my mother). I feel a little guilty going to NZ twice rather than touring some of the other islands, but a few days of edible food I don’t have to cook, cool weather, playgrounds and entertainment other than swimming sounds absolutely heavenly to both of us right now. Now to see if I can get the money for this.

  121. cpr1224 April 13, 2012 at 8:55 pm #

    I live in the neighboring town to Scott Park. I have taken my son there to play many times when he was young and I would NEVER leave him unsupervised there. It is located in a desolate, suburban area with no one around at certain times of the day. You could scream and no one is around to hear you. The nearest homes have backyards a distance away from the playground and you never see anyone out doors unless it is a summer weekend. Believe me, a 9year old and a 6 year old WANT to know they are under the watchful eye of a caring parent. That shows they care. Leave the kid at home if you have to do errands.
    Again, I live in this area and it is not a quick drive, with no traffic, to all the places he went to. Face it, he was a lazy parent who did not want to spend time with his kids. Most parents around here always stay with their kids. Not that it is a high crime area, it is just a spaced out, no sidewalks, suburban area, no grocery stores or shops with in walking distance for kids, right beside a four lane highway. All the local people know what I am talking about. This has nothing to do with teaching a kid to be responsible. It is about good parenting.
    Push them on the swing of goodness sacks.

  122. CrazyCatLady April 13, 2012 at 9:43 pm #

    cpr1224, I bet the kids ASKED him to take him to the park. My kids do. And it wasn’t a weekday, it was a spring weekend. And, other kids were there.

    The people at the website where this was reported do not get why I am interested in this. In general, I couldn’t care less about most other towns. But when they set precident, and start making the abnormal seem normal, then I get concerned. I got concerned when communities started claiming eminant domain, not so that they could build roads, schools or hospitals, but so they could move middle class (or lower class) people out of their homes (that they worked hard to pay for) to build town houses for upper class people. Once that happened in a couple communities, then many were eyeing their own towns to see how they could do the same thing.

    I want my kids to be able to play at the park where I live, but if you won’t let yours play, then eventually that creep will mean that mine can’t play either. I am not going to sit by and let people like cpr1224 think that what is happening in his neighborhood is “normal” for the country.

  123. Heather G April 14, 2012 at 2:19 am #

    cpr1224, aren’t you just the authority on everything? Not only do you know the one and only way kids feel the one and only way a parent shows they care, but you also know these children well enough to know how far they can walk and how far they are accustomed to walking, how much supervision they require, that the father is lazy and doesn’t want to spend time with his kids, etc.

    Face it, just because “most parents around here” do it does not make a different parenting choice lazy or a criminal act. Actually, basing decisions on what “most parents around here” do, rather than on the individual circumstances (not a high crime area) and the abilities of your own children (not other people’s kids) sounds pretty darn lazy to me.

    BTW, I’ve never met a 6 or 9 year old who wanted Mommy or Daddy to push them on the swings. That’s quite a statement considering how many elementary aged kids I spend time with during the school year.

  124. Uly April 14, 2012 at 2:45 am #

    CPR, maybe the reason you never see anybody out and about is because they all think they must be tethered to their children at all times.

    Other people have reported that if only two or three families allow their children more freedom, suddenly their whole neighborhood comes alive with kids.

  125. Donna April 14, 2012 at 2:49 am #

    Good god. If people are still regularly pushing their 6 and 9 year olds on the swing, I truly fear for society when our generation retires.

  126. Anne April 14, 2012 at 4:16 am #

    The father apparently “lied about the time he was away” said the Chief of Police in the news article which “indicates that he felt uncomfortable with what happened”. The Chief of Police said that — this is nuts. Maybe the guy lied about the time (saying he was gone less time than he actually was) because he was suddenly being questioned by the police, and he had the fear, no doubt, that they might take his children away. Maybe THAT’s why he lied — not because he knew what he was doing was “wrong” in the first place.

    I wanted to write to that police chief (because I guess anyone can get that job if they stick around long enough — it doesn’t seem to take good judgment, anyway), but couldn’t get the link, and really ought not to waste my time with that kind of stupidity. I can’t imagine that these charges would result in a conviction, since the law is not clear about when children can be left alone. The person best able to judge that is the father, not a judge — and a judge would know that. So, the prosecution would have to lead evidence that these children were NOT capable of surviving a playground or looking after themselves for a bit. Tough one to prove, I would think.

    Too ridiculous.

  127. Jen April 14, 2012 at 8:26 am #

    I am normally aligned with most of the free range posters and principles however some common sense still needs to come into play. In this case as the park was not in the neighborhood where the family lived and would be 45 minute to an hour walk from the family home. I feel the father pushed the limits too far and didnot make the best choice.
    Interestingly we have an LA Fitness 3 minutes from house driving and park inbetween. I would not dropoff my 5 and 10 year old to play while I work out. Too many variables including obnoxious neighborhood kids who destroy the park equipment. My kids are allowed to stay at home while I work out typically gone a little more than an hour. A number of injuries can take place the park or kids get hungry, cold, hot and since the house is not nearby they couldn’t just run home. I have seen a kid get hit by a swing in the head–knocked out cold with fairly deep cut–yes I was the parent who called 911 for the paramedics while the mother attended to her son. Kids get into fights and push each other off playground equipment. My 5 year-old daughter got a rope burn when we were at the park the other day. This same park has a sledding hill–which my 10 year old is allowed to goto with friends–who live right across the street so if there is an issue or they are too cold they can just go there.

    I admit not as “Free Range” as some of the posters

  128. Donna April 14, 2012 at 8:50 am #

    While injuries may be a concern, my child can actually deal with being hot, cold, hungry and even thirsty for a short time. I’m not talking about sending kids out in subzero temps without a coat or all day with no food or drink. But a little discomfort that develops over the course of a time that they are playing is not going to kill them. I also have never been one of those parents who pack snacks and drinks everytime we leave the house.

  129. Amanda Matthews April 14, 2012 at 1:20 pm #

    @Kacie I too wouldn’t want my 6 or 9 year old riding in an ambulance ALONE – at the very least I would hope there is a licenced driver inside, and preferably there would be parmedics. It would be great of all parents could be in an ambulance with their child, but often, even when the parent is at the accident site, they can not ride along in the ambulance. Fortunately, an ambulance ride is rarely more than a few minutes long. It would be even better if no one ever needed an ambulance, but alas, life is not like that. But come to think of it, in all my years of going to the park – both as a child and an adult – I have never seen anyone need an ambulance to come to the park. I’ve seen many ambulances need to go to peoples’ homes, and I even once rode in an ambulance myself; but that was because of a car accident, and it picked me up from the street.

    But all that is irrelivant, since none of the kids in question needed an ambulance, or even got so much as a scraped knee.

  130. Amanda Matthews April 14, 2012 at 1:22 pm #

    @Jen why do people keep talking about it being too far away to walk home? These kids were not planning on walking home. And obviously a mother watching can not prevent accidents, if the mother was there when that happened.

  131. linvo April 14, 2012 at 2:04 pm #

    @Jen, to me that is exactly what free-range parenting is about. To let your kids experience “real life”. In small doses at first and increase until they are ready to take on the world.

    If your child gets cold after being dropped off at the park, they will learn that it pays off to dress for the weather. If they get hot, they can sit down in the shade. If they get thirsty, maybe they will remember to take their water bottle next time – but they won’t suffer any damage in that time. And if a 9 and 6 year old cannot wait a little while when they get hungry, I would call that downright spoiled. And if they go to pieces because mom or dad aren’t there to comfort them when they get rope burn, they can probably do with some toughening up. And nothing better for that than to be left to their own devices for a while!

  132. Heather G April 14, 2012 at 9:41 pm #

    Jen, so *you* wouldn’t let *your* kids do the same based on circumstances in *your* area. Common sense says that not everyone’s children, comfort level and circumstances will lead to the same decision. It does not make the decision wrong. Even if it was wrong for those children in those circumstances charging the father with a crime isn’t in the children’s or town’s best interest.

  133. Donna April 15, 2012 at 12:14 pm #

    My favorite comment on the article (2nd one) so far has been the woman who won’t leave her child alone at the ball field DURING HIS BASEBALL GAME. Apparently, her child is too delicate to stay at the park alone … with at least 2 adult coaches, two entire baseball teams and however many parents and siblings are watching the game. He might neeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed her.

    I’m all for watching your kid’s activities if you want to watch your kid’s activities. I’d stay to watch my kid’s baseball game because kids generally want their parents to watch their baseball games. But believing that you have to be there because you can’t leave your child “alone” is ridiculous.

  134. gsc April 15, 2012 at 12:27 pm #

    Hello people your kids are your responsiblity! Why should other people be subjected to your whining kids while you shower and shop. Have you ever been to the park with unsupervised kids? they want you the so called “helicopter” parent to entertain them and if they are injured they ask you for help! I am there with my child not yours. If you decide to have children you have to care for them not leave it up to others in the name of Free range? what are kids cattle/chickens?

  135. linvo April 15, 2012 at 12:40 pm #

    @gsc. First of all, what a very selfish thing to say and so typical of our modern day selfish society. Kids should be the community’s responsibillity, that’s how it has always been. Second, how insulting of you to assume my child would whine when I’m not there? Or ask to be entertained? Do you assume I have not taught her any manners at all? I am preparing her to function in a community, which includes not bothering others unnecessarily!

    Why on earth would you entertain a child at a playground anyway? Unless you mean helping them when they don’t want help, because that happened to my child all the time. And the comment about not wanting to help a child in the RARE event that they would get injured, jeezes! What kind of people would focus on their own inconvenience when someone has hurt themselves?!

    I am so over this attitude by parents who regard having other people’s kids nearby as “free babysitting and being taken advantage of”. Kids that age don’t need any babysitting at the park for a couple of hours. If you think they do, that is your opinion (though I wonder what you have been teaching your kids all these years), but to project that opinion onto others and then conclude that they are incoveniencing you because of it is a tad rich.

  136. Donna April 15, 2012 at 3:28 pm #

    @ gsc – If your 6 and 9 year olds need an adult to entertain them at the playground, you are clearly failing as a parent. There is probably no place that requires less parental involvement than a playground (unless you have an infant or toddler). The whole thing is designed and scaled for children to entertain themselves. I have never once been at the playground when a child, accompanied or not, turned their back on the playground equipment and other children to ask a strange adult to play with him or her.

    If you are playing with other people’s kids at all, my guess is that you have to entertain YOUR kids because they are incapable of entertaining themselves even at a playground and other kids – kids who would be perfectly happy entertaining themselves otherwise – ask to join in the game because it looks fun. Happens at the playground with both accompanied and unaccompanied kids. My daughter loves it when others join in games we occasionally play at the park. It’s kinda the point of playing there. If you are put out by other kids asking to join, you should play hide-n-seek at home instead of a public place.

  137. Amanda Matthews April 16, 2012 at 4:54 am #

    gsc, if you don’t want to be subjected to other humans, why are you going to a public place? Yes, my kids should be able to have fun while I take a shower. If you dissagree you can stay home.

  138. pentamom April 16, 2012 at 6:18 am #

    “If you decide to have children you have to care for them not leave it up to others in the name of Free range?”

    Teaching kids to be responsible for themselves and then letting them do it is not leaving it up to others, it is letting them be responsible for themselves — you know, like humans, unlike cattle and chickens, are SUPPOSED to be able to do.

  139. No Name April 17, 2012 at 10:47 pm #

    Wow! I was very disturbed by the comments here. I would just like to say, I think we should stop parenting every child and let the parents do it. Authorities are supposed to step in when children are clearly in danger. Not when parents are simply doing something a little unusual or uncommon.

  140. Jennifer April 20, 2012 at 12:06 am #

    That is f***ed up.

  141. Dan April 20, 2012 at 12:10 am #

    When I was 6 my dad bought me my first ‘big’ bike. He rode with me initially to help me learn, but once I knew how I was pretty much free to ride around the neighbourhood. By the time I was 9 I was travelling much further afield and spending hours away. There’s no reason my child should not have the same opportunity.

    And seriously, some parents actually find it an onerous burden to help out someone else’s child when they hurt themselves?

  142. The Big C April 20, 2012 at 1:11 am #

    My mom used to leave us at the park to play, the beach to play, expected us to walk to stores we wanted to visit. I loved doing it.

    The father did nothing that needed police or CPs intervention.

    For myself, I would never and have never left my kids anywhere on their own. Nor do I allow them to walk to area stores about a mile away. I am not comfortable doing that. I know there are registered sex offenders in our area, I checked. We are also near cross state routes and an interstate. I’ve taught my kids to use the buddy system, so when they go on neighborhood walks, there are at least two of them together.

    But I realize these are my choices and in no way should they be mandatory for other families.

  143. Reasie April 20, 2012 at 4:11 am #

    Some of you are saying it’s no big deal that the dad left the kids at the park because there was obviously an adult there; other adults count as supervisors; you should be able to count on strangers to supervise your children,etc, etc….but, when a stranger who thinks they are watching out for your kids does what they think is the appropriate reaction, you are miffed. I would be alarmed if I saw a 2yo walking toward the sidewalk, and I would hope if someone saw my 2yo walking alone toward the sidewalk, they would scoop her up and bring her to me!

    You can’t expect a village to raise your children exactly the way you would and with the same rules as you. If you trust a stranger to watch out for your kids in the event of an emergency, you should be ready for them to deal with it the way THEY think is right. That might mean calling the police or CPS. If you want everyone to butt out and leave you and your kids alone, well, then that’s the flip side – no one’s looking out for your kids if you aren’t there to do it.

    Everyone has different life experiences and opinions about how to raise a child. I would never send my kid to the park alone because I, myself, walked to school in the first grade and was approached by a man whom I’m 100% sure was a child molester (I’ll leave out the details). I was also allowed to play in the neighborhood as long as I was home around dark – I’m pretty sure my mother just wanted me out of her hair. I was molested by a group of older boys in our neighborhood. Maybe I’m just a magnet for abuse, but, unfortunately, my experiences have shaped the way I feel about the world, and, no, I do not trust others with my daughter.

    I let my daughter fall down, I let her fail, I let her make her own decisions, I let her play, I don’t let her win board games, but I will do everything in my power to prevent that kind of damage from happening to her. I resent my mother to this day for allowing it to happen to me.

    I don’t really care about statistics. Statistics are rubbish – anyone who has ever taken a statistics course should be able to tell you that. And, when your kid is one of the statistics, it matters a lot more than when you hear “only” 115 kids are abducted a year. So, yes, I wish we had a utopian world where children playing free-spiritedly in the fresh air was expected and demanded without a single worry about abductors, predators, bullets, or CPS agents, but, we don’t. That’s another thing – I wouldn’t let my kid go the park alone for the one simple reason that I KNOW not all people are “free-rangers” and OF COURSE someone will call the authorities!

  144. Amelia April 20, 2012 at 4:39 am #

    If you wouldn’t let your six and nine year old play together unsupervised in your yard or at a nearby park, you are mad, plain and simple.

  145. Roslynn April 20, 2012 at 6:34 am #


    I believe that’s how you spelled it, forgive me I am typing on my iPhone and can’t double check.

    If you saw, literally, 9 bikes, one gigantic little tykes playground set up, tire swing, open back door, and a 2 yr old in their own back yard, you would slam on your breaks, then walk the rather large (at least 10 foot because we are rural area) easement to get to the main sidewalk, then walk up the backyard sidewalk and scoop up said child from his back yard walk and then call CPS on the person that is standing in the back door? AND you would tell them that the child was “roaming the streets” and that the “house was filthy?” (neither of which was actually true because when the CPS guy walked up to my same door 3 hours later, he said he doesn’t see anything wrong, children unlock doors and the house didn’t seem filthy so he made an appointment with me at a later date to do the paperwork)


    I’m really sorry that you hold your mother responsible for the actions of other people and their poor choices.

    Let me give you a clue, people under the best supervision get taken advantage of too. Your mother allowing you to be outside was not the reason you got molested/raped. That’s like saying that the clothing you were wearing is what caused those people to attack you. It was the people’s poor choices and nothing else. Once you quit blaming, you can stop being a victim and empower yourself.

    People in schools, churches, malls, playgrounds, and their own homes get taken advantage of and it’s horrible, but if you want to “never” have anything ever happen to your child, you need to put them in a bomb shelter until they are 21, which you know is not practical.

  146. Lisa April 20, 2012 at 7:27 am #

    Its school holidays here and I am pleased to say right at this moment the neighbours kids (aged 6 and 8) are outside riding their bikes up and down the road. There are no adults hovering over them and they are having a ball. There is a skate ramp around the corner and there are about 20 kids (all ages) happy playing (and doing something healthy) – there is a smattering of adults watching but by no means are all the children under direct adult supervision – and as far as I know in the 26 years I have lived here there have been no abductions. Both my boys grew up here and have turned into sensible, confident and mature young men. I am grateful when I read this blog that I live in Australia and not the USA – the children here seem to have so much more freedom than their American counterparts.

  147. Reasie April 20, 2012 at 8:06 am #

    Hi Roslynn, I am not accusing you of doing anything wrong. I am not saying you didn’t know where your child was or that she was even in danger. I just said that I would be alarmed if I saw a 2yo walking toward the sidewalk with no adult in sight. I was not there for the exact incident you described, so I’m not commenting specifically about you and your daughter. I would not immediately call the police or CPS and I would not make false claims about someone’s parenting or their home. But, I think it would be irresponsible to just assume that someone else has that situation under control and go on my merry way. I’m saying that things that might alarm me, might not alarm another parent and vice versa. So parents can’t both depend on strangers to supervise their children and mind their own business about a child’s safety.

    You are probably right regarding my mother’s fault. I do think she should have been more vigilant (the boys were openly accused of molesting another little girl and my mother didn’t so much as ask me if anything had happened). But, this is probably a whole different topic. My point is that we shouldn’t all expect everyone to have the same ideals about parenting. While protecting my daughter is high on my list of priorities, freedom and play is higher on another’s list. I don’t think either is wrong. We just have different reasons for being the type of parents we are. I wished I could just forgive and forget and not think everyone is out to steal my daughter’s innocence (I realize it’s not logical), but it’s the way it works. So, I battle to be sane enough to let her be in a swimming pool with a swim instructor, but I won’t leave her alone at the park.

    So, you might raise your eyebrows at my ways, and I yours. So what. You are being the best parent you can be, and so am I.

  148. shanahrenee April 20, 2012 at 8:17 am #

    As a kid in the nineties I would take off on my bike and be gone all day…sometimes alone but usually with a sibling or neighborhood kid.

    This is why parents are having to take care of their adult kids more and more these days….they won’t get off of them long enough for them to learn ANY independence!

  149. linvo April 20, 2012 at 8:32 am #

    @Reasie, I’m sorry but I find this quite offensive: “While protecting my daughter is high on my list of priorities, freedom and play is higher on another’s list.”

    You are insinuating that free-range parents do not value protecting their kids and it highly offends me. The best way to keep your kids safe is to teach them the skills to deal with risks and dangers.
    As most abuse happens in their own home or with people they know, they need to have the skills to recognise the danger and know how to get help. I would not know that or implement that if I did not make keeping my child safe a priority!

    Also, I do not expect strangers to supervise my children. Ever. I do trust that if they would get injured, there would be someone kind enough to help them if they needed help. Just like with my 78yo friend who fell over the other day in the park and fractured her collar bone and was helped by a passer-by. Just like I would expect someone would help me if I crashed the car and was unconsious or badly hurt. Just like I hope that my neighbours would call the fire brigade when my house is on fire. This has nothing to do with supervision, but all with basic humanity and kindness. But these days many people seem to feel so outraged if they feel obliged to help someone else – by for example returning an escaped toddler – that they need to take out their anger on whoever they deem responsible for this inconvenience. I am trying hard to not generalise this selfish attitude too much because I do still believe in the kindness of strangers.

  150. 1wanderingtruthseeker April 21, 2012 at 12:39 am #

    I was just talking about this type of behavior. When I was a kid, my Mom left all five of us kids in the car while grocery shopping no one was going to take us! The car would be bouncing around from 5 kids jumping and what not. We use to leave the house in the morning and not come home until we were hungry. Afternoons too. Be home when the street lights came on. We moved to the country when I was a teenager. There was nothing but woods and dirt roads. We would be gone all day exploring. Parent that hover don’t let their children grow up.

  151. siskinbob April 21, 2012 at 3:52 am #

    Reblogged this on WrAnTz and commented:
    If not for the location names this could be the UK. And I so agree with the missing letter “s” from the word “caring”.

  152. Reasie April 21, 2012 at 5:47 am #

    Linvo, no, I am not insinuating that in the least. This will be my last post, as they have all been skewed as accusatory. I should have said “While protecting my daughter from strangers is high on my list of priorities, freedom and play is higher on another’s list.” Notice I said “higher” – I was trying to relay that we all want to be great parents, we each just value certain things differently. You obviously don’t see “stranger danger” as high of a priority as I do. I am willing to be considered “over-protective” by other people because I don’t think I am and it doesn’t matter to me what other’s think about my parenting style. I know I am a great mom. You are probably okay with being considered “negligent” by other people because you don’t feel you are. You know you are a great mom. I am not calling you or anyone (that I don’t know personally) negligent. I never said free-range parents are not concerned with their childrens’ safety. I am not insinuating anything. I am saying what I’m saying!

    All I was trying to say was that if everyone considered the fact that everyone sees situations differently and respected other’s parenting styles, we might all just get along a little better. Shees!

    These message boards don’t seem to be conducive to opening anyone’s mind or finding common ground. If we met at a park and discussed this topic face-to-face, you might be able to hear my words without getting defensive because you would hear my tone and see my body language and know that I’m not judging or accusing anyone. Again, last post.

  153. Anne April 21, 2012 at 6:19 am #

    If it means anything, Reasie, I got you the first time out and I see your point. You made it clearly and there was no offense to be taken.

    While I hope I will tend towards “free-range” with my two small people (3.5 years and 14 months old), it is hard to fight the fear that one naturally has, the fear that is also preyed upon by the media when something does go wrong. Nothing happened to me and I was allowed to wander about as a kid as much as I wanted, but of course I shake sometimes at what could happen. That fear is there, somewhere, for all parents, I am sure.

    How can any of us pass judgment on someone who WAS one of the unlucky few? How can we blame Reasie for saying that no matter what it took, free range and all that be damned, the same thing was not going to happen to her children? The natural fear might well be screaming loudly and clearly in her mind because she has been there.

    We all make our choices. It’s not hard to see the consequences, either way. More protective = some loss of independence or fun; less protective = some risk that something bad may happen. We all manage ourselves on those continua. Continuums. You know what I mean.

    So we need to back the hell off the judgment. We’re all trying to muddle through as best we can. Linvo, I read that you flew off the handle a bit there. Nothing to be offended about here. Certainly not “highly offended” anyway, hm? 😉

  154. Reasie April 21, 2012 at 8:49 am #

    I know I said I wasn’t going to post anymore, but I thought it would be very rude to not say thanks, Anne. I appreciate that you “got” what I was trying to say! :)

  155. mountaincoward April 23, 2012 at 12:41 am #

    That’s completely outrageous! I’ve just written a similar blog post, but not about anyone getting arrested, just about how my experiences of total freedom as a kid differ so profoundly to those of today’s kids. One of my readers put a link to your blog post in his comment and I’ve found it very interesting to read it (as well as completely horrified).

  156. turner08family April 24, 2012 at 4:20 am #

    Reblogged this on Chasing Butterflies & Doing Whorlybirds and commented:
    I wouldnt say that I am a fully free-range parent, but I dont think Im over protective either. I would like to think I fall into a happy medium. A good place for us. yes for US. I dont however think that 100% in either direction is wrong either. It should be up to the parent to decide based on the maturity level and awareness of their children, on how they choose to parent. As a child from 1st grade on I was all over the neighborhood with my friends Ashley Isenberger, Makenzie Johnson, Zach Sordahl, Cindi Vice (ok cindi a few years later) and you know what? We survived! We had a great childhood! The world wasnt less scary then, the dangers were still the same we were just less aware of them but still taught never to go with a stranger and to always go out in pairs so that if one got hurt the other could run and get someone. In “the land of the free” we are slowly loosing many of freedoms, by the cops charging this man for letting his kids play at the park he has taken away his right to parent how he deems appropriate.

  157. Jon Coe-Othman April 24, 2012 at 7:26 am #

    How in the hell is this not negligent and dangerous, if you think it is safe in this day and age for a child to be left alone you live in the delusional funland of the most utterly ignorant. Pedophiles, drug dealers and even cops can be aggressive and opportunistic in exploiting your children who aren’t old enough to understand perversion, addiction and corruption.

  158. Alaina Fox May 26, 2012 at 3:41 pm #

    it is rediclass that our kids cant be trusted to play at the park. what is our world comming to, when i was a kid we always played at the park and i send my kids to the park all the time to play. there is nothing wrong with that. the real problem is that we can no longer trust our community to look after the children in the community we can no longer trust our nabors to help keep our streets safe. The problem with our country is that we can no longer trust each other.

  159. Richard August 13, 2012 at 10:35 am #

    A neighbor of mine called the Texas CPS (Child Protective Services) and the Police on my wife and I because we allow our children, ages 6 and 8, to play in the court yard directly in front of our apartment. CPS has been investigating my family since April 4th 2012, it is now August 12 2012, and all they have come up with is the one report to Police about my 6 year old being outside in front of his home. Now we are dealing with the courts in a “Neglegent Supervision” case, which makes absolutely no sense because my child wasn’t hurt or asking anyone for help. I was outside with my son when the Police arrived, but the CPS caseworker insists that I take drug tests and parenting classes. People are not neighbors anymore, they are just @$$holes.

  160. bolt August 13, 2012 at 11:23 pm #

    6 and 9 are way to young to be left at a park alone and just because their is another adult there doesnt mean they are going to watch someone elses children. the world is not what it use to be. people taking off with kids, the killings are up and its just unsafe for the children. I agree that an adult should have been with the kids. either father, mother, aunt, uncle and not just some other adult that may be at the park at the night the kids are dropped off.

  161. Cameron August 16, 2012 at 2:08 am #

    I think that is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard!!! If a parent thinks that his kids are able to look over themselves for a few hours, especially with nosy people around, then they should have freedom. We’re they causing a disturbance or bothering anyone? No. They were just playing at the park.

  162. Ellen Papuga August 16, 2012 at 11:39 pm #

    I think this is totally outrageous! Why in God’s name would anyone take a chance like this? With so many reports of child abduction, sexual abuse, etc. why would you leave you’re children alone in a park? Not to mention what would happen if one of them was injured? We’re not talking about playing in their own neighborhood. This guy was miles away! Did the kids have a phone? You are all very misguided and this parent used very poor judgement!

  163. Maggie August 17, 2012 at 12:05 pm #

    The predominant philosophy here seems like a combination of a self-deceptive “it can’t happen to me” and a kind of social Darwinism – the fate of any kid who can’t actually handle being left alone is just tough shit, isn’t it? Anyone whose six year old needs adult attention in a public place is a worthless parent who doesn’t deserve to have kids in the first place, amirite? Here’s hoping nothing trips you up and knocks you off that high horse you’re riding around on.

    For every one of the 115 successful “stereotypical” abductions, how many little girls (or boys) get flashed or groped or unsuccessfully lured? How many children does the bad guy try to catch before he succeeds? To what extent is this reassuring statistic owed to the widespread cultural habit of keeping our eyes on our kids, which you special snowflakes are so intent on defying?

    These kids weren’t playing in their own courtyard or neighborhood and they didn’t walk themselves anywhere. Their father DROVE them several miles to a large, isolated suburban park and then drove away again, to a series of commercial locations that the kids had no hope of reaching on their own. According to Google the closest L.A. Fitness location is over seven miles, via freeway, from the park. SEVEN miles! You guys are really OK with this, or are you just sticking to your group dogma, defending the special snowflake “free-range” identity? They had his phone number? Fine – did they have a PHONE? What, a nine year old is old enough to be deliberately cut off from contact with her parents for an indefinite period of time – 45 minutes, two hours, who cares? – but not old enough to be trusted with a cheap cell phone?

    Leaving your kids unsupervised to show off how cool and with-it you are is nowhere near as impressive as you seem to think. And expecting any adult – let’s be frank, any WOMAN – who happens to be standing around to automatically take responsibility for your child, without so much as asking, is the icing on the cake. To then wax indignant because the stranger you silently recruited for unpaid impromptu child care finally decides that’s enough’s enough, and acts according to her own, socially mainstream judgment, is just obnoxious. If you don’t want to be mistaken for child neglecters, don’t act like one.

  164. linvo August 17, 2012 at 12:40 pm #

    @Maggie. The “widespread cultural habit of keeping an eye on our kids” is a fairly recent trend. In the 80s and 90s no one would’ve batted an eye lid at seeing 2 kids having fun in the park without an adult watching them like an eagle.

    And all types of crime have been decreasing in the US since then, not just those against children.

    The question that gets asked here a lot but never gets answered by those who think exposing your kids to the infinitely small risk of getting harassed or abducted by a stranger is: why do you think it’s ok to let kids ride in the car when the chance of them coming to harm is so much greater? Or why do you allow them to be on their own with relatives and people known to the family as statistically they pose a much greater threat? Neglectful much?

  165. linvo August 17, 2012 at 12:41 pm #

    **The question that gets asked here a lot but never gets answered by those who think exposing your kids to the infinitely small risk of getting harassed or abducted by a stranger is neglectful is this:

  166. Ellen Papuga August 17, 2012 at 7:22 pm #

    Here, here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  167. Ellen Papuga August 17, 2012 at 7:25 pm #

    I would say that the reason it happens more often when left with relatives is that not that many people are stupid enough to leave their children in a park unsupervised! I happen to know that there are people who frequent that park just waiting for an oppurtunity like this!

  168. linvo August 17, 2012 at 7:38 pm #

    If you know these people well enough to know their intentions, maybe you should reassess who you associate with…

    But so it is stupid to leave kids unsupervised in the park, but not stupid to leave them with relatives or other people they know even though the numbers on abuse by those types of people are quite high?

    And still no answer to my question as to why those making a statistical molehill into a mountain are happy to let their kids ride in cars. Which attitude should that be attributed to? A self-deceptive “it can’t happen to me”?

    Also no response to why this was common practice when our generation was growing up. Were they all stupid parents back then?

  169. Ellen Papuga August 20, 2012 at 3:14 am #

    Please reread my post. I did not say I associated with them. I have stated my opinion and I stand by it. I believe in a more prudent approach to parenting and I still say that leaving children at that age unsupervised in a park is a recipe for disaster. There are things in this life that we can control and things we can’t. No, I can’t totally control whether my child is in a car accident but I can make sure he has the proper safety restraints on to minimize the injury he may suffer. Same goes for anything else. To keep us all as safe as possible commmon sense should rule. To leave your child in a park unsupervised and you are miles away is not taking proper safety precautions. I’m honestly starting to wonder what kind of people are promoting this type of philosophy! I’m sure there are some with good intentions and yes it is a sad state of affairs when we have to be so on our guard, but it is the REALITY that we live in!

  170. Janet young August 21, 2012 at 1:29 am #

    Yes busybodies not minding their own business are a menace to society . My neighbor called the cops on my sons coworker after entering the neighborhood( gated community) to drop my son off after work. My son works nights and gets home late.

  171. C Marie August 31, 2012 at 12:29 pm #

    concerned about an 11 year old, 5th grader waiting outside of school for 10 min? ya right.

    Needless to say my 11 year old me home from school scared and devastated, now mind you the officer did this at the request of the school principal. This is a DARE officer, in full uniform, with a gun!

    Now the principal felt it was necessary to do this because on Monday when my Ex dropped our son off, there were several parents sitting in their cars with their kids waiting for 8:15 and he went up to the first car, and told her to drop her kid off and get moving, or move to a parking spot and wait for 8:15, because he needed/wanted to go, but he couldn’t because she was blocking the way. This MOM refused to do so because it was against school policy. She, we found out she is the PTA president, went into the school and complained to the principal.

    So the principal decided, it wasn’t better to call his dad or me and talk to us, or send a letter home and ask us to call them or come in, no it was best handled with a police officer, in full uniform, with his gun, interrogate and intimidate and scare my son.

    you know why schools have a problem with bullying? because of people like this, this is bullying and intimidation at it’s finest. How can schools and police recognize bullying and intimation, when they actively participate in it themselves. It’s a dam shame.

    I have yet to talk to the principal, I have left aI can beat this story, if anyone still reads this page. School started last week in our district, we drop our 11 year old off at school (5th grade) at around 8:05 and school doors open at 8:15.

    Well my son came home from school Tuesday and told me a police officer was at the back door of the school, and asked him his name, who his parents were, where he lived and if he had any siblings. Yes he interrogated my 11 year old!!

    He than asked him why he was dropped off so early and why his parents don’t wait in the car with him until the doors open, my son told the officer that we have to get to work. The officer told him that he should take the bus if we cannot sit in the car and wait until 8:15 for the doors to open. None of his business why my kids don’t take the bus, wouldn’t you agree!

    Now here is where is gets good, he than told my son since there was no one outside the doors of the school to watch him, that if we continued to drop him off an leave we would be charged with child endangerment, and we could go to jail! Now mind you, 15 feet from where he stands at the back door, there is a school filled with administrators, teachers and aids. The parking lot is filled with parents waiting to drop their kids off and still others who do the same as we do, drop them off and go. But according to the officer there is no one to look after him!!!

    We were told at the start of the year kids in this building 4th to 6th grade are allowed to walk to school, that’s not considered child endangerment, but having him wait at the back door of the school for 10 min before the doors open is!

    Funny thing is anytime they want a levy passed the first thing they say is busing will be eliminated to state requirements for all kids in the high school and for any child that lives with in 2 miles of the school, including 5 and 6 year old’s. They aren’t worried about children waling a mile or two as young as 5 and 6, yet they are message, but my work hours make it hard, she should be calling me tomorrow, around 2. I plan on filing a complaint with the ACLU (if possible) and also a grievance with the school board and police department There is no way they can defend this kind of behavior.

    Letters to the editors of the local and major newspapers too!
    This one will not be swept under the rug!

    By the way the next time a levy comes up in your district, vote no, I know I am. Normally i support the district, but just yesterday, trying to get information on the people involved in this, i came across the latest teachers contract for this district and was surprised to say the least at what is in the contract. JUST ASK YOUR SCHOOL BOARD FOR IT, OR WHERE ITS AT ON LINE!

    Any teacher and staff member who does not miss a day of work during any given semester is given a $150.00 bonus, and if they don’t miss any days during the year, they are given an additional bonus of $500.00 at the end of the year!

    Teachers and staff are also allowed 1 to 3 weeks (depends on how long they have been with the district) PAID vacation, that they can take during the school year. This is on top of the 10 weeks they get off in the summer, the two weeks they get for winter break and the week they get off or spring break! plus all the holidays they get.

    They pay only on average 8 to 12% for heath benefits and nothing towards life insurance.

    The district matches 50% of what a teacher and staff puts away towards retirement.

    And finally most people in the district that are over 55 have actually retired and have been rehired at the same salary they left with. Meaning at 55 they are collecting their retirement benefits on average of 30 to 60 thousand dollars a year, complete health coverage and collecting a pay check of 50 to 60 thousand a year!

    Teachers, staffers, aids and administrators need to work until 65 or 70, like the rest of us before they can retire, this being allowed to retire after 30 years of service has to stop.

    The things I named above are just the cream of the crop that i found in the contract, forget the 5 grand some coaches make coaching! This stuff is driving the system broke.

    So when your district says they are broke and that they have cut cost to the bare minimum, ask for a copy of the latest contract and see for yourself if it’s true!

    i am so sorry, knowing what do now, that I was with the teachers and voted to stop SB5 from taking place! Won’t make that mistake in the future!

  172. C Marie August 31, 2012 at 12:40 pm #

    So sorry my post didn’t post in the order I typed it. I must have hit a button and messed something up. if you read the entire post you should be able to understand what happened. never posted anything before and messed up sorry again.


  1. Safe « Creative Exfoliation - April 13, 2012

    […] a news report is sparking heated debate in the blogosphere and across social media platforms. A father in Pittsburgh was charged with two counts of child […]

  2. Dad lets kids, 9 and 6, play in park for two hours - April 13, 2012

    […] father ran errands and took a shower at the gym, but police charged him with child endangerment. [Free-Range Kids; Chartiers Valley Patch (suburban […]

  3. Morning LInks | The Agitator - April 19, 2012

    […] Father lets his kids play in a public park for a couple hours, gets charged with child endangerment. […]

  4. The Shape of the Spoon « The Honest Courtesan - May 8, 2012

    […] her daughter to bicycle to school, a 12-year-old boy arrested for “walking alone” and a father charged with “child endangerment” for letting his kids play in the park without hovering over them.  Legal restrictions on young […]

  5. Increasingly restricted childhoods « Later On - July 23, 2012

    […] tradition of fifth graders walking to the village green over “concerns about safety”; the Pittsburgh dad who was charged with child endangerment for letting his 9- and 6-year-olds play in a park; the Florida community thatbanned anyone under […]

  6. Father Arrested for Leaving His Kids at the Park for Two Hours - August 22, 2012

    […] woman in the park called the police. They arrested the man. The charge? Child […]