6-y.o. Who Walked Alone to Post Office May be Removed from Her Home

Readers dzekeeyahn
— This is the continuing story of the 6-year-old detained by the cops for walking outside. It is disturbing and distressing. The family needs pro bono legal help. If any of you are lawyers or know someone who can help, please let me know and I will forward the info to the family. Remember: I am posting this story NOT because it is common and we should all worry about being hounded by CPS if we let our kids go outside. I am posting it in utter outrage at the idea that a child on her own could be considered neglected or in danger when she is so obviously, clearly, and indisputably neither. – L

Dear Free-Range Kids: A few days ago CPS served my wife and me with a complaint alleging that we are neglectful.  They want to take custody.  Here is the chain of events that has led to this:

Day 1:  Six-year-old “Emily” walks three blocks by herself to the post office for the second time.  This is after having made the trip with her many times in past through our quiet, residential neighborhood.  All the streets have sidewalks, and the walk requires crossing one ‘T’ intersection that has a stop sign and crossing at a traffic light.

Day 2:  “Emily” and I are both walking back from the library.  She wants to do it herself, so I let her walk separate from me some of the time.  The cops get a phone call from a concerned citizen who says there’s a strange guy talking to a little girl.  Three officers respond and cite a concern for Emily’s safety in crossing the street.  I confirm that I am her father and give my name, as is required by law.  They refuse to state any reasonable suspicion of a crime being committed or say what law has been broken, and so, in accordance with my 5th amendment rights, I refuse to answer any questions.  We are detained for over half an hour before being released.  (I asked many times over the course of the detention whether I was “free to go” and I was told that I was not. We were told that we were being held for an “investigative detention.”)  The sergeant who responded to the scene stated over the radio that he wanted to “hook this guy” for child endangerment. (The recording of radio traffic during the encounter was later received through a public records request that I made.)

Day 6:  I call the sergeant who reported on Day 2 to ask if we were still under investigation.  He responded that we were not and that an “incident supplement” had been filed by the reporting officer and “that was all.”  He confirms in that there is no law prohibiting a school-age child from crossing residential streets.  That afternoon we let Emily walk to the post office to mail a letter.  (That’s the story that was shared before on this blog.)  The same officers who responded on Day 2 remove Emily from the post office and detain her.  Contrary to the complaint that is filed later, they do not contact me — I go looking for her when she doesn’t come right back home — and they refuse many times to release her.  According to the complaint, Emily, who has known her phone number and address for quite some time, refuses to give them to the officers, but the officers know who she is, who I am, and where we live.

Day 7:  A social worker with CPS leaves a letter at my door addressed to a different person than anyone in my family.  I mail it back.

Day 12:  CPS leaves a letter addressed to my wife and I that cites unspecified concerns about the children.

Day 13:  I call CPS twice and leave a message.  The phone call is not returned for two days.

Day 14:  We give Emily the Free Range Kid ID card to function as a sort of “permission slip” so that she can demonstrate to other people that she has not merely escaped unnoticed.  Then we let Emily go to the post office again.  When she is just around the corner from the house on her way home, she is stopped by a city utility worker and a school bus driver (though she is not enrolled in public school).  She calls me on the cell phone since the bus driver is preventing her from leaving, so I go get her.  That night two officers knock on the door, but we do not answer.

Day 15:  I talk with the supervisor at CPS on a recorded phone call.  I refuse to answer any questions or make any statements.  Though he did relay that he was concerned about a child “roaming the streets of [Our City, OH],” he refuses to tell me what law has been broken.  We go around and around for about 25 minutes.  I find out through my employer shortly after the phone call that if I do not “cooperate” CPS is threatening to seek an ex parte* order, which would allow CPS to take custody without a hearing, to separate us that Friday (and then keep Emily all weekend since a hearing would not have to be held until close of business on Monday).  Note that I have cooperated to the full extent required by law.  The Home School Legal Defense Assn. is very helpful in getting CPS to agree not to seek an ex parte order so long as Emily does not go outside again by herself.

Since then CPS has knocked on the door many times.  I did answer the door when the CPS supervisor came by–I thought that he was a delivery guy or what not since he didn’t have a uniformed police officer with him–but otherwise we have simply ignored them.  There is no law requiring someone to answer their door, and since I had no interest in talking to them or getting detained by the cops simply ignoring them seemed the best course of action.

Day 41:  We are served with a complaint alleging neglect and dependency.  The County wants to take Emily into “protective supervision” or “temporary custody.”  The complaint contains many factual errors and inaccuracies.

There is also a motion for “pre-dispositional interim orders.”  As I understand it, this is a mechanism by which CPS can intervene even before the merits of the case against us for neglect are even heard, but less decided.  It is scheduled to take place more than a month before the hearing on the neglect charge.  It asks the court to force my wife and I to “allow ______ County Children Services to complete an assessment with the family.  This is including allowing the agency access in the home, allowing the agency to interview the children, and participate openly in the assessment process.”  In other words, they want to search our house, interrogate the children, and force us to testify.

We are trying our best to raise Emily to be responsible, curious, and capable.  We have chosen to include teaching her about using the library, navigating the neighborhood, and mailing letters as elements of her homeschooling.  Needless to say, this entire ordeal has been quite distressing for the entire family, and we view it as a threat to our homeschooling her, our parental rights, and both my and Emily’s civil liberties.  Since our family is being threatened by legal action, I have tried to confine my comments to a dispassionate statement of known facts.

*When at least one party to a legal action isn’t represented, the result is an ex parte order. In this context, CPS would have asked a judge to issue an order to get custody of Emily without allowing any rebuttal to their accusations of neglect.  In other words, they considered it so dangerous for Emily to continue to live with us that they didn’t think there was any time to wait for an emergency hearing in which everyone would be represented.

P.S. To write directly to the dad in this post, drop a note to: ohiosidewalkkid@gmail.com

I'm afraid you're coming with me, young lady.

I’m afraid you’re coming with me, young lady.




406 Responses to 6-y.o. Who Walked Alone to Post Office May be Removed from Her Home

  1. Nebuchadnezzar April 3, 2013 at 8:21 am #

    I like that this guy initially refused to give in and kept letting his girl walk, and has been wisely refusing to let CPS/the police into his home as they’ve got very little on him.

    I find myself thinking what I’d do. I have a 9 month old daughter who we plan on homeschooling. What will the world be like when she’s old enough to walk to the library by herself? If this were me, I’d tell my wife to withdraw some money, take our daughter and leave without telling me where she was going.

    It’s pretty extreme but what can you do when it seems like there is no such thing as the rule of law when it comes to things like this?

    Please, God, someone help this guy. I wish I could but I’m obviously a crazy man.

    Also is it just me or do a lot of these stories seem to come from Ohio?

  2. Damon April 3, 2013 at 8:31 am #

    I’m not usually a fan of the term many state, but this is such a literal example.

    It strikes me that neglect (at least in the non-legal sense) connotes a lack of proper thought, care and attention. It sounds to me like family has done the exact opposite; they’ve put a lot of thought, care and attention into their parenting approach, and the same thoughtfulness, care and attentiveness into implementing that approach.

    Please keep us up to date, and we are all pulling for you.

  3. Mike April 3, 2013 at 8:35 am #

    I have long thought that CPS is the greatest source of evil there is. Situations like this are the reason why.

  4. Samantha April 3, 2013 at 8:44 am #

    Oh gosh, this makes me sick to my stomach. I allow my six year old to walk between her school and the church that houses her dance class. It’s is exactly the same kind of walk– all residential with one T stop crossing.

    This family has done nothing wrong and I wish them all the best. Shame on CPC and the police in this case.

  5. A. Green April 3, 2013 at 8:47 am #

    I would not be comfortable letting a six-year-old walk somewhere by him or herself. Of course, It would depend on the area.

    While we don’t want to instill fear in our children, at the same time, we cannot control the actions of predators who may want to harm them.

    Our world is not a safe place and children go missing each day and are raped or killed, so parents may want to exercise appropriate caution.

    If we lived in a Utopian world, this caution would not be necessary; unfortunately, we live in a world where some individuals can and do hurt children.

  6. I've Been There April 3, 2013 at 8:49 am #

    Thanks for writing about these, Lenore. You wrote about my similar experience and the parallels here are eerie- ex parte movements, weekend removals… dollars to donuts they won’t be able to “find” kin care if they try to take this kid.

    I may have little to offer but if this man wants to get in touch I’d be happy to compare notes.

    This is me:


  7. Captain America April 3, 2013 at 8:49 am #

    The ACLU of Ohio should be working wtih this guy, instead of trying to force the federal government to pay for transgender operations in the name of “health care”! 🙂

    Honestly, one should be free to walk outside of one’s house on the public streets.

  8. AK April 3, 2013 at 8:52 am #

    As a parent in OH who’s about to start homeschooling a child next year, I have this sinking feeling that the authorities wouldn’t be quite THIS concerned if the child in question was enrolled in public school. I am saddened and sickened that something like this is going on in my state and desperately hoping it’s not in central OH?!

    OP, I sincerely hope that everything works out just as it should–in your favor.

  9. Coccinelle April 3, 2013 at 8:53 am #

    Is it a case of prejudice against homeschooling? Where I live, a judge once ruled that a child be forced in school (not too surprising knowing that it’s the law here) AND his younger sibling forced in child care! It made me completely speechless!

    I wish to everyone living this ordeal plenty of courage. My heart is crying for you all.

  10. Fear less April 3, 2013 at 8:55 am #

    I am not a lawyer. But I would be willing to write a letter of support for the parents, sign a petition and do whatever else I can to defend Emily and her parents. I will email one to you Lenore, and ask that you pass it on since there is no contact info.

  11. George April 3, 2013 at 8:56 am #

    @ A. Green: The danger from child predators is extraordinarily small, and it’s relatively easily mitigated. There are risks, but child predators are not a very significant one. So what if the kid just stayed inside all day?

    “by keeping children “safe at home”a child is exposed to the risk of dying from flame or smoke inhalation; this kills a child once every ten days, compared to the 1 in 1.4 million years chance of being abducted and murdered by a stranger” WARRICK CAIRNS, HOW TO LIVE DANGEROUSLY, at 46 (2008)

    (Found in a footnote in David Pimentel’s article “Child Neglect and the ‘Free Range Kid'”)

  12. lollipoplover April 3, 2013 at 9:04 am #

    “Our world is not a safe place and children go missing each day and are raped or killed, so parents may want to exercise appropriate caution.

    If we lived in a Utopian world, this caution would not be necessary; unfortunately, we live in a world where some individuals can and do hurt children.”

    Yes, children do have real dangers as pedestrians- car accidents. My 6yo went to school today on bike with her siblings. Each day the go I remind them of REAL dangers- watch out for the cars, always assume they don’t see you. Her bike ride to school wakes her up and prepares her to learn, not to mention responsibility.

    As for predators, my kids know they are more likely to get struck by lightning than have a rare encounter with a predator. They know most of the homes on their route and the families that live there. They’re schooled in “what would you do” scenerios.

    Also, “While we don’t want to instill fear in our children”-STOP. You are perpetuating a myth. That of a child predator lurking in the bushes trying to pluck 6yo’s off when the predator is more likely to be in their own home, someone they know, who takes advantage of them.

    Our world is not a safe place.
    You can fall out of bed, down your stairs and slip in the bathtub and drown even before you step into this great big bad world. If “Parents may want to exercise appropriate caution” there would be a less driving everywhere and more walking.

    That would save a lot of kids.

  13. Carl April 3, 2013 at 9:05 am #

    This is a response to Mike: “CPS is the greatest source of evil there is.”

    In any detection process, there are inevitably hits, misses, and false alarms. Hits in this context are situations in which CPS does prevent harm to a child (e.g., saving a life). Misses are situations in which CPS fails to prevent harm to a child. False alarms are situations like this absurd and abusive interaction with ‘Emily’ and her wonderful parents.

    Unfortunately we hear most often about the misses and the false alarms. I don’t think it’s fair to state that “CPS is the greatest source of evil there is” — this fails to take account of their hits, which considerably outnumber the misses and false alarms, distressing though those are. Many children’s lives are saved from abusive and neglectful parents by necessary state intervention.

    I wish the leaders and frontline people in that system had more common sense, though. Free Range Kids is doing a good job in promoting that.

  14. alexandra Larson April 3, 2013 at 9:06 am #

    I let my 11 year old roam all over our Ohio town. Luckily our police are looking for.real crime. Kids do not go out after dark on their own. And every kid has a cell phone, yeah I know, but we ditched our $150 u verse home phones to keep them. Kids a hundred years ago went everywhere, heck so did my age group, 40 and under. We have only most people.who think they are do gooders and the media to blame. I do not need Hilary’s village, back off former VP, only YOU actually HAD a village to watch your kid as you were too busy too.

  15. alexandra Larson April 3, 2013 at 9:12 am #

    I meant Senator and secretary of state…not VP.

  16. Gina D April 3, 2013 at 9:13 am #

    I have worked with our equivalent of cps several times in the past year bc they have been called in on my ex a few times. First of all I can’t help but wonder if your uncooperation is giving them the impression of guilt so they are pushing harder. This is not to blame the victim, but considering the populations they typically deal with, avoiding them is probably common and never a good thing from their perspective. It also seems they are either overworked in certain areas and can’t accomplish anything or underworked in others, such as yours so they go into an overkill mode. I would call the ACLU in your area, but would also begin to cooperate. They have the authority to take your kid, right or wrong, and maybe meeting them part way will appease them enough to back off. Mind you, I am not responding this way because I think what they are doing is ok. I am merely giving you suggestions about how to function in an incredibly messed up system.

  17. A. Green April 3, 2013 at 9:13 am #

    I have to dispute your ignorance. Read the facts, over 90% of children are raped/molested by their own family members, friends, or acquaintances. I can see you listen to the media with “stranger danger”. This makes up about 1% of people who hurt children.
    You can not always believe what you hear on television and there are many websites and facts about who is raping children. Yes, some do get abducted by strangers but not the majority. The media and some organizations want you to believe this.
    Children have been going missing for years but because the news is 24/7 we hear about them more now then ever.
    Children get shot by stray bullets from criminals more than they get abducted and raped.
    People need to educate their children like these parents did and children would be safe. Knowledge is power. I would suggest you read some statistics and stop making such ignorant assumptions.

  18. F. Branson April 3, 2013 at 9:14 am #

    While this father seems to be perfectly capable at raising a child, the real problem is that he is being purposefully uncooperative.

    Anytime someone justifies uncooperative behavior with “I am doing what is required by the law”, I have to look at them funny.

    Why wouldn’t you just answer the door? Is it possible that by having a conversation with the HUMAN working for CPS that maybe this entire issue could have been resolved? A simple misunderstanding?

    Instead, by your account, it sounds as if you are remaining tight lipped and refusing to explain yourself. Should you be required to explain yourself? No, the law says you do now. And yet, you have no problem providing a valid explanation for your parenting choices on a public website!

    The world hasn’t gone crazy. The world is filled with people, whom, given the same account you just gave us, would likely have let this whole thing go. Stop treating the police and CPS as evil organizations, and realize that a person was knocking at your door, not a robot.

    Reason above all else!

  19. Christine April 3, 2013 at 9:14 am #

    This is in response to A. Green—I have to dispute your ignorance. Read the facts, over 90% of children are raped/molested by their own family members, friends, or acquaintances. I can see you listen to the media with “stranger danger”. This makes up about 1% of people who hurt children.
    You can not always believe what you hear on television and there are many websites and facts about who is raping children. Yes, some do get abducted by strangers but not the majority. The media and some organizations want you to believe this.
    Children have been going missing for years but because the news is 24/7 we hear about them more now then ever.
    Children get shot by stray bullets from criminals more than they get abducted and raped.
    People need to educate their children like these parents did and children would be safe. Knowledge is power. I would suggest you read some statistics and stop making such ignorant assumptions.

  20. Earth.W April 3, 2013 at 9:15 am #

    Every CPS organisation around the World must be shut down and illegalised. They stop at nothing to destroy the emotional stability of every child. They are run by some of the most evil people around.

  21. This is Serious April 3, 2013 at 9:16 am #

    I have no idea how to start legitimate petitions or how to raise money for this guy legitimately, online, but this is a great opportunity for this Free-Range community to ban together and get this family the help they need… and a great way to show the world how ridiculous this is… If we can send letters to the CPS in his city, please let us know, or if we can send them to you Lenore, and you can forward them… anything we can do to help, we need to jump on this, quickly!

  22. Michelle April 3, 2013 at 9:21 am #

    “…and we view it as a threat to our homeschooling her, our parental rights, and both my and Emily’s civil liberties.”

    Amen to that. The part that bothers me most about the cops harassing my 6yo daughter for walking outside alone, is that they are trying to take away her right to freely move about. She’s done nothing wrong; she’s not breaking any law. Why should she be forced to take a chaperone with her everywhere, when all of her older siblings were allowed to go off on their own at the same age? 🙁

  23. Normal Mom April 3, 2013 at 9:23 am #

    While I can understand the reasons of allowing a 6 year old to be responsible, we must also realize the world we live in today. Children are abducted everyday. Children don’t always make the best decisions either. Personally, I would never allow a child under 10 to roam busy streets alone. But, I dont feel this man’s decision is wrong either. I do, however, feel that he has made it more difficult for authorities by withholding information. It sounds like he is intentionally trying to give them a hard time to prove his point. That’s something guilty people do.

  24. Leo April 3, 2013 at 9:24 am #

    “Stop treating the police and CPS as evil organizations”

    Maybe they should stop acting as evil organizations.

    First rule of dealing with any agent of the state is to not volunteer anything. Yes, be polite and answer what you must, but they do NOT have your interests in mind, and anything you volunteer can only be used against you.

    I’m not going to feel cooperative towards someone who desires to take my children away.

  25. Leo April 3, 2013 at 9:27 am #

    “That’s something guilty people do.”

    Yikes. In some ways, this attitude is even worse.

  26. Anonymous April 3, 2013 at 9:28 am #

    I know a woman who is a drug addict. She has five kids, but she does not take care of them at all. She drops them off with friends or relatives “for an hour,” and disappears for days or weeks. Her kids cry whenever she tries to leave them somewhere, because they know she will not “be right back.” They never go to school unless a relative takes it upon themselves to get them there — or the older kids arrange to get themselves to school, if they feel like it. She’s always either in court on truancy charges, or missing her court dates. She has not had a stable place to live since I met her more than a decade ago.

    I know for a fact that CPS has investigated her more than once. She has been brought to the attention of the authorities multiple times. But never have they taken the slightest action against her. I guess they were busy saving children from being allowed to walk to the post office all alone.

  27. Elizabeth April 3, 2013 at 9:34 am #

    I’d be curious to see some numbers regarding how many actual cases of abuse are dealt with by CPS each year, vs. incidents where they are simply harassing responsible parents. The latter cases, such as this one, are the only ones I ever hear about, and this makes me understandably skeptical of the benefit of CPS, as well as the good intentions of those who work in this organization. If this family has an HSLDA membership, probably their legal counsel needs will be taken care of since the case is directly related to their homeschooling and parental rights. I haven’t seen anything about it in the HSLDA updates, however. Please keep us updated, Lenore.

  28. Fear less April 3, 2013 at 9:35 am #

    About Hillary’s village: Free range for me goes completely hand in hand with “it takes a village to raise a child”. Calling the cops, detaining the child, and attacking the parents is not how a village should behave. The village consists of the people that the child could ask to help him if he ever needed it. Right now, the police are teaching Emily that they are the bad guys, instead of the good guys. In the event that she does need police assistance is Emily going to feel comfortable going to a guy in blue? No. They are destroying community.

    But the helping in case of an emergency is only one example of why it takes a village. It takes a village because a child’s parents are two (or one) persons with their own unique sets of strengths and weaknesses. Kids need to be around people who are different from their parents. My children learn independence from me, they learn kindness, yoga, how to get along, how to make a point, because I am good at these things. But I’m not so good at organization, I can’t play the trumpet and I don’t get calculus, to name just a few things I don’t know, and so it takes the people of the community to share these talents and skills with my kids, to take an interest in them. But the fear of predators has led to a fear of neighbors, and neighbors are also afraid of looking like predators, and this comes at a great cost to our children, who do not get the benefit of other members of the community from whom they could learn. It also comes at a great cost to the members of our community who could benefit from being useful to our society by educating our children, not in a big institution but simply within the neighborhood, as the need arises in a natural and organic way. This is especially damaging to retirees who, in another time, were greatly valued for their time to teach what it takes a lifetime of work to learn.

  29. SKL April 3, 2013 at 9:38 am #

    Most people would recommend that the guy let CPS in rather than the course of action he is taking. I personally don’t know what is best. It partly depends on CPS’ record in the locality he is in. If they regularly take kids away for minor problems, then I could see his fear.

    I do understand not wanting to do any more than legally required, wanting to make a point about liberties etc etc. However, the little girl will be traumatized if she is taken away, and to me, avoiding that is more important than having a pissing contest with CPS.

    When I was young, it was absolutely normal and expected that a 6yo walk to school and back without her parents. And on the way home from school, we would stop at the library and anyplace else that tolerated children. I am sure nobody would have thought of calling the cops or CPS.

    Of course we do not know whether or not there is more to this story, but if this is the extent of it, it seems pretty crazy. One part that bugs me is that this guy says he’s made these trips with his daughter many times, and one would think that during those trips, folks would have seen the two and recognized the little girl as a “neighbor” the time she came and went on her own. But nowadays people don’t seem to look at each other. This is part of the problem. Instead of looking out for this little girl from the perspective of being safe within her family, they apply their own ideas of how children should be raised, and call for intervention / family disruption when things aren’t their version of perfect. Do people not understand what disruption does to children? I guess not.

  30. marie April 3, 2013 at 9:41 am #

    Unfortunately we hear most often about the misses and the false alarms. I don’t think it’s fair to state that “CPS is the greatest source of evil there is” — this fails to take account of their hits, which considerably outnumber the misses and false alarms, distressing though those are. Many children’s lives are saved from abusive and neglectful parents by necessary state intervention.

    Something to think about: If CPS takes Emily away from her parents, it will be reported that she was “saved from…neglectful parents”. So how does that make you feel about all the other reports about CPS “saving” children?

    Perhaps if we had no CPS, family and neighbors would respond more quickly to situations like the one Anonymous 9:28 talked about, where children really are neglected. Instead, people call CPS and leave decisions up to a bureaucracy.

    There isn’t much good that comes from bureaucracy.

  31. Brian April 3, 2013 at 9:42 am #

    The author is trying to create a situation. Fighting the system is all well and good but it doesn’t actually help you get the practical result you are looking for.

    He is creating problems for paper pushers who have to clear a case. That creates more problems for him. Look, if you want to live somewhere that you can walk to a library and post office, then you give up certain rights. One of those is that you have to cooperate with police and help them do their jobs.

  32. This is Serious April 3, 2013 at 9:46 am #

    @Brian, that’s exactly the point… we live in America, the land of the free. No one should be giving up any rights… What you said means we’re no longer free, which unfortunately, is very true.

  33. Fear less April 3, 2013 at 9:47 am #

    Top the people who keep saying stranger abduction happens every day, you are incorrect. Stranger abduction happens about 115 times per year to our 74 million+ kids. That means that it does not happen every day. It would have to happen at least 365 times in a year to happen every day. And this is out of 74 million+ children.

  34. BL April 3, 2013 at 9:47 am #

    “I’d be curious to see some numbers regarding how many actual cases of abuse are dealt with by CPS each year, vs. incidents where they are simply harassing responsible parents.”

    The problem is, CPS itself would determine which is which.

  35. Captain America April 3, 2013 at 9:51 am #

    More than most agencies, the CPS has the expectation that you entirely self-surrender yourself to its “benevolent” system. Big Brother stuff and they don’t see it, because it’s them.

    It IS a civil rights issue of the greatest magnitude: the freedom to move about.

    Next, of course, will be “fun” children’s “passports” and ID papers, that you’ll be pressured to get in order to pass muster as a “good” parent. 🙂

  36. Ben April 3, 2013 at 9:53 am #

    I see only one bit of negligence and danger in this story. The negligence CPS and police are showing to this child and her family.

    If you feel this kid needs to be removed from her home, then show us all how the law has been broken and offer the family the chance to defend themselves in a proper hearing.

    Otherwise, leave them alone.

  37. Leah April 3, 2013 at 9:54 am #

    I don’t know…something about this story is tripping my radar. I think there’s more to this story than what we’re hearing. And to all you people demonizing CPS? Really? Yes, they make mistakes. But I can guarantee that it’s because they’re overworked human beings who genuinely care about kids not jack-booted thugs. It’s an incredibly thankless job and deserving of much more respect than most people give it. CPS is a **safety net** exactly because friends, family, and neighbors don’t get involved and have no legal authority to protect children from abuse. I support the Free Range movement with all my heart but let’s not make a joke of ourselves by spouting flat-earth, everyone’s out to get us conspiracy theories, ok??

  38. Cheyenne April 3, 2013 at 9:55 am #

    This is so awful! My 8 yr old walked 3 blocks and crossed two intersections by herself to get to school last year at age 7. I can’t imagine someone reporting me for letting her do that. We are homeschooling this year, but she still rides her bike all over our neighborhood. She has to go two blocks and cross one intersection just to get to her friend’s house. It’s perfectly safe, and she knows all the rules of the road. This story is just a nightmare! I’m praying that this family gets the help they need and that they win this battle!

  39. marie April 3, 2013 at 9:58 am #

    Look, if you want to live somewhere that you can walk to a library and post office, then you give up certain rights. One of those is that you have to cooperate with police and help them do their jobs.

    Cooperating with police does not mean giving up certain rights. The police are supposed to protect our rights.

  40. Anonymous April 3, 2013 at 10:09 am #

    Dad sounds a little combatitive. That’s Mindy creepy to me :/

  41. Kate April 3, 2013 at 10:12 am #

    I think that CPS workers have a hard time overcoming their own desire to ‘save’ kids, and this saviour mentality actually contributes to both ‘misses’ (cases where CPS fails to prevent abuse) and ‘false positives’ (cases like this where CPS harasses innocent families.

    Several people here have stated that the father in question is ‘acting guilty’ when he refuses to cooperate. Except that this is an incorrect assumption (though it is probably the assumption CPS is also making). Guilty people in CPS cases don’t tend to argue, stonewall, or cite the law – guilty people tend to flatter, cry, tell sob stories, and ask for help. It is innocent people who are most likely to react in anger and fear at having their care of their own children questioned and threatened.

    But because CPS workers go into the field out of a desire to save kids and families, they react much more favorably to the individuals that will let them ‘save’ them than they do to the outraged innocents who resent their interference. So…addicts who throw themselves on the mercy of their case worker, vow to do better, take whatever parenting courses they are told to…will be treated with more kindness and consideration than this family will be. Not because CPS has a policy of persecuting homeschoolers and others who are well-educated and independent, but because individual CPS workers distrust people who don’t want their well-meaning ‘help’.

  42. Barbara April 3, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    We dealt with CPS for a ridiculous reason a few years ago. Someone thought we were sexually abusing our kids. We were completely cooperative with the investigator. She spent 45 minutes talking to me and my husband and about 10 minutes talking to our daughter. She immediately realized that the charge was bogus and went on her merry way.

    If we had refused to talk to them, I imagine they would have taken our kids and turned it in to a much bigger deal. We had nothing to hide and had done nothing wrong, so we saw no reason not to talk to them.

    They are an incredibly overworked group of people doing a thankless job. They get vilified for missing abuse and vilified for investigating abuse. It’s a no win situation.

    As someone else mentioned, (right or wrong) refusing to talk to them makes them suspicious.

  43. Michelle April 3, 2013 at 10:26 am #

    To all the people saying he should just cooperate with CPS, you have to realize that both cooperating and not cooperating have risks and benefits.

    If you refuse to cooperate, you risk being seen as “probably guilty.” You risk alienating someone who might have seen that you did nothing wrong and dismissed the investigation. You give up explaining yourself. However, you protect rights that our Founding Fathers felt were important enough to include in the Constitution — rights intended to protect the innocent from abuse at the hands of the government. And you protect yourself from having your cooperation used against you.

    A lot of people see cooperating as trading “small rights” to protect “larger” ones. But they forget that anything you say can be used against you! What if you let CPS into your house, and they don’t like what they see? It doesn’t even have to be something wrong — evidence of your religion might unfairly bias a social worker of a different religion against you. What if you let them speak to your children, and they take something innocent the wrong way? Think of that big scare in the 80s when therapists convinced dozens of children that they’d been molested — and it all turned out to be untrue.

    I’ve also read cases where the authorities insisted on cooperation that went far beyond answering questions or checking out the house. Homeschooling parents have been forced to submit to burdensome paperwork and inspection of curriculum in states where it isn’t required by law. They go along because they don’t want to cause trouble, but that gives the authorities an edge to force even more families to comply. CPS also has a tendency to force “cooperation” in the form of parenting classes and even temporarily taking the kids away. They justify it by saying the parents agreed, when the parents felt they had no choice — it was cooperate or risk losing their kids forever.

    Personally, I don’t think it’s wise to “cooperate” with the authorities without an attorney to help protect your rights and protect you from having your cooperation turned against you.

  44. BL April 3, 2013 at 10:32 am #

    “They are an incredibly overworked group of people doing a thankless job.”

    CPS? Really? Sounds more like a description of parents.

  45. Smatsy April 3, 2013 at 10:32 am #

    As someone involved in foster care in a number of different ways, I think it is important for each of you deciding that CPS is evil to check your privilege and perception.

    This story seems silly. However, there are a number of other stories of children in dangerous and neglectful situations where the intervening of CPS and affiliated organizations literally saves lives.

  46. Maggie April 3, 2013 at 10:35 am #

    The father’s refusal to let CPS makes sense. Homeschooling parents (I am one) are told not to let them in. Why? Because there is no legal reason for them to come in.

    Homeschooling is not illegal, and letting your child walk outside unsupervised is not illegal. So there is no legal reason to let CPS, or the police, or anyone, enter your house. Once you do, they can use anything they see against you. Dirty dishes in the sink? CPS can now accuse you of squalid living conditions.

    We have laws in the country to protect citizens from illegal search and seizure. Those laws are there to prevent us from being harassed by our government or government representatives. The fact that CPS is threatening the family, without basis, should worry every citizen in this country.

    Until the police and/or CPS come knocking on your door and want to search your house or interrogate you and your children, you may not care about your personal rights. But if and when they do, you will be glad you have them.

  47. Yan Seiner April 3, 2013 at 10:39 am #

    I suspect there’s more to this than the story. They guy seems itching for a fight, insisting on “rights” and generally being uncooperative.

    I got a letter once from the City claiming that I had a building permit that needed to be closed. Turns out it was issued to the previous owner. A phone call and a letter and it was cleared up. But if I had mailed it back and generally been hostile it would have probably resulted in fines and fees.

    Another time I got a summons to a state for an outstanding traffic violation – for a car that I have not had in years. Again, I could have ignored it but instead I called them and explained the situation – and got it cleared up.

    This guy seems to want to provoke a situation to prove a point, rather than solve the problem. I’m not sure I’m on his side in this.

  48. SKL April 3, 2013 at 10:41 am #

    I agree that being a social worker is pretty much a thankless job, and the pay stinks too. However, it is entirely possible that individuals in the system get on power trips, fueled by their outrage over actual abuse cases that have no connection to the person they are currently investigating.

    This kind of thing is the reason I told my kids they could not walk to the park last week, even though I let them do it a month or two ago. I took so much flack for that decision, and I was sick and tired and had no energy to “take on the world” over my right to raise free-range kids. My kids are smart enough to go to the park and to deal with your everyday stranger, but they are not equipped to deal with cops and social workers intent on imposing their parenting values on my family. (Another day I will get the energy/pluck to risk it again. And yes, it’s sad that one needs to even have an energy reserve for this type of controversy.)

  49. Anne April 3, 2013 at 10:49 am #

    I am astonished – an average 6year girl is not considered old enough to walk 3 blocks by herself? What a shame for the child to not be able to roam free, without parents/adults. What a shame for the parents to have to hover at all times. What a shame for the town to eliminate children from daily life.

    I grew up (in Europe) 30 years ago. I was 4 years old, when I was allowed to buy bread for breakfast all by myself (a good 10min walk away along a relatively busy street, crossing several smaller streets). I was 6.5 years old, when I visited my aunt by train (changing twice, and having 2 younger siblings in toe).

    Isn’t it more dangerous if kids cannot do these things by themselves?

    This situation scares me for my young children.

  50. HarleyPig April 3, 2013 at 10:50 am #

    This is contempt of government on this father’s part, pure and simple.

    He was not properly obeisant or obsequious to the kind and concerned officers and other government workers. He did not immediately prostrate himself or genuflect. He did not even knuckle his forehead or tug his forelock.

    He vainly and presumptuously knew his rights and stood up for himself and his daughter. How dare he!

  51. Michelle April 3, 2013 at 10:50 am #

    PS, you might look at my “what ifs” — regarding what could happen if you cooperate — and scoff, “Please, the government doesn’t just harass innocent families for no reason.” But you’d be forgetting that this whole story started with the government harassing this family for no reason. That’s what it is when the police detain and interrogate you for nothing other than walking down the street with your own daughter. Harassment. Once he gave his name and verified that the little girl was his daughter, there was no legitimate reason to detain him, even if he refused to answer any further questions.

  52. Nicole April 3, 2013 at 10:51 am #

    Dad sounds like he is more concerned with his “rights” than his child. Why would you risk your child being taken away to prove a point of your constitutional rights? Explain the situation and it would have been done and over….but instead he turns to social media begging for a free attorney and public support? Makes me think CPS has good reason to be suspicious.

  53. marie April 3, 2013 at 10:54 am #

    This guy seems to want to provoke a situation to prove a point, rather than solve the problem. I’m not sure I’m on his side in this.

    This guy didn’t provoke anything. He let his little girl walk to the post office. The police and CPS are the ones trying to
    “prove a point.”

  54. Michelle April 3, 2013 at 10:57 am #

    (It’s also harassment to detain a little girl for doing nothing more than mailing a letter.)

  55. Bill April 3, 2013 at 11:01 am #

    So you asked about lawyers. Two legal blogs I read regularly:

    “The Volokh Conspiracy”, http://www.volokh.com/
    “Popehat: A Group Complaint about Law, Liberty, and Leisure”, http://www.popehat.com/

    They are both generally libertarian/liberty oriented and likely would be sympathetic to parents who just want to be left alone by the government; you might want to get in touch with the authors of one or both of them to see if they could recommend someone.

  56. pentamom April 3, 2013 at 11:06 am #

    ” However, it is entirely possible that individuals in the system get on power trips, fueled by their outrage over actual abuse cases that have no connection to the person they are currently investigating.”

    Individual social workers also answer to supervisors, who may be more inclined to push the issue than the individual would be, but the individual has little choice in the matter, other than to risk losing his or her job (which is easy for the rest of us to recommend, not so easy to actually do.) I’m not defending anyone’s actions here but that is reality.

  57. Yan Seiner April 3, 2013 at 11:08 am #

    Her’s what he says on his first encounter with the cops:

    “in accordance with my 5th amendment rights, I refuse to answer any questions.”

    Now IANAL but the way I read it, the 5th amendment does not apply here at all. So he starts off by being hostile to the cops, who are trying to do their job. Which probably raises all sorts of flags with them, and leads to escalation – which he feeds by his hostile behavior to both the cops and CPS.

    This whole thing could be avoided by being polite and by treating others with respect. He seems to have authority issues.

  58. pentamom April 3, 2013 at 11:10 am #

    I think this guy did push the situation somewhat, and it’s quite possible that had he just let things quiet down for a little while, rather than continually sending the child out day after day in the middle of the uproar, this would not have escalated. Perhaps he didn’t use the best judgment in that sense.

    But the fact remains that he did nothing that is actually wrong, so even if we question his tactics, he’s still not the truly blameworthy party here. In a free society, bad judgment that is not criminal on the part of a citizen should have no legal repercussions. It is the government whose rights are supposed to be restricted and who is not legally allowed to be wrong in their actions, not the free citizenry.

  59. Nicole April 3, 2013 at 11:12 am #

    The dad says a call was made to the pd that a “strange man” was talking to a child. Obviously, this family has been reported more than once. The cops and CPS is doing their jobs and following up after a complaint was received. If a child is in danger,and they didn’t do their job of following up, then that as just as neglectful for the child’s protection as the dad in this story.

  60. Beth Stewart April 3, 2013 at 11:15 am #

    HSLDA’s standard response for having a caseworker at your door is to not let them in and give them no more information than needed. We homeschool as well and let our 9 and 7 year old roam fairly freely about the neighborhood. We are also foster parents and have caseworkers in our house almost weekly. Not all case workers are bad! Some are great and take everything into consideration. That being said, if anything were to happen and they were to be involved with my kids, if one or two of them were to be assigned to my case I would run. Some of them do have an agenda.

  61. Krystal April 3, 2013 at 11:16 am #

    Wow! This story really bums me out. It saddens me that the father is being treated like a criminal and that he has to even prove his rights. He did nothing wrong here, he didn’t break the law.

    I have two disabled brothers, and my family has had to deal with our share of social workers. I have friends that currently work as social works for those parents who actually do put their children in harm’s way (i.e. abuse, drug use, actual neglect). It’s a tough, tough job, and there are plenty of problems with the system. Our family was investigated by CPS because my younger brother had trouble gaining weight, and a women in the grocery store saw the 3 of us with our mom, and assume my mom was starving the youngest based on his weight. I was young, maybe 8 or 9, but clearly remember my mom’s embarrassment and anger of the situation for being treated like a horrible mother by CPS. With 2 disabled children, she had enough to worry about and our parents did their damn best raising us.

    So disappointing to hear how police handled this situation. He allowed his kid to walk on their own (legal), and then was treated like a criminal? The police really need to give law-abiding citizens the benefit of the doubt.

    I wonder if this was a mom instead of a dad, if someone would have called in the first place? We always associate men as being “suspicious” with children, but not women? This is not the first time we’ve seen this issue.

  62. Ali April 3, 2013 at 11:16 am #

    Cops typically don’t “investigate” unless there is a complaint. Someone complained. It appeared a creeper was following a little girl and someone got scared. The police wanted to affirm that all was OK and go about their day. The dad got tight lipped and offered no reassurances that “all was OK”. What ever happened to communication?

    I completely and fully understand that the police have every reason to get someone to talk and they can never use anything to your favor, only to your detriment. At the same time I can’t help but think if the Dad had been the least bit helpful in explaining that there was no cause for concern that the story might have ended much differently. Police officers are humans too. If I come across someone who is uncooperative and refuses to work with me, I too find myself wondering “what the hell?” No doubt the officers felt the same.

    I agree the dad is putting his “rights” above his daughters needs and seems to be itching to prove a point.

    Dad: Don’t sacrifice your daughter for your need to be “right”. As irritating as it is to have to deal with people that have a different comfort level on what is considered safe, remember you have a choice. The choice to have a good attitude and consider each opportunity as a “teachable moment” or a sourpuss attitude and deal with heightened suspicions. It’s time to take the confrontational attitude down a notch.

  63. SKL April 3, 2013 at 11:22 am #

    I wonder where CPS actually fits in our system of law and order? I admit to being ignorant on this matter. It sounds like they have more leeway than the cops (the cops don’t demand to come in your house without a warrant).

    Do they really have the right to take away a child just because the parent chooses not to answer the door? When there have been no allegations of actual bodily harm (abuse, starvation)? What could the imminent threat be? To suggest taking away a child, wouldn’t there have to be more than just a difference in philosophy on how old a child should be to do xyz?

    Is anyone here “in the know” about the place and powers of CPS?

  64. SKL April 3, 2013 at 11:29 am #

    I do understand why the dad was upset by being accused as a predator in connection with his own daughter. However, he needs to separate that incident from the kid-walking-alone incident. As to the former, he needs to either get over it or file a complaint or submit an editorial in the paper or whatever will give him satisfaction. As to the latter, I think he’s being silly to not provide an answer of any kind. Even if the answer is “according to [cite laws] the decision to let my daughter walk to the post office was legal and well within my rights as a parent. My children are safe and well-cared for. Please provide evidence to the contrary if you want to discuss further.”

  65. Sid Vicious April 3, 2013 at 11:34 am #

    All of those saying that the father should have just cooperated are preaching a dangerous ideal. You are saying the father should teach his daughter that it’s alright to give up your rights, voluntarily in this case, to make life easier and that a government agency can, in essence, demand you give them up if you assert them.

    Let’s be perfectly clear here: There was no evidence of wrongdoing whatsoever. The only evidence being used against this man and his family is the fact he asserted his rights. He is not being charged with any sort of obstruction at all. He has done nothing wrong and shouldn’t be forced by a government agency to give up his rights to prove it to them. The concept of innocent until proven guilty seems to be lost of a bunch of the folks commenting. It doesn’t matter one single bit how he is acting as long as it a legal manner in which to act, he is innocent until proven guilty.

    When it becomes suspicious to assert your rights then we’ve taken a wrong turn in this country. Every person who values their rights should be rallying behind this dad and supporting him. He did nothing wrong, at all, and the burden of proof isn’t on him but rather the agencies harassing him.

    I disagree with every comment saying he is putting his rights above his daughter’s needs. (And the double quotes in the original makes me sick to my stomach as what he is asserting are actually his rights) His daughter needs to know what are her rights and how to assert them against a representative of the government overstepping their bounds. I would rather my children know and understand their rights and how to stand up for them than I would they know the capital of Argentina. He is standing up for his rights, period, full stop. It is these very rights on which our country was founded. Every weak minded milquetoast individual suggesting he relinquish his rights in the face of governmental interference needs to take American History 101 again because they have obviously forgotten why we have the bill of rights to begin with.

  66. Carol Maloney April 3, 2013 at 11:35 am #

    Infuriating. I had my state’s CPS equivalent called on me, some 17 years ago, for allowing my just-turned-seven year old son to walk the quarter mile or so to the local supermarket, where he bought a soda for himself before walking home. In that case, I had a short, informal meeting with an investigator, who agreed with me that the caller ought to have minded his/her own business, and that was that. I sometimes wonder how long she and her refreshingly normal outlook lasted at that job.

    Not all encounters ended that well, unfortunately. A different investigator later supported a finding of neglect against me for what they claimed was a pattern of child endangerment; the only specifics they could come up with involved, first, allowing my son– who was 8 by then– to take his five year old sister to the candy store directly across the street from our apartment complex, a walk involving crossing at a walk light. My second infraction was allowing my son and his friend from next door, both 8, to walk the mile to school, unsupervised, on a day they’d missed the bus, which, since neither my neighbor or I had a car. That case resulted in a lot of intrusive meddling and monitoring for the next six months. I kick myself to this day over it, because I don’t usually answer the door unless I’m expecting someone, but that day I was on my way out the door when the investigator arrived, so I pretty much walked into him.

    Those are only a few of many similar situations we found ourselves in through the years. I’m no conspiracy nut,but for four years or so there most definitely was a concerted effort at harassment by local law-enforcement, school, and child-protection workers. I’d had a number of confrontations with school officials over everything from the books my kids chose to read, to a dress code violation for having hair that was dyed blue, to having a piece of candy in a lunch bag, to (once again) allowing pre-teens to walk to school alone; in each case, no law had been broken, and I declined to meet with school administrators for a talking-to, while making it clear that there were decisions, such as reading material and hair color, that my kids were able to make for themselves, and addressing me about such things would be met with silence, since by my own choice those were matters which were not under my control. None of this sat well with school personnel, who found me less than compliant, an offense they punished by calling in the truant officer over alleged excessive absences (and this after suspending one for five days over hair color, days which they then counted as unauthorized absences) once the truant officer is involved, police and child protection workers are notified. We had various self-anointed interested parties essentially keep us under intermittent surveillance for years.

    My bottom line with the schools was that my kids performed well above grade level, scored in the 99th percentile on state-administered standardized tests, and were generally well behaved, and that was the yardstick I expected the schools to use in evaluating them; sadly, and strangely, those things were, in so many words, considered non-vital, less important than being “a good citizen of the school community” (whatever that might mean).

    I wish this family well and will be thinking of them often. If a time comes when they need to hire a lawyer, I hope we are informed of it and given a way to contribute money to help cover legal fees.

  67. Michelle April 3, 2013 at 11:39 am #

    SKL, in Texas CPS does not have the right to enter your home without a warrant. However, they routinely get around this by implying that you have to let them in, and then claiming that you gave them permission. Which, technically, unless they physically force their way inside, you did.

    CPS can legally take your children on a temporary basis without you even getting to appear in court. This is supposed to be for emergency removals. I’m pretty sure they can’t do this on a permanent basis without a hearing where you get to present your side.

    However, they can convince you to give up your children willingly, temporarily or permanently. CPS commonly convinces parents to give up their children on a temporary basis, convincing them that this is what they must do to “cooperate” and ensure that they don’t lose custody permanently. Since it’s voluntary, no judge has to sign off on it, and you have no right to a hearing. Once your kids are in the system it is *much* harder to get them back. They can even use the fact that you voluntarily gave up your kids as evidence against you.

    Essentially, since CPS is part of the government, they can’t legally do anything that the government can’t do. But they can imply that you “have to” let them in, let them interview your kids, submit to a parenting class, or turn over your children, and then justify themselves by saying that you cooperated voluntarily.

  68. Puzzled April 3, 2013 at 11:41 am #

    Sadly, I am not surprised by this story. I am surprised, though, at the comments here, of all places. It seems a trend developed in the comments to place rights in scare quotes. If this is not symbolic of the collapse of the American freedom culture, I don’t know what is. Then we see the father chided for following the law and not inviting in aggressive child-snatchers. See, it’s not the aggressor’s fault – it’s the fault of the victim for failing to cooperate! This is exactly what has gone wrong with this country and why we live in a culture where children are snatched because some nosy neighbor doesn’t like something – because your compliant, cooperative attitude, your acceptance of the Nuremberg Defense (we’re just doing our jobs, and it’s a hard job, mind you), and your willingness to lie down for the government has gotten us here.

  69. SKL April 3, 2013 at 11:42 am #

    I agree that in principal he should stand up for his rights, bla bla bla. But more importantly, he should know how the local CPS treats people who cooperate vs. those who don’t. There are lots of good people who have been through this and advise cooperating because things have come out fine when they did. Yes it’s humiliating and unfair etc., but so are a lot of things in life. If, in his area, the CPS has a history of bugging off when told to bug off, then fine. If CPS has a history of taking children when told to bug off, not fine! I’ve heard of people having their kids raised in foster care for years over stuff like this. Principles be damned, I want my kid home with me. I’ve seen what disruption does to kids. My kids are 6 and I am sorry, but I would not risk losing them in a pissing contest. No. After the fact, when my kids are safe, I’d look for avenues to push for reform. Call me a wuss, I don’t care.

  70. Melanie April 3, 2013 at 11:43 am #

    I run a home school group and preschool and child care. Ohio is a scary place for things like this and cps in Ohio is very corrupt. They do good a small percentage of the time but mostly cause problems where nothing’s wrong and do nothing where help is seriously needed. Best of luck to you. I hope you find the help you need.

  71. Michelle April 3, 2013 at 11:52 am #


    “I’m no conspiracy nut,but for four years or so there most definitely was a concerted effort at harassment by local law-enforcement, school, and child-protection workers.”

    This is similar to the situation I am currently facing. I have twice had my 6yo daughter brought home for being out alone. The second time, CPS got involved. The sheriff’s office, the social worker assigned to our case, and her boss all told me the same thing. That it is not illegal to let my daughter walk to her friend’s house or play at the park. That she is probably perfectly safe, and I am not doing anything wrong by allowing it. But that I must stop anyway, because if I keep letting her out alone, the police will keep bringing her home, and keep calling CPS, and if CPS comes out too many times they will be forced to conclude that I am neglectful. That’s right. They have told me that they will find me neglectful for no reason other than the police complaining about me too often over something that CPS has already determined I have every right to do.

    Maybe that’s why I am so up-in-arms about all of this call to “cooperate,” especially those who said it was a bad decision for this dad to continue letting hid daughter out alone. All that “cooperating” has gotten me is an ultimatum. Either break my promise to my daughter (that she could go out alone when she turned 6) and punish my daughter when she has done nothing wrong, or risk losing all of my children to the state.

  72. L. C. Burgundy April 3, 2013 at 11:57 am #

    SKL, it’s just unprincipled. What if the practice for “cooperating” was that if you paid a $500 bribe to get the CPS investigator to go away? Would you do that too? How about a $10000 bribe? That’s the way it is in many countries. What if they want other ‘favors’ from you?

    If you have no guiding principle other than “do whatever it takes to keep my kid,” you open yourself to being used and exploited. That’s why we have rights. I wouldn’t invite a CPS officer inside my house any more than a police officer and I wouldn’t make anything other than polite chitchat with either.

  73. Sid Vicious April 3, 2013 at 11:58 am #

    I agree that in principal he should stand up for his rights, bla bla bla.

    That says it all. That’s basically lying down and giving up. There is no bla, bla, bla when it comes to our rights. We either assert them or lose them. It doesn’t matter if CPS is nice when you cooperate, in fact if that’s the basis of them being nice then they are de facto coercing people in to cooperating with a threat of taking your children if you don’t. That makes it even more important to stand up for your rights so you don’t lose them. Of course you may want to teach your children that their rights don’t matter and that’s your decision as a parent but your take on the situation is a dangerous one for everyone involved.

    No homeschool association recommends cooperation. At least not one that I’ve ever seen. They recommend not cooperating and having CPS deal with the attorney they provide for you. As in don’t answer any questions, don’t let them in, don’t talk to them, don’t answer the door to do more than hand them a phone with an attorney on the other end. I’ll take advice from actual lawyers long before I accept anecdotal advice to lay down my rights and allow my family to be run through the ringer that is our system. We have these rights for a reason.

    While paraphrased I think this quote applies very well: He who sacrifices his rights for security deserves neither.

  74. Cassady Toles April 3, 2013 at 12:02 pm #

    If the family wants legal help, they’re going to have to say where they live.

  75. Warren April 3, 2013 at 12:02 pm #

    Yes someone called in a strange male following a little girl, and the dad DID identify himself, and confirm he is the girl’s father. The police still detained them. Under those conditions, yes shut the hell up, and demand your rights be respected.

    For all of you that seem to forget…………..these rights were written, to protect the innocent. If the innocent are not going to invoke those rights, what is the sense in having them? Why not just trash them all?

    CPS is doing everything they can to gain access to the home, without a warrant. They are not returning calls, dropping off letters, and just showing up at the door. This is there method of operation. And this family is smart to not let them in. CPS can prove themselves to the courts, get the warrant, and then enter the home.

    This at least allows a judge to make what is supposed to be an unbiased ruling.

    For all of you that think invoking your rights is a sign of guilt, you should be ashamed of yourselves. Just remember this when the day comes and you invoke your rights.
    Good luck to this family, and let us know where to send letters of support.

  76. V April 3, 2013 at 12:07 pm #

    A. Green, on April 3rd, 2013 at 9:13 am Said:
    “Read the facts, over 90% of children are raped/molested by their own family members, friends, or acquaintances.”

    I’ll believe you when you say it’s the majority of cases, but “90%” sounds made up. If it is, please don’t make up percentages. If it isn’t, link to the data/research please.

  77. Warren April 3, 2013 at 12:09 pm #

    Actualy V that percentage is a good ballpark figure.

  78. SKL April 3, 2013 at 12:11 pm #

    IMO the time to complain about CPS is when they are not breathing down your neck. How come everyone gets outraged when they read these things, yet nobody does anything about it? Why is it all on the parents who are in this kind of fix, having to make decisions under threat of losing their kids? Why isn’t there a massive movement to curtail the power of CPS in states where they do this type of thing?

  79. MHM April 3, 2013 at 12:12 pm #

    A certain amount of cooperation is required in our society for things to work. If stop by a cop answer questions politely. They stopped cause someone called and they are doing their job. CPS wants to meet with you, do so and be polite and friendly. No reason to ask “what law was violated” cause none was. They are merely looking to see if help for the child is needed. The main concern is for the child not for you or your comfort. If when you’ve been polite and answered reasonable questions. They still question you I say you have a case,

    I know a family that CPS got involved and it was a good thing. But the process is traumatic and why wouldn’t it be. You have people stepping into your life telling you what to do. They have the power to take away your most precious thing in life…its scary but honestly the kids that get the help are safer and happier.

  80. Sid Vicious April 3, 2013 at 12:22 pm #


    Once the father satisfied the police that he was the father that is the end of necessary cooperation. They continued to detain this man for no valid reason whatsoever, they involved CPS with no proof of wrongdoing, these are precisely the circumstances in which you exercise your rights. The system should be able to deal with people, who have or haven’t done wrong, standing up for their rights. It’s not my responsibility to give the police anything other than my name, if I am not driving, and I will not. Their job is to protect me and make sure my rights are not violated. I should not and will not give up my rights to make the jobs of those protecting me “easier”.

    Either the system is ill designed and needs to be fixed or our rights don’t matter. Neither of those is call to give up your rights just because things will be easier for you. In fact making it easier IF you give up your rights is coercion and wrong. CPS and/or the police ought to be able to do their jobs without asking me to voluntarily surrender my rights. If they can’t then it’s not problem at all, it’s theirs, and they have no right to harass me at all. That’s where this father sits right now. He has done nothing wrong, and that includes asserting his rights, and he is being harassed, via the legal system, by an agent of the government for not giving up his rights.

    Your anecdotal evidence is just that, an anecdote. Yes there are cases where CPS should be involved, I don’t think anyone disputes that, but this isn’t one of them. There are also lots of cases where CPS shouldn’t be anywhere near involved, which is what this case is. Every lawyer I know, and I actually know a couple, that deal with family courts advises their clients not to cooperate with CPS regardless of the circumstances, every homeschool legal defense association I know of recommends the same. So your anecdote means very little when compared with, you know, actual advice from actual lawyers.

  81. pentamom April 3, 2013 at 12:38 pm #

    “I’ll believe you when you say it’s the majority of cases, but “90%” sounds made up. If it is, please don’t make up percentages. If it isn’t, link to the data/research please.”

    According to the link below, 90% are either are family members or fairly well-known people. Only 10% are actual strangers.


    And to the point, most children who “go missing” are abducted by non-custodial family members, not molesters/murderers. Children “go missing” every day, but children are abducted for the purpose of harming them only very, very rarely.

  82. SKL April 3, 2013 at 12:39 pm #

    Dare I say, as a lawyer myself, that lawyers have a pecuniary interest in CPS NOT going away too quickly.

    Some of this reminds me of people putting up a privacy fence over a minor dispute with a neighbor. Sure, you have a right, but it’s a little extreme and probably creates more problems than it solves.

    There are cases where CPS should be able to go into a house. It seems these should be limited to cases where a child is alleged to be in danger because of what’s going on “in” the house. Not sure how the law is worded or should be worded, but I won’t say that society would be better if parents felt they could do whatever they wanted in their own homes without any fear of consequences.

    Personally I talk to cops, weighing my words carefully. The other day I invited a cop into my house since it was freezing outside as he took info from me. (The car/mailbox incident.) (I said, “do you want to come in?” and he gave a well-rehearsed answer, “if you want me to come in, I will.”) I’m sure he took a glance around, and my house was cluttery, but I’m not about to lose sleep over it. The cop presumably got the feeling that I am just an everyday person with nothing to hide. Whether I “should have to” prove that or not, part of a cop’s training is to sniff out suspicious people, so I might as well live in reality.

  83. Michelle April 3, 2013 at 12:43 pm #

    @SKL, there are such movements. I’m a member of one organization fighting the good fight, the Texas Home School Coalition. They started by protecting homeschoolers, but have recently ventured into protecting parental rights in a broader sense. They offer services ranging from free legal help to lobbying to change the laws.

  84. Michelle April 3, 2013 at 12:48 pm #

    @SKL, the lawyers who have repeatedly advised me not to cooperate with CPS do not have a pecuniary interest in CPS “not going away too quickly.” THSC is a non-profit that offers free legal assistance to members. The faster they clear up the problem, the less it costs them, the more money they can devote to other members.

  85. Michelle April 3, 2013 at 12:50 pm #

    (Oh, and HSLDA, mentioned by other posters and the OP, is also a non-profit offering free legal services, and also advises against cooperating with CPS.)

  86. Sid Vicious April 3, 2013 at 12:50 pm #


    You do realize I am talking about associations to which you pay a monthly fee and they don’t charge to represent you in court? Perhaps you missed that. If you know of any attorneys that wouldn’t try to end a case as quickly as possible, in order to rack up a bill, and can prove it then you ought to be writing letters to the BAR in your state. I am fairly certain that’s illegal in all fifty states.

    There is no case where CPS should be allowed to enter a home without a warrant that has been reviewed by a judge. The 4th amendment pretty much guarantees that. If you believe otherwise then I suspect you are not a great attorney. I haven’t said CPS shouldn’t be allowed to do their jobs, I have said if someone, quite legally asserts their rights, then it shouldn’t be able to be used against the person doing the asserting and that it should make CPS’s job any harder and if it does make said job harder then the answer is fixing the system and not people not asserting their rights.

    You can accept all you like as “part of reality” but all that means is that you have given up, at least in part. I suspect that if you are an attorney that you don’t deal with the criminal or family system based on what you suggest. IANAL and every piece of advice I’ve been given, even from paid representation, goes squarely against what you suggest. You even manage another anecdote which isn’t proof of anything except its itself.

    I for one will not willingly lay down my rights. If that makes the job of a public servant harder than I feel for them, I really do, but I give up my rights for no man. There’s even this document that says I don’t have to. Maybe you should read it sometime. Men fought and died for the rights contained therein and it’s apparent you don’t really understand why. Oh, I forgot, you can read it here: http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/bill_of_rights_transcript.html

  87. V April 3, 2013 at 12:50 pm #

    Thanks, pentamom

  88. Warren April 3, 2013 at 12:55 pm #


    Just cooperate and things will go easier.

    If that is not coercion, then what is.

    Actually my great grandfather actually used to tell my great grandmother that years ago. It was when the german soldiers used to come and take their eggs, bread, and chickens.

  89. Michelle April 3, 2013 at 1:01 pm #

    @Warren, I totally agree with you, but you officially lose the argument on account of invoking the Nazis. 😛

    Seriously, though, around the same time in Italy, my great-grandfather said, “Fuck this,” and moved to the US. I don’t want to let him down. 😉

  90. SKL April 3, 2013 at 1:05 pm #

    Mr. Vicious, yes, you are right, I do not practice in those areas of law. I only mentioned being an attorney so that other attorneys on her wouldn’t be affronted by the suggestion of a lawyer having a pecuniary interest. There certainly are unscrupulous lawyers and others who don’t know enough about the subject matter and so manage a case poorly. The lawyers don’t have to live with the human results of a case going badly. Besides, in the present case it seems the dad doesn’t have a lawyer at all. If you’re going to refuse to talk, at least get a lawyer to say the minimum of what needs to be said to keep your kid in your home.

    As for HSLDA, many homeschoolers consider this to be a radical organization which does not serve the interests of everyday average homeschoolers. Many homeschoolers disagree with the advice to refuse to let CPS in.

  91. Michelle April 3, 2013 at 1:11 pm #

    I don’t agree with HSLDA on a ton of things. That’s beside the point. The point is that they, and the ACLU, and THSC, and every other non-profit organization I have ever heard of that works to protect citizens from government abuses advises minimal cooperation when the government investigates you. ACLU even has a video on how to speak to the police if you are pulled over, which is mostly about NOT speaking to the police.

    None of these organizations has a financial interest in dragging things out. All are founded specifically to protect citizens, and their donations would dry up if they regularly failed to do so.

  92. Libby April 3, 2013 at 1:12 pm #

    So. Damned. Ridiculous.

  93. Warren April 3, 2013 at 1:13 pm #


    I wasn’t comparing CPS to the Nazi’s, more making the point that we are supposed to be past taking it up the wahoo, by those in authority. That was almost a hundred years ago. You would think in that time, we are passed being afraid of those in authority.

    You have to really wonder about a country that has personal rights put into law to protect the innocent, but as soon as an innocent person invokes those rights, society figures he is guilty. GOD BLESS THE USA

  94. SKL April 3, 2013 at 1:13 pm #

    OK, well, we’re seeing here what happens when you refuse to communicate even minimally.

  95. Sid Vicious April 3, 2013 at 1:14 pm #


    There are plenty of other homeschool organizations that offer legal defense. I am not a member of HSLDA but every one I have belonged to offers the same advice. You flip from the actual lawyers to homeschoolers who don’t agree with the legal advice, and you don’t practice in this area of law, so you stating that you are a lawyer and offering legal advice is pretty thin ice for you, at least as I read the law. Again IANAL but you are offering advice on what to do in a situation when interacting with either the police or CPS and stating you are a lawyer which opens you up to legal remedy should someone follow your advice and it turn out badly for them. I’m not entirely sure about that but I think I’m pretty close.

    In the present case the dad needs legal representation, absolutely, but it’s wrong that he should need said representation for merely asserting his rights. If you’re alright with that then you’re part of the problem. The point is that this has been handled wrongly, by the government officials, from the outset. Luckily for the father there’s a lot of lawyers willing to work pro bono on cases like this, and since it’s been reported on reason and Popehat is tweeting about it I’m sure he’ll get one, that will defend him for doing nothing more than asserting his rights.

    Again my problem is with him needing a lawyer to begin with. I don’t accept that that’s reality and that’s the world we live in now. He’s being coerced by the government and it needs to end. Period. Full stop. He doesn’t need to change a single thing as he’s done nothing wrong.

  96. SKL April 3, 2013 at 1:17 pm #

    Personal liberties, in a country where they can make soda pop illegal, force Catholic schools to pay for abortions, and declare the 2nd Amendment irrelevant? What country are you guys talking about?

  97. Sid Vicious April 3, 2013 at 1:17 pm #


    And if you follow the case you’ll probably see what happens when the good guys win. At least I hope so. I’d rather spend every dime I have fighting CPS than give up my rights. He did communicate. He gave them his name, verified he was the child’s father. That’s the end of what he needed to do from a legal standpoint. The rest of this is pure, unadulterated harassment. If you’re alright with government harassment that’s you right, personally I’ll never support it.

  98. SKL April 3, 2013 at 1:20 pm #

    Sid Vicious: “you are offering advice on what to do in a situation when interacting with either the police or CPS and stating you are a lawyer which opens you up to legal remedy should someone follow your advice and it turn out badly for them.”

    Give me a break. Where did I offer legal advice? Please quote it. Just because I’m a lawyer doesn’t mean I’m not entitled to my personal thoughts about a matter. Now who’s trying to scare people into compliance??

  99. Michelle April 3, 2013 at 1:21 pm #

    @Warren, just teasing, hence the smiley faces. 😉

  100. Sid Vicious April 3, 2013 at 1:25 pm #


    Perhaps I should rephrase: You are offering what could be construed as advice. There’s multiple instances of it. I’m not trying to scare you at all. It just seemed like you were possibly edging up against rules governing your profession. I don’t know what state in which you practice, your real name, or anything else. I couldn’t possibly do anything regarding the things you said that might be construed as legal advice. I also said I wasn’t sure about it. Surely you being a lawyer you are better suited than I to know what you can and can’t say. I’ll leave it. I am horribly sorry if I offended you.

  101. SKL April 3, 2013 at 1:26 pm #

    Oh and in case I did say anything that you would like to twist into “legal advice,” I also posted a disclaimer stating that I do not practice law in that area, and also stated that I am ignorant about how CPS works. Sheesh. I’m feeling coerced into shutting up here.

  102. Donna April 3, 2013 at 1:27 pm #

    There is a difference between asserting your rights and being obstinate and belligerent. It sounds like this guy ventured into the second category and is paying the price. It sounds to me like he is operating under a political agenda and is making a big show of asserting his rights and elevating the situation.

    As a public defender, I am all for people asserting their rights. I certainly wish my clients would stop opening their trunks full of cocaine and confessing to everything they’ve ever done, including stealing candy when they were 4, the second a police officer asks their name.

    But asserting your rights can be done politely and can do done in a completely belligerent manner. This guy is being belligerent.

    Further, CPS has a case they need to close in one way or another. Their involvement is not their fault. Something was reported to them and they are required by law to give it at least a cursory investigation. They can’t even give it a cursory glance because the family is refusing to provide anyone for them to talk to!!! CPS is not just going to say “oh well these people won’t talk to us so we’ll just close our file and assume everything is fine.” They are going to do everything in their power to get the information they need to complete the investigation they are required by law to complete now that a complaint has been made.

    Note I said “refusing to provide ANYONE to talk to,” not the family must cooperate with CPS. Every lawyer and homeschooling legal defense organization (and I disagree with much of what they say because their interest is homeschooling and not individual families but since they were brought up here) say don’t cooperate but they will also tell you that you need a lawyer because SOMEONE has to cooperate and not just create a blackhole of information. I don’t try to convince my clients to assert their 5th amendment rights and sit in a police station for hours to prove a point. I tell my clients that the first words out of their mouth should always be “I want an attorney.” I don’t tell my clients to hide in their houses. I tell them to politely insist on seeing a warrant before they open a door. Basically make it clear that you are happy to cooperate but, if and only if, the government fulfills their duties under the law.

    This family needs to (a) hire a lawyer, (b) try to get one for free through legal aid or homeschooling defense fund or another public interest organization or just asking an attorney to take on the case pro bono until they find one, or (c) start dealing with CPS themselves. They can’t just hide their heads in the sand and wait for it to go away.

  103. mollie April 3, 2013 at 1:27 pm #

    I would have invoked Miranda rather than the 5th, I guess, if I were detained and questioned on the street. I might say, “Since anything I say could be held against me in a court of law, I refuse to answer any questions without legal representation, just to be completely sure that I do not inadvertently incriminate myself. I’m sure you understand, officer.” I’d say it with a smile!

    I’m a communication coach. I believe a lot in the power of empathy. I also believe in the protective use of force. Keeping the door between myself and those who would intend to seize my children would definitely be the protective use of force. In addition to this, I would add some empathy for the law enforcement. What are they after? Maybe safety, and that’s a big maybe. Perhaps it’s power. We all want a sense of power and influence.

    Anyway, it’s easy to “take sides,” to “demonize” and label the “other,” and this is definitely what escalates conflict. Our system is set up on judgement and evaluation, and this is incredibly painful for us all. However, it is possible, within one’s self, to conjure non-judgement, objectivity, and empathy. This may not change the whole world at once, but it will change you, and the way you see your “oppressors.”

    I recommend reading Viktor Frankel’s “Man’s Search for Meaning.” If someone held prisoner could see the humanity in the Nazi officers at Dachau, we can start to see the humanity of each person involved in the systems we deem “fascist” or “oppressive,” and begin to make positive steps toward creating a world we do want to live in.

  104. Michelle April 3, 2013 at 1:27 pm #

    “Again my problem is with him needing a lawyer to begin with. I don’t accept that that’s reality and that’s the world we live in now.”

    I disagree. I think people should get a lawyer as soon as they realize that the government is investigating them for anything, even if the government officials are doing everything by the book.

  105. Michelle April 3, 2013 at 1:32 pm #

    @Donna, I like and agree with everything you just said. It sounds like a very reasonable way to assert your rights without being a jerk.

  106. Christina April 3, 2013 at 1:42 pm #

    Is there a law school nearby? Some of them operate community law clinics.

  107. Donna April 3, 2013 at 1:42 pm #

    @Sid Vicious – The father doesn’t require legal representaion because he asserted his rights. He requires legal representation because he is being investigated by the government. EVERYONE being investigated by the government should have legal representation. We can argue until we’re blue in the face that the there should be no investigation but that is completely irrelevant. There is an investigation and, because of that fact and that fact alone, legal representation is needed.

  108. SKL April 3, 2013 at 1:43 pm #

    Considering changing my handle to “this_is_not_legal_advice.” 😛

  109. Sid Vicious April 3, 2013 at 1:45 pm #


    By no means am I saying you should shut up. You’re the lawyer, not me. For the record I in IT, have no legal degree but take a great interest in family law and IP law as a hobby. The lawyers I know are very careful about identifying themselves as such in a forum where someone might construe their opinions as legal advice. That’s the extent of my knowledge on the subject. I am sorry if you feel you like I am trying to shut you down, that’s not my intent. Forget I said anything on the subject please. It’s obvious I am not anywhere near an expert on the rules lawyers have to follow. It’s quite possible the folks to whom I refer are going way beyond what’s necessary to cover their butts. I’ll just respond to your opinions on this article from this point on. Please accept my apology.

  110. Sid Vicious April 3, 2013 at 1:46 pm #

    The father doesn’t require legal representaion because he asserted his rights. He requires legal representation because he is being investigated by the government. EVERYONE being investigated by the government should have legal representation. We can argue until we’re blue in the face that the there should be no investigation but that is completely irrelevant. There is an investigation and, because of that fact and that fact alone, legal representation is needed.

    I completely understand the situation. I am offended by it and think it should be different.

  111. SKL April 3, 2013 at 1:47 pm #

    I agree with Donna (this is not legal advice, though). I would much rather do things without hiring lawyers, and personally I probably would, just because of who I am. And that might be a mistake, just like eating a whole chocolate bunny this morning was probably a mistake ;). Either way this person needs to deal with the realities of the world even if the realities are not as they should be.

  112. Donna April 3, 2013 at 1:51 pm #

    On the need for an attorney – I am a criminal defense attorney (no I am not offering legal advice or representation). If I were taken to the police station for an investigation, I would insist on an attorney. Even though I have probably represented hundreds of people charged with the exact same crime they are investigating, I would get quality representation outside myself because even a lawyer is a fool for trying to represent himself during a government investigation. You are too close to the situation and emotional.

  113. SKL April 3, 2013 at 1:54 pm #

    Sid, yes there is a lot of CYA in the legal world. That’s how a lot of lawyers make their living in the first place. How unfortunate. Yes, I have seen the advisory to include that disclaimer every time I might write anything, anywhere that some idiot might claim he followed as “legal advice.” And I do add that disclaimer any time I’m actually giving assvice to an individual regarding legal matters. But I guess anyone could construe anything as “legal advice” if they were looking to sue someone. Oh well, at least this kind of thinking keeps many of my colleagues off the welfare rolls.

  114. Sid Vicious April 3, 2013 at 2:07 pm #

    I would have invoked Miranda rather than the 5th

    You do realize that Miranda is the government reminding you of your 5th amendment rights? You cannot invoke Miranda. You can assert your right to remain silent, which is part of the 5th amendment.

    The Miranda warning is part of a preventive criminal procedure rule that law enforcement is required to administer to protect an individual who is in custody and subject to direct questioning or its functional equivalent from a violation of his or her Fifth Amendment right against compelled self-incrimination.

  115. Sid Vicious April 3, 2013 at 2:07 pm #


    Thanks for being reasonable and understanding. I spoke out of turn. I don’t agree with you on what this father should have done but you see to be decent folk. 😉

  116. Donna April 3, 2013 at 2:18 pm #

    Sid – I’m not sure what you are offended about here.

    The fact that there is an investigation at all? I agree wholeheartedly.

    The fact that once an investigation, proper or improper, you can’t just ignore it and wait for it to go away? I can’t think if a single life prooblem that is best resolved that way.

    And Miranda was the wrong term but it was clear that she meant to invoke ALL the rights told to you under Miranda, including the right to an attorney. Nitpicking when the message was clear may be partbof that who belligerent and obstinate problem that this guy is facing.

  117. Warren April 3, 2013 at 2:20 pm #

    Considering that this is the same girl that was abducted by the police, for going to the store not too long ago. That this is the same Dad that was refused access to his daughter at the police station not too long ago. When you take into consideration that the police now twice have not respected the rights of this family. First by detaining the girl at the police station, and detaining them on the sidewalk for the second event.

    Take all that into consideration, and I do not blame this man for saying enough is enough. He is not being beligerant or combative. He is being guarded, and cautious.
    Look at it this way. The first time the police took the daughter, they refused to let her see her dad, and for what? Walking to the store. They eventually let her go because no law was broken. Why then is there an investigation, for walking to the post office? No other reason than a second kick at the can for CPS and the cops. So no, assert your rights, keep the door closed, get legal rep, and then the authorities can deal with your attorney.

    Hold the wall Dad, and get that lawyer.

  118. Susie April 3, 2013 at 2:26 pm #

    In which state is this going on?

    If it’s close – my daughter (a lawyer) would like to look at it.

    Please let me know: susie.too@gmail.com

  119. SKL April 3, 2013 at 2:28 pm #

    I though the story said it was in Ohio.

  120. Warren April 3, 2013 at 2:33 pm #

    Someone on facebook, said it was Dayton Ohio.

  121. Sid Vicious April 3, 2013 at 2:38 pm #


    I’m offended there is an investigation beyond the cops finding out he was her dad, that they refused to release her another time, that CPS is looking in to this at all. Of course he needs an attorney at this point. My offense is that it got to this point to begin with.

  122. George April 3, 2013 at 2:38 pm #

    @Donna, regarding the idea that CPS has an “open case” that they need to close.

    Yes, CPS is required to investigate every complaint of abuse, neglect, etc. That’s fine. Now imagine two scenarios:

    Scenario #1: The police get a missing persons complaint about a guy we’ll call John. John and Eric hate each other, and everybody knows it. So far in this scenario the police don’t even have any evidence that a crime has been committed (no bod!), but they go to see Eric. When the police come to see Eric, should he talk to them? Everybody in that situation would be tempted to try to convince the police that they didn’t do it, but the prevailing wisdom is that Eric should keep his mouth shut. Even if Eric wanted to talk how could possibly convince them that he wasn’t involved in something that may not even have happened? It’s trying to prove a negative.

    Scenario #2: Nosy Neighbor calls CPS are reports that children are being allowed to sleep in on Saturdays until 10am. CPS is required by law to investigate every complaint of abuse, neglect, etc. The question is, what are they supposed to investigate? Should the family be required to give up their 5th amendment right to keep their mouth shut, or their 4th amendment protection against search and seizure just so that CPS can write “closed, unfounded” on a report?

    So this situation sounds to me like Scenario #2. How can the family possibly convince CPS that no crime has been committed? And thus, how could talking to CPS possibly do any good? CPS may not be required to Mirandize you, but “anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.”

    For those of you who haven’t considered their 5th amendment protections very much, maybe this lawyer’s eight reasons will convince you that even completely innocent people shouldn’t talk to the police:

  123. SJB April 3, 2013 at 2:43 pm #

    Why not get the cops and bus drivers on your side? Cops are supposed to be the good guys. Maybe if they know Emily, where she lives, her family, they can keep an eye out for her on her travels. That would be more in line with the “village” community idea.

  124. George April 3, 2013 at 2:49 pm #

    Since the cops are the ones who removed Emily while she was at the post office, it hardly seems likely that they think she should be allowed to be there.

  125. SKL April 3, 2013 at 2:53 pm #

    Why do some people keep talking as if the predator suspicion (which has been proven wrong and disposed of) is part of why this guy is getting investigated by CPS? I see them as two completely separate issues.

  126. Michelle April 3, 2013 at 3:05 pm #

    SKL, I think the people discussing predators are responding to this comment:

    A Green @ 8:47 said:
    I would not be comfortable letting a six-year-old walk somewhere by him or herself. Of course, It would depend on the area.

    While we don’t want to instill fear in our children, at the same time, we cannot control the actions of predators who may want to harm them.

    Our world is not a safe place and children go missing each day and are raped or killed, so parents may want to exercise appropriate caution.

    If we lived in a Utopian world, this caution would not be necessary; unfortunately, we live in a world where some individuals can and do hurt children.

  127. Michelle April 3, 2013 at 3:07 pm #

    Oh, also because the person who originally called the cops reported a “strange man” talking to a little girl. IE, if people weren’t terrified of imaginary predators, the cops would never have been called in the first place.

  128. Alicia April 3, 2013 at 3:11 pm #

    While I don’t think letting a six year old to walk alone to the post office is neglect, it does seem rather young to allow that. Why does she need to walk to the post office to mail a letter anyway? Doesn’t the house have it’s own mail box?

  129. SKL April 3, 2013 at 3:17 pm #

    I thought the walking alone incident was completely separate from the “predator” one. I guess I could be wrong about that.

  130. marie April 3, 2013 at 3:18 pm #

    OK, well, we’re seeing here what happens when you refuse to communicate even minimally.

    No. What we are seeing here is law enforcement and CPS throwing their weight around.

  131. Puzzled April 3, 2013 at 3:18 pm #

    >Personal liberties, in a country where they can make soda pop >illegal, force Catholic schools to pay for abortions, and declare the >2nd Amendment irrelevant? What country are you guys talking >about?

    I agree with (most of) this point. But I might add that, as it turns out, a court stopped them from making soda pop illegal. Furthermore, it’s a good point that small, silly loss of freedoms like this one occur only in an environment of complete disrespect for rights. We should expect government to take away rights and enhance its own power whenever a compliant citizenry makes it easy. That’s why the citizenry needs to regard government as the enemy of their freedoms, and act accordingly. Listing other losses of freedom make it only that much more important that we not lay down and hand over our rights, or eagerly submit for unwarranted intrusion X simply because it’s less than the Y we’re otherwise offered. The answer to the loss of liberty is not giving up.

    I also doubt the idea that being more compliant would get him better results. He was compliant for quite some time, and the intrusions only continued and got worse. Every time he’s been in contact with these minions of evil, things have gotten worse. Why would he invite them in now? Further, why don’t these people simply get a warrant? When they start behaving honorably, and with respect for the rule of law, then maybe he can respect them as representatives of the rule of law. Until then, they are illegal interlopers and should be regarded as the uninvited thugs that they are.

    There’s this very abusive tactic whereby a person can act very cruelly to others, then when responded to, begin to shriek about incivility. So too, this agency acts utterly lawlessly, yet then responds when he attempts to defend himself (within the letter of the law) that they are only seeking to work together and he is refusing to compromise.

    Finally, for all who think he is pushing a political agenda at the expense of his children – at the moment, his children are the target of the political agenda of others.

  132. SKL April 3, 2013 at 3:27 pm #

    Well, regardless of feelings about how different people would go about it, I certainly hope he gets legal representation quickly and protects his daughter from removal. I’m sorry that he is going to have to wait to teach her about navigating the community on her own, but that is not going to ruin her life.

    FTR, I feel the same way. I want to send my kids out when they are ready, not when someone else decides they look old enough. (One of my 6yos is smaller than many in pre-K, so this may be a while.) Life is a big ongoing compromise. I don’t like it at all, but I complain on here and then go do what I need to do to keep most people off my back. I should probably be advocating loudly for change, but I’m too dang busy.

  133. Brad April 3, 2013 at 3:32 pm #

    And in a few years, the father will ask himself if all this Martydom was worth it. It might have been better to just answer the questions and not start a war.

    What is the bigger lesson he’s teaching his daughter? Good free range skills or Cops = bad. CPS = bad. I think it’s the latter. He should have been the bigger person. This was the wrong battle to fight I’m sorry to say.

  134. Yan Seiner April 3, 2013 at 3:40 pm #

    IMHO, the guy is an idiot for maintaining his behavior without an apparent rational response this long. 41 days of ignoring repeated requests, and letting it go to the point where there is now a court order, all to prove a point just confirms my suspicion that there really is something going on in this guy’s head that’s not quite right.

  135. marie April 3, 2013 at 3:44 pm #

    IMHO, the guy is an idiot for maintaining his behavior without an apparent rational response this long. 41 days of ignoring repeated requests, and letting it go to the point where there is now a court order, all to prove a point just confirms my suspicion that there really is something going on in this guy’s head that’s not quite right.

    Two sides to every story, I know. But when you take THIS side, you are saying that the police and CPS are justified in what they are doing. If this man’s story is as he says it is, why didn’t the police/CPS quit bothering him long ago? Why let law enforcement continue to act unreasonably and expect the citizen to accommodate them? Why not the other way around?

  136. Brad April 3, 2013 at 3:55 pm #

    In defence of Yan’s comments – the father’s passive aggressive stance HAS raised a reasonable suspicion with these groups. Had he been accommodating from the start – it wouldn’t have progressed to the point it’s at today. This was all his own doing imo to satisfy his ego and prove a point. Now his daughter suffers for it.

    Now CPS and the police have not been saints – however he enacted his “5th amendment” rights from day 1. He didn’t have to go down THAT road now did he?

  137. Z-girl April 3, 2013 at 3:57 pm #

    I agree with Yan, Brad, SKL and some others. A very wise person once said “Don’t attack the problem, Support the solution”. In my opinion, the solution would have been co-operation. As Free-rangers we’re trying to teach our kids to trust that most people are good. And that includes CPS and cops – they are people!! Have some faith in them! When I read the dad’s story, I (as a mere reader) was irritated by his refusal to answer any questions like a reasonable person. I can only imagine how irritated CPS must be!!

  138. Katherine April 3, 2013 at 4:07 pm #

    I think it’s important to remember that we are seeing one side of the story here. It may be completely true, but it is still one-sided. In every job there are people who go on power trips. It’s entirely possible that both the father and the CPS workers are on power trips on this one. If what the father says about how he’s raising his daughter is accurate, I applaud him for explicitly teaching important life skills. However, I suggest he consider the lessons he’s teaching her about how to interact with authorities. He seems to think that there are only 2 options, let the authorities do whatever they want or refuse to cooperate at all. But what about middle ground, like answering the door but stepping outside to politely speak to who’s there? Or, as many others have suggested, getting a lawyer to speak to the authorities for you?

  139. Yan Seiner April 3, 2013 at 4:07 pm #

    @marie: One possible “rational response” would have been to contact an elected official, talk to the public defender’s office or the AG, hire a lawyer, or take some other action to insure that one was fairly represented. He did none of these. This, combined with his earlier behavior, raises the suspicion that he’s not quite all there.

  140. Warren April 3, 2013 at 4:21 pm #

    @Zgirl, Yan, Brad and SKL

    So when they police abducted Emily from the corner store, held her against her will, did not contact the dad, and still held her against her will after dad found out she was being detained at the police station, that was all fine and good.

    Now this incident. And again dad should just bend over and take it up the rear, to make it easier on him.

    Maybe Dad has decided to take a stand. Which alot of the people in here have many times said they would never do.
    He has to make a stand. If he doesn’t make a stand here and now, then he is left with one of two options.
    1. Not allow his daughter to do anything alone again.
    2. Have his daughter, and family harassed by the police and CPS every few months, when Emily learns a new skill or activity.

    And again, you should all be ashamed of yourselves. You are assuming he is guilty of something because he invokes his rights. That is ridiculous. These rights were written to protect the innocent. But everyone seems to think that only the guilty need them.

    I also get a kick out of the commentors here calling this dad unreasonable or not doing what a reasonable person would do.

    After his first encounter with the authorities, over Emily walking to the corner store, his actions now are very reasonable.
    And Zgirl, I really do not think this dad and I know myself really don’t give a rat’s ass if CPS is irritated. They have procedures to follow, so damn well follow them.

    And to Brad, if invoking your rights makes you suspicious, then you are part of what is wrong with society these days.

  141. George April 3, 2013 at 4:26 pm #

    What possible benefit could have come from the family talking to the authorities? What precisely could he have said that would convince the authorities that he was innocent? Remember, the job of the police is to get information that leads to a conviction.

  142. Yan Seiner April 3, 2013 at 4:28 pm #

    @Warren: Our government is based on checks and balances. When one arm of the government overreaches, one does not respond by pretending the arm does not exist.

    One responds by getting another arm of the government to act on their behalf. That’s what makes our society work. And yes, our government of checks and balances works remarkably well.

    “Standing on one’s rights” and so on and antagonizing the local officials doesn’t solve anything. Using the government’s own system of checks and balances does. If you don’t do that you terribly misunderstand how our government works – and that’s what this person is doing, with his family’s existence in the balance.

  143. George April 3, 2013 at 4:35 pm #

    And I think that some comments seem to be losing sight of the real issue: is letting a six-year-old walk down the sidewalk is neglectful?

    Under what circumstances is letting a six-year-old walk down the sidewalk neglect?

    Is it neglect when she opens the door? When she’s in front of the house? Turns the corner? Crosses the street? Where’s the neglect?

  144. Yan Seiner April 3, 2013 at 4:35 pm #

    Just to clarify: I’ve made no statement about the guy’s guilt. I am saying he’s an idiot for not heading off the situation with some rational response (see above for what I mean by that).

  145. Puzzled April 3, 2013 at 4:37 pm #

    Brad – what exactly are 5th amendment rights doing in quotation marks? The rights you’re referring to are among the most basic and important civil rights people have. Yet there you sit, in a once-free country, asserting in a superior tone that, well, he had no reason to invoke his rights. After all, nothing wrong, nothing to hide, and all the rest of the dance of freedom lost, right?

    Furthermore, your claim of suspicion being raised simply by asserting rights is absurd and backwards. We ought to be suspicious of people who bend over and give away their rights at any excuse – they are the ones who will cost us our freedom. We ought to thank those who insist that unelected bureaucrats follow the law.

    How about you explain to me why we ought to be accommodating to those who, living on our tax dollars, decide to ignore laws and repeatedly harass this father – for behaviors that are completely legal? Why accommodate people whose goal is to keep your child from walking the streets freely? Furthermore, you claim they are within their rights to bully him and his family because they feel they are not accommodated enough? Reminder – they work for him, not the other way around. If they feel he’s not being polite, they can go home and cry into their pillows, it does not entitle them to assault him. Is this really the level our country has sunk to in appreciation for basic liberty?

    Regarding those who fret that he’s teaching his kids that cops and CPS are bad – don’t worry, the cops and CPS are doing a fine job of that themselves, and it is very important for children to learn that the government is not their friend. No friend of mine demands half my income, answers to no demand, and insists on investigating and judging intimate details of my life.

  146. Z-girl April 3, 2013 at 4:44 pm #


    I’m not assuming he’s guilty. And I’m not saying that what CPS and cops did was right or”good and fine”. But, in my opinion, this dad took no initiative to work towards any kind of solution. Maybe his choices seem reasonable to you, and you could definitely argue that there is nothing inherently wrong with what he chose to do. And I would agree with you! But….. I would not choose to react the way he did. I would be proactive in figuring out some kind of solution. There are so many other choices he could have made that would have made the situation BETTER (several people above have given great suggestions).

    This dad’s choice to attack the problem instead of working towards a solution is harming him and his family, which is frustrating and really sad. And the lesson Emily is learning is not going to help her be successful in life (in my opinion).

  147. Warren April 3, 2013 at 4:45 pm #

    And Yan

    What arm of the gov’t is he supposed to use?

    And no the checks and balances do not work remarkably well, unless you are remarkably well off.

    Niether the police or CPS has started a formal procedure in which this father can take part in. All they want him to do right now is aid in their investigation. That is not his responsibility, and as a matter of fact it is his right not to aid in their investigation.

    It really makes me sick to think that you people want this man to roll over and kiss the ass of those harassing him.

    If a kid was pushing your kids around, you would all be screaming BULLY BULLY BULLY!!!!!!!!!!

    What the hell do you think is going on here?

    Thank God it the revolution happened all those years ago. Because as it looks now, you all would roll over and let the British rule.

    It is so pathetic that someone with a backbone is considered guilty or unreasonable. And the weak cowardly sheep are the ones considered up standing.

    You know many of your ancestors fought and died for the rights you all want to just ignore, give up or trample into the ground. They fought and died, so that you would have these rights that would protect you from the gov’t.
    Wonder what they would think of you?

  148. Sue April 3, 2013 at 4:51 pm #

    Not answering your door when the police or CPS worker knocks? And then wondering why things have gotten to this level? Come on. These people are making the situation worse by their reaction. CPS isn’t interested in dumb stuff like this, but they have to investigate reports. That’s their job. If you don’t cooperate with an investigation, you are giving them cause to be more suspicious. Are they trying to prove a point or are they trying to prove they aren’t doing anything wrong? CPS isn’t some evil institution out to take kids away. But when you don’t cooperate and act like you have something to hide, they have no choice but to up the ante. This could have been over with a 30 minute conversation. “they want to search our house, interrogate the children, and force us to testify.” This is a little dramatic. They want to make sure your daughter is safe. There are plenty of families where kids aren’t. Just show them that you aren’t one of them and they will leave you alone. Act like a paranoid nut and you might lose your kid.

  149. Warren April 3, 2013 at 4:53 pm #


    He did try to be nice, the first time the police abducted his daughter off the street.

    So why the hell would he help them do it a second time?

    Not anymore, by the comments in here. The pride is gone, the freedom being eroded and the brave are fewer and fewer.

  150. Brad April 3, 2013 at 4:57 pm #

    to Puzzled: “..Very important to learn that the government is not their friend.”

    Nice.. I hope you aren’t a teacher, or a parent.
    Now go watch Daddy take down those meanies (aka gov’t or anybody in authority!)

  151. Brad April 3, 2013 at 5:00 pm #

    “He did try to be nice, the first time the police abducted his daughter off the street.”

    Were you there. Abducted??? Really?

    Boy there sure are lots of people with tin foil hats on this board as well….

  152. Yan Seiner April 3, 2013 at 5:04 pm #

    @Warren: What is your advice for solving this? Railing on this board and calling people names is about as productive as this guy ignoring repeated CPS requests.

  153. Warren April 3, 2013 at 5:09 pm #

    Well Brad,
    According to the article a few weeks back, had you cared to read it, would have told you that Emily was taken by the police to the police station, while on a trip to the corner store.

    Whether it be police, a stranger or the Easter Bunny if someone takes my child and holds them against their will and does not inform me……………..you are damn right I call that abduction.
    So you can take your tinfoil hat………..shine it up real nice,,,,,,,turn that sum b—– sideways and stick it right up your candya–!
    And with the actions of the police lately, no they are not Emily’s friends. Friends do not tell them they are doing something wrong by walking down the street.
    So Brad, anything else you what cleared up?

  154. Brad April 3, 2013 at 5:24 pm #

    Thanks Warren for clearing that up. Now the father can charge the police for abduction… no wait? He can’t? Or won’t? Why not direct his energies towards this endeavor then?

    What that officer did was probably not illegal.

  155. pentamom April 3, 2013 at 5:27 pm #

    “While I don’t think letting a six year old to walk alone to the post office is neglect, it does seem rather young to allow that. Why does she need to walk to the post office to mail a letter anyway? Doesn’t the house have it’s own mail box?”

    This is completely, 100%, beside the point and irrelevant. When I was six years old, I sometimes walked home from school myself — about the same three blocks.

    It doesn’t matter “why” she walks to the post office to mail a letter. It doesn’t matter if she walks right past the mailman picking up letters from their mailbox to do it. It doesn’t matter if she does it because someone in the family believes that the Internet will give them money every time she walks to the post office. She wants to do it, her parents wish to allow her to do it, and there is nothing wrong with it.

    My husband sometimes walks to the post office in the evening, after the last pickup, when he knows that if we put it the letter in our box in the morning with the flag up, it would go out just as soon. Because he wants to. That is the only reason. That is the only reason needed.

  156. Warren April 3, 2013 at 5:34 pm #

    Okay Brad,

    So far his daughter has been made a target twice by authorities, for being mature enough to walk down the sidewalk. The first time dad cooperated, and now this is happening.

    For all of you who think the dad is making a stupid stand for his rights, are all narrow minded, weak sheep. THIS DAD IS MAKING A STAND FOR HIS DAUGHTER’S RIGHT TO WALK DOWN THE SIDEWALK AND NOT BE DETAINED BY THE POLICE OR CPS.

    And all of you that say because he invoked his rights, it makes him appear suspicious or guilty, you are all no better than that woman in Houston that had the police called on the janitor in the school parking lot.

    And Brad what the cop did was illegal, just alot harder to pursue when they have the uniform. And some of us, at least the ones with balls, urged the dad to pursue charges or at least disciplinary measures against the officer.

  157. Katie April 3, 2013 at 5:44 pm #

    Here’s the thing. I 100% agree that it is ridiculous that the cops got involved in this so many times. I think it is ridiculous that CPS got involved.

    BUT. It sounds like the OP has not been cooperative. And no, he was never cooperative. He refused to answer any questions in the very first encounter. When you refuse to answer questions, respond to letters, return phone calls, or answer your door–and when you do, you stonewall the other person–of course it provokes a negative reaction. You catch more flies with honey, and vinegar just makes people angry. The fact that the police’s initial interest was over the top is kind of beside the point. If the guy had just been nice and pleasant to begin with, laughed it off and said, “I’m glad you guys are watching out for my little girl, but she’s so proud of herself for being so responsible and capable, and I want to encourage that,” I can almost guarantee nothing would have gotten to this point.

    The thing with CPS is that they really do see some HORRIBLE things that happen with kids, things that would chill you to the bone, at the hands of their own parents, and if you refuse to talk to them, they have no way of knowing whether your kid will be one of the horror stories that they fail to help because you are trying to hide something or whether you’re just a nice, normal family in a weird situation. BEING NICE is the fastest way to convince people that you’re nice.

    I’m a free range parent, but I think part of being free range is teaching your kids how to be successful in that great big world with lots of people in it, and part of that is knowing when to put on a happy face and be nice to people, even when you’re rolling your eyes on the inside.

  158. sue April 3, 2013 at 5:45 pm #

    to all those who have stated that dad escalated this and if he had just been “cooperative and waived his rights” no it wouldn’t. cps and police would just keep pushing for more and more until they believe they have a case and then she would be removed. anything he says will be twisted and taken out of context until unrecognizable as anything that came out of dad’s mouth. as for what negligence consists of, it is whatever cps says it does at that moment, legal or not. in a certain upstate ny county, to quote a worker, it apparently consists of not taking your child for fast food at any hour of the day or night, not doing your tenager’s laundry,again at any time they demand, giving them household chores, correcting their homework before they hand it in[they might not get an a on it] or not getting them their learner’s permit the second they turn 16. none of these illegal but all chargable as negglect in this county. mean while kids really get abused but parents aren’t charged because’we’re so overworked and don’t have the budget, isn’t that a shame but we’re too busy with the cases we have”. things like this want me to stop the world and get off. yes dad needs to lawyer up fast if he hasn’t already and big time. as for standing up for your rights making you seem guilty of course it does in their eyes. so would cooperating. dad is already guilty in cps’s eyes, that’s how police states work, how dare he fight that fact.

  159. Yan Seiner April 3, 2013 at 5:48 pm #

    @Warren: “For all of you who think the dad is making a stupid stand for his rights, are all narrow minded, weak sheep.”

    Not even close to the mark. He’s making a stand in a stupid, asinine, idiotic, counter-productive, and and ultimately self-destructive way.

    This in no way helps him, his family, or any of us who truly believe kids should be able to walk unimpeded in our towns.

    This idiot’s actions simply reinforce the all too widely held belief that parents who let their kids free-range are irresponsible anti-social and potentially dangerous kooks.

  160. Dan Van Riper April 3, 2013 at 5:59 pm #

    Why is this case being kept anonymous? I don’t care what the lawyer says, the only way to defeat these jerks is to expose them to the world. Lawyers say these sort of things, “don’t reveal any details” so that they can keep control. That’s not a criticism of lawyers, it’s part of their job. It’s up to the Dad to make the decision to go public.

    I want see the faces and hear the names of the kind of scum who would destroy a six year old’s life and break up a family because the parents are not fearful enough to hide their children from the world. If Dad is bold enough to stand up to a misguided authoritarian machinery, then he should understand that public exposure is the only way to win this battle.

  161. Warren April 3, 2013 at 6:03 pm #

    Okay, okay fine have it your way.

    Instead of telling the authorities to play by the rules. This dad should just roll over and kiss their ass.

    Then he can do it again next week, and the week after that and the week after that.

    To avoid having his daughter taken away, he has already agreed to not let her go outside again by herself.

    That is nothing more than state sponsored extortion.

    Unless he invokes his rights he is screwed, because apparently CPS can just make up the rules and laws as they go along.
    He was cooperative the very first time, some weeks ago when the police snatched Emily off the street and detained her against her will.
    If a private citizen were to do that, they would be doing major prison time, but it is ok for a cop?
    No wonder the states are going to hell, look at the people.

  162. Z-girl April 3, 2013 at 6:08 pm #

    @Katie and Yan, well-put arguments!! Your points are rational, empathetic, and constructive.

    So many commenters (and the dad in this case) seem to be driven by fear and anger, and ANYONE who is simply reacting out of fear or anger is operating from a position of weakness, not strength. Unfortunately, there’s really no way to change their way of thinking. What drives them (anger, fear, shame, whatever it is) is what got them into the situation they’re in.

    Like you said Yan, the unfortunate thing is that they’re going to give the general public a wrongful impression of free-rangers. I don’t want anything to do with this dad (kook!)….

  163. Sid Vicious April 3, 2013 at 6:43 pm #


    Your ad hominem attack on those of us who believe standing up for our rights shouldn’t take a backseat to having an easy time of things shows that you have no valid arguments to refute the points made. It doesn’t matter if you get more flies with honey, it doesn’t matter if you’re perceived as nice, it doesn’t matter if some CPS worker has a hard time doing their job. Our rights are being eroded in this country and at some point a stand has to be made. This father did nothing illegal at all and yet he is being harassed by the government. He doesn’t have to prove anything and by law the burden of proof is on the government. CPS has methods of coercion that they use to force parents in to compliance that they shouldn’t have to begin with. The police shouldn’t pick up a six year old and detain her, refusing to give her to her father for walking alone. The government is the bad actor here and not this father.

    You can dislike the father all you want because his methods don’t agree with your naive world view, and that’s your right, but to call him a kook and say he’s giving free rangers a bad name is uncalled for. It’s obvious that a large bunch of us free range parents agree with this father’s actions. In my opinion it’s the bend-over-and-give-up-your-rights crowd that would give this parenting style a bad name. The world isn’t always easy and teaching your children to ignore their own rights to grease the rails is damaging in my opinion. The ACLU has a video out talking about why an innocent person should never talk to the police.

    My only problem with this father is that he should have employed a lawyer a lot earlier in the process. It makes me sick that a father can completely abide by the law, do nothing wrong from a legal standpoint, and still have CPS threaten to take his children. That isn’t right nor should CPS have that power. It’s disgusting that law enforcement and CPS have the ability to make this man’s life a living hell and put him in fear for his family. That’s the problem not the fact the father wasn’t the most polite person he could have been. Saying it’s his own fault, having done nothing legally wrong, is like blaming a woman for being raped. His rights are being violated by the government, multiple times, on multiple fronts and your answer is to be polite? Not an answer, not a solution, and not even the best option. He should have lawyered up at the first sign of CPS and let his attorney handle it from there on out. That was his only mistake.

  164. Michelle April 3, 2013 at 6:51 pm #

    Katie said:
    ” You catch more flies with honey, and vinegar just makes people angry. The fact that the police’s initial interest was over the top is kind of beside the point. If the guy had just been nice and pleasant to begin with, laughed it off and said, “I’m glad you guys are watching out for my little girl, but she’s so proud of herself for being so responsible and capable, and I want to encourage that,” I can almost guarantee nothing would have gotten to this point.”

    Really? That explains why, after I was nice and polite to CPS, let them see and speak to my children, and was completely cooperative, they promised to leave me alone and parent as I see fit.

    Oh, no, wait. They threatened to take my children away unless I change and parent the way THEY see fit.

  165. Roger Tyras April 3, 2013 at 6:57 pm #

    I lived in Ohio for 16 years and can sympathize 100%…CPS is staffed mostly with ignorant nosy prigs just hoping they can *f-bomb* a family over and the happier the family the better. Personally, when the cops refused to return my child to me…I guarantee they would have had to arrest me for what would have happened and what would have been left of the cops. I don’t let anyone screw with my family…I sincerely hope you can kick them where it hurts…*wallet* or *paycheck*

  166. Roger Tyras April 3, 2013 at 7:03 pm #

    Oh by the way…Sue? You must be a special kind of retarded to seriously think a 30 minute conversation would have kept those monkeys at bay…either that or you work for them. DON’T try to walk a mile in a persons shoes until and unless you have the feet to fill them. Idiot.

  167. Mark April 3, 2013 at 7:13 pm #

    1)Get a lawyer-now. Get in front of a judge-that is all that will shut them down.

    2)Get a donation portal setup.

    3)Absent 1 and 2-leave town and never return to the state.

    Choose your poison.

  168. missjanenc April 3, 2013 at 7:36 pm #

    For all of you who think Emily’s dad, Warren, Sid and similarly-minded people are kooks, until you have been the target of bureaucratic nonsense you are clueless. I do animal rescue and a few years ago there was knock on my door. When I opened it a cop handed me a warrant and a host of animal control officers invaded my house. Why? Because two of my dogs were a few weeks late on rabies boosters. So instead of the customary reminder notice it was kicked up to warrants and a raid. I was on the news (labeled as a hoarder, which was a kicker since hoarders don’t adopt out anything) my animals confiscated and all kinds of other wonderful things. Since that time my trust in government-types has been shattered. NOBODY comes into my house and if I need to converse with a cop or others of their ilk, it takes place outside and my voice recorder is on because we all know they never lie or do anything untoward.

  169. Chris April 3, 2013 at 7:36 pm #

    The state is obviously being abusive. However, the parents are also being abusive because they are not protecting the child from the state. Instead they are using her to assert their civil liberties and get into a conflict with the state. Being detained 3 times as a 6 year-old is far more traumatic than not being allowed to walk outside alone.

    That the parents let the child go outside alone even after being detained twice and contacted by CPS sends a very strong message to the child that their own ideals matter more to them than the threat of their child being taken away. If CPS does take the child away, the parents are just as much at fault.

    The parent’s behavior here is exactly the kind of thing that will transfer the parents’ mistrust of authority to the child – she’ll trust neither her own parents nor the state.

  170. Donna April 3, 2013 at 7:39 pm #

    “Read the facts, over 90% of children are raped/molested by their own family members, friends, or acquaintances.”

    This is not the facts. Over 90% of children WHO ARE MOLESTED AT ALL are molested by their own family members. friends or acquaintances. The majority of the children in the US are not actually molested at all.

    Sorry that was bothering me earlier and I couldn’t address it then.

  171. Elzo April 3, 2013 at 7:41 pm #

    There is no need to be “cooperative” with these “people” at all. There is no need to be rude, just state that you will not answer any questions or make a statement concerning this matter. Hire a good lawyer and sue, sue, sue. I don’t feel sorry for these “poor, overworked bureaucrats” at all. It is beyond absurd that they are even allowed to intervene in the manner mentioned in this post. Remember that they work for the government and you pay their salary.

  172. Maggie April 3, 2013 at 7:45 pm #

    Blaming the parents for continuing to parent their child consistently makes no sense. Just as an example, I don’t know if you have a daughter, but say you do, and say your daughter attend a public school that has decided to adopt a dress code that requires girls to wear skirts or dresses. And let’s just say you feel that is not reasonable, and you don’t go out and buy your daughter some new clothes for school, so she getting disciplined/sent home. Are you responsible for your daughter’s “suffering” because you chose not to go along, or are the people who are trying to make rules that are unreasonable to blame?

  173. Z-girl April 3, 2013 at 7:52 pm #


    We’ve evolved as humans with complex social structures, including morals and ethics. Just because something is not illegal, doesn’t mean it is socially smart, or even ethical or moral. I agree with you that this dad “did nothing wrong from a legal standpoint”. I just don’t think he did much RIGHT from a social or moral standpoint, in his interactions with the cops and CPS in this case. I still think that how he chose to react to the situation made it worse for him and his family. And I still strongly believe that a less antagonistic reaction MAY have resulted in resolution of this whole thing. I could be wrong, though. In which case, as you suggest, he should get a lawyer and go from there. I don’t think that he should at any point accept that what the cops did initially as OK. We are in agreement (I think) about that.

    You’re right, I probably should not have called him a kook. I don’t know that he is. What I DO know is that the series of choices he’s made indicate (in my opinion) some social ineptness, or possibly paranoia. And a total lack of any kind of initiative to take steps to fix this situation. All he’s done up until this point, is ignore CPS and hope the whole thing goes away. That position/choice wasn’t forced on him in any way: it was totally his own doing. CPS isn’t going to close an unresolved file (so I’m told). So, yes, what started as a problem initiated by the nosy neighbor, and perpetuated by the cops and CPS, has been AMPLIFIED by this guy’s choices. So he is totally part of the problem. He didn’t start it, but he’s taken no steps to end it either. Not the same as blaming a rape victim who has limited choices. This guy had many opportunities to take steps to try to resolve this whole thing, but instead chose actions that antagonized the cops and CPS, and prolonged the situation.

    He did nothing to deserve the initial involvement by cops and CPS. Not his fault. But what IS his fault is his series of choices that have made the whole situation WAY worse. That’s my opinion.

  174. Chris April 3, 2013 at 7:54 pm #

    If the state is being abusive about some behavior, a non-abusive parent will protect their child first, then attempt to resolve the conflict with the state, and then encourage the child to continue with the behavior. Yes, if you let your child get punished at school in order to prove a point, you are being abusive. A non-abusive response is to listen to your daughter about her feelings around being required to wear a dress, explain to her why you believe it’s unreasonable, and if she really wants you to, offer to go out and fight on her behalf. In the meantime however, tell her that she doesn’t need to go out and get herself punished, because ultimately education is more important than provoking bullies.

  175. Chris April 3, 2013 at 8:03 pm #

    (In response to Maggie above)

  176. Christine April 3, 2013 at 8:12 pm #

    This is for V—This is just one website–http://www.childhelp.org/pages/statistics/

    A report of child abuse is made every ten seconds
    *More than five children die every day as a result of child abuse.2
    Approximately 80% of children that die from abuse are under the age of 4. 1
    It is estimated that between 50-60% of child fatalities due to maltreatment are not recorded as such on death certificates. 3
    More than 90% of juvenile sexual abuse victims know their perpetrator in some way. 4
    Child abuse occurs at every socioeconomic level, across ethnic and cultural lines, within all religions and at all levels of education.
    About 30% of abused and neglected children will later abuse their own children, continuing the horrible cycle of abuse. 5
    About 80% of 21 year olds that were abused as children met criteria for at least one psychological disorder. 5
    The estimated annual cost of child abuse and neglect in the United States for 2008 is $124 billion. 6
    Top ↑

    Child Abuse & Criminal Behavior

    14% of all men in prison in the USA were abused as children. 7
    36% of all women in prison were abused as children. 7

  177. MaeMae April 3, 2013 at 8:19 pm #

    I didn’t read all the responses so I apologize if this is a repeat. If by ” not enrolled in public school” they mean they homeschool then they should call HSLDA. They are not pro bono, although they may ( it doesn’t hurt to ask), they usually charge a yearly membership fee and that covers all court fees. They may allow them to just pay that. It’s very affordable and something every homeschooling family should do, in my opinion.

  178. Yan Seiner April 3, 2013 at 8:26 pm #

    The guy is not “standing up for his rights”, or his daughter’s rights, or anything else. You stand up for your rights by mounting some sort of defense. He has not done so.

    His actions have escalated the situation. Maybe the state has cause, maybe they don’t. I don’t know that side of the story. I know that if this happened to me, I would be in contact with the Sheriff as they provide protection where I live, my County representatives, and the local head of CPS, and I would try to get them on my side in this matter.

    I would talk to them, and get them to drop the matter. If they did not, I would be in contact with an attorney.

    Now during all this I can still refuse the local CPS folks access to my home and refuse to answer their questions.

    But just doing the latter is not “defending your rights”, it’s being stupid.

    To put this in the perspective of April 19, 1775 – the British army came to Concord and Lexington, and the British subjects living there there refused them entry. OK so far so good. There followed some fighting and men and women were killed. The British army withdrew and the colonists committed treason against the Crown, and if caught would be hanged.

    The same British subjects living in the colonies sent their version of the events by very fast courier ship to Britain, while the British Army sent their version by regular ship.

    The net result was that the colonists’ side was published in Britain and discussed in Parliament weeks before the “official” British Army report was even delivered.

    The American revolution was not won by barricading the door, but by talking with the British and convincing them that it was in the best interest of the British Empire to let America be free range.

    That is the lesson this particular father has failed to learn from American History.

  179. V April 3, 2013 at 8:34 pm #

    Thanks Christine

  180. Donna April 3, 2013 at 8:43 pm #

    “I don’t know if you have a daughter, but say you do, and say your daughter attend a public school that has decided to adopt a dress code that requires girls to wear skirts or dresses. And let’s just say you feel that is not reasonable, and you don’t go out and buy your daughter some new clothes for school, so she getting disciplined/sent home. Are you responsible for your daughter’s “suffering” because you chose not to go along, or are the people who are trying to make rules that are unreasonable to blame?”

    Well that depends – what does your daughter say about the issue?

    I fully support my child’s right to object to her uniform in whatever way she sees fit. If she wants to refuse to wear the uniform to fight the cause, she can do so. She can do so whether I agree that the uniform requirement is unreasonable or not.

    However, I don’t believe that I have a right to foist my own objections onto my child and make her pay the penalty. In other words, if my daughter is okay with the uniform or would rather not fight the uniform requirement this way, I am responsible for her suffering if I insist that she needs to handle the problem this specific way and she is constantly getting punished for it. Work out your own issues yourself without using your child as an unwilling punching bag.

    In this specific case, I do believe that the parents are partially responsible for the “suffering” here. Clearly the police were wrong originally and this should have never been an issue to start with. But they know that the police believe that they should not allow their daughter out alone, REFUSE TO FIGHT THAT BELIEF, and yet continue to send their daughter out alone. It is just a passive-aggressive, ineffective way to handle the situation with their poor kid stuck in the middle. They are solely responsible for that choice.

    This does not mean that I think they should stop sending their daughter out. It means that I think that they should do so while fighting, not ignoring, the first allegations. Continuing to do the exact same thing and expecting a different result is not a productive way to deal with this situation. And since this man doesn’t seem like a complete idiot, I’m guessing that he KNOWS that the same result will occur and WANTS to antagonize CPS in this highly unproductive way.

  181. Jenn April 3, 2013 at 8:43 pm #

    I think that there is more to this story than what the dad is reporting. What concerns me about this story is that the dad appears to be more concerned about ‘fighting the power’ than looking out for his daughter’s response to these confrontations. On two occasions he was detained with his daughter (day two- half an hour and again on day six), and several times the police show up at their home (while they ignore the knocks at the door). These must be playing in his daughter’s mind and worry her. I know my own children would be frightened by these ordeals. Personally, I would not want to have my child detained by the police or have them wonder why the police are at our door. As much as I agree that the child should be allowed to walk to the post office, I think that the parents need to do what they can to make the problem smaller, not instigate further problems. I think that if the father was a little more compliant on Day 2 by answering a few questions, the issue may have gone away a lot sooner. Yes, you have your rights, but you may want to consider protecting your child’s right to a peace of mind!

  182. Megan April 3, 2013 at 8:48 pm #

    The problem I see with talking to CPS, or letting them in the house, or talk to the children, is that if CPS *wants* to get you on something, they probably could. If your house is a little messy? They could claim that the living conditions were unsafe. In the midst of a home renovation project? The same. If the kids mentioned a method of discipline that CPS disagreed with? They could claim abuse. Could *your* household, your parenting, your lifestyle, hold up to CPS’s perfect standards if they went in there *wanting* to get you on something, anything they could find?

    Also, it sounds like CPS was really pushing to talk to the guy in person, rather than putting anything in a letter or talking to him in any sort of official, documented way. Which means that it could become a “he said, she said,” thing, if they claim that he admitted to something. It’s a lot harder for them to make up or be mistaken about something he said if he didn’t say anything at all.

  183. Jenn April 3, 2013 at 8:53 pm #

    CPS wasn’t in the story until day 7. Day 2, he talked to the cops, on the street, with the child present. Answer the questions, and move on. By refusing to answer questions (according to the fifth amendment), HE raised suspicions with the police, who then did some investigating. I bet there was something (other than a `wandering’ child) that prompted the continuing saga.

  184. Kathryn April 3, 2013 at 8:55 pm #

    I wonder, has this father (or any other of you who have faced similar issues) solicited help from the ACLU? It seems to me that this and other like stories are evidence of minors’ rights being trampled.

    Being under the age of 8, or 10, or 15, or whatever arbitrary age a police officer or CPS worker subjectively sets themselves upon should not deny you the freedom to be at the park or ride the bus or walk to the post office. We have a whole demographic having their rights systematically denied them. It seems like it would be right up the ACLU’s alley.

  185. Laura April 3, 2013 at 9:01 pm #

    I am 55 years old and was very much a “free range” child when I was young…but…not at 6. My free range at 6 was much more limited than this child’s. My younger brothers and sisters had more of a free range than I did, but only if they were with me.

    I do believe that today, its not safe for a child of 6 to have that much free range. If the child was 9 or 10 I would be a bit more in agreement with most of the other responders here.

  186. Christine April 3, 2013 at 9:14 pm #


    Answering the police can get you in more trouble than you want. As an American we do not have to answer any questions. Just because the father refused to answer some questions, why should the police think he is hiding anything. I have known to many people who answer the police and get into trouble. I have always told my kids not to allow a cop to search your car, your home, or anything without a search warrant. There is no reason to do that. Some cops are very sneaky and put words into a persons mouth. I would refuse to talk without a lawyer. We as a society are guilty until proven innocent anymore. Police have no right to assume the worse of people, but they do and innocent people suffer. CPS has done some horrific things with children who should not be in a dangerous home. The rights of parents are slowly being taken away. We, as parents, have lost our rights. We need to stand firm against the police and the CPS. They go after the innocent when they are not busy and make things up.

  187. Christine April 3, 2013 at 9:16 pm #


    Why are children not safe today?

  188. Dena April 3, 2013 at 9:28 pm #

    The state seems to be harrassing them after this goes on for a while.. but a 6 year old these days shouldn’t be walking alone anywhere…where’s the common sense on that one?

  189. Warren April 3, 2013 at 9:38 pm #

    What a wonderful country you live in. Where parents not only have to worry about the law, but about the personal beliefs of each officer and CPS agent, as well.

    The first occassion was when Emily went to the store, and was taken into custody by the police. After the dad cooperating and not being able to be with Emily, and some time later……….the dad was told no law was broken, and he and his daughter went home.

    So why the hell not let her go out if she wants? They were told that no law was broken.
    Since no law has been broken, any further involvement for the same activity is harassment and nothing but harassment. When the authorities are on a witch hunt, such as this, you do not cooperate, you do not invite them in, you do not say a word. You wait for them to do their job, and go before a judge, to gain access.

    In exchange for not losing his daughter, he had to agree to not let her outside alone. How is that even legal? Oh wait it isn’t legal, because isn’t that called extortion. CPS is no better than the mob, comply or pay, comply or we take your kid.

    Thank god for Canada. Nowhere near the nightmare of the states.

  190. Rachel April 3, 2013 at 9:42 pm #

    Now, wait. A bunch of you are asserting that the Dad did nothing illegal. But isn’t neglecting your kid illegal? And until the matter is investigated, police/CPS have no way of knowing if the kid is independent or if they’re neglected. And the problem with just asking the kid is that abused/neglected kids sometimes KNOW that what their parent is doing is wrong and will lie to protect the parent/family unit.

    It seems to me that the father in this situation jumped right into hostile/aggressive behavior that would be appropriate for continued harrassment, instead of starting out reasonably cooperative and helping assure police/CPS that his daughter is, in fact, not neglected.

    I’d like to remind you that there’s a REASON that departments like CPS exist. People do horrible things to their children, and they’re the “someone” that does something about it.

  191. Donna April 3, 2013 at 9:54 pm #

    “The first occassion was when Emily went to the store, and was taken into custody by the police. After the dad cooperating and not being able to be with Emily”

    No it wasn’t, Warren. Read the facts given. The first encounter with the police was the strange man following the girl on the street complaint. He identified himself as Emily’s father and refused to answer any further questions. The store thing came several days later and there has been absolutely no statement that says that he cooperated then.

    I don’t argue that the father should have done anything different in either of those situations. But let’s not cloud this situation with allegations that this man has ever been cooperative with the investigation and stopped cooperating at some point. That is patently untrue.

    “In exchange for not losing his daughter, he had to agree to not let her outside alone.”

    Nobody asked for such a thing. Our comments are that he did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING after his daughter was detained for going out by herself to defend his choice and continued to send her out knowing that she was very likely to be detained again and again. He clearly has an agenda here and is using his daughter as a pawn in that agenda.

    You can defend yourself from these allegations without waiving a single right. He choose not to do so but continued to do something he KNEW would raise controversy.

  192. Donna April 3, 2013 at 9:59 pm #

    And by that last comment, I mean that he has an agenda by continuing to send her out AFTER the store incident. When the police officer told him the investigation over the street crossing incident was closed, I do believe that he believed the issue was closed and that nothing would come from sending Emily to the store. But even after receiving a letter from CPS about the situation, he continued to send her out alone day after day while completely ignoring the original complaint of neglect for sending her out alone and while knowing she was likely to get detained again.

  193. Puzzled April 3, 2013 at 10:17 pm #

    Brad – If you look through the comments on other articles, you’ll find numerous comments from me referencing my teaching style, my efforts to focus more on critical thinking in math teaching, etc. Oddly enough, when I was hired to teach, then to run my department, no one mentioned that one of the qualifications to teach was thinking that the government was your friend.

    Here’s the really crazy thing, though – I don’t mind if there are teachers out there who disagree with me. I don’t mind if there are teachers out there who think things I consider dangerous and crazy, like that it is a good idea to have blind faith in people with the power to tax and imprison you – or that you can consider people your friend solely by virtue of their taking your money away, micromanaging your affairs, murdering people with funny-sounding names in other countries, and saving you from the perils of certain plants, while subsidizing the production of drugs domestically. I am not a control freak, and I do not demand that the world bend to my will.

    I also do not consider schools indoctrination centers. If ever student that I came in contact with came away agreeing with me, I would need to seriously reconsider my teaching style. I do not think the role of the teacher is to tell the student what to think. I think the role of a (good) teacher is to force students to think, and, more importantly, to make students want to think, to care enough to think. I think a good teacher inspires a student to engage with the world, and to think through the positions they will take on various issues – from politics to science – rather than demanding faith and obedience and drilling facts into them.

    I don’t even think that good teaching is allowing students, through a process of discovery, to find out the things that you want them to believe. Rather, I think it is about them discovering what they will believe. You will know a good teacher when their students disagree with them thoughtfully, and they are delighted.

    So, you need not worry that I will produce a generation of graduates mindlessly repeating my words.

    You, on the other hand, have now apparently decided that I am unqualified to teach, solely by virtue of my disagreeing with you. Since I will not force my students to believe that armed men who will attack them for, as in this example, letting their children walk to the Post Office, are their friends, I am a bad teacher. This is a perfectly logical outgrowth of government-centered political beliefs, but I shudder at what it shows me about your views on education.

  194. Jenn April 3, 2013 at 10:23 pm #

    Note: Dad doesn’t tell us what questions he was refusing to answer on Day 2.

    My neighbour and I were discussing this story. She home schools her kids and her husband is a police officer. She piped in how Dad likely fit the `home school stereotype’ of being a `hippie’ (and that, in turn, leads to the druggie stereotype). Her husband said that since Dad had stated his name, then his name would have been run through the computer to check that there was nothing already there on the family, which looks like there wasn’t BUT there was likely something there on the dad, which is why the further detention. Had the father just explained the Free Range thing, then they would have released him but to be a prick about it and claim fifth amendment, the police wonder what he’s hiding and go looking, especially if there is something in his past.

    Interesting discussion with my neighbours, especially considering who they are. Still think there is more to this story and wonder why the dad is adding to his daughter’s emotional turmoil. Poor kid!

  195. mollie April 3, 2013 at 10:27 pm #

    “The thing with CPS is that they really do see some HORRIBLE things that happen with kids, things that would chill you to the bone, at the hands of their own parents, and if you refuse to talk to them, they have no way of knowing whether your kid will be one of the horror stories that they fail to help because you are trying to hide something or whether you’re just a nice, normal family in a weird situation. BEING NICE is the fastest way to convince people that you’re nice.”

    Katie, this is like saying that if you’re a CPS worker, you’d be tormented just walking down the street and seeing children with their parents, since there’s just no way of knowing whether those kids will be one of the horror stories if the social workers “fail to help.”

    At least that’s how it strikes me.

    I, too, was in the middle of my parents’ battle with authority, similar to the uniform example above. I got right into with them. I trusted them. I found it awkward to be the child on the front lines, taking the heat, while my parents encouraged “bucking the system,” but I identified with the struggle for equality and integrity.

    So my guess is that this 6-year-old is actually right there on board with Dad, awkward as it may be for her.

    What comes to mind to me now is Rosa Parks, riding the bus. How dare that uppity lady sit in the front? Why did she insist on stirring the pot? So many people got their heads bashed in, just because black people started insisting on equal rights. Wouldn’t it have been easier to shut up and go along?

    I guess the difference here is if we are insisting on the right to parent in a mindful, caring, and conscious way, our kids get caught in the middle, since the way the “authorities” exert their control is to take the kids out of the home. Part of the Civil Rights movement did involve kids, though, at school, and my guess is that there were many young kids who got harassed for showing up where they weren’t supposed to… anyone got info on that?

    Here’s the deal: I like the idea of advocating for things like freedom, nurturing, choice, autonomy, and integrity. I like a little civil disobedience, and I get the sense that Dad sent his kid out on an errand after being accosted for that the previous day to say, “Hey, this is not against the law, so we’re carrying on as per usual,” even though he was likely aware that the “authorities” might take some sort of “action” against the family.

    Going “by the book,” and insisting on adhering to the laws as the Bill of Rights describes it, is not always a popular thing to do, and there can be loads of pain involved. I can relate to this Dad’s choice, and though I do imagine some empathy injected into this scenario could go a long way toward uniting all parties involved, I see him as doing the best he knows how given the resources and consciousness he’s got.

  196. Jynet April 3, 2013 at 10:38 pm #

    At 5 my mom was putting me on a city bus and sending me off to “Busy Bees” (a pre-girl guide program that operated in the 70’s and 80’s in Canada). At the end of the program I was expected to go back out to the city bus stop and catch the bus home again.

    Lord knows what the local version of CPS would make of that today!

  197. Jill April 3, 2013 at 10:42 pm #

    I find it suspicious that the police have been contacted so many times about the same father & child. To me it sounds like neglect if people are constantly reporting this act. I mean, we have concerned citizens reporting neglect, school bus drivers and city employees who have all shown concern for this child who obviously isn’t getting supervision from her parents. It really is a sad world that the community has to look after a child who is being neglected by their parents.

    I sure hope the nuts on here that are more concerned about fighting the government than protecting children DON’T live in my neighborhood. Lord knows there is child anise and neglect everywhere, and this dad is more concerned about his rights than his child? Very suspicious!

  198. George April 3, 2013 at 10:51 pm #

    “Note: Dad doesn’t tell us what questions he was refusing to answer on Day 2.

    “Had the father just explained the Free Range thing, then they would have released him but to be a prick about it and claim fifth amendment, the police wonder what he’s hiding and go looking, especially if there is something in his past.” (Very nice crystal ball you have, btw.)

    How does it matter what questions he refused to answer?

    How does a man embracing his 5th amendment protections make him a prick? Is the Bill of Rights really an instruction manual on how to be a jackass?

    Well let’s forget those Founding Fathers: they lived too long ago. Instead, let’s see what the courts have said in the last 70 years:

    [Any] lawyer worth his salt will tell the suspect in no uncertain terms to make no statement to the police under any circumstances.” Justice Robert Jackson, Watts v. Indiana, 338 U.S. 49, 59 (1949)

    “Too many, even those who should be advised, view this [5th amendment] privelage as a shelter for wrongdoers. They too readily assume that those who invoke it are either guilty of crime or committing perjury claiming the privelage.” Ullmann v. United States, 350 U.S. 422, 426 (1956)

    “One of the Fifth Amendment’s basic functions is to protect innocent men who otherwise might be ensnared by ambiguous circumstances. Truthful responses of an innocent witness, as well as the wrongdoer, may provide the the government with incriminating evidence from the speaker’s own mouth.” Ohio v. Reiner, 532 U.S. 17, 20 (2001)

    Folks, even if you think this dad is a

  199. pentamom April 3, 2013 at 10:52 pm #

    “…and city employees who have all shown concern for this child who obviously isn’t getting supervision from her parents. ”

    Where are you getting THAT? They let her walk THREE BLOCKS to the post office! In what world is that “obviously not getting supervision from her parents”?

  200. Puzzled April 3, 2013 at 10:55 pm #

    So, to summarize a few of the above comments:

    Asserting your rights is suspicious and means you are guilty (that’s why the founders put them in the Constitution, right – because the founders were criminals?)

    If someone accuses you of something, you are guilty

    Standing up for your children’s rights means putting a fight (a fight you never wanted, by the way) ahead of your children – the children we’re fighting for

  201. pentamom April 3, 2013 at 10:58 pm #

    Technically, I think HSLDA is pro bono. Yes, there is a membership fee, but it is less than $150 a year. Any legal services they provide obviously FAR exceed that amount very quickly, except for the kind of thing where they just write a letter to your school officials explaining why you, not the school, are following the law in a given situation. (That actually forms a pretty large percentage of their work.)

    The kind of legal representation you are entitled to from your <$150/year membership can hardly be called fee for service — it's more of a collective.

  202. Taradlion April 3, 2013 at 10:58 pm #

    If CPS was removing the child from the home JUST because she was allowed to walk to the post office on her own, it would have happened a long time ago…the child would have been removed right after she had been “found” walking herself (if not the first, the second time). Perhaps it is a threat in retaliation for what is perceived as uncooperative behavior on the part of the father, perhaps it is because the dad’s behavior has raised some red flags.

    I’d been reading comments all day, but couldn’t comment. To me, there is a difference between choosing not to exercise your rights and giving them up. I have the right to bear arms, I choose not to own a gun, that’s not giving up my right. I have a right to free speech, I may choose not to stand on my NYC street corner making my opinion known on a daily basis, that does not mean I am giving up my right.

    This dad did not legally have to respond to questions, absolutely true. It was his right. He could have chosen NOT to exercise that right. If he thought it better to not answer questions without representation, fine, but not answering the door? Refusing to answer questions. At all?

    One thing is clear, the little girl has learned from her dad how to deal with the police. “Emily has known her phone number and address for quite some time, refuses to give them to the officers, but the officers know who she is, who I am, and where we live”…

  203. George April 3, 2013 at 10:58 pm #

    “She home schools her kids and her husband is a police officer. She piped in how Dad likely fit the `home school stereotype’ of being a `hippie’ (and that, in turn, leads to the druggie stereotype). Her husband said that since Dad had stated his name, then his name would have been run through the computer to check that there was nothing already there on the family, which looks like there wasn’t BUT there was likely something there on the dad, which is why the further detention.”

    So for those not familiar with the history of homeschooling, in the early days it was almost entirely practiced by those on the far right and the far left. In fact, it’s rather humorous now to look back and see how some of these people worked together towards a common goal.

    I hope most homeschooling parents never have to meet your friend’s husband in an official capacity. I’m not sure which assumption of guilt by association is worse: that towards the right or the left. On the left, it seems unfair to assume that all liberals are stoners. On the right, it seems illogical to think that those baptists and pentecostals won’t touch liquor can’t get enough Mary Jane.

  204. Mags April 3, 2013 at 11:01 pm #

    everyone thinks that we are innocent until proven guilty. Not so in Social Service Law. Credible evidence, the lowest form of evidence is employed in these investigations.

    A simple matter such as this can snowball. This father needs an attorney NOW. And he needs to stand down, not capitulate, but stand down with the authorities and obtain able legal counsel.

    He needs an atty and should stay silent until said attorney speaks for him.

    It is a nightmare.

  205. Donna April 3, 2013 at 11:03 pm #

    “So my guess is that this 6-year-old is actually right there on board with Dad, awkward as it may be for her.”

    Since a 6 year old cannot possibly comprehend the potential consequences, she can’t be considered right there on board with dad in this situation. A 6 year old can understand “if I don’t wear my uniform, I will not get recess” and can be on board with that situation (although I don’t think most parents who put their children in these situations really care whether the child is on board or not). A 6 year old cannot possibly understand forced removal from the home, foster care, supervised visitations, possible criminal charges and jail for mom and dad, etc.. Even if they can define those terms, they can’t really understand what going into foster care for months would really be.

    “What comes to mind to me now is Rosa Parks, riding the bus. How dare that uppity lady sit in the front? Why did she insist on stirring the pot?”

    The difference is that Rosa Parks was an adult who made her own choices while completely understanding the ramifications to those choices. And the ramifications were largely just to her and those who chose to join her. SHE was on the front line. She wasn’t sending a child too young to understand what is going on to be on the front line while she stayed home.

    “‘Hey, this is not against the law, so we’re carrying on as per usual,’ even though he was likely aware that the ‘authorities’ might take some sort of ‘action’ against the family.”

    And the times they continued to do it AFTER they already KNEW the authorities WERE taking action?

  206. pentamom April 3, 2013 at 11:07 pm #

    The thing is, though, I’m not sure HSLDA involves itself in cases where homeschooling is not the point of contact with the authorities. I also don’t think organizations like this take terribly kindly to someone trying to join up AFTER they are already in some kind of trouble.

    But I agree with those who are saying: the father has every right not to cooperate, but he should do it in the context of actively fighting back, with legal representation, not just sitting there wishing the situation away just because it “shouldn’t be this way.” It shouldn’t, but life simply never has worked in such a way that you can avoid the consequences of unjust treatment merely by insisting loudly and long enough that it’s unjust.

  207. Warren April 3, 2013 at 11:09 pm #

    No Donna you are in error.

    The first incident happened awhile ago. Click on the story at the top of this one. This Emily is the same Emily that was at the corner store, and taken into custody. Held and her dad denied access. Finally sent home after being told no laws were broken.

    Then the strange man incident, and then the post office incident. So check your facts.

    Let’s face it, this is a vendetta by the local cops. They couldn’t do anything about Emily walking around, because it isn’t against the law. They don’t like it so they are on a witchhunt.

    And Donna, reread it please. He had legal reps help, and in exchange for not letting Emily outside by herself, CPS dropped the ex parte procedures. You know for a lawyer, you tend to skip facts.


    By your logic, you need to be investigated for abuse and neglect as well. Because until you have been investigated, how does CPS know?

    I cannot believe even in here, all the people that have this man guilty untill proven innocent.

  208. Puzzled April 3, 2013 at 11:12 pm #

    Taradlion – but for what reason should he choose not to exercise his right? And, for crying out loud, what empowers the police and CPS to treat him differently, as so many comments have suggested, simply on the basis of whether or not he chooses to exercise his rights?

    Also, I think you’re right that his daughter learned how to deal with the police, and I think the lesson she learned is correct. I wish it weren’t – I wish we could trust that every interaction with police were not an attempt to find a crime we can be guilty of, I wish prosecutors were not judged solely on how many convictions they get…that I can’t live in my dreamworld, I have to live in this one.

  209. Mags April 3, 2013 at 11:18 pm #

    I think everyone should take a back seat. Debate is fine but what some of you not involved in the legal process may not know is that—CPS investigations for the simplest things can result in termination of parental rights and jail time, long jail time.

    It is a lot to go into now but once they have you, for a simple matter like a child crossing a street, or a young child working out the locks on the door to rush into the neighborhood unattended, or a disgruntled teen who makes false accusations, or a disgruntled neighbor or ex spouse etc.

    This is the worse sort of nightmare that a parent may find him or herself in.

  210. Taradlion April 3, 2013 at 11:20 pm #

    Puzzled- I didn’t say he shouldn’t exercise his right. I said, not exercising a right is not the same thing as giving it up (as some further up thread have suggested rather strongly). In fact, I said, if he thought it best not to answer questions WITHOUT REPRESENTATION, fine. I think that is very different than not answering the door and not responding (with representation) at all.

  211. Mags April 3, 2013 at 11:21 pm #


    I agree

  212. Donna April 3, 2013 at 11:32 pm #

    “The first incident happened awhile ago. Click on the story at the top of this one.”

    Go back and read this story. You are correct that the post office story was published here before we ever heard about the strange man/street crossing incident. However, things need not be reported in the exact chronological order in which they occurred. This fuller story – with the full timeline broken down by days – puts the strange man/street crossing incident BEFORE the post office incident in time. The strange man/street crossing incident was day 2; the post office incident was day 6. In fact, he states specifically that he called the police about the results of the investigation into the strange man/street crossing incident before he sent Emily to the post office that day.

    “And Donna, reread it please. He had legal reps help, and in exchange for not letting Emily outside by herself, CPS dropped the ex parte procedures.”

    You are correct.

    ” you tend to skip facts.”

    Pot meet kettle.

    “Let’s face it, this is a vendetta by the local cops.”

    No doubt. It appears to just be a couple officers since both incidents involve the same officers (but I have no idea how big the police department is). Which is why having a lawyer early may have calmed this down.

  213. Chris April 3, 2013 at 11:38 pm #

    A parent has a conflict of some kind with an abusive authority. Fine. If the parent involves a child in that conflict, it is passive-aggressive abuse of the child. The parent is supposed to protect the child from abusive authorities.

    How bad does it have to get before a parent decides to protect their child from an abusive state? Do the police have to be shooting at children for that to happen?

    In this instance, the threat of state kidnapping was not enough for the parent to put his child’s safety first. If it was, he would have completely backed off and let things cool down at the first mention of this threat.

    Hopefully the father learns a lesson from this about provoking an abusive authority, and hopefully in time the child learns that her father is also an abusive authority. If not, she’ll probably do something comparable to her children.

  214. Mags April 3, 2013 at 11:43 pm #

    The fact of the matter is that the authorities are now involved. Can this dad win by posting on line, in my humble opinion, he may not.

    he needs to stand down –again not capitulate but stand down and seek able legal representation. It is all rhetoric when it comes to you and me, we posters but it is the dad in question family and his children.

    We can debate all day long but this father needs to shut up and find and attorney.

  215. SKL April 3, 2013 at 11:46 pm #

    The OP indicates that there were a bunch of other allegations that weren’t described here because the dad doesn’t want to include allegations he isn’t willing to admit. We don’t know what these are, but we do know that CPS is required to investigate allegations. So I don’t think it’s quite fair to insist this is all about CPS meddling with *legal* parenting choices. Perhaps some of the “false allegations” involved things that are not legal.

  216. Taradlion April 3, 2013 at 11:51 pm #

    @ Warren (and Donna)-

    The Dad actually refers to he and his daughter “being detained a few days prior” in the first story. “Emily” being picked up and detained at the station was definitely the second incident.

    It was confusing to me, since both posts seemed to be directly from the Dad, that the first post referred to “Emily” being at a small shop and to the “shopkeeper’ where in this post, the same incident is reported as the occurring at the post office. It doesn’t matter-just inconsistent.

  217. Mags April 4, 2013 at 12:01 am #

    I just want to say a few things. I am not an attorney but I am a professional paralegal who has worked in areas of social service law on behalf of parents.

    CPS can cite a parent for neglect for such little things as: having a sink full of dishes, a family cat sleeping on a child’s bed, the children having beds but the parents sleeping on the floor, the pantry having only rice and beans (Hispanic families), too many books!!! (intellectual families), too little books! No pictures on the walls, too many pictures on the wall.
    It is very subjective and again, only credible evidence is employed. That is the lowest form of the rules of evidence, i.e., I am the Cps investigating social worker and I think so.

    There are times when these matters get way out of hand when a parent being investigated does not seek able counsel at the get go.

    It can be a witch hunt.

  218. John April 4, 2013 at 12:12 am #

    Well, just playing devil’s advocate here, it’s possible that by refusing to cooperate or talk with the police or CPS could have riled them up. Perhaps they would have dropped the whole thing with a bit of cooperation. But then again, maybe not as this is the society we Americans live in nowadays.

    Goodness, these people need to visit the Philippines which is the free range kid’s capital of the world! There are little boys as young as 6- and 7-years-old out on the hot paved streets barefoot and washing car windows. These kid’s have some of the toughest looking feet on the planet along with muscular little calf muscles from running up and down the street washing car windows! Ok, poverty may drive some of this but a child who is physically tough, even if it’s from a form of child labor, is NOT necessarily a bad or a sad thing. What is sad is seeing a child from a wealthy home who cannot run around a moderately sized city block without sucking wind or who cannot do one push-up or one pull-up. Or worse yet, an American child who is showing symptoms of type 2 diabetes from being sedentary. I almost think that in many ways, that young third world child on the street washing car windows is better off than the American kid. Keep in mind that Manila does not exactly have a low crime rate either but those kids do just fine. It also should be pointed out that Filipinos live and work in some of the most difficult countries on earth but are the most adaptable culture on this planet also.

    Is it a wonder why, considering the free range concept they have with their kids?

  219. Frank Gifford April 4, 2013 at 12:40 am #

    My wife is an intake investigator for cps in Ohio. There is definately more to this story. Cps workers are so over burdened that they would love to get a case like this (if true). My wife may have five cases in a single day. Any case she can knock on a door and say “nothing happening here” is a blessing which means she might be home for dinner. Stop being paranoid. My wife does not want you on her caseload any more than you want her on your stoop. Generally, if it goes to court, there is much more to the case than what is being told. An ex parte is a HUGE hassle that is only used in extreme situations.

  220. Rachel April 4, 2013 at 12:44 am #

    Something suspicious was seen. Even if you or I don’t consider something problematic, obviously someone did. CPS/Police were investigating. Just as if a child showed up at school in unwashed clothes on a regular basis. Or showed up at their pediatrician’s covered in bruises that had no plausible explanation. Everytime a child encounters a mandated reporter or goes out in public, they’re being informally investigated. That’s part of the village.

    Now, I’m not saying that being wrongfully accused isn’t horrible, but police and social workers can’t read minds. But is it preferable, in the interest of avoiding wrongful accusations, to sit by and allow children to be beaten to death because their parents didn’t want to answer questions? What about children being kept in cages as punishment because the parents didn’t want to allow CPS into their home? Because the only way those parents get away with such things is because no one else know what they’re doing, and by restricting CPS access, it would be impossible for someone who can help to become aware of the situation.

  221. Warren April 4, 2013 at 1:28 am #

    No that is not part of the village. Because the village isn’t populated by judgemental, self righteous rats. That will call the cops and cps at the drop of a hat.

    The village is populated by people who will watch out for the local kids, step in and reprimand poor behaviour, and speak to the parents before they would ever think of calling the cops. And for the most part the village would mutter under their breath but still keep their mouth shut if they had differing opinions on parenting.

    “But is it preferable, in the interest of avoiding wrongful accusations, to sit by and allow children to be beaten to death because their parents didn’t want to answer questions?” Your words.” Because the only way those parents get away with such things is because no one else know what they’re doing, and by restricting CPS access, it would be impossible for someone who can help to become aware of the situation.” Again your words Rachel.
    Taken in context, you feel that CPS should be above the law, and not have to respect peoples rights, as laid out in the constitution. So you have no problem with innocent parents being treated as criminals? Nice.
    I would argue you are comparing apples to oranges. Choosing to not exercise your right to own a gun is not giving up that right. Yes I agree.
    Allowing the police or other gov’t agency to search your home without a warrant, is giving up you right.
    One is you choosing not to do something, the other is giving up power to the gov’t, and that is what these rights were written to protect you against.

  222. Donna April 4, 2013 at 1:33 am #

    “but for what reason should he choose not to exercise his right?”

    Because, in some cases, talking to the police completely removes you from an investigation. I have worked on several cases where my client was not the first suspect in the case – where other people were questioned and let go prior to the police getting to my client.

    I am not saying that you should choose not to exercise your rights, but not every suspect who talks to the police is screwed over by doing so.

    “And, for crying out loud, what empowers the police and CPS to treat him differently”

    Human nature. Police officers and CPS workers are human beings. Everyone is affected by how people react to them, treat them, cooperate with them etc. The police cannot use a criminal defendant’s silence as probable cause to arrest. The prosecutor cannot use it as evidence at trial. The jury cannot use it to determine guilt or innocence. But anyone involved can use it to form their own personal opinion about the person and how we TREAT people is more a reaction to our personal opinion of their niceness or meanness than anything else.

    And, of course, a refusal to give a statement is going to affect the investigation against you. It changes the evidence that they have on which to base their decision.

    Again, I’m not saying you should talk. I’m saying that expecting a failure to do so to be completely meaningless is naive.

  223. SKL April 4, 2013 at 1:47 am #

    I’m glad to see some folks discussing how this dad seems to be using his child as a pawn to try to make the world more like he thinks it should be.

    I think we’ve seen lots of examples on this blog about ways to promote free-range thinking / tolerance in communities. Usually it involves baby steps and often compromise. I think the biggest problem in this case is the parties’ all-or-nothing attitude. A child suffers on one side, resources are wasted on the other side, and I doubt that FRK progress is going to be the outcome.

  224. LadyTL April 4, 2013 at 2:05 am #

    How can you tell a good CPS worker from one with an agenda or burned out by the sight of one on your doorstep? You can’t.

    How can you tell a good CPS worker from a bad one by a name on a letter? You can’t.

    Cooperating with a good CPS worker will get things cleared up, cooperating with a bad one will get your kids taken away from you because (insert flimsy made up reason here).

    I was abused as a child and teen. I ended up in the emergency room multiple times because of my parents, ran away from home 4 times and had enough warning signs about problems at home that could have filled a football field with highway billboards.

    CPS “investigated” and found no problems. They promptly closed the case within a day of each incident because obvious there was nothing “wrong”. My father being an active politician and our family being middle class and white had nothing to do with it.

    CPS can leave a case open or close it as they see fit. If they have an agenda, your case could never be closed no matter how much or little you cooperate, no matter how well you prove your case. You have no say in how they present their case as well. There is very little actual records on what they found, no video of the home, no photos, no recording of conversations. Nothing that could help you against the CPS. You are entirely at their mercy from the moment they step on your doorstep, if you let them in or talk to them.

    I’ve yet to hear of a state where the CPS is only full of gentle kind folks who never ever prosecute innocent families. I’ve yet to hear of a state where every cop is good and doesn’t abuse their power. No not every cop and CPS worker is bad, but how can you tell the good from the bad on sight? From a seemingly innocent question?

    Since you can’t, the prudent and safe thing is to do exactly as this father has and get a lawyer when you can afford or find one. Cooperation does not always get you positive results.

    I cooperated with the CPS when my father broke my shoulder, they promptly sent me back home for more abuse since they knew who told. My shoulder was not fixed and I have problems with it to this day. I cooperated with the cops the first time I ran away from home. They just took me back and said my parents actually loved me and I shouldn’t act up like I did and I was abused more for running away. The second time with both I didn’t cooperate with either. CPS once again declared there was no problem and it took 4 cops to pry me out of the back of the police cruiser.

    Why should someone cooperate again when there is a 50% (or greater) chance of only getting more and bigger problems?

  225. mollie April 4, 2013 at 4:18 am #

    This was posted on the FB page for FRK and I loved it. Recommended viewing!


  226. mollie April 4, 2013 at 4:35 am #

    My ex-husband, who was irate when I encouraged our then-7-year-old to walk a mile to school on his own (and after he triumphantly told Dad about this accomplishment was bombarded with Dad’s disapproval and admonishments that it had been a bad, bad thing to do), told me that he thought “CPS would be very interested to hear about this, so I advise you now that if I hear that you have allowed our son to go anywhere on his own, the authorities will get a phone call.”

    Part of me wanted to do what this dad here did. Keep sending him to school. Tell him his dad was an irrational nutcase, that it was all perfectly healthy and legal, that he was more than capable of the walk, and to refuse to back down. Part of me thought, “He’s trying to manipulate me, and to force me to parent a different way by threatening to sic the authorities on me, and I won’t be threatened.”

    And then the other part of me thought, “Even though I know this is healthy and wonderful for my son, and for our relationship, and I wish to God that my ex-husband could see how beneficial it is to our son’s well-being, I must accept the lay of this land: my son has parents that bitterly disagree about this issue, and if I dig in my heels, my son will be in the middle of a battle, and any benefit to him from walking to school will be more than eradicated by having discord of this magnitude between his parents, not to mention the nightmare possibilities of removal by CPS.”

    So I backed down. But with empathy. I asked my ex if he was concerned about our son’s safety, and he concurred: “Yes, if anything ever happened to that kid, I couldn’t live with myself.” I asserted that my decision to let him walk had also been about safety: that kids who are encouraged to have some independence as young children are less likely to try to prove how grown-up they are later on by doing self-destructive things. This was long before I knew about Lenore or FRK, I don’t think Izzy had ridden the subway yet.

    By encouraging my ex to name what his fear was (loss of his own equilibrium, basically) and hearing him out, then answering with my own concerns on the level of values (safety, well-being), he came to a place where he agreed that our child was ready to walk to school, but Dad was not ready to let him. I asked him what age would work for him, since I did want it to be something we all agreed on, but he couldn’t say when it would be, so I let it go at that.

    I still feel angry that this was the best I could muster at the time, but I don’t know if I would have done what this parent is doing… it is also perplexing to me that he hasn’t opened this up to us to petition on his behalf, like we did for the guy who got brought up on charges for leaving his two kids in the park. Aren’t we all wanting to support each other? Does this dad just want us to know about his plight, or does he have a request of us beyond being heard?

    Also, I do imagine there were children whose routines and safety have been compromised in the name of civil rights. Rosa Parks was indeed an adult, but there were many schoolkids who walked past angry white picketers in Mississippi… right? If their parents had kept them home, or sent them to a different school, they would have been shielded, but if no one is brave enough to show up, it’s business as usual… right?

  227. mollie April 4, 2013 at 4:48 am #

    From Wikipedia, about Birmingham in the early 60s. The last line of this excerpt has me wondering if the dad OP shares this sort of sentiment about “education” of his daughter. Like I say, he is doing the best he knows how with the consciousness he’s got, as are we all.

    On May 2, more than a thousand students skipped school and gathered at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. The principal of Parker High School attempted to lock the gates to keep students in, but they scrambled over the walls to get to the church.[58] Demonstrators were given instructions to march to the downtown area, to meet with the Mayor, and integrate the chosen buildings. They were to leave in smaller groups and continue on their courses until arrested. Marching in disciplined ranks, some of them using walkie-talkies, they were sent at timed intervals from various churches to the downtown business area.[59] More than 600 students were arrested; the youngest of these was reported to be eight years old. Children left the churches while singing hymns and “freedom songs” such as “We Shall Overcome”. They clapped and laughed while being arrested and awaiting transport to jail. The mood was compared to that of a school picnic.[60] Although Bevel informed Connor that the march was to take place, Connor and the police were dumbfounded by the numbers and behavior of the children.[61][62] They assembled paddy wagons and school buses to take the children to jail. When no squad cars were left to block the city streets, Connor, whose authority extended to the fire department, used fire trucks. The day’s arrests brought the total number of jailed protesters to 1,200 in the 900-capacity Birmingham jail.

    The use of children proved very controversial. Incoming mayor Albert Boutwell and Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy condemned the decision to use children in the protests.[63] Kennedy was reported in The New York Times as saying, “an injured, maimed, or dead child is a price that none of us can afford to pay,” although adding, “I believe that everyone understands their just grievances must be resolved.”[64] Malcolm X criticized the decision, saying, “Real men don’t put their children on the firing line.”[65]

    King, who had been silent and then out of town while Bevel was organizing the children, was impressed by the success of using them in the protests. That evening he declared at a mass meeting, “I have been inspired and moved by today. I have never seen anything like it.”[66] Although Wyatt Tee Walker was initially against the use of children in the demonstrations, he responded to criticism by saying, “Negro children will get a better education in five days in jail than in five months in a segregated school.”[53]

  228. Really Bad Mum April 4, 2013 at 6:06 am #

    I got a phone call from the Dept of Children Services about 18 months ago that someone had called them saying that I walked into my then 12 yr old daughters room, saw her giving a boy oral sex then walked out and allowed it to happen…. My response after I finished laughing was to tell them if I caught her doing that then they would have been called due to me belting the crap out of them both. The lady laughed, explained that they have to follow up on everything no matter how stupid and gave me advice on how to protect myself against rumours… We’re pretty sure it was some crazy lady whose daughter was arguing with my daughter at the time… I was more pissed of about the time being taken away from real abuse cases due to spiteful people.

  229. George April 4, 2013 at 7:34 am #

    @ Really Bad Mum
    “My response after I finished laughing was to tell them if I caught her doing that then they would have been called due to me belting the crap out of them both.”

    I’m glad that this worked out for you, and that it sounds like the whole thing just blew over.

    But please consider what danger you may have placed yourself and your family in. The report by the CPS worker could have easily read:
    “Mother publicly threatened to beat her daughter for disobeying. The mother also threatened to beat the daughter’s boyfriend. The mother admits to not supervising her child. The mother was flippant and uncooperative in responding to questions.”

    (A few days later you get served with notice that CPS wants your kids. You ask Lenore to post about it on FRK and people castigate you, moaning that if you had been more cooperative then this wouldn’t have happened.)

    The CPS agent is allowed to testify against you in court. Please watch the video. Please learn to protect yourself and your family by exercising your 5th amendment right to keep your mouth shut.

  230. Taradlion April 4, 2013 at 7:47 am #

    Warren- if I am comparing apples to oranges, you are compairing an apple to a bushel of apples. Not excercising ones right to remain silent and “refusing to answer any questions” or pretending to not be home/refusing to answer the door is not the same as letting the government badge in and search my house without a warrant.

    I am not one to, how did you put it?…”bend over and…”. I would absolutely fight this if it came to it. I would probably have politely answered questions and provided an explanation, UNTIL I felt that authorities were fishing to incriminate me and which point I would have asked for representation…IF, and that is IF it even came to that. As Donna said, maybe it wouldn’t have.

  231. Really Bad Mum April 4, 2013 at 8:05 am #

    @George… Most child welfare workers in Australia are pretty clued on and considering it isn’t illegal to smack your k

  232. Really Bad Mum April 4, 2013 at 8:12 am #

    @George… Most child welfare workers in Australia are pretty clued on and considering it isn’t illegal to smack your kid in Australia ( as long as it is with an open hand and on the bum) and the boyfriends mum would have backed me 100%, plus it was all bullshit and the child services lady pretty much knew from word go it was, I even invited her to come and check us out, but she said there was no need. We don’t seem to have the same problem here, it’s more the public or spiteful mothers of your kids friends that are the issue.

  233. Jenn April 4, 2013 at 8:20 am #

    George- way to go reinforcing stereotypes that cops are right wing! My homeschooling cop is (oh, my goodness!) a stoner himself! Albeit, it’s legal here, but he is nevertheless.

    My point was that there is more to the story. I just found it interesting that dad shared his story but not the whole story. I’d like to know what questions he’s refusing to answer. Didn’t say that he should answer but that I could see why the cops escalated things if he was being difficult just for the sake of being difficult.

  234. Christine April 4, 2013 at 8:32 am #

    Why are many of you suspicious of this father? Just because he refuses to answer the police does not mean anything. Why can’t neighbors mind their own business? Why do people have to judge? It is none of anyone’s business what a parent does. There are many kids who are abused, There are also many false accusations made against people as well which also ruins peoples lives. The best thing this father can do is to keep his mouth shut. No one should judge, unless they are perfect and we know no one is perfect. Mind your own business and let parents be parents. Teach your kids to be safe but also teach them to be independent as well and not scared.

  235. George April 4, 2013 at 8:33 am #

    Jenn- I am very honestly curious in what way my comment indicated that I think cops are right wing. This thought had never occurred to me, and I’d like to learn from your perspective.

    If I were the dad, I would do exactly as he did, which is to refuse to answer every and all questions, no matter what they were, other than the ones that are (depending on the state) essentially obligatory like “What’s your name,” “Are you carrying any weapons,” etc.

    At least in this story the writer gives us the benefit of hindsight, via the comment that the ranking officer on the scene wants to “‘hook this guy’ for child endangerment.” Remember, “everything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.”

    Please note that a typical question at a traffic stop does not fall into this category. “Do you know why I pulled you over” is simply an invitation to incriminate yourself.

    It makes me very sad that someone exercising the protections enshrined in the Bill of Rights is assumed to be guilty or, even less, even considered to be “difficult.” The courts have said over and over again that the 4th and 5th amendments are for the protection of the innocent, not the guilty.

    I hope that if you haven’t that you’ll take a few minutes to watch this video, which will at least help to better explain this perspective:

  236. Captain America April 4, 2013 at 8:39 am #

    Reading through this, I want to make a simple point—as a male it is scary to see how many women are deeply suspicious of men.


    This is maybe the kind of stuff blacks used to/sometimes today face.

  237. Captain America April 4, 2013 at 8:41 am #

    . . . heck, it’s important to point out that males are simply going to be more protective of their rights and have greater concern for their liberties than women do, and that men are less likely to go by gut emotion or intuition, and second-guess things to pieces.

  238. Jill April 4, 2013 at 9:24 am #

    @ Christine

    The world according to you, should just sit back and watch children be abused, raped and murdered by family and “mind their own business”. Ok then!!!

  239. SKL April 4, 2013 at 9:50 am #

    I didn’t get the impression that many here think the dad was guilty because he didn’t answer the questions. In fact, I found it odd that so many people are so ready to be outraged, assuming it impossible that he did anything wrong. He did leave out a lot of information, and this is only his side of the story. We don’t even know exactly what they are accusing him of, and we certainly weren’t there to get an unbiased view of the situations.

    I just think that being all or nothing about things like this is asking for trouble. People I know who are like this have many problems in their lives, and it hurts their kids as well. Even if you’re as straight as an arrow, if you’re an asshole about it, you’re going to be treated like a general overall asshole.

  240. SKL April 4, 2013 at 10:00 am #

    Captain America, I agree with you in so far as people are too ready to believe men will sexually bother a child. That is disgusting. I also think there is some residual (though fading) conception that men are too stupid/careless to look after the needs of a baby / toddler.

    However, I don’t agree that the male thing extends to the anti-free-range aspect of this matter (which I think is the whole crux of the matter). Plenty of moms have faced the same problem and the same worries.

    There are also many times when being a male, or even having one’s husband present, provides a great deal of clout. For example, in dealing with school issues for our kids, for some reason a dad is treated with far more respect than a mom. A dad is not expected to provide volunteer services or baked yummies every time the school decides to have a little shindig. A dad doesn’t get browbeaten every time the teacher/admin’s ass isn’t kissed just the right way. A dad says “jump” in a meeting about his kid’s learning issues and the entire school-side team says “how high?” Same thing with medical stuff – mom asks for X to be done 10 times and gets blown off, dad demands it and it gets done. I’ve seen this consistently and even my mom used to have the same experience 30-40 years ago (to the point where my mom delegated all school stuff to my dad). And obviously this isn’t fair either.

  241. Warren April 4, 2013 at 10:23 am #

    The range of comments on here are interesting.

    We have lawyers suggesting he speak with the authorities, which is something I have never heard of before. I have always known lawyers to tell people to keep their mouths shut.

    We have people that assume he is hiding something becuase he has invoked his right to remain silent and not allowed an illegal search of his home.

    There are those that feel he is just using his daughter as a pawn, for his own agenda.

    Then you have people in here that feel CPS should be above the law, and not have to respect people’s rights. No matter how many innocent people are destroyed.

    And so on and so on.

    If you take the time to go back over like stories in FRKs, and look at people’s comments, one thing becomes painfully clear.

    If this was a story of a mother and not a father, everyone would be screaming foul, willing to fight, completely outraged, and yelling you go mom. Even in here, men are treated differently, and that not only is a shame, but it is bull—- too!

  242. Heike Larson April 4, 2013 at 10:30 am #

    If you are interested, there may be an opportunity to file a Potential Case form with the Institute for Justice, a public interest firm dedicated to protecting individual liberty. I communicated with one of their attorneys, and he said that while this case wasn’t exactly within their parameters, they might consider it, because it really is outrageous what happened here and in similar cases Lenore reported on.

    Here’s the link to the potential case form:


    And here’s a link to their home page, where you can read more about the many cases that IJ successfully litigated to help individuals and businesses protect their liberty:


  243. Freedomforkids April 4, 2013 at 10:55 am #

    When I had DCF (CPS equivalent) called on me for having a messy house and for “educational neglect” due to home schooling, the lawyer from NHELD (home school advocacy group) advised me to not let DCF into the house without a warrant, and to speak to the social worker (and/ or cop) through a window or cracked door politely and respectfully– and briefly– asking if they have a warrant, and if not asking for the allegations to be put in writing “so there is no misunderstanding of the concerns”, ask them to mail it to you, and then say either you or your lawyer will respond to those concerns.

  244. Mike April 4, 2013 at 11:04 am #

    A child walking alone? O THE HORROR!

    CPS: Hated almost as much as the TSA. Both are filled with incompetent boobs and hysterical power-trippers.

  245. Freedomforkids April 4, 2013 at 11:13 am #

    P.S. If I remember correctly, I believe the lawyer said the response to DCF should be in writing.

    However, if the allegations are regarding child abuse or serious neglect, the way of handling that would likely be done somewhat differently in the response, but the allegations should still first be put in writing and mailed to you.

    If there were major concerns about immediate danger to the child, police wouldn’t need a warrant to enter.

  246. Tsu Dho Nimh April 4, 2013 at 11:28 am #

    she is stopped by a city utility worker and a school bus driver (though she is not enrolled in public school). She calls me on the cell phone since the bus driver is preventing her from leaving, so I go get her.

    Technically that is false imprisonment: forcing someone to stay where they don’t want to stay, with legal right to do so. I’d file charges against the guy 🙂

  247. Warren April 4, 2013 at 12:00 pm #


    Thank you, this is something that got blown over.

    The bus driver and city worker are quite lucky. For two reasons.
    1. My daughter would have started screaming and these two would more than likely been arrested, as they should have been.
    2. If it had been my daughter, detained by two strangers, these two would more than likely need medical attention, after I arrived.

    And Donna before you lecture me on the law, I really don’t give a rat’s ass. They are holding my daughter against her will. Good luck in getting a conviction.

  248. John April 4, 2013 at 1:32 pm #

    When my grand nephew was 11-years-old, he called Child Protective Services on his parents because they refused to buy him a backyard trampoline. He said that were denying him an opportunity to exercise and claimed his parents were damaging his health because of that. Well, the CPS employee contacted my niece (his mother) to tell her what her son had called for just so they both could have a good laugh. Needless to say, they both had a great laugh over it!!

  249. kitwench April 4, 2013 at 1:41 pm #

    Look, the family is in the right but they’re handling it in a legally questionable manner that dramatically increases the risk the child.

    You can NOT simply ignore all attempts that CPS makes to speak with you.

    Are you obligated to answer your door?

    Are they now allowed to claim high risk based on “we made repeated attempts to speak with the parents, and despite good reason to believe they were home on many of these attempts, they refused to speak with us”.

    Same as when a cop knocks, people, open the door just enough to slide outside closing it behind you in the process.
    If need be, get a lawyer on the phone and hand the phone to officer or social worker.
    After the first attempt, they had time to prep with legal help for the next visit.

    You have rights. But you must also comply with the law.
    Refusal to comply is simply going to ratchet up the system’s methods of investigation – something they MUST do.

    It doesn’t matter if YOU know you are in the right, once it’s in the hands of CPS they MUST investigate.

    If you home school, if you believe in Free Range parenting – please, read this link – and use common sense in your dealings with the authorities before making your CHILD a political football.


  250. Donna April 4, 2013 at 1:51 pm #

    “We have lawyers suggesting he speak with the authorities,”

    I suggested no such thing. I suggested he hire an attorney who may then choose to accompany him to speak to the authorities or give a prepared statement if that seems wise to the attorney. Yes, there are times when I take my client to give statements to the DA (police are out of the case before I become involved) or give a statement my client wrote to the DA. And those statements almost always result in charges being completely dismissed or seriously reduced (to what they should be). But they are well-thoughtout situations. There are also times that I personally would talk to authorities but I would never suggest that anyone else do that without knowing FAR more details than we do here.

    I definitely suggested that he defend his position and advance his point of view. This doesn’t require him to speak to anyone. It requires hiring an attorney who will speak on his behalf. I find it interesting that you are generally all about being in people’s faces and, in this case, are advocating him hiding in the house and hoping that CPS just goes away.

    “Then you have people in here that feel CPS should be above the law, and not have to respect people’s rights”

    Some people REALLY don’t understand their “rights.” I can forgive Warren as he is not a US citizen but I am always appalled by the lack of knowledge in this country about rights. Most people think they have far more rights than they do.

    The 5th amendment right to remain silent only applies to CRIMINAL proceedings. You are not entitled to refuse to speak to any government employee. If the Senate wants to talk to you, you have to go. You can refuse and hope that they don’t want to talk to you enough to get a subpoena compelling you to talk to them, but you can’t argue that your rights are violated when they get that subpoena and you have to go. Obviously they can’t physically make you speak, but they can draw any negative inference they want to and assume you’re up to no good if you don’t.

    There are situations where a civil proceeding is considered criminal as it pertains to rights. CPS proceedings may be one of them. I don’t know. (No Warren, I am not suggesting that this man talk. I simply don’t know what happens if he doesn’t. This is why he needs an attorney).

    The 5th amendment right to remain silent only applies to CRIMINAL SUSPECTS. It doesn’t apply to witnesses or victims. They absolutely can be compelled to give statements. They can even be jailed to make them appear. Again, they can’t be made to speak but they can be made to appear and everyone can infer whatever they want from their lack of speech. And, in my example, can be made to sit in jail for contempt of court if they refuse to speak.

    So even if the dad here is protected from talking to CPS, his CHILD is not and the court absolutely can force the parents to allow CPS to speak to the her. And the police, CPS and the Court absolutely CAN draw negative inferences and use against the parents their refusal to allow CPS to talk to their children. (No, Warren that doesn’t mean that I am suggesting that this particular man allow CPS to talk to his child. It is simply not as cut and dry as you want to make it.)

    The 5th amendment also allows ANYONE to refuse to answer any question that may implicate him in a crime regardless of the situation. But that is a question-by-question thing and not just an I-get-to-ignore-you thing. And a grant of criminal immunity makes even that right go away and you have to answer the questions.

    The 4th Amendment (search and seizure) protects everyone from any government entry into their home barring certain well-defined reasons. This applies to CPS, but all it requires is a warrant. If they can get a warrant, they can come in. No rights have been violated by them seeking and obtaining a warrant.

    “If this was a story of a mother and not a father, everyone would be screaming foul, willing to fight, completely outraged, and yelling you go mom”

    Not sure where you get this since I’ve seen very much the same statements made about moms here in similar situations.

  251. Canadian Emily April 4, 2013 at 2:02 pm #

    >>In exchange for not losing his daughter, he had to agree to not let her outside alone. How is that even legal? Oh wait it isn’t legal, because isn’t that called extortion. CPS is no better than the mob, comply or pay, comply or we take your kid.<<

    Nailed it. My first instinct, if I were the father, would have been to politely explain to the CPS officers, "Oh, we've walked this route with our daughter many times, taught her the rules of the road, and she knows her address and phone number, and how to ask for help if she gets into trouble, so we're letting her walk to the post office/store/park/library/swimming pool by herself." However, from reading everyone's responses (it took a while), I learned that sometimes CPS twists people's words to incriminate them, even if they try to be polite and nice. So, it seems like a lose-lose situation. I still think the father in the story should stand up for his and his daughter's rights, but I can't think of a good way to do it without causing even more trouble. However, I think the "Free Range Kids" I.D. card is a good start.

  252. Warren April 4, 2013 at 2:18 pm #

    Exactly Donna,

    Play by the rules. Goes both ways. You want to come into my house, get your damn warrant. I am assuming that in 41 or so days, that they have failed to convince a judge to sign off on a warrant, otherwise it would have been served by now.

    So considering no warrant has been served, then every attempt at contact has been a fishing expedition on the part of CPS. And I do not blame the parents for not helping them, one way or the other. Because right now CPS will nail them for just about anything.

    And yes I have had our version of CPS, known as CAS show up at my door, two seperate occassions. One we cooperated, and it was a nightmare, the second they were told to piss off and get a warrant, and we never heard from them again. Yes I know, just because I want them to play by the rules, means I am hiding something. So if you think I am hiding something, get the damn warrant. See how easy that is.

  253. Warren April 4, 2013 at 2:22 pm #

    Oh and by the way Donna, I have held back for your delicate senses.
    You see if I were that Dad, everytime they knocked on my door, I would pursue charges of trespassing, and release the dogs on them.

    The bus driver and city worker holding my daughter against her will, would probably be hospitalized.

    And before you get all high and mighty, I would be within my rights as laid out by the laws here. I do have the right to use physical force to protect my daughter. I do have the right to release my dogs on trespassers, as long as my signs, which are up, are still up, about trespassing, and guard dogs on premises. Those signs are more for insurance, but they do cover my ass should I need to use them.

  254. SKL April 4, 2013 at 4:25 pm #

    Warren, if you’re serious about beating people up for not letting your 6yo daughter walk off alone – when it is clearly intended for her safety (whether you think the intent is misguided or not) – I think we’re done talking here. We don’t speak the same language obviously. I’m not even sure we live on the same planet.

    And I’m so sure that after you release your dogs on the next cop who knocks at your door, nobody’s going to even consider investigating whether your daughter is safe with all those vicious dogs in the house. Good luck with that.

    You weren’t even there to know what made these concerned adults so upset. Maybe the little girl dashed across the street when it wasn’t safe. Something my own 6yo might or might not do, depending on how distracted she was. Or maybe the little girl acted lost or scared (remember even that 9yo Leiby boy somehow forgot his way on his first walk alone from summer camp). Even the outraged dad was not there to witness what made the bus driver and utility worker so concerned. Further, maybe this little girl looks a lot younger than she is. And it obviously wasn’t based on a distrust of men, since these folks would have no way of knowing who, if anyone, sent this child on her errands. So for whatever reason, some community members felt the little girl should wait for a responsible adult before she continued on her way, and you think we’re going to cheer you as you beat them up? Seriously?

  255. Canadian Emily April 4, 2013 at 4:25 pm #

    Warren–If you don’t mind me asking, why did the Children’s Aid Society come to your house?

  256. Donna April 4, 2013 at 4:44 pm #

    “I do have the right to use physical force to protect my daughter.”

    Again with people asserting far more rights than they have. You have a right to protect your daughter from PHYSICAL FORCE. You absolutely do not have a right to beat up anyone who wrongs your daughter. You absolutely do not have a right to “self-help” in all situations when there are other legal ways to handle the matter. Nor do you have a right to exceed the bounds necessary to protect your daughter from that physical force.

    Nor do to wrongs make a right in the legal system. The bus driver holding your daughter may be arrested for false imprisonment (I highly doubt it but let’s go with your theory). That absolutely does not prevent the police from also arresting you for beating him up. Or they may be a parent themselves and look the other way.

  257. Donna April 4, 2013 at 4:45 pm #

    That should be “two wrongs make a right.”

  258. george wells April 4, 2013 at 4:51 pm #

    How is this not genocide:
    White countries are being flooded by non-whites. Whites are told to be TOLERANT. Whites are forced to integrate.
    With assimilation we see the extinction of one race only, the White race. Its not funny, not comedy, its white genocide.
    Anti-racist is a codeword for anti-white.

  259. Warren April 4, 2013 at 4:51 pm #


    False allegations made by my wife’s ex husband. We cooperated the first time, which was a nightmare, including having my 5 yr old step daughter having to submit to an internal exam.


    First off I really do not give a rat’s ass what they think, feel or want or what their intentions are. If as in this story, they hold her, she calls me on a cellphone because they won’t let her go…………well sucks to be them. Also hurts to be them. You see SKL, I am one of the nicest neighbors and friends you could have, and that is how my family and friends describe me. But mess with my family, and I change into one of the nastiest sons a b—– you never want to cross. And no I do not think or want you to cheer me on, because it is not a display or exhibition, and personally none of your damn business. The only thing I will say, is stay out of it.

    And yes, if they do not have a warrant, and I do not want them on my property, I will let the dogs out. And only a moron would assume that a well trained dog is viscous. My dogs sleep with the girls, love the girls, and will protect the girls. They will also scare the crap out of anyone I tell them to.

    SKL get off you selfrigheous high horse. People like you make me sick. Thinking you know who I am or what I am like. I play hockey with many provincial and local police. Many of my friends and customers are cops and emergency workers.

  260. SKL April 4, 2013 at 4:55 pm #

    I don’t know what you are like, but I see what you write. I think you need a serious chill pill at the very least.

  261. Puzzled April 4, 2013 at 4:57 pm #

    >Some people REALLY don’t understand their “rights.” I can forgive >Warren as he is not a US citizen but I am always appalled by the lack of >knowledge in this country about rights. Most people think they have far >more rights than they do.

    Correction: Most people have many more rights than the government will recognize or protect. Rights are not a component of law, they are a component of morality. Laws are supposed to respect rights. When they do not, they are unjust. Rights do not come from the Constitution, the Constitution enumerates existing rights.

  262. SKL April 4, 2013 at 5:01 pm #

    So if I find a toddler / preschooler wandering and I happen to hold him until some responsible adult comes along to claim her, that must also be false imprisonment and deserving of a savage beating from his parent. I am not allowed to ever use my personal judgment as to whether a lone little child crossing the road might be in danger. It is more important that I keep my hands off so the Warrens of the world can be assured of his personal liberties.

    That’s what true community is. Let children be even if you think they are in danger. Don’t you dare act like you give a damn, because if you do, you will be hospitalized and/or jailed, and then where would your own kids be?

    Sounds like Utopia to me.

  263. Warren April 4, 2013 at 5:04 pm #


    Brush up on your law, Darlin, more so the laws in Ontario. If I perceive a threat to my child, I am within my legal right to use physical force to protect her.

    Now I do not know where you come from, or what law school you attended, but 2 grown men holding my daughter against her will, is not a perceived threat, it is an actual threat.

    Let us get something straight, two men detaining my daughter is one wrong. Me coming up and dropping each one is not wrong. To you maybe, to me no. So do not make you personal opinion fact.

    Maybe where you are, you actually have to wait until someone physical assaults you, but up here you do not have to wait. If there is a perceived threat, you are good to go.

  264. Warren April 4, 2013 at 5:11 pm #

    You see SKL that is why you make me sick, you completely brush over the fact that when they detained her, she called her dad on the cellphone. Right there and then you send her on her way.

    If you do not, then you will probably pay a price. And your over exaggeration of a savage beating is funny. Never ever beat someone savagely, not in me to do it. Dont get me wrong, I do not consider breaking a nose or arm a savage beating. I consider that protection and sending a message, of dont mess with my kids.

  265. Nehmo April 4, 2013 at 5:29 pm #

    The state of Missouri, USA, in ’98 took our baby, Blaze Sergheyev, permanently. There was no good reason, and the state doesn’t legally need a particular reason. No crime needs to be committed, and none was.

    I’m the father. I don’t write about it anymore because I need to preserve my sanity. It’s a totally consuming event when someone takes your kid.

    `~- Nehmo

  266. Donna April 4, 2013 at 5:41 pm #

    Warren –

    Where is the threat of physical assault – perceived or real – once the father arrives?

    The bus driver stopped the child, the child called the father, the bus driver immediately let the child leave with the father.

    Possibly if you read some facts into the situation that were not given, there could be a perceived threat. Certainly if the bus driver was physically holding the child when the father arrived and refused to let her go. Otherwise, there is no threat any more.

    You just want to beat the guy up because of what he did already – stopped the child – and not because of anything he does when you arrive. That is illegal.

  267. SKL April 4, 2013 at 5:48 pm #

    Warren, you said if that happened to your kid, those guys would be hospitalized. If that isn’t savage, you give me a better word for it.

    So you think every kid who can push “Daddy” on speed dial is safe crossing the street every time? You may be in the minority on that.

    And if reading my words makes you sick, screw you, and go find a shrink, because I think you need one.

  268. SKL April 4, 2013 at 5:48 pm #

    Now if the dad showed up and they still wouldn’t release the kid, we might be having a different discussion. But those are not the facts.

  269. Erynn Schwellinger April 4, 2013 at 5:53 pm #

    I’m not a free range parent. I don’t thionk I ever could be. but I find this deeply, fdeeply wrong. It’s your RIGHT to let your child explore her world if you find it appropriate. You’re not abandinign her. You are nearby, she can get in contact with you – this is wrong.

  270. ECB April 4, 2013 at 5:57 pm #

    Out of curiousity, how much information does CPS initially have when investigating a case? It’s just that the majority of these posts seem to be saying how these people are monsters who want to snatch a little girl just for walking to the post office. Would CPS know this, or would the report read something more like “minor child found roaming neighborhood unaccompanied. Picked up by police twice. Possibility of neglect.”? After a while, wouldn’t they add “father refuses to answer questions. Seems to be deliberately trying to avoid us.”? That’s probably all they know about this family. Are they supposed to automatically know that the father is a good dad who wants to teach his child independence? Are they supposed to just go with the odds that she’s not being abused or neglected? And if they do know that this is just about walking alone to the post office, are they just supposed to realize that this is completely innocuous? Obviously in this case it is, but I’m guessing that CPS has found cases of real abuse and/or neglect that initially started off with complaints that sounded relatively minor.

  271. North of 49 April 4, 2013 at 6:08 pm #

    Why would you want to cooperate with CPS? They are legislated kidnappers. You do not want to invite them in because they will do searches of your home and more. They form opinions and falsify documents. And they can use hearsay evidence as factual in cases against you, and you can not rebut them.

    Do not let them in your house. Do not let them interview your children alone. If they are there, whip out the recording devices – your cel phone, mp3 player with digital record, video camera, whatever you have and record them. Chances are they will flee being recorded. If they have nothing to fear, why would they flee? Could they actually have ulterior motives and do not want to be caught in a lie?

    Never trust Child Services. They are not there to help you.

  272. Donna April 4, 2013 at 6:09 pm #

    @ECB –

    They know whatever the reporter tells them. In this case, it is whatever the police officer told them when he referred the case. Many are treating this as though CPS knows everything that we know when we know that that isn’t true since the person who told us what we know has never spoken to CPS or the police officers that referred the case.

  273. hineata April 4, 2013 at 6:13 pm #

    @George Wells – go back into your hole.

    @Donna and SKL – when Warren gets into his ridiculous Rambo mode, no amount of common sense is going to sway him. Personally I would go and have a coffee and ignore him until he returns to planet Earth.

    I too have ‘detained’ kids, SKL, and I’m sure Donna and other sensible citizens have too, if said child looks very young/is very young, is walking out onto the road in a dangerous manner, or, in one spectacular case, was riding their little plastic trike down the middle of a traffic island. Fortunately the parents of these kids have been very grateful to have their children ‘detained’, and I have never been threatened by slobbering Neanderthal hulks for my troubles. If the six year old in this story is small for her age, as you pointed out SKL, then good on the bus driver. It is annoying at times to have members of the public interfere with your children’s perceived ‘liberties’ (Midge got ‘detained’ a number of times before she was eleven, due to height and general ‘age’ issues) but it should be looked at as a sign of a caring community.

    CPS and the police are an entirely different matter, and I hope this family get good legal advice and have the matter cleared up as soon as possible.

  274. Warren April 4, 2013 at 6:15 pm #

    OOPs Sorry Donna,,,,,,,I wrote Darlin instead of Donna, just noticed it. Was talking with my oldest at the time, and call her Darlin. When I read it, it was insulting. My apologies.

  275. Warren April 4, 2013 at 6:20 pm #


    Where in any of this story does it say that Emily was dangerously crossing the road, or running into traffic, or any of the other fantasy stuff you and SKL are making up?

    Two grown men stopped her on the sidewalk, detained her even after she called her dad. This is not caring or concern this is imposing their values on someone else.

    And I feel for some people’s kids, you know how bad it looks to your child to have two men hold her against her will, and then you thank them for their concern, or play nice with them. Tells you kid that you are not willing to stand up for them. Nice job.

  276. Warren April 4, 2013 at 6:29 pm #

    Just for the record this slobbering caveman does not threaten anyone. Even my childhood priest thought threatening someone was counter productive. According to him, don’t give em a warning just do it.

    They have already held the child against her will. The threat is already there. I do not have to walk into the situation, of being out numbered, and then wait to see if they are going to do anything else. They have already created the threat. You do not have to wait for someone to take the first swing, so to speak.

  277. Donna April 4, 2013 at 6:36 pm #

    @Warren –

    “Where in any of this story does it say that Emily was dangerously crossing the road, or running into traffic, or any of the other fantasy stuff you and SKL are making up?”

    Maybe the same place you are seeing a threat.

    We don’t know why these men stopped Emily. Dad doesn’t say. I highly doubt dad bothered to ask. He just assumed it was because they didn’t like Emily walking alone.

    If my child had been stopped by two men, I’d ask why. I would not just assume that my child did nothing wrong and that they were being big bullies.

  278. mollie April 4, 2013 at 6:38 pm #

    I don’t know, if the kid is healthy, secure, and well-cared for, “minor child found roaming around neighbourhood unaccompanied” and “father refuses to answer questions” give me absolutely no reason to suspect anything but a child experiencing a secure, loving home.

    Why is “father refuses to answer questions” the big red flag here? After watching that lawyer on youtube talk about why NO ONE SHOULD EVER TALK TO THE COPS (or, by inference, CPS), whether they are “guilty” or “innocent.” Keeping your own mouth closed seems like a pretty good strategy here, based on preservation of things like family, closeness, and protection.

    Why not ignore people knocking on your door? I do it all the time. I let the phone ring, too. After reading about other commenters’ experiences, I am more and more impressed that this guy isn’t talking to the “authorities” unless he’s represented.

  279. hineata April 4, 2013 at 6:41 pm #

    @Warren – Donna already pointed out to you that, as the bus driver et al released the child to the dad immediately on his arrival, there was no threat, and therefore no legal recourse to do whatever ridiculous smacks to the head or other silly behaviour you consider ‘necessary’.

    Also in NZ ‘assault on a woman’ (by a man) is considered to be a special case, and while the bus driver in question here is a man (or so I think I read), even threatening a woman here in a public arena like the street could land you in, at the very least, a ‘difficult’ conversation with the police, and probably time in a jail cell until you calmed down. Punching or in other ways physically assaulting a woman will land you in jail or home detention. I can’t imagine that the situation is that much different in Canada, as it is also a Commonwealth country, so back off the stupidity…Were I to ‘detain’ your child in the street, your assaulting me would ultimately be a problem for you, not me. So stop the stupidity…

  280. Donna April 4, 2013 at 6:47 pm #

    “I don’t know, if the kid is healthy, secure, and well-cared for, “minor child found roaming around neighbourhood unaccompanied” and “father refuses to answer questions”

    Again, you’re reading facts into this that WE know but CPS does not (and even we don’t really know; we are just taking dad’s word). From the facts given, CPS has never seen Emily. CPS has absolutely no way of knowing that the child is “healthy, secure and well-cared for. For all CPS knows she is wandering the streets barely dressed in rags with visible lice crawling all over her.

    CPS is not the villian here. The cop who reported it may be, but CPS is just trying to get a job done at this point. And the only person giving them any information is a person with a personal vendetta against the dad. Sounds like a great scenario.

  281. Warren April 4, 2013 at 6:48 pm #

    Well that is a sad way to look at things, Donna. Give to complete strangers the benefit of the doubt that your child was doing something wrong.

    You do not trust your kid, then that would be the assumption you make.

    I trust my girls, and would automatically assume the strangers are in the wrong.

    Actually, when I think about it, even if it wasn’t my kid, and I happen to be there and heard what was going on, I would have confronted the two goofs. Unlike most in here, I do have a backbone and am not afraid to get involved beyond the keyboard.

  282. Warren April 4, 2013 at 6:57 pm #


    Good for NZ. Do they let women vote there yet? In Ontario, a person is a person.

    And like I said, I do not utter threats, why warn someone, and allow them to defend. That is just stupid and inexperienced.

    Have never ever hit a woman…………..that said, if one posed a threat to my family, well sucks to be the first, now doesn’t it.
    And there is nothing childish about it. Because I will stand and defend and fight for my family and friends. I am not afraid of physical confrontations.
    And any person that would walk into that situation, and not at least rip a strip off of the two idiots, is a coward. I guarantee you, they would not go near my kid again.

    So hineata take your pacifist crap and hide. When need be, we will still fight on your behalf.

  283. Jenn April 4, 2013 at 7:05 pm #

    Warren- I think you’re presenting a story that has many holes in it. You claim to be in Ontario and your step-daughter had to submit to an internal exam. In Ontario, internal exams are not performed on children, even if they have been sexually assaulted. It’s considered a gross violation of their body and is extremely traumatic for a child to go through. The medical officers who are assisting with the allegation will do an external exam to preserve evidence, but that has to be with the consent of the child and BOTH parents (exception being where one parent has court approved sole custody). Keep in mind that it is rare for a child to report a sexual assault within the hours needed to preserve physical evidence so it is extremely rare for even an external exam of the child. Handling the sexual assault of a child is very different from that of an adult, which is why an internal exam is not required. Even with an adult, an internal exam is only done with permission.

  284. BETTY MARTIN April 4, 2013 at 7:18 pm #


  285. Donna April 4, 2013 at 7:27 pm #

    @Warren –

    Where did I say that I would give complete strangers the benefit of anything over my child? I said that I would ask them why they stopped my child. Not that I would believe them over my child.

    See my daughter is a wonderful, delightful child who is largely compliant and responsible … for 7. She is a CHILD. If children could be expected to act in fully responsible, reasonable ways all the time, they wouldn’t need parents for 18 years. And she is smart enough to keep her mouth shut when she does something she knows that she is not supposed to do.

    I should have imagined that you are one of those parents whose little darlings can do nothing wrong.

  286. Mags April 4, 2013 at 8:07 pm #

    I might give Warren the benefit of the doubt. I live in NYC. I work in law, I have seen many things done against the statutes of this state.

    Sorry, when CPS is involved it often becomes a free-for-all.

  287. hineata April 4, 2013 at 8:08 pm #

    @Warren – your general knowledge is obviously fairly poor, which given prior discussions you’ve been involved in here in the past shouldn’t surprise me. New Zealand was the first country in the world to grant women the vote, in 1893. And as for the ‘pacifist’ nonsense, do you have any knowledge at all of the two major Western conflicts of the 20th century, WW1 and WW2? New Zealand lost more fighting men per head of population than any other nation in the First World War. We are not a pacifist nation – we do have a ban of nuclear ships and armaments, as is our right as a sovereign nation.

    As for myself as an individual, I certainly don’t need someone of your ilk to ‘stand up’ for me. In most situations I am more than capable of standing up for myself. In the tiny minority of situations where some difficulty might occur, I have real men, possessed of common sense and diplomacy first, and then of sufficient physical strength and presence in the second to allay any problems, to provide such ‘defence’ as you refer to. You and your kind of ‘hit first. slobber and guffaw second, wonder why you’re in jail third’ type of moron have no place in my society, so please come nowhere near it.

  288. Stalking this conversation April 4, 2013 at 8:09 pm #

    I’ve been watching this conversation after a friend shared it……am I the only one that thinks Warren is THE dad in the story?

  289. Mags April 4, 2013 at 8:39 pm #

    Have to speak out again. How many of you posters have had to endure a CPS investigation?

    I venture to say that many have not have to have endured same.

    I ask you all to wake up. Once the authorities are involved, your life might become a living hell

    They do not follow the rules. This in my experience in working in law.

    They, CPS, do not follow the rules (statutes) until they are challenged to do so. Caveat –as an individual, do not challenge them. Have your attorney do so.

  290. Warren April 4, 2013 at 10:42 pm #

    Then then my daughter’s family doctor, lied about what he examined. And my daughter cried herself to sleep that day, for nothing. You were not there, so do not tell me what we went through. She was 5 goddamn yrs old, and CAS, because of a jealous ex husband’s unfounded bullshit, wanted the doctor to examine her for any trauma.
    And that is also why that night her ex went to the ER for stitches.17 to be exact. And yes the police were called, and yes they showed up, and told me never to do that again.
    So Jenn, I lived through it with my girl, it was a nightmare. And that is why when he called them again, and they showed up, they were told to piss off and get a warrant.
    So you can take what you think you know, and shove it up your candy ass. My daughter lived it, unlike you who reads about it.

  291. Warren April 4, 2013 at 10:50 pm #

    “If my child had been stopped by two men, I’d ask why. I would not just assume that my child did nothing wrong and that they were being big bullies.”
    That is where you give strangers the benefit of the doubt over your kids.
    And no my kids are not perfect, they like to think they are from time to time, but who doesn’t. lol

  292. Warren April 4, 2013 at 10:56 pm #


    My sincere apology to the people of New Zealand, first for mistaking my words directed only at you, as being at them as well. I would not condemn a whole nation on the rantings of one lunatic. Secondly, am sorry they have someone like you speaking on their behalf.

    So again my deepest and sincere apology to New Zealand and her population, but one.

    I have always thought of New Zealand as beautiful land and nation. But it goes to show you, that no matter how wonderful a country is……. I’ll leave it there.

  293. hineata April 4, 2013 at 11:24 pm #

    Oh, Warren, once again your lack of a mind shows you up. Donna has explained that her child is seven years of age. You have obviously had little actual experience with seven year olds, or you would understand that the word of a seven year old should be examined carefully before one takes it as ‘gospel’. I, on the other hand, have had extansive experience with seven year olds, and they do not always understand what the ‘lay of the land is’ – they misinterpret the actions of others, they do not always understand right from wrong, and occasionally they downright lie. And sometimes what they are saying IS completely correct.

    Of course, your children, if you actually have any biological children, wouldn’t lie, because they are unlikely to possess the IQ to make that a possibility.

    As for your comments about New Zealand – wow! I suppose you consider yourself clever. Coming from someone such as yourself, being refered to as a raving lunatic is a compliment – you’ve consistently demonstrated in the past your inability to comprehend basic vocabulary, and I doubt that you actually understand the term ‘ravings of a lunatic’.

    And, please, don’t pollute our beautiful country by visiting. Your comments on previous posts have amply demonstrated your ignorance of any culture, or indeed idea, outside of your limited life experience, and we are a proudly diverse nation. We do not need such as yourself visiting. We have plenty of wonderful, enlightened people quite willing to grace our shores – we don’t need the dregs.

    Well, as my father used to say, it’s a waste of time having a battle of wits with an unarmed man. Time to go and get on with more important stuff. Have fun changing tires – the saddest thing about you, Warren, is that in the past all the ‘blue collar’ types I have associated with have been intelligent people. Maybe Canada is different, and tradies are actually thick. Tragic, really.

  294. SKL April 4, 2013 at 11:30 pm #

    And Warren, if you were the Canadians’ only spokesman, that country would fall considerably in the esteem of most. Luckily I know plenty of Canadians who do not use their fists to deal with minor annoyances. You seem to be one of a kind – a legend in your own mind. 😉

  295. Donna April 4, 2013 at 11:43 pm #

    @ Warren –

    How exactly is my willingness to listen to the guys’ version of what happened giving strangers the benefit of the doubt over my child? Now if my child was adamant about one story, the men told another and I believed them for no reason (ie I can totally tell when my child is lying), then I would be giving them the benefit of the doubt over her. Simply listening takes nothing away from anyone.

    I wasn’t aware that I had to take my child’s word as irrefutable fact and could never so much as ask if their is another side of the story. I certainly would have loved to have you as a father as a teen. I could have done anything I wanted. Afterall you wouldn’t even think of questioning my veracity regardless of what anyone else told you. A stranger calls and tells you that I am drunk at a bar? You can’t even check that out because I told you I was going to Meg’s house and I must always be believed over anyone else.

  296. Donna April 4, 2013 at 11:43 pm #

    There, not their.

  297. Warren April 5, 2013 at 12:32 am #


    Is there room in NZ for visitors, because you ego must take up alot of room.

    Please tell me you are not responsible for the education of kids, because if you do not understand the simple difference between “gospel” and “benefit of the doubt”, then you are one dense woman.

    In my opinion, any parent that will ask complete strangers what their kid did wrong, before talking to their child is a poor example of support and family. But then again these are people that have stated they wouldn’t defend their kids against assault, for fear of offending someone’s culture. I fogot the type of people I was dealing with.

    Never assumed I was speaking for Canada, and never want to. Not my job. And you would be surprised at how many Dad’s would do exactly what I would do. You see we are all not like you SKL, who would wait for harm to come to our kids, and then go running for help. We don’t wait for something to happen, we make sure it doesn’t. The difference between a man and a coward.

  298. Warren April 5, 2013 at 12:42 am #


    You have twisted it again. Strangers didn’t call the dad. So that comparison is out the window. Emily called her dad. If she is already calling for assistance, then yes her version comes first.

    As for the implied or perceived threat, I will put this up for discussion at hockey tomorrow morning. We have a couple of cops on the team, and I will ask there experienced opinion.

  299. Donna April 5, 2013 at 12:51 am #

    Again, where did anyone say they would ask a stranger what their kid did wrong? I said that I would ask the strangers why they stopped my child. I want their explanation of their actions, not their explanation of my kid’s actions, although one may be part of the other.

    But this conversation has yet again dipped into Warren’s typical realm of “I am out of legitimate arguments so I am just going to insult everyone and tell them how great I am and how much they suck” so there is nothing more to be gained here.

  300. Donna April 5, 2013 at 1:07 am #

    @Warren – It doesn’t sound like Emily sent out an SOS of her own accord. Since 6 year olds aren’t usually packing cellphones – and we know Emily refuses to give her number – it sounds like the bus driver stopped her and said “call your parents” and gave her his cellphone.

    If I saw a strange kid doing something dangerous, I might do the same thing. If I wanted to interfere, I might do the same thing. We simply don’t know the answer.

  301. Donna April 5, 2013 at 1:20 am #

    @ Warren –

    It seems that we have very different pictures of what went on with the bus driver. Neither of us were there so neither of us really know which, if either version, is correct.

    If your version is correct – which appears to be something along the lines of a frantic call from Emily begging her dad to save her from the crazed bus driver – you may have a perceived threat.

    If my much less dramatic version is true – as I suspect it is since the father did not seem too frantic in the situation – there is no perceived threat.

  302. hineata April 5, 2013 at 1:25 am #

    @Warren, once again it’s been a delight, in rather the same way cleaning the grout from between the bathroom tiles is a delight, or getting dysentery is a joyful experience.

    You really do have problems with basic comprehension, don’t you? Well, let me put dashes between the letters for you, so you can read the word slowly. I am a t-e-a-c-h-e-r. Put the letters together and you get the word ‘teacher’. A, and I am writing this slowly, in the hope that it might help you understand, t e a c h e r is involved in the education of children. So, and I know this is hard for you but try to keep up, yes, I. Am. Involved. With. The. Education. Of. Children. There, did you understand that now?

    And unless I have failed in MY reading over the years, SKL is a woman, so in what universe is it sense to berate her for not being your very odd definition of a man. Just plain odd, Warren. ‘Men’ like you are an embarrassment to the sex, and serve to remind we women how lucky we were to be born without penises.

  303. Warren April 5, 2013 at 1:32 am #

    ” She calls me on the cell phone since the bus driver is preventing her from leaving, so I go get her.”

    You take that as the bus driver giving her a phone to call her dad? She called because the bus driver wouln’t let her leave. If your child calls you because some strange adult won’t let her leave, do you think she is calling to shoot the shit about the weather? If that isn’t calling for assistance from a parent, then please oh all knowing Donna, please enlighten us as to what constitutes assistance and what doesn’t.

    “If I saw a strange kid doing something dangerous, I might do the same thing.” Walking down the sidewalk is doing something dangerous?

    Your exact words, from your comment
    ““If my child had been stopped by two men, I’d ask why. I would not just assume that my child did nothing wrong and that they were being big bullies.”
    That statement is one side of the coin, the other side is, I will ask the men, because my child probably did somehting wrong.

    As for your comments on insulting others, I do not mean to insult you. You are quite the advesary at times, with my respect.

    SKL and hineata, I have no time nor respect for. Kinda up there with that white sludge that forms in the corner of your mouth on a hot day.

  304. Warren April 5, 2013 at 1:40 am #

    Dear hineata,

    Along with not understanding the difference between “gospel” and “benefit of the doubt”, you fail to understand sarcasm as well. I know you teach, and that worries me. I hate to think you have that kind of influence.

    I guess the standards for teaching in NZ, are quite lower than here.

  305. Warren April 5, 2013 at 1:44 am #


    Good enough, maybe we’ll get updates in the future and one of us or both of us will have to wash the egg off our face. Until then we are both just taking the little facts and assuming from them.

  306. hineata April 5, 2013 at 2:08 am #

    Teacher…..tire mechanic…..enough said.

    Tire mechanic who considers himself a ‘worthy adversary’ for a lawyer…..laughable.

    Also, check the PISA results. Where is New Zealand? And where is Canada?

    Not that you would understand the graph though…..

    And, froth forming in the mouth at any time of the year? A sure sign of rabies, which might go a long way toward explaining your irrationality. I thought it was stupidity, but I suppose a mind-destroying disease might be another explanation….

  307. hineata April 5, 2013 at 2:11 am #

    @SKL – you and I are soul sisters now, girl, LOL! Feel like getting together and being froth in a few mouths? I vote for inhabiting Eric Schweig’s mouth, but then I’m a sucker for tall, swarthy and non-white men.

    Some of the white men appear to have completely lost their minds, after all…..:-)

  308. Donna April 5, 2013 at 2:37 am #

    @ Warren –

    What 6 year old do you know who walks 3 blocks with a cellphone? Who do you know that gives a cellphone to a 6 year old for a walk? Someone with a whole lot more money for cell phones than me based on the average loss ratio of my child of around the same age. I’d give a cellphone in the custody of an average 6 year old about a week lifespan on a good week. My kid has managed to lose mine in the house several times. No way she is heading OUTSIDE with it.

    And, while it would make more sense for the bus driver (all of whom have work cellphones in my district) to call himself if he thought – rightly or wrongly – that it was unsafe for Emily to continue on her own, we know Emily refuses to tell people her number and the bus driver doesn’t know it so the only option is for Emily to cal herself.

    And we know the girl was walking down the road when stopped, how? Were you there and saw this? Was the dad who is telling the story there and saw this? Is it even possible in your mind that the child was doing something unexpected and the father just assumed the worse of the bus driver and other guy because he is currently being harassed by the police and CPS for letting his child walk alone?

    Just as I wouldn’t just assume that my child is a perfect angel who does nothing dangerous or unexpected at any time, I also wouldn’t assume that she did something wrong. In fact, if I get a phone call from my child saying “the bus driver wants me to get you to pick me up (which is more how I imagine this call went),” I’d simply wonder what the hell is going on in general from anyone. I’m not going to storm in and beat people up with absolutely no facts as to why my child is with the bus driver to start with.

  309. Donna April 5, 2013 at 2:43 am #

    And whose cellphone is he even referencing when he says “she called me on the cellphone?” Maybe he means that she called him on HIS cellphone, as opposed to the landline. But she used a store phone and was sitting content in the store with the bus driver and other guy when dad came. Dad certainly doesn’t relay this story like it was a big, horrible ordeal to him or Emily.

    In other words, as you said, there are very few facts in this small paragraph and anyone of these interpretations could be the truth. And dad could be laughing at how far off the mark we both are.

  310. Warren April 5, 2013 at 3:34 am #

    @hineata and SKL

    LMAO You honestly think that your immature posturing is effective? Your boasting, your attempt at insults are all the proof I need to honestly say, that you should not be given the job of educating children.

    You arrogant comparison of teacher to tire mechanic is quite funny. For one, it is tire technician, but that is neither here nor there. Your attempt at insult shows the lack of maturity and real life knowledge. How can you insult a man, when he is proud of his career, is a success, owns his own shop, and is expanding with a second location within the year. How can you insult a man that has the love and respect of his family. A man that has the respect of his employees. Your big mistake is failing to understand your opinion does not matter.

    I do wish to thank you hineata. You have proven something I have always believed. Just because one is educated, it does not make them exempt from making an ass of themself.

  311. hineata April 5, 2013 at 5:57 am #

    Warren, over the past few months you have consistently expected people here to respect your viewpoint, and yet you have shown no respect for anyone that thinks differently from yourself. You have also demonstrated a consistent inability to comprehend fairly simple concepts that others have conveyed. THAT is the basis of my lack of respect for you, and my disregard of your opinion.

    I personally don’t care if you own your own business, though I am surprised that you have made a success of it. Not because you can’t change a tyre – most of us can do that – but because your basic lack of respect for people shines through in your posts here. A disregard for people is poor business practice.

    I WAS completely wrong to put down ‘tyre technicians’. It is you I have a problem with, not because you are a tyre technician, but because you consistently write foolish nonsense. As I stated before, most tradies I know are intelligent people. Just because you have actively demonstrated on this site – and that is the only way that I know you, fortunately – that you are not is no reason to demean other tyre technicians, so to them I apologise.

  312. George April 5, 2013 at 6:12 am #

    @ Donna, re: the cellphone

    In response to your question of “Who do you know that gives a cellphone to a 6 year old for a walk?”

    I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the parents gave the girl a cell phone. The poster said that the police had detained Emily without contacting them (the parents). You don’t think that a parent in this situation wouldn’t find giving the child a cell phone to be prudent? They apparently already trust her enough to make it to the post office without losing whatever she was sent there with or for, so why would a cell phone be much different?

  313. Sally April 5, 2013 at 6:15 am #

    Hineata, do you understand graphs? In 2009 Canada scored higher on the PISA than NZ:

  314. Taradlion April 5, 2013 at 8:40 am #

    I think there is more to the story. As has been pointed out, there are details people are assuming. I pointed it out above, but continued thinking about it.

    From the first post a letter from the Dad:” Recently, Emily went by herself to a SMALL STORE a few blocks away. When she was out a little longer than I expected, I went looking for her.  The SHOPKEEPER said that as she was walking out the door the police were coming in, asking if  anyone there was her parent. Then they took her”

    The SAME event described in the outline above, again, from the Dad:  “That afternoon we let Emily walk to the POST OFFICE to mail a letter.  (That’s the story that was shared before on this blog.)  The same officers who responded on Day 2 remove Emily from the post office and detain her.”

    Personally, if the Dad thought his child was prepared and capable, she should be able to walk to a nearby post office and/or a small nearby shop…but perhaps the little girl looked as if she lost….perhaps the dad didn’t actually know where she was (the store?…The post office?”…maybe they are right next door, I won’t assume). He stated he went out to look for her when she was out longer than expected (presumably because she was detained by the police, but perhaps because she became distracted and didn’t head home as expected). I think this goes to Donna’s statements about the tendencies of kids that are 6 (and 7).

    I don’t think CPS should be involved JUST because a kid is walking by themselves. At this point, I think the threats to take the kid from the parents have more to do with the Dad’s unwillingness to cooperate (absolutely should be through a lawyer as it has clearly escalated at this point)…if the big concern was the kid walking alone, she would have already been removed.

    We don’t know HOW (or perhaps the whole story as to WHY) the bus driver and utility worker stopped the child. It says she had a Free Range Kid Card..the template has a place for parents number and the following statement, “If you want to talk to them [parents], feel free to give them a call”…the card he gave his kid says “feel FREE to give a call”…it says she was right around the corner, so maybe Dad just headed out to talk to the bus driver and utility worker when he got the call he told them to “feel free” to make. Maybe he was belligerent, maybe he was not. Maybe he said over the phone, “let her leave” and they physically detained her, maybe he just headed outside and around the corner when he got the call….we don’t know

  315. SKL April 5, 2013 at 8:52 am #

    “She called me on the cell phone” could mean many things, as has been noted, but unless it said “she called me frantically” it does not mean the child was in danger of any harm. If someone wanted to harm her, they would not have let her call her dad on anybody’s cell phone. The only “harm” here was that her attempt to run an errand alone was aborted. She is 6. She will get over it.

    Warren, if you knew me you would be red in the face after that ridiculous tirade over why I should respect you. I could care less if you were the President of the USA. I would not respect you because you think it is appropriate to put someone in the hospital for taking a very small measure to keep your child safe. For giving a damn whether your kid got run over by a truck. Respect was the farthest word from my mind when I read that, and all of your “you make me sick” etc. etc. isn’t helping matters. Go change a tire.

  316. Warren April 5, 2013 at 8:58 am #


    Why I bother to deal with you, I am not sure. Maybe it is because I enjoy taking on people that think they are better than others, and watching them make complete jokes out of themselves.

    You claim to be an educated adult, but your last few posts have been nothing but personal attacks. This is funny, because you blame me for doing just that. You also find it needed to twist or add words to my statements, to make your point. I complimented Donna on being quite the advesary. You are the one that tried to make it sound like I was bragging about being a worthy advesary of a lawyer. I said no such thing, yet you spout it out as fact.
    And as Sally pointed out, you bring data to the debate, claiming victory, and your own source puts you on the losing end.
    Possibly one day when you mature enough, you can rejoin the adults in debate, untill then maybe you should stick to the kiddie table.

  317. Warren April 5, 2013 at 9:04 am #

    As stated earlier, at hockey this morning I discussed the story with my teammates who are OPP officers.

    Asked what the police response would be if I called and told them, my 6 yr old daughter was stopped on the street by two men, and they won’t let her leave?

    Without hesitation, their response included the deployment of a min. of 4 units. They would not approach the men. They would have their sidearms drawn, the men would be told to place their hands on their heads and back towards the units. They would be thrown to the ground, cuffed, and searched. Taken into custody, with charges to be laid out by the Crown.

    When asked what would happen to me, if I went in physically, and took them down. As long as I didn’t kill them, I would be considered protecting my child.

  318. Warren April 5, 2013 at 9:06 am #

    Never asked, demanded or wanted your respect. I do not need the respect or approval of strangers. I live by my own beliefs and values. And I sleep well every night, knowing that I am a good father, husband, friend and neighbour.

  319. Taradlion April 5, 2013 at 9:47 am #


    “Told them my 6 year old daughter was stopped on the street by two men and they won’t let her leave”….this sounds like something perhaps other than what happened (even if the facts, it sounds perhaps worse than than the actual situation). The girl had a card that said , “feel free to call my parents”…perhaps they just called (or had Emily call) to make sure her parents knew where she was? If you asked your cop friends, “what would happen if two members of the community stopped my 6 year old and asked her to wait and called me to see if I knew she was out on her own” do you still think they would send four units and approach with guns drawn?

  320. Warren April 5, 2013 at 10:25 am #

    I reported the facts in the story. Not a watered down version.

    “She calls me on the cell phone since the bus driver is preventing her from leaving”

    Keyword in that sentence is “preventing”. That means she wants to leave, and the bus driver won’t let her.

    The guys looked over the story, as I brought my laptop. That way there was no second hand biased account.

    The bus driver has no authority whatsoever to prevent Emily, from going anywhere. They did not ask her to wait, they prevented her from leaving. That is a major difference.

    Taking into consideration that your scenario took place. If they were simply asking if I knew she was out on her own, and were told yes, what reason would they have to prevent her from leaving

  321. SKL April 5, 2013 at 10:25 am #

    Warren, considering that you think such extreme measures justified to protect your child from the slightest possibility of harm, I assume you won’t be letting her walk down the street alone until she is 35.

  322. SKL April 5, 2013 at 10:25 am #

    I should have said 35 and armed.

  323. SKL April 5, 2013 at 10:26 am #

    Warren, are you in possession of the exact quote from the guys who “were preventing her from leaving”?

  324. Warren April 5, 2013 at 10:30 am #

    Are you really that stupid?

    My kids have my trust and can come and go as they please. I have no problems with them going anywhere on their own.

    And two adults preventing a six year old from going home, is not the slightest possibility of harm. They have already taken a physical aggresive stand by preventing her from going home. If you cannot understand that, you are as dense as your buddy hineata.

  325. Warren April 5, 2013 at 10:31 am #

    Just for the record things would have been different, had it been my kid. If they prevented her from going home, she would have screamed her head off for help.

    Same result, two grown men in custody.

  326. SKL April 5, 2013 at 10:41 am #

    Years ago I lived in an apartment where the custodian had a very large (for his age) toddler. At 3, I would bet he was taller than my now 6yo. A couple of times, he escaped and crossed two streets to get to the park. This was in an urban neighborhood, right down the street from a university and large hospital system, so there was always traffic. I happened to know he was only 3, but you could also tell from his behavior, i.e., running across the street with the expectation that moving traffic will stop for him. I went and took the child by the hand and brought him halfway home, where his anxious mom found us. Guess what: he did not want to come with me. But sometimes a young child doesn’t get to decide these things. If a young child I didn’t know was trying to get away when I called her dad, I would think she was worried about being in trouble with her dad once he found out what she was up to.

    The stated or implied facts in the OP are that she was on her way home and all was well but those two men insisted the dad come and get her. Because none of us (even the dad) was there to see what the two men saw, we don’t know whether they were just in disbelief that a young girl could walk home alone and be OK, or whether they saw evidence to the contrary in this particular young girl, i.e., she was acting in an unsafe manner. For that matter, we don’t know the guys would have been OK letting her go on after hearing the dad’s OK, and she simply asked her dad to come and get her when she made the call. It also doesn’t specify whether she actually did anything with her “Free Range Card” that her dad gave her. Frankly I thought on my first read that that part of the story was vague, perhaps intentionally. Having two free-range 6yos myself, I can say there are so many realistic ways to fill in the missing facts. None of them, however, point to danger to the child posed by the two men who stopped her.

  327. SKL April 5, 2013 at 10:44 am #

    LOL Warren, had she screamed her head off for help, you would have had even more unwanted contact with the police. The police are not going to give those guys a hard time for looking out for a little child. They are going to assume by your child’s screaming over nothing that she is way too immature to be out alone.

  328. SKL April 5, 2013 at 10:47 am #

    Oh, and how do you know they “physically” prevented her from leaving? More than likely they did not touch her beyond a kind pat on the shoulder. If she is a normal 6yo, she would have stopped when they stopped to speak to her, answered their questions, called her dad, and waited for her dad, all without being physically restrained.

  329. SKL April 5, 2013 at 10:48 am #

    The two guys were not acting in concert, they were going about their separate jobs when both separately saw something that concerned them. Cops are going to take their side, I guarantee it.

  330. SKL April 5, 2013 at 10:50 am #

    Anyhoo, we have gotten way off the subject of whether a parent should be troubled by authorities for letting his child run an errand in the community without direct supervision.

  331. Warren April 5, 2013 at 1:03 pm #


    You need some help, and you best get it soon.

    You live in your little fantasy world, I am done with pulling quotes from the story, to dispute your moronic made up facts.
    I have had trained experienced police officers read the stories, and give their opinions. The fact that they see the acts of these men, as illegal, and threatening, is all I need. Motive is not a factor. The simple fact is they stopped her from leaving. End of story. That act in itself is illegal, and taken seriously.

    So go back to sleep and dream up some more facts not in evidence, and try again. I on the other hand have based my opinions and my evaluations on what is presented here. Not what might have been, not what they might have seen or not seen, or anything.

    Emily was on her way home, stopped by to adult men, detained and prevented from leaving. Those are the facts we are presented. Now if you want to risk your child on fantasy, or dreams go ahead. Myself, I will deal with the facts at hand, and act as my values and beliefs dictate. They have always served me well, in the past, and never given me cause to second guess myself.
    If the cops you know would take the side of the two men preventing a child from going home, then they are not men I would want enforcing the law.

  332. Warren April 5, 2013 at 1:05 pm #

    And how would the police coming to help my daughter from two adults detaining her be unwanted?

    That is what you do. You twist and distort things to try and make yourself feel better. Self esteem issues are at play here.

  333. Donna April 5, 2013 at 2:03 pm #

    Warren – You seem to miss the point that the father – THE PERSON WHO WHO ACTUALLY KNOWS THE FACTS AS TO WHAT WAS DONE AND SAID BY EMILY- is not panicked by this situation. He is not frantic. He is not upset. He is annoyed for having people interfere again his Emimy’s jaunt to the post office but nothing more. Maybe you and your cop friends need to dial back your reaction a little here. It is based on a few, very awkwardly worded sentences and doesn’t match the reaction of the actual people involved at all.

  334. Jodie April 5, 2013 at 2:25 pm #

    Your characterization of an ex parte order is incorrect. Ex parte means without one party present to represent themselves, they are only supposed to be under emgrgent circumstances and very rare as they are a denial of due process. Pro Se means unrepresented. However, modern day CPS hands them out like candy, even in situations just like this where there is a protection plan in place that should prevent the need for such an order. They use them as tools of coercion. This gentleman should contact ACLU of Ohio an see if they can help him and possibly his local Legal Aid office. In most states since parenting is a fundamental constitutional right if you are under investigation they are required to appoint you an attorney.

  335. SKL April 5, 2013 at 2:31 pm #

    Warren, I thought the whole point of this article is that the dad does not want the cops involved in his daughter’s free-range activities. But lemme go check with my shrink just in case.

    By the way, it is possible that the school bus driver is not allowed to let kids under a certain age go off without a parent. The parent indicates that his kid is homeschooled, but homeschooled kids are still part of the school district in most places I know of.

  336. Donna April 5, 2013 at 2:33 pm #

    “And how would the police coming to help my daughter from two adults detaining her be unwanted?

    That is what you do.”

    EXACTLY!!!! If you believe that your child is being “abducted” and there is a threat to her life such that you can beat the guys with her to hospitalization, YOU CALL THE POLICE. Regardless of your past associations, you let bygones be bygones temporarily and CALL THE POLICE.

    This father didn’t call the police. He doesn’t relay this story as traumatic. In fact, this is a two or three sentence background to get to the point that again the police knocked on his door for no reason. He writes twice to Lenore – the store incident that happened right around the time as the bus driver and the this letter – he is so incensed by the conduct of the police and CPS. But this great dramatic kidnapping that you are envisioning is barely a blip on his radar? Get real.

  337. hineata April 5, 2013 at 3:21 pm #

    @Sally, Canada scored one above New Zealand in reading, one below in science and three places above in mathematics. Hardly significant differences, which was my point to Warren regarding ‘teacher quality’.Though not relevent to this post, of course, and I was silly to engage in any form of ‘discussion’ with the man. Still, it was definitely more interesting at the time than ‘analysing qualitative data’ which absolutely no one is interested in knowing is a compulsory part of the course I am doing at the moment, and something (again no one, even myself, is interested in knowing) I would rather eat my own gall bladder than attempt…..

    Once again, hope the OP gets his stuff sorted soon, and I do almost wish that New Zealand had enough cops and CPS people that they could waste time engaged in nonsense like this. Sadly, ours seem to have to engage themselves in real issues, like physical assaults on children (not smacking – bruise-leaving, broken-bone assaults). In that way, maybe we are well behind the US, anyway.

  338. Warren April 5, 2013 at 3:34 pm #

    The response from the officers I know were to the scenario of someone calling them, instead of going themselves. Not this exact incident.

    The quote you took Donna, was in response to SKL idiotic statement that I wouldn’t want the police to come to my daughter’s assistance if she were screaming at two strangers keeping her from going home.

    And no me and my cop friends do not need to dial it back. This is based on a scenario of a phone call from our 6 yr old, saying two men won’t let her come home. Two men=4units, it is simple math. A report of a child being held against her will, = take down quickly. In their words, control, contain, custody. These are men with over 20 yrs each of law enforcement and I would trust their judgement a helluva alot more than anyone in here.

    SKL you are so full of crap and grasping at straws. Under no circumstances can a bus driver just decide to detain a child walking down the street. At least not here in the real world. That rule you speak of, if it is valid, can only apply to those on his bus, in his care.

    And yes, you best go check with your shrink, because you are getting more idiotic with every comment. Meds may be in order, or at least a muzzle.

  339. Donna April 5, 2013 at 4:02 pm #

    Warren –

    It doesn’t matter whether your comment is in response to SKL or me. The point is that if you believe that your child’s life is threatened YOU CALL THE POLICE. If for no other reason than to get the people threatening her arrested. You don’t calmly walk there yourself, calmly walk home and ignore the police when they come to talk to you about what happened. Hence, there was no perceived threat here.

    But okay, you take the word of people – I don’t care how much experience they have in anything – who were not present and have absolutely no knowledge of the actual facts beyond 2 sentences (which I am guessing that you told them so they didn’t even read themselves) – over the actions of the people WHO WERE PRESENT and reacted very calmly to and unthreatened by the whole thing.

    In other words, what some unknown cops, in some place far away from the incident with absolutely no facts whatsoever, think about anything could not possibly be more irrelevant to my interpretation or understanding of this situation. Or my belief that in THIS situation you are 100% right for beating these guys into the hospital.

    And I have very little faith in your cop friends if they can actually tell you for certain what they would do in a situation with absolutely no facts whatsoever since all hostage situations call for different tactics depending on the nature of the particular situation. If they react blindly – X is happening so we must do Y – to every incident they encounter, they are piss poor cops.

  340. Jenn April 5, 2013 at 4:10 pm #

    Warren- You’re right, I wasn’t there when the doctor examined your daughter due to a false accusation by your wife’s ex and I never said that I was. But I do think you perhaps misunderstood (or even misrepresent the situation) the doctor with what an external exam involves versus an internal exam. If the doctor did exam your daughter internally without her consent (or the custodial parent), then that is sexual assault and possibly her second in a short period of time. No doctor can examine a patient internally without consent, regardless of the reason. I was not there for your daughter’s situation but I do know from personal and professional experiences what happens in these situations and considering you don’t know me, how do you know what I know and don’t know about sexual assault procedures? Please refrain from insults- it just makes you look like a neanderthal (and I am not calling you one. I am saying that resorting to such childish antics makes you look like one). It’s not a situation of what I think I know, but that what I know from my personal and professional experiences.

    For the record, Warren claimed (long ago) that in Ontario you can handle these situations with fists. “Brush up on your law, Darlin, more so the laws in Ontario. If I perceive a threat to my child, I am within my legal right to use physical force to protect her.” No, you can’t and no you don’t have the legal right to use force to protect your child. You can’t beat anyone up if they are detaining your child. Warren proved that by having the police visit when he gave his wife’s ex 17 stitches that vigilanteism isn’t tolerated in Ontario, and I believe in few places in the Western world.

  341. Z-girl April 5, 2013 at 4:26 pm #

    I hope we get the whole story at some point! After reading all these opposing viewpoints, it would be nice to get the real story from both sides. But, that’s probably not going to happen…..

    I don’t think the dad in the story is Warren, but most likely someone with a similar mindset and viewpoint, and probably operating from the same motivations, whatever those may be. It has been eye-opening (and rather scary to me) to see this discussion play out. How do you reason with people like this? Is it even possible?

  342. Warren April 5, 2013 at 4:28 pm #

    She had the internal because my wife, the parent with custody, gave the doctor permission in an effort to cooperate with CAS.
    Sorry for any insults, it is a touchy subject, and I over reacted Jenn. My apologies.

    Now for the matter of protecting someone. Yes I do have the legal right to use physical force to protect someone. Been there done that, and had it clarified by lawyers, when he ex was pulling his stunts, that eventually landed him in jail. If you perceive someone’s safety is threatened you do have the legal right to use reasonalbe physical force to prevent that person from being harmed. And as added by the attorney, private citizens are not held to the same standard as law enforcement when it comes to reasonable force.
    The incident with the stitches was afterward when no there was no threat present. Pure revenge and anger. I have no problem admitting that, and did so with the police when they questioned me. They just happened to see my side of it, and did a little steet cop magic, to make it all good. It pays to play hockey with cops.
    So Darlin, do not think you can lecture me on something I have had clarified by attorney’s when my family was at risk, to an unstable individual.
    Just listen to yourself, and try to understand what you said. You are not allowed to protect yourself or your family, in most of the western world. Wow, so by your insane logic we are to just stand there and allow someone to be harmed. You must have gone to the same school as SKL.

  343. Jenn April 5, 2013 at 4:34 pm #

    As for your step daughter up all night crying about the alleged internal exam (perhaps similar to the alleged sexual assault that you say didn’t happen?)- maybe she was crying about how her stepfather beat up her father? Or because her parents are fighting over her and she feels torn between the two? Or maybe she doesn’t want to live with you but wants to see her mother? There is a plethora of reasons why she could be crying and considering how quick to anger you’ve told us you are, I can assume that your version of your story is truth challenged.

  344. Donna April 5, 2013 at 4:40 pm #

    @George –

    Possibly the father did give Emily a cellphone after the store incident. The dad doesn’t mention deciding to give her cellphone, although he does describe giving her the Free Range Kids card at the same time, so we have no idea. Maybe she has always had a cellphone. Maybe she had no cellphone at all but used someones. Maybe she didn’t use a cellphone at all and called her dad’s cellphone.

    That is the point. We don’t know what happened. Proclaiming one reader’s version as the gospel based on a completely unclear 3 sentences seems a little extreme.

    There is every possibility that these guys were stopping a little girl who walked down the street for no reason. There is every possibility that these guys stopped a little girl who ran out in front of the bus. The very scant facts could be seen both ways (i.e TWO people stopping a little girl at the exact same time makes it far more likely that something happened to simultaneously attract their attention and desire to intervene but who knows). Insisting that one particular version MUST be right based on what we have is ridiculous.

  345. Warren April 5, 2013 at 4:50 pm #


    You are one piece of work Lady.
    You see bullshit like you just wrote doesn’t do a thing for me.
    I am very secure in my relationship with my oldest daughter. As she is very secure in her relationship with me.

    You see Jenn this is where you lost the battle. You make remarks to try and raise my anger, to provoke me, and you cannot. The words of a fool mean nothing to me, and you have proved yourself a fool. Insinuating sexual assault, or other abuses is the weapon of a weak pathetic mind.
    Oh and for the record, she just read your comment over my shoulder. LMAO, at her reaction.

    Straight out of her mouth,”What a Bitch!”, and now she is laughing at you.

    You see my kids and I are closer than most, and we do alot of things together. As a side note, to maybe embarass her a little.
    I AM DAMN PROUD OF MY DAUGHTER WHO GRADUATES WITH HER BSc, in a couple of weeks.Then onto teachers college.

  346. Jenn April 5, 2013 at 5:10 pm #

    Warren- so your wife allows her daughter to have an internal exam, putting in her through an unnecessary trauma, to clear your name because of her ex’s allegations? You then beat up her father but don’t register a complaint about the doctor? It is documented that physicians are not to perform an internal exam on a child so if a physician did, he/she is violating many procedures, protocols and ethical standards. Again, holes with your story.

    You can’t use physical force to protect someone. You can guard them, act as a barrier, tell them to run but you can’t use physical force until the assailant attacks you. Even then, you will be detained and possibly charged if your `protection’ uses excessive force in relation to the attack. I did not say you can’t protect your yourself or your family but that vigilanteism is not tolerated.

    I did not intend to provoke your anger. I did not insinuate that you sexually assaulted her but insinuated that like the alleged sexual assault (against you) that the internal exam is alleged to have occurred. To clarify, I am stating that the internal exam is alleged to have occurred, but I do believe that an external exam was performed.

    Glad to hear that you are now secure with your relationship with your stepdaughter. I’m sure it was a rocky road to get there which is why I think she spent the night crying about something else, not the alleged internal exam.

  347. Donna April 5, 2013 at 5:14 pm #

    @Warren –

    Clearly it does do something for you since you responded, defended yourself and insulted Jenn. Just saying.

    “I AM DAMN PROUD OF MY DAUGHTER WHO GRADUATES WITH HER BSc, in a couple of weeks.Then onto teachers college.”

    Congratulations to your daughter. You have every right to be proud.

  348. SKL April 5, 2013 at 5:16 pm #

    OK, this is funny, Warren said earlier that he had the cops read the OP so they could comment based on the facts as presented, and then he said they based their comments on some other scenario. OK.

    He said his stepdaughter had an internal exam because of Canada’s version of CPS, and then said the girl’s mom OK’d it, when I’m sitting here wondering why, if the bio father suspected sexual abuse, would not the bio father take her to be examined during a dad-daughter visit? (That’s what I would have done if I really suspected that.)

    He says education is nothing to be proud of and then he says he’s proud of his daughter for getting a college degree and then “onto teachers college [sic]” (never heard of teachers’ college in this century in North America but whatever).

    I dunno how many of Warren’s “facts” are made up but IMO his credibility is suspect.

    But what do I know? I’m just typing this from the booby hatch. They hardly ever let me out of my straitjacket so I’d better behave myself.

  349. SKL April 5, 2013 at 5:20 pm #

    Oh, and if my father was writing online about someone examining my genitals (along with my emotional response and lots of other personal details) and I saw it, I know whom I would be angry with, and it wouldn’t be Jenn.

  350. SKL April 5, 2013 at 5:21 pm #

    They’re coming to take me away, hoo hoo, hee hee, ha ha . . . .

  351. Warren April 5, 2013 at 5:23 pm #

    Thanks Donna, she has worked extremely hard and will make a fantastic teacher. Any school is going to be lucky to have her on staff. She chose this path because of her love for kids, and not for the career itself.

    An awesome lady in every sense and every way. Everyone that comes into contact with her is that much richer, just for the experience.

  352. Jenn April 5, 2013 at 5:24 pm #

    SKL- you’re right, it’s not called Teacher’s College and hasn’t in a very long time in Ontario (at least since when my mother, who’s in her 60’s, went!). It’s called Faculty of Education to receive a Bachelor of Education, in Ontario. People commonly call it B.Ed. (as in, “I’m going to B.Ed. once I’m done my degree”). Some universities have a Faculty for the Institute of Child Studies (ICS) that offers a B.Ed, M.Ed. and various degrees not related to teaching but to counselling children. You need to have a B.A. or B.Sc. (or other Bachelor’s three/four year degree) completed in order to go to a Faculty of Education or ICS.

  353. Warren April 5, 2013 at 5:25 pm #


    That shows just how dense you are. Before I ever mention a personal experience, I ask my girls for their opinion and consent. It is called respect. Something you, hineata and Jenn are sorely lacking.

  354. SKL April 5, 2013 at 5:25 pm #

    And by the way, Warren, you are the person who told the whole world that you have been accused (and investigated) twice of sexual assault of a five-year-old. To be honest, I thought from the start that you made that up to sound more convincing about why CPS is the devil. But if it’s true, it seems kinda dumb to blame Jenn for making reference to something you brought up in the first place.

    And the nice white men in their nice white coats . . . .

  355. Warren April 5, 2013 at 5:29 pm #


    Gonna let my daughter handle this one……………

    For your information, we still refer to it as Teacher’s College in casual conversation. Not all of us are as anal, as you.

  356. SKL April 5, 2013 at 5:36 pm #

    You told your daughter you’re in a ridiculous online argument with anonymous strangers who make you sick and need a shrink, and would she mind if you shared some of her most intimate, sad, and humiliating moments? Well aren’t you the gentleman. (I still don’t believe you.)

  357. Jenn April 5, 2013 at 5:39 pm #

    Warren’s (alleged) step daughter: Why can’t you log on as yourself to address people? Name calling is not a way to prove a point. Good luck with your teaching career and perhaps learn a little about how to conduct yourself appropriately online as the College of Teachers has policies on how to interact online so you won’t be charged with professional misconduct (you can read all about it in the `blue’ pages). There is a lot of edu-babble you’ll have to familiarize yourself with- thought I was helping clarify with by explaining to SKL what “Teacher’s College’ is referred to in Ontario.

  358. SKL April 5, 2013 at 5:40 pm #

    In the USA the “teachers’ colleges” are an integral part of the universities, and nobody calls them “teachers’ colleges.” Teachers typically get a teaching degree as their bachelor’s and then continue for their master’s specialty, often part-time after they already have a teaching job. (Not saying that’s better or worse, just explaining why the whole “bachelor’s then teacher’s college” sounded weird to me.)

  359. Warren April 5, 2013 at 5:50 pm #

    Just out of curiousity Jenn, where did you receive your education?

    My daughter did not call you a name. She accurately described your attitude. tsk tsk, an educated woman that cannot tell the difference between name calling and characterization.

  360. Jenn April 5, 2013 at 5:51 pm #

    Understandable, the teaching accreditation systems work differently in the two countries and even varies from state to state and province to province. When I lived in New Orleans, it was not required for teachers to get their Masters after getting a teaching job, but was required in Massachusetts (where my boyfriend was from) within their first five years of teaching, regardless of where their employment was.

  361. Jenn April 5, 2013 at 5:52 pm #

    Not a teacher myself but have a family full of them.

  362. Warren April 5, 2013 at 5:54 pm #


    You are right, I fell for it and was baited into defending myself. Rest assured I gave myself a kick in the butt for it.

  363. hineata April 5, 2013 at 5:57 pm #

    @Warren, that’s fantastic about your stepdaughter. We teachers love it when our students overcome violent home lives and bad situations and go on to make positive life choices for themselves.

    @SKL – the doctors in your facility sound nicer than mine. I am having to type this with my nose. Still, the meds are kind of nice…..

  364. SKL April 5, 2013 at 6:11 pm #

    Hineata, yeah, meds are the bomb. THE BOMB! Oh crap, I said bomb, I probably won’t be allowed out of my cell for a long time to come. It was nice knowing you guys . . . .

  365. SKL April 5, 2013 at 6:16 pm #

    Wait a second, Warren, your alleged stepdaughter allegedly called Jenn a “b!tch” as well as “anal.”

  366. Matt April 5, 2013 at 6:22 pm #

    Not so long ago kids not much older than “Emily” were using shotguns…

    …and hunting rabbits:

  367. SKL April 5, 2013 at 6:23 pm #

    Gotta go now folks, the meds are wearing off and I’m starting to attract attention over here. Catch y’all later.

  368. Canadian Emily April 5, 2013 at 9:23 pm #

    This discussion was interesting for a while, and I mostly agreed with the people who said that the little girl in the article never should have been detained, but now it’s becoming “Warren vs Everyone Else.”

  369. Warren April 6, 2013 at 7:06 am #

    Good Morning Canadian Emily,

    I just deleted a long winded response to hineata, SKL and Jenn. As I was writing it your comment kept staring me in the face, and I got to thinking what the hell am I doing?

    I realized that I was letting their comments get to me. So thank you Emily, sort of brought me back to ground.

    The comments of morally weak people, such as them, are not worthy of the time or effort. These three women, specifically, by their comments are not willing to stand up and defend their children, and that just proves how morally weak and cowardly they really are. It is a shame in this day and age, that there are still people like them around. People who are only brave behind a keyboard and a screen name. But such is life online.
    One has to wonder what emotional or mental issues they have, that makes them incapable of defending a child, but so ready and willing to make online attacks. I can only assume that their lives are lacking some of their fundamental needs.
    I honestly do hope that they find what they need, or get the help they need. To live life as they do cannot be easy. Living with that much hatred and envy would be exhausting, wouldn’t you think?

    So SKL, Jenn and hineata, I am sorry for any insults or hurtful comments that I made. I know you cannot help yourselves, and that means your attacks are not personal towards me. I realize that you just are that way with everyone, it is who you are, and that deep down you all wish you could be better people. So good luck in finding your peace, you could really use some in your lives.

  370. Warren April 6, 2013 at 7:50 am #

    Got to thinking.

    I owe Lenore, who offers us this forum, and the rest of the people that come here an apology.

    I do apologize for allowing myself to be drawn into mindless and rude debates with those three. I know better than to debate with morally corrupt people, and should not have allowed myself to sink to their level.

  371. Taradlion April 6, 2013 at 9:18 am #

    People react differently. I am described as someone with a long fuse. However, people will also say, “G-d help you if you get to the end of it.” I am not easily intimidated, I am not fearful (heck I gave birth to 2 babies, on almost 11 lbs without medication and I would protect myself and my children). In most circumstances, I do not act or react aggressively. If I were to be mugged (I live in NYC) I would not hesitate for a second to fight back. Given the “facts” we have here, neither “watered down” nor hyped up, I don’t think I would imediately have reacted as if my child were being kidnapped by the community members who stopped her and let her call me. That’s it.

    My husband, tends to perceive all unpleasant situations as a fight, probably would have acted aggressively. I often say to him, ” you were right, they were wrong, but when you respond ‘like that’ people think you’re an asshole and couldn’t care less that they are wronging you.” It tends to escalate the situation.

    People deal with things differently. People parent differently. They don’t love their children less. It becomes the argument of the helicopter parent who claims, with total resolve, that those of us (like the Dad above) that encourage competence in our children by giving them freedom are risking their lives by letting them out of our sight.

  372. SKL April 6, 2013 at 11:20 am #


  373. Marence April 6, 2013 at 4:11 pm #

    Let’s look at some questions:

    Is it legal for a 6-year-old to walk 3 blocks alone in Ohio?
    Is it safe for a 6-year-old to walk 3 blocks alone in Ohio?

    Two entirely different questions, and that’s where one of the big problems that this dad has.

    If I’m interpreting correctly, this is taking place in southwestern Ohio. I know the area, have friends who live there, and understand the mindset. To really understand Dad’s problem, you need to know the (probable) setting.

    Picture rolling hills, 50s and 60s era ranch houses in subdivisions among old farmhouses, lots of churches with names like “The Church of the Most Holy Council of the Lamb of God (Southern Convention)”, very Republican, very right-wing, 4-wheel drive trucks with gun racks outnumber minivans, and every other house has a self-righteous neighbor with more initiative than sense. When one of these citizens feels, like some of the commenters upstream, that a little girl-child is just a walking target for all the evil out there, they’re going to call in a complaint.

    When complaints come in, they have to be investigated, and the case is either acted on or closed. Pending cases are a nightmare, and supervisors are often bureaucrats who never worked the streets demand that they be cleared.

    And as to the utility worker and bus driver – if a kid is out and about on a school day during school hours, the first thought isn’t “oh, there’s a free-range, homeschooled kid.” No, to the average citizen in Ohio, the first thought is, “why isn”t that kid in school? I’m going to find out and do what I need to,” which for most people would include calling the police, especially if said kid refused to give up any info needed to contact parents.

    I admire Dad’s stand. Back in the 80s, when my daughter was growing up, she was able to go places by herself, starting with 2 doors up to her girlfriend’s house, and by age 10, to the shopping center a half-mile away. Of course, most of the kids then were free-range, because society hadn’t gotten quite so paranoid. I firmly believe that a parent’s duty is to raise their child to be a responsible adult, and that includes many of the ideals of the free-range kids movement.
    Dad’s got to take into consideration the immediate world he lives in, with CPS caseworkers who will close his damned case no matter what, with cops that generally regard anything but immediate acquiescence “suspicious behavior”, with neighbors who probably find homeschooling itself suspicious behavior. In this kind of atmosphere, refusal to cooperate is seen as a sign of guilt – of what, they don’t know, but they’ll be on the lookout for something from now on.

    (Oh, Ohio! 10 years of working for the county and 3 years for working for the state have made me bitter and cynical and pragmatic)

  374. Z-girl April 6, 2013 at 8:21 pm #


    I don’t know you or any of the other people in this thread. But I think you might consider that when you attack others (verbally or otherwise) it says a lot more about YOU as a person than it does about them. Read your last two comments again. Much of what you wrote about them could be applied to you too (based on all that you’ve shared here). Can you see that?

    What is it that makes you so angry about their opposing opinions? Are you so afraid or proud, that you can’t accept that other viewpoints might be valid too? You might consider that acting from courage and reason is more powerful than reacting out of anger, fear, and pride……

    There are ways to present your views and argue your point without attacking the person presenting the opposing viewpoint. Their opinions are not a threat to you; have courage and don’t react as if they are. Your passion and convictions are admirable, but you will probably be more convincing without all the personal attacks and anger that you’ve shown.

    Just trying to make the world a better place…..

  375. Warren April 6, 2013 at 9:13 pm #


    Their differing opinions do not anger me. I admit that their childish accusations on implications of me lying, almost made me angry…………but then I just took into consideration who or what was making them, and it became funny.

    I am very proud of my record as a husband, father, friend, and businessman. I am the first one to lend a hand to anyone, will be there for anyone, and am a helluva nice guy. Everyone also knows that if you mess with my family, you best hope the police get to you first. Now that last statement seems to offend the sensibitlies of some people…………….and personally I don’t give a rat’s ass if they like it, me or anything.

    Sort of like the song says,”I don’t give a damn what other people thing. What do ya think about that?”

  376. Jen April 8, 2013 at 10:19 am #

    Is anyone still reading since this thread degraded into a name-calling match? I’ve spent some time this morning reading up on my state’s procedures for investigating reports of neglect, and I’m frankly shocked by the broad authority granted to CPS (here it’s actually the Department of Child Services) combined with ambiguous definitions and a lack of due process guarantees for the parent accused of neglect.

    Several people have mentioned that once CPS receives a report and opens a file, they’re not going away until they can close it; that is entirely consistent with what I’ve read today. Here, upon receipt of a report of possible neglect, DCS has a duty to conduct an assessment that MUST include, among other things, “[a]n evaluation of the parent, guardian, custodian or person responsible for the care of the child . . . and [t]he home environment and the relationship of the child to the parent, guardian, or custodian or other persons responsible for the child’s care.” The assessment MAY include: “[a] visit to the child’s home . . . and [a]n interview with the subject child.” If the parent refuses to permit those things to occur, DCS may petition the court to order them.

    That last part may be the sticking point (assuming Ohio’s laws are similar). Over a month has passed, and (although they’ve threatened to) it doesn’t appear that CPS has involved the courts. I suspect that might be because there isn’t enough evidence for a judge to order the family to submit to an interview or psychological evaluation or whatever else it is that CPS wants.

    And that highlights a huge problem with this process. It’s not a criminal proceeding, so it doesn’t seem that the parent is afforded the same rights as a criminal defendant (such as a presumption of innocence), despite the incredibly high stakes (possible removal of the child). So unless this dad “cooperates” in an unjust investigation, that investigation will remain open, with all the nastiness that entails. He’s d@mned if he does and d@mned if he doesn’t.

    Well-intentioned or not, these laws are ripe for abuse.

  377. Denice Laws April 10, 2013 at 12:22 pm #

    I’m so glad I found this site.

    I grew up in the 80’s and remember walking to and from kindergarten at 5 years old. The school was 6 blocks from our house. I was also a ‘latch-key’ kid, raised by a single dad who oftentimes worked 10-12-hour (sometimes longer) days as a union carpenter. I am now working on a Double Master’s in Teaching (Math) and English Literature, and I’m not afraid of going outside of my house, unlike some of the paranoid people I’ve met in my life.

    I also have a 10 year old son, and unknowingly have been raising him as a “free range kid”. I trust my son, and he trusts me… The problem is other parents who are overprotective and what I’ve now seen described as “Helicopter” parents. Eeeew.

    I would not be half as curious about the world and increasing my intellect if I had been hovered over. And neither would my son.

    This is the truest form of nanny state.

    I also lived with my mother as a teenager when my father died. Her side of my family is riddled with drug addiction and horrible, truly neglectful parenting.

    I’ve seen both sides of the argument, up close and personal. Neither one is pretty, and it rather denotes a lack of actual concern for the child’s best interest: They’re both (at worst) a selfish means to an end; as either a parent in the throws of addiction or uncaring, or the opposite end of the spectrum – where hovering parents set their children back emotionally and physically because the parent is afraid, paranoid and unwilling to allow their child a chance to navigate the world in small, successful steps… That, too, is very selfish.

  378. Dawn April 11, 2013 at 12:40 pm #

    The dad needs to cooperate with the people bothering him. Also his kid should. Even if she knows her address and phone number she should give it to the cops so they can see that the things she says and the things her family says are the same. There’s no lawthat says a 6 year old can’t go anywhere by themselves but if it’s a school day she would need to be out at the times every other kid is. Just so there isn’t any suspicion on the part of law enforcement or anyone else.

  379. Jen April 11, 2013 at 1:05 pm #


    The problem is that any remaining suspicion is completely unreasonable. Dad’s demonstration to the police that he is the girl’s father should have been enough to resolve the matter. Anything further is an oppressive intrusion by the state into this family’s personal business. He shouldn’t be forced to engage in an unlawful process like this.

  380. Warren April 11, 2013 at 10:50 pm #

    The father did cooperate the first time when he had to go to the police station and get his daughter, after the police snatched her.

    It is now a witch hunt, and all the police or CPS need to do is convince a judge to sign a warrant. Given that it was what 41 days and counting, they musn’t be able to convince a judge.

  381. Elaine April 26, 2013 at 5:20 pm #

    I haven’t read all the posts but has anyone asked themselves what the attitude of the cops were when they spoke to the Father? A lot (obviously not all ) cops have the ” I’m a cop and can do/say as I please ” attitude. No I’m not anti-police, It’s reality. If I was confronted with that attitude by the police when out for a walk with my child? damn right my back would go up! In this day and age of people over-riding their authority, whether it be the police, cps or any other ” Authority” figure; you have to protect your rights because if you don’t, who will?. My point being as a parent we do the best of our ability to bring up healthy, happy, independent and well adjusted children and when the state interferes with that because of unbiased claims it’s time for all of us to stand up and take back ‘ Our’ rights and freedoms. Yes cps should check out claims of neglect etc, but when it is shown that there is none, it should be the end of the story, unfortunately as too many know it usually is not the case.

  382. J May 6, 2013 at 1:39 am #

    I warned readers here before that the biggest danger to your “Free Range Kids” approach are the police and CPS. The Free Range Kids approach does not stand up in dependency court – it is nowadays considered by the courts to be child neglect. Fifty years ago, “free range” kids were the rule, not the exception. Today it is just the opposite. “Free Range” your kids at your family’s own risk. The risk of problems with the police and CPS far outstrips any other risks you might have. Good luck.

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    to they will take place.

  384. Scottie Righter August 3, 2013 at 10:16 pm #

    I am so thrilled I stumbled upon your site. I really found you by accident, while I was browsing on Google for something else. Anyways I am here now and would just like to say thank you for a informative post and an all round enjoyable blog. (I also like the theme/design), I don’t have time to read through it all at the moment, but I have added your website to my favorites, so when I have time I will be back to read more. Please do keep up the awesome job!

  385. Christine August 9, 2013 at 5:50 am #

    CPS workers are not out to steal kids from parents! As a social worker who worked in foster care as a parent aide, the goal is to keep families together when possible and protect our children. As a parent aide, I had some abusive and neglegient parents who needed help in learning to parent in an appropriate manner. Sometimes the kids were placed with family or foster care for some time.
    I also had some cases where I questioned why CPS were involved. For instance, I was given a family and instructed to teach appropriate monitoring of her 3 year old and 1.5 year old. Why? The younger one had his arm broken when the older kid jumped on him while rough housing! No need for CPS involvement.
    The system may not be perfect-far from it-but we honestly (at least the front line workers) want to keep families intact.
    As a side note, I stopped watching news programs in 2008 because of the real life horrors I saw every day at work. I am blissfully unaware of fires, murders, kidnappings, and rapes because I saw too much working in foster care!
    Ceasing media frenzy was one of the best decisions I made!


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