This is from Maria Hasankolli, the Connecticut mom who was arrested for oversleeping while herÂ 8-year-oldÂ son got ready for school and started walking there on his own. She wrote it in the comments to yesterday’s iksibtzaar
post here about her. (Boldface mine.):
I may be tossing a pebble in the pond here, but none-the-less; Lucan (my 8 yr old) is the youngest of six; 21,17,15,14,10, then him coming in at 8. All boys except our 10 yr old.
I’ve raised them all the same. I’m not a coddler but I am a fabulous teacher. They are well versed in self care and maintenance, they are urged to be problem solvers and to use free thinking. I allow failure and mistakes to help mold them into well rounded human beings, and in our home, we believe in freedom of choice. They understand that life has success and consequences, and that sometimes, regardless of how hard you try, things just don’t work out.
That being said, Lucan has watched, listened, and learned from his siblings that walking to ones destination can and often does turn into an adventure. He had multiple options for a ride to school. He waited until his [21-year-old] brother turned his back and willingly chose (with his freedom of choice) to walk.
Contrary to some bloggers’ beliefs, I wouldn’t allow him to walk North Plains Industrial Road because I too, believe it is too dangerous, but I wasn’t arrested for the fact that he was walking. I was arrested for not being awake whilst he prepared himself for school. When the cop came to my home, it was 9:40 in the morning. I had only been asleep for a few hours so when he asked me where Lucan was, I was half asleep and went to his room to get him. I had no idea what was going on.
His bus pulls into our driveway at 8:30 every morning. He’s had the same routine since kindergarten. On this particular morning however, he missed it (reason not important). I woke his father up at 6:02 a.m. when I came home from Yale New Haven hospital after sitting with my aunt until she passed. I was emotionally distraught and physically drained since I had been there since 8:30 the night before.
When DCF came to my home the following day and I conveyed this information, I was told that at 8 yrs old, a child must be supervised at all times. Even whilst outside in the back yard. Everyone is entitled to opinions, but sometimes it’s all the little details which get left out that paint a picture of truth.
I hope this helps to clarify some things. I did not commit a crime.
I agree. – L.
I hope Maria fights the inevitable charges against her and does not accept a plea deal. I’m sure the pressure will be great, given the punishment if she is found guilty. We must fight against the belief that children are in constant danger without our oversight. Sometimes this fight is as simple as being stubborn. Sometimes it’s much more difficult and costly.
Best of luck.
Maria, you’re absolutely right. You committed no crime and did nothing wrong! I echo what Doug said.
This sounds worse than the Medved’s in MD. At least there CPS came to their senses, but CT CPS may need a court to bring them there. Over the years this website has been on, it seems that CT has been a particularly aggressive state against those who act with a free range mindset: They want to FORCE parents to helicopter.
Praying for you! The youngest is always the most independent and will take on responsibilities you might not want them too. You sound like a great mother and I hope common sense will stop this madness. I would understand that if you were passed out next to a crack pipe and over slept. This could happen to any of us. You are such a great mom that your child values his education so much that he would walk to school instead of looking at it for an opportunity to skip.
@Maria– How can we help you? Its vital that you find a good lawyer who can think for him or herself– do you have one? Do you need help doing the research, or help with affording a retainer? I believe community support is going to help you emerge from this nightmare victorious, but I for one need some direction as to what would be the most helpful thing for you right now.
I was told that at 8 yrs old, a child must be supervised at all times. Even whilst outside in the back yard.
Absolutely absurd, and I’m grateful I don’t live in CT then. My 6-year old and even 4-year old regularly play outside without supervision. We live on a cul-de-sac, so traffic is less of a concern, yet I’m sure these ninnies would no doubt have us in cuffs if they had their way.
Glad I don’t live in CT. My children are 3 and 5 and play in the backyard by themselves where we have a cactus (the horror!). My oldest goes to school with no bus service so I often see children 8 or so years old walking themselves to and from school. My children’s babysitter is a 12 year old boy who a couple of weeks ago watched my two children and his 7 year old sister for a few hours. Nobody died and nothing caught on fire. He didn’t get to this point of being responsible for younger kids by being molly coddled. When I was 9 I stayed home by myself and road my bike in the neighborhood for piano lessons once a week. When I was 10 I stayed home with my younger brother. I cannot believe that CT thinks at age 8 a child can’t be alone in their own backyard. I suppose they would be apoplectic if I told them I played outside in my front yard when I was 7. Big ditch and no fence.
You definitely did not commit a crime (and the statute is overly-broad.) Keep making lots of noise about this, hire a good attorney, and sue the crap out of CPS and the police.
“I was told that at 8 yrs old, a child must be supervised at all times. Even whilst outside in the back yard.”
Besides the fact that (let’s be honest here) nobody actually does this, it’s totally crazy to say it’s desirable, let alone the law of the land. I can’t even imagine how bad it would be for kids to never get out from under the watchful eyes of adults, even for a few minutes in the backyard.
Besides creating dependency, I would think it would also be a recipe for extreme resentment and sneakiness. As an adult, the thought of being watched at all times is horrifying. 8-year-olds aren’t a different species. Even my 4-year-old enjoys his alone time and is obviously the better for it. That’s when his imaginative play really gets going, and after he spends an hour or two playing on his own, the good effects are very obvious – he’s far more balanced and less whiny afterward.
if someone has to be charged then it should be dad because mom got him up at six. his job would be to help tired mom . he didn’t
Of course in the Victorian era her boy would have probably already had three years of work experience under his belt. If he came from coal country he’d be a breaker, if he was by the coast he’d be off sailing on a merchant ship, in a city he’d be sweeping the streets, shining shoes, or selling newspapers and if he committed a crime he could have been imprisoned or even hanged. Somehow we when we (rightly) decided young children shouldn’t be treated as small adults we also decided they were completely incompetent despite generations of evidence to the contrary.
I’m surprised they’re not arresting all of those terrible moms who sleep at night. Constant supervision means you should never, ever sleep, at least until the child is, what, ten, twelve years old? At what age do I get to take a nap?
Maria, please let us know if there is any way this community can help you (money, calls/emails in your support, etc).
I don’t believe that developmentally typical children should be constantly supervised at eight years old. When I was eight, I certainly played in the yard alone, often walked to and from school alone (four blocks away), and I was able to cook simple meals, like frozen waffles or scrambled eggs (pre-vegan). I wasn’t allowed to just go places alone for fun, even just in the neighbourhood, but my parents were on the overprotective side, by 1992-1993 standards. Anyway, the other thing about “developmentally typical” children is, yes, some of it is nature–if a child is born with an intellectual disability, that’s nobody’s fault, but for children who are born completely healthy, but are kept under a level of supervision more suited to a toddler or a preschooler, until the “magic age” when society or the government deems it okay to cut the apron strings (and that age seems to keep rising over the years), then that IS somebody’s fault, because those children aren’t being allowed to develop. Now, Maria Hasankolli has come back to say that she didn’t actually allow her son to walk to school, but she taught him to solve problems for himself…..except, being eight, this time, he tried to solve a problem himself that he maybe shouldn’t have done.
I’m fairly sure that, had the police not intervened, and had the day proceeded as normal, Ms. Hasankolli would have woken up, asked her older son what had happened, he would have told her, and then later that day, she would have sat her younger son down and said, “Lucan, your older brother and I were worried about you when you just took off. It’s not safe for you to walk to school, because [no sidewalks, heavy traffic, whatever]. Next time you miss the bus, please tell someone, even if it means waking them up. We won’t be mad.” Then, if he does it again, it might warrant a typical eight-year-old punishment, like maybe being grounded for a week or so. That’s another thing–is “grounding” still a thing now? It was when I was a kid, but it seems as if this generation of kids is so supervised, that “you can’t go anywhere without an adult” wouldn’t even be a punishment anymore; it’d just be business as usual.
I’m the father of seven children, five of whom are under 8 years old. It’s not physically possible to supervise all of them all of the time, even when my wife and I are both there. Sorry, CFS.
We taught my daughter, when she was about 4, maybe 5, that, when she wakes up early on weekends (she always was an early riser – still is), she is not allowed to wake up anyone else, unless it’s an absolute emergency – otherwise, she should fix herself a breakfast and keep herself busy until we choose to wake up. She managed just fine, to everyone’s benefit. According to these CPS authorities, I’ve been guilty of neglect for all these years (maybe I’m still a criminal – hey, she’s only 10 y.o. right now).
Someone suggested a good lawyer, and I agree. At the same time, I’d suggest that she takes herself down to the nearest ACLU office and enlists their help. Talk about ‘civil liberties’ being walked all over. That CPS, or anyone else, thinks that they can legislate how someone parents is insane.
Heck, I think there should be some sort of national defense fund for these kinds of cases. I’m ready to send a check now.
What I find particularly egregious about this whole situation is the complete lack of sympathy the authorities have for this woman. Even assuming, just for a moment, that it was explicitly against the law for a child to be out of sight of a parent for even a second,
SHE HAD JUST WATCHED A LOVED ONE PASS AWAY!!!
Do the authorities have no compassion for a person in this situation?
This wasn’t a mother who went out bar hopping the night before, crawling into bed at dawn to watch the ceiling spin for the next hour. She didn’t volunteer to pick up triple shifts at work. She didn’t spend all night waiting in line for some Black Friday sale or to buy tickets to the new Star Wars movie.
“Iâ€™m surprised theyâ€™re not arresting all of those terrible moms who sleep at night. Constant supervision means you should never, ever sleep, at least until the child is, what, ten, twelve years old? At what age do I get to take a nap?”
Don’t forget going to the bathroom and showering=NOT SUPERVISING YOUR CHILD.
Perhaps Connecticut can pass a “Lucan’s Law” that removes all bathroom doors from homes as this privacy to poop means danger to your child. Sleeping, toileting, and showering endanger so many lives every day with the lack of supervision by parents. If you showered or pooped this morning with your child at home, you probably committed a felony in Connecticut.
If you let your kid have access to the bathroom while you are in the shower, bath or on the toilet, you will end up on the sex offender registry for life.
“I donâ€™t believe that developmentally typical children should be constantly supervised at eight years old.”
I think you might not all be using the word “supervise” the same way. If your interpretation of “supervising” is “watching directly, micromanaging decisions, constantly telling the supervisee what to do”, you’ll have a different idea of how much “supervision” children need from someone whose idea of “supervision” is “checking for major errors in decision-making, and always being available to answer questions and deal with problems”. The notion of children being constantly “supervised” won’t horrify you. I think.
First off, my condolences on your loss. No one deserves to have this crap piled on the grief you must have been feeling that morning for your Aunt.
Second, how is it that the authorities deemed this women (who was asleep) solely responsible for her youngest son. It seems that there were at least two other adults present, at least one of which was awake and in the house when the boy decided to walk to school.
Now don’t get me wrong I don’t think the older brother should be arrested either, far from it. But I do see the unrealistic burdens of care more heavily laid at the feet of mothers.
“how is it that the authorities deemed this women (who was asleep) solely responsible for her youngest son.”
The brother is not responsible because he is not legally responsible for his siblings, the parents are. Dad gets a pass because he’s (I assume) at work. If mom was the working spouse and dad the stay-at-home, he’d be the one with explaining to do.
I hope your story gets heard by a judge. Every one in the process has an alterior motive. Be strong and you will prevail. Don’t compromise the truth and your rights which are being greatly, and wrongly impinged upon.
Now donâ€™t get me wrong I donâ€™t think the older brother should be arrested either, far from it. But I do see the unrealistic burdens of care more heavily laid at the feet of mothers.
This. This right here.
Not to mention the “Everyone must parent as I think they should parent, and everyone who doesn’t parent as I think they should must be arrested, and if something went wrong then a crime has definitely been committed!” kind of thinking.
And think of the poor kid! He does his best to solve a problem and his Mom gets arrested! There is nothing but stupid in the State’s response and the stupid burns!
The absurdity that 8 year olds must be supervised at all times means that either parents are not allowed to sleep or they must hire someone to watch their children in bed every night until they’re 12 (or whatever age They think is appropriate.)
>>â€œI donâ€™t believe that developmentally typical children should be constantly supervised at eight years old.â€
I think you might not all be using the word â€œsuperviseâ€ the same way. If your interpretation of â€œsupervisingâ€ is â€œwatching directly, micromanaging decisions, constantly telling the supervisee what to doâ€, youâ€™ll have a different idea of how much â€œsupervisionâ€ children need from someone whose idea of â€œsupervisionâ€ is â€œchecking for major errors in decision-making, and always being available to answer questions and deal with problemsâ€. The notion of children being constantly â€œsupervisedâ€ wonâ€™t horrify you. I think.<<
James, you're right, but there have been so many stories on here about people going ballistic over seeing a child playing outside, walking to school, staying home alone or waiting in a car for a short period of time, that they interfere even if the child doesn't appear distressed, has permission to do what they're doing, and might even have a cell phone with them, so they can reach their adult if need be. For a lot of people, when they say "children must be constantly supervised," they do actually mean that the adult should be right there. I think it's perfectly fine to send an eight-year-old to the nearby park on a Saturday morning (assuming there is a nearby park), with a "be home for lunch at 1 p.m." edict, or drop a pair of twelve-year-olds off at a movie theatre, with instructions to meet you outside when the movie is over, or whatever, as most people here do, but as we've seen, these kinds of actions have gotten people in trouble with the law.
I hope she fights it and gets attorneys like the one the Meitiv family had a few months ago when they had to fight the state of MD. These states and CPS agencies are insane! Good luck to her.
“at 8 yrs old, a child must be supervised at all times. Even whilst outside in the back yard.” Says who? (I don’t mean that rhetorically Like, is it a law? A guideline issued by someone? Just something the cop made up on the spur of the moment?)
When DCF came to my home the following day and I conveyed this information, I was told that at 8 yrs old, a child must be supervised at all times. Even whilst outside in the back yard.
James Pollock December 4, 2015 at 11:58 am #
I think you might not all be using the word â€œsuperviseâ€ the same way.
They appear to be using the same definition that the Conn. DCF is using.
@Warren: If i am legally required to allow my child access to the bathroom while I am on the toilet or in the shower I WILL NOT REGISTER AS A SEX OFFENDER.
“â€œat 8 yrs old, a child must be supervised at all times. Even whilst outside in the back yard.â€ Says who? (I donâ€™t mean that rhetorically Like, is it a law? A guideline issued by someone? Just something the cop made up on the spur of the moment?)”
Hard to say. It isn’t part of the statute she was charged under (the only ages in the statute are 16 and 13, and one of those is in a part of the statute that clearly doesn’t apply.)
Oops, I let my four-year-old out in the backyard by herself sometimes. Please no one call CPS!! FFS.
Whomever told her an 8-year-old must be watched at all times does not understand CT law. The law in CT is that it is up to a parent when they think a child can be left home alone- meaning they are no longer under constant surveillance. This is something she should bring up in court, because her arrest flouts that law completely, as does the police explanation for her arrest.
No Marie, you did NOT commit a crime. Based on the circumstances, I would be very surprised if a competent judge did not throw this out. Please keep us informed on this case Lenore.
@James Pollock: “I think you might not all be using the word ‘supervise’ the same way. If your interpretation of â€œsupervisingâ€ is ‘watching directly, micromanaging decisions, constantly telling the supervisee what to do’, youâ€™ll have a different idea of how much ‘supervision’ children need from someone whose idea of ‘supervision’ is ‘checking for major errors in decision-making, and always being available to answer questions and deal with problems’. The notion of children being constantly ‘supervised’ wonâ€™t horrify you. I think.”
Based on what Maria has shared, she is always “available to answer questions and deal with problems.” Her eight-year-old chose not to wake her up and seek her advice about this particular problem, most likely because he thought it would be cool to walk to school.
It seems pretty obvious that the DCF worker who told Maria “…that at 8 yrs old, a child must be supervised at all times. Even whilst outside in the back yard” defines supervision more in the former way that you described than in the latter way. And this blog largely deals with parents who define supervision in the latter way, and find themselves brought up on charges by authorities who define it in the former way.
My heart goes out to you, Maria. My best hopes and prayers are with you.
Take the positive outcome of the craziness that disrupted the lives of the Meitland faimily in Silver Springs, Maryland, as your beacon of hope. You too shall prevail!
“Based on what Maria has shared, she is always ‘available to answer questions and deal with problems.’â€ I’m sure she tries to be, and wants to be, but there’s also the other half.
There was a breakdown in THIS particular case. The child made a bad decision that wasn’t detected. (Hardly the first or only time this has happened in America.)
“It seems pretty obvious that the DCF worker who told Maria â€œâ€¦that at 8 yrs old, a child must be supervised at all times. Even whilst outside in the back yardâ€ defines supervision more in the former way that you described than in the latter way.”
Pretty obvious if that’s what you already thought. Try imagining that the worker was at the other end of the spectrum, instead.
At 6 and 7 and 8, I walked to and from the bus stop and home nearly every day for school . . . Some days I walked and some days I ran down a hill . . . my mom thinks maybe I learned to ride the bike in 3rd grade when I would have been 8, but I thought it may have been when I was in 4th grade when I was 9 . . .
how old was I when I played in the back yard with friends, often some type of frisbee tag or digging in some dirt or something similar?
not sure, but I think that I did some things, inside or outside of the house, while not supervised, alone or with friends, from ages 6 to 8 . . . but I don’t remember . . .
Maria – You should not have been arrested. The lack of compassion by police is what is missing. So much more could have been achieved by the police in terms of building community rather than breaking it down. They could have followed through on the citizen’s concern for the child and realized the boy was headed to where he was supposed to be. They could have heard what you had to say and had some empathy for the loss of a family member and supported you by letting you know your son was safely at school. What a tremendous waste of resources on the actions that actually occurred. As others have said already, please let us know how we can support you as your case works its way through this broken system.
Here we have a Mom who sat up with a dying family member. What a lesson for all her kids of caring for the family, the entire family. In her book THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, Sister Joan Chittester writes about the commandment, “Honor thy father and thy mother” as an exhortation to respect the entire older generation, not only our immediate family. They are our sages, the wise ones who went before, those who once cared for and taught us.
When native peoples talk about 7 generations, they mean that I am number four, looking back at the three I have known, and forward to the three I will come to know.
Our laws are made in a vacuum, and do not reflect the way real people live in a living reality. Too bad.
James, I presume you are a lawyer, since you like so much playing with words…
Maria, I am with you! Stay strong and brave!
What makes “going to school”, by hook or by crook!, a “bad decision”?
Cut the kid some slack for determination, resourcefulness, and “goal oriented behavior”.
What’s more, he got a ride for half the journey.
@James Pollock: “Pretty obvious if thatâ€™s what you already thought. Try imagining that the worker was at the other end of the spectrum, instead.”
If the worker was at the other end of the spectrum, then DFC would now be encouraging the legal authorities to apologize to Maria. It seems pretty clear that this particular worker defines “supervision” not as just providing guidance and being available, but as being right there to make sure he got on the bus.
Thank you all again for your support. It really means more to me than I can convey; like a warm blanket when one is cold.
I need all the help I can get: financial, moral, and verbal. I’d like to be as loud as possible, not only for myself, but also for all that could fall in my defeat; if I’m convicted, then any family could fall victim to our system. What a shame that would be.
My husband is currently in the process of cashing in his 401 and Christmas is on hold till a later date. He works as an electrician and I stay at home to be available for the millions of obligations that come with wearing all the hats a mom has to wear. Financial help from anyone willing would be so greatly appreciated.
With tears falling, I thank you all in advance.
“James, I presume you are a lawyer”
Trolls should stay under bridges, not be fed via comments. When fed, they tend to stick around, spreading all sorts of nasty virulent diseases. Like leprosy, and septicemic plague.
“If the worker was at the other end of the spectrum, then DFC would now be encouraging the legal authorities to apologize to Maria.”
Even if that were true, how do you know they are not?
“It seems pretty clear that this particular worker defines â€œsupervisionâ€ not as just providing guidance and being available, but as being right there to make sure he got on the bus.”
If that were true, then wouldn’t there be a wave of cases, as parents of every child who missed a school bus was prosecuted for failing to supervise their kid(s)?
James is not an attorney. He claims to have passed the bar, but decided not to go into law. Go figure. We have one attorney that comments in here, Donna, who has put him in his place time and again. So I highly doubt he even made it out of law school.
What he is, is what we call a s–t disturber. He never tries to add to a debate, he just likes to argue for the sake of trying to make himself feel better, about himself.
Doug is spot on. Stop feeding the troll people!! James Pollock is baiting you and you are giving him exactly what he wants, the more you respond to him the more he enjoys it. I understand how hard it is to resist correcting stupid people but you can not fix them, they just drag you down to their level. The thing that internet trolls hate the most is being ignored, so just ignore him.
No crime committed. That’s pretty obvious. Authorities are sheepling excuses. Some people just enjoy pointing fingers, and imposing their “moral high ground” on others. “This is what I believe, and because I have authority, you have to do what I believe”.
I can’t find any laws in Connecticut that says an 8 year old child cannot walk to school on their own. If anything, it’s a generalization/blanket law. Like saying, “if a child is under 10 they must be supervised”. Supervised about what? Going to the washroom (home or outside)? Getting dressed? Eating? Sleeping? Walking to the backyard? Walking up the stairs? There are different levels of risk, and not all require an adult to be present to take them. Just takes knowledge and know how. By the age of 6 many kids are knowledgeable, and now quite a bit, and continue to learn and experience. Only certain adults hinder them from this natural learning process. Basically, many adults are going against what nature has intended for our species from the time we are born.
“James Pollock is baiting you and you are giving him exactly what he wants, the more you respond to him the more he enjoys it. I understand how hard it is to resist correcting stupid people but you can not fix them, they just drag you down to their level. The thing that internet trolls hate the most is being ignored, so just ignore him.”
That must be why I keep saying, “If you don’t like what I have to say, don’t read it.”
If encountering people who have opinions that differ from your own gets you this worked up, perhaps the Internet is not for you.
@James Pollock: “‘It seems pretty clear that this particular worker defines ‘supervision’ not as just providing guidance and being available, but as being right there to make sure he got on the bus.’
“If that were true, then wouldnâ€™t there be a wave of cases, as parents of every child who missed a school bus was prosecuted for failing to supervise their kid(s)?”
The majority don’t come to the attention of the authorities because truant officers don’t even get involved unless there are repeat absences. Most children who missed the bus would go back home and either be driven by a family member, or, if that wasn’t possible, miss a day of school while the parent called the school office to explain the absence and made it a point to keep it from being a repeat occurrence.
In Maria’s case, the only kind of supervision absent in this situation was the overbearing kind you described earlier, where the parent is constantly micromanaging the child and the child never has a moment alone. There were two adults in the house whom the child could have spoken to once he realized he’d missed his bus; he simply decided that he wanted to try out walking on his own.
I honestly don’t see how you can believe the DCF worker might have had a different definition of “supervision” when telling Maria “that at 8 yrs old, a child must be supervised at all times. Even whilst outside in the back yard.” This child HAD the latter, more reasonable version of supervision that you mentioned, in the form of adults who were available to provide help and guidance. Yet DCF is still going after this mother.
Maybe you really are just arguing for the sake of being contrary.
“When DCF came to my home the following day and I conveyed this information, I was told that at 8 yrs old, a child must be supervised at all times.”
In my state, DFCS’ own policies say that an 8 year old child can be left home alone for short periods of time. This summer the police were called when my 9 year old was walking to camp by herself. The police told me there was nothing legally wrong with this (and then proceeded to give me many reasons why I should not let her do this any more). I mentioned it to DFCS workers, attorneys and the JUDGE the next time I was in juvenile court and they all too said that there was nothing wrong with it as long as she is at least 8.
Either 8 year olds in general (understanding that there may be reasons that individual 8 year olds are not as capable) are capable of being unsupervised for periods of time and walking places or they are not. Kids living in one state are not smarter and more mature than kids living in another.
Hang in there, Maria! We’re all rooting for you! You’re so right that what happens here sets a precedent for families everywhere!
“Maybe you really are just arguing for the sake of being contrary.”
Just now figuring that out?
Maria, when you figure out the best way to donate, let us know.
In the meantime, as someone else advised, contact your local ACLU at https://www.aclu.org/affiliate/connecticut, ask if they can help with a lawyer etc.
I’ve been paying ACLU membership dues for years – I would like to think, that they are an organization to help in situations like this one…
“In Mariaâ€™s case, the only kind of supervision absent in this situation was the overbearing kind you described earlier, where the parent is constantly micromanaging the child and the child never has a moment alone. There were two adults in the house whom the child could have spoken to once he realized heâ€™d missed his bus; he simply decided that he wanted to try out walking on his own.”
The other kind of supervision I mentioned is “â€˜checking for major errors in decision-making, and always being available to answer questions and deal with problemsâ€™. There was a major error in decision-making, and it wasn’t checked… specifically “I wouldnâ€™t allow him to walk North Plains Industrial Road because I too, believe it is too dangerous” but walking North Plains Industrial Road is what he was doing.
IF the roadway is that dangerous, THEN his being there is a failure of supervision of BOTH ends of the scale. Had he chosen a safe route, entirely on his own, without parental input, it wouldn’t have been… children walk to school, alone and in groups, without attracting the attention of authorities, so it CANNOT be the case that the authorities consider the act of walking to school to be unlawful lack of supervision. But in THIS case, he DID choose a dangerous route, and THAT’S why the authorities are involved.
Now, as was pointed out way, way back, it seems much more appropriate that the authorities would have A) collected the child from the dangerous location and delivered him to school (which they did) and B) notified the parents to ensure that it didn’t happen again. (which may or may not have been what they intended to do, but isn’t how it played out.)
Over-aggressive, over-zealous, aggressive authorities MAY be one of the reasons why that didn’t happen. But these authorities having access to information that you and I don’t have is ALSO a possibility.
“I honestly donâ€™t see how you can believe the DCF worker might have had a different definition of â€œsupervisionâ€ … This child HAD the latter, more reasonable version of supervision that you mentioned, in the form of adults who were available to provide help and guidance.”
You keep truncating the definition I offered, which is NOT just “being available” but also “checking major failures of decision-making”
Let me illustrate the difference with a highly-likely and allegedly humorous illustration.
Suppose young Lucan, instead of setting out walking down a dangerous street, grabbed mom’s car keys and tried to drive himself to school. Would that be an acceptable solution? He’s showing the same independent spirit, the same motivation to correct his mistake in missing the bus without involving anyone else. But it’s a bad decision, of the kind that parents should keep children from making. It’s OK to let children make mistakes… it’s inevitable, even… but they should be the kind of mistakes that don’t have serious consequences..
OMG. I should just turn myself in. My kids, 21, 19 and 18 would have been PRAISED for doing this. The were fully latch-key since the youngest was in 4th grade, with occasional college kid babysitters to drive them to activities. I once forgot about my son’s soccer practice – he was probably in 4th grade – I sent him to the field by cab – I was still at work. The youngest is a soccer player. I send her off to tournaments with her team and minimal adult supervision. She deals with the hotels and the credit cards and has since the hotels have been allowing her to. All have had ATM cards and checking accounts since middle school. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS COUNTRY? Maria – I guess it’s good news that Child Protective Services and the police in your community have NOTHING else to do that they needed to harass you like that. Not to get political here, but I consider myself a pretty liberal, left-leaning person, but when did we abandon all modicum of common sense??????
DCF in my area has been put in charge of immigrants. They recently met with the Baptist Association to discuss how the two organizations were going to integrate the Syrian refugees on route to our communities. They did this for gross amounts of government funding per refugee head. This is not the same DCF/CPS which began in 1912 as the federal Children’s Bureau. It has since grown into a progressive nightmare with omnipotent tentacles reaching into ever increasing venues of our daily lives, like vice grips.
If we really care about the welfare of children, how does separating children from loving, caring parents contribute to their well-being?
There are two extremes I see get pointed out. One is the rabid attachment to restoring “blood ties” in families where a child has been abused nearly to death, and keeps getting sent back to live with their abusive progenitors (and, in some cases, have ended up dead).
Then we have kids removed from homes where the kid is perfectly happy and healthy and the only complaint anyone can come up with is “but the child might come to harm if the parent allows them to x, y, z.”
In between, I would hope there would be an ocean of sanity, but instead, it is an ocean of judgement and fragmented communities where parents, mothers especially, are so insecure about their worth and value that they mercilessly criticize both themselves and each other over every imaginable detail of “parenting.”
Here’s the thing: labelling something “neglect” or “abuse” does nothing for children. What helps is if you create community and trust so that one person’s “failings” don’t end up being the death of the child. It doesn’t seem like there’s any focus as all on children and their long-term thriving, just a rabid drive to judge and persecute parents.
I can barely stand it anymore. This is part of the symptom of the decline of society… if we were more interdependent, there would be more joy and care for everyone, but instead, it’s “every family for themselves” and as soon as someone senses a flaw or something “not the way it SHOULD be done,” we have investigations and court cases. Crazy. Harmful. Stop it.
Lenore, Can you print the prosecutor’s contact information so we can flood their office with letters, calls, etc.? This is ridiculous and I doubt very much they actually have a law on the books that states what they’re claiming it states.
“This is ridiculous and I doubt very much they actually have a law on the books that states what theyâ€™re claiming it states.”
They absolutely have a law that the was charged under, and already had her first court appearance.
Here’s what it says:
Sec. 53-21. Injury or risk of injury to, or impairing morals of, children. Sale of children.
(a) Any person who
(1) wilfully or unlawfully causes or permits any child under the age of sixteen years to be placed in such a situation that the life or limb of such child is endangered, the health of such child is likely to be injured or the morals of such child are likely to be impaired, or does any act likely to impair the health or morals of any such child […] shall be guilty of a class C felony.
“If we really care about the welfare of children, how does separating children from loving, caring parents contribute to their well-being?”
What you’re saying makes perfect sense. However that’s the problem. We live in a world where the bureaucratic system has gotten so thick that common sense no longer applies.
“The brother is not responsible because he is not legally responsible for his siblings, the parents are.”
Brother is legally responsible if he assumed the responsibility of taking care of his brother, just like any other caregiver that is not the parent. Mom may also be responsible if older brother is a poor choice as a babysitter, but that doesn’t relieve brother’s responsibility.
“If your interpretation of â€œsupervisingâ€ is â€œwatching directly, micromanaging decisions, constantly telling the supervisee what to doâ€, youâ€™ll have a different idea of how much â€œsupervisionâ€ children need from someone whose idea of â€œsupervisionâ€ is â€œchecking for major errors in decision-making, and always being available to answer questions and deal with problemsâ€.”
Except that those things are nothing more than two different ways of saying the exact same thing.
Since humans have not mastered the fine art of mind reading, “checking for major errors in decision-making: requires micromanaging decisions, especially if you are required to do so to the standard that dictates that children are not allowed to have errors in decision-making or you are criminally liable.
Always being available to answer questions and deal with problems requires watching constantly or at least being extremely close by. I cannot answer questions that I cannot hear because my child is out of hearing range. If I can’t identify a problem, I can’t deal with it and there are many problems that I can’t deal with if I can’t put my hands on them, even if told to me from afar.
Speaking of just arguing for the sake of being contrary…
Aye yi yi… That poor boy was just trying to be considerate and let his mother sleep after a death in the family, and he instead has potentially ruined her life. Or at least, cut her out of the rest of his childhood with that 10-year imprisonment sentence.
What would have happened if he’d been naughty and just played hookie? Would the family still have been torn apart by rabid nutjobs?
Out of curiosity, why didn’t the other four school-age siblings take him on the bus with them? Are the other four in highschool and the highschool is kept separately from the middle school? ‘Cause my school had all three joined together by a walkway, but I’ve heard most schools are scattered across several miles.
Kindly keep us posted some more on this. If I was a bird, I’d look like I’d walked backwards through a windstorm, my feathers are so ruffled! Just wish I could do something to help.
OK – let me get this right…she is being charged under *this*?
“Sec. 53-21. Injury or risk of injury to, or impairing morals of, children. Sale of children.
(a) Any person who
(1) wilfully or unlawfully causes or permits any child under the age of sixteen years to be placed in such a situation that the life or limb of such child is endangered, the health of such child is likely to be injured or the morals of such child are likely to be impaired, or does any act likely to impair the health or morals of any such child [â€¦] shall be guilty of a class C felony.”
So, I *have* to ask – what defines “life or limb of such a child is endangered”. Can they get the statistics on rate of injury of pedestrians on that particular “dangerous” street? I’d place good money the injury risks are *below* that of strapping your kid in to the car and driving him somewhere. In fact, since the state is looking to jail this particular child’s mother for up to 10 years, they are flat out *stating* they are going to violate this statue – since either a) he will be put into foster care, which has a fairly high, and *recognized* rate of injury and even death to foster children *and* I’d say that taking a 8-year old’s mother away for 10 years is certainly going to injure his *mental* health as he’ll likely be blaming himself for the next decade.
So, from what I can see, not only is the *state* allowed to violate the law, but the law itself does not define the term “endangered”. It would suggest that pre-16, they can’t: cross a street, play football, dive, ride bikes, learn to cook, mow lawns…or do anything other than standing perfectly still in a reinforced bunker. *ANY* activity carries with it a risk – sometimes non-negligible, sometimes negligible, of death or injury. In fact, if you compile this year’s shooting stats, I’d bet just being in a public place has a statistically significant risk of death attached, compared to some of the things parents worry about.
Any good lawyer should be able to get the stats, and show that in fact, having the child walk, was the *safest* option (versus going by bus or by car) and that *if* the state punishes the mother, they, will in turn actually be putting the child in *more* danger than by *not* charging her.
So far Canada (with some exceptions) is still fairly immune to this…I *hope* we stay that way…..I have no patience for the refusal to accurately assess risks.
The lesson here is that government employees know better than anybody else how to care for children. Official authority is all you need.
Government mandated helicopter parenting. No wonder We have Ivy League students from this very same state whining about safe spaces.
Giving this information and in particular “He waited until his [21-year-old] brother turned his back.” I’m having a hard time understanding why they think he wasn’t properly supervised. Is a 21 year old not seen by the authorities here to be responsible enough to supervise an 8 year old? I really hope these charges are dropped because the case against Maria is really ridiculous.
I’m going to need $1500 by January 6, 2016. There were a few people on here that said this community blog would help. I’m calling on that help with a very humbled heart. Panic and fear has consumed our home and our minds, but if we could get some help with the financial aspect, I would be forever grateful.
In the hopes that some of you choose to help, this is a pay pal link I created years ago in my maiden name. I thank you all for your emotional support abd I thank this’d in advance who choose to help financially. Sincerely, my entire family.
Hi Maria. Things are tight right now, but hopefully I will get a check for expenses this Monday, and if so I will contribute. Let me suggest that you periodically post here (regardless of the thread, or possibly through Lenore) about how much you’ve collected and what kind of progress you’ve made with your fund.
“Most children who missed the bus would go back home and either be driven by a family member, or, if that wasnâ€™t possible, miss a day of school while the parent called the school office to explain the absence and made it a point to keep it from being a repeat occurrence.”
Where did you come up with this information??
When my girls were 11 and 8 we moved from TX to WA and had bus service for the first time ever. I had a job at the time working early mornings, so I bought them an alarm clock and from the very first day it was their responsibility to get themselves up and to the bus stop on time. I told them from the start that if they missed the bus they would have to walk to school, and I suggested that they run so they wouldn’t be late!
They’re 14 and 11 now and I’m home in the mornings now but getting themselves to school on time is still their responsibility. In the three years that they’ve been taking the bus one of them has had to walk ONE time after getting to the bus stop too late. That’s all it’s taken for them to know that I’m serious about it being their job.
Surely I’m not in the minority here? Surely parents wouldn’t just let their kid miss a day of school just because they were late to the bus stop?
â€œ’Most children who missed the bus would go back home and either be driven by a family member, or, if that wasnâ€™t possible, miss a day of school while the parent called the school office to explain the absence and made it a point to keep it from being a repeat occurrence.’
“Surely Iâ€™m not in the minority here? Surely parents wouldnâ€™t just let their kid miss a day of school just because they were late to the bus stop?”
I was talking about a situation where the parent felt the route to school was unsafe. For example, Maria herself has said that she wouldn’t have let her son walk along that road. I live in a school district where not everyone has a car. In my district, if the child misses the bus and the parent doesn’t feel like sending the child on the city bus is a good idea, and the parent also doesn’t have access to a car or have anyone who can drive the child, the child stays home and the parent explains to the school what happened.
“I bought them an alarm clock and from the very first day it was their responsibility to get themselves up and to the bus stop on time. I told them from the start that if they missed the bus they would have to walk to school, and I suggested that they run so they wouldnâ€™t be late!”
So, if the route to the school was dangerous, you’d have willfully put your children in danger. (I note that there’s nothing in your comment about you scouting the route they’d have to take beforehand, to make sure it was safe.)
“So, if the route to the school was dangerous, youâ€™d have willfully put your children in danger. (I note that thereâ€™s nothing in your comment about you scouting the route theyâ€™d have to take beforehand, to make sure it was safe.)”
She also said nothing about the route being dangerous.
“She also said nothing about the route being dangerous.”
Do you know what “if” means?
Where we are kids are over 20 miles from the elementary and high schools. Walking is just not an option.
If kids are so unable to anything, why won’t America ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child? Oh, wait, yes…. because it forbids both the death penalty and life imprisonment for children. So an 8 year old can’t walk to school, but can be imprisoned for life or sentenced to death. Does something smell funny?
“Does something smell funny?”
Well, no. Because children are eligible for neither capital punishment NOR life imprisonment in the United States.
Children cannot be sentenced to death, but they absolutely can be sentenced to life in prison. Minors cannot face a MANDATORY sentence of life without the possibility of parole, but life is perfectly fine and life without parole is possible as long as it is not a mandatory sentence – the judge has to find that life without parole is a suitable sentence for this child under the circumstances.
“Minors cannot face a MANDATORY sentence of life without the possibility of parole, but life is perfectly fine and life without parole is possible as long as it is not a mandatory sentence â€“ the judge has to find that life without parole is a suitable sentence for this child under the circumstances.”
I didn’t say “minors”, I said “children”, Donna. Want to try again?
No, I don’t need to try again. First, “child” and “minor” do not have different meanings within the law. Second, any person who has reached the age of criminal responsibility (most commonly 7, but as young as 6) can be sentenced to mandatory life and potentially life without parole if charged in adult court.
“No, I donâ€™t need to try again. First, â€œchildâ€ and â€œminorâ€ do not have different meanings within the law. Second, any person who has reached the age of criminal responsibility (most commonly 7, but as young as 6) can be sentenced to mandatory life and potentially life without parole if charged in adult court.”
These people, amongst many others, disagree with you.
“child, n. 1) a person’s natural offspring. 2) a person 14 years and under. A “child” should be distinguished from a “minor” who is anyone under 18 in almost all states.”
Black’s online is much wordier, and for some reason doesn’t touch on this issue, but suggests in negligence context that children are human beings, pre-puberty.
Black’s online is similarly missing an application to criminal law in its definition of “adult”. However, it absolutely does not correspond with “minority” or “majority”
In the civil law. A male infant who has attained the age of fourteen ; a female infant who has attained the age of twelve. Dom. Liv. Prel. tit. 2,
But, much simpler than that… Premises: Adults are not children and children are not adults. Juvenile courts cannot assign life sentences. Argument: if the first thing you have to do if you want to give a defendant a life sentence is to get their case out of juvenile court and into adult court, then the defendant is by definition an adult. If the defendant is by definition an adult, then the defendant is not a child. Children cannot be given a life sentence. QED.
Great article, I’ve read though not fully understand, but I see there is sympathy somewhere, I also have a job and I also need to take care of my children, we need oh, I think I should do both, so we have
Miles from Tomorrowland
Shimmer and Shine Lights
“a person 14 years and under. A ‘child’ should be distinguished from a ‘minor’ who is anyone under 18 in almost all states.'”
Even by your definition, a person between the ages of 7 and 14 is still a child and yet still eligible for a life sentence if s/he commits certain crimes. In fact, a life sentence may be mandatory if s/he commits certain crimes (although not life without parole).
That said, that is also not the definition of child used by legislatures. The juvenile code – both dependency and delinquency – often uses the term “child” to refer to people up to the age of 18. The term “minor” almost never appears in the dependency statutes, “child” being the preferred term, despite the fact that it addresses people up to age 18. “Juvenile” is the more common term in the delinquency statutes, but a person can be defined as “a CHILD in need of services” up until age 17 (the age where juvenile court jurisdiction ends) in my state.
“If the first thing you have to do if you want to give a defendant a life sentence is to get their case out of juvenile court and into adult court, then the defendant is by definition an adult.”
There is no such thing as “adult court.” There is Juvenile Court, Superior Court (Supreme in NY) and various higher and lower courts that are irrelevant for this discussion. While, Superior Court does generally prosecute adults and juvenile/family court does generally prosecute children, the roles are not exclusive. Many states give Superior Court exclusive jurisdiction over certain crimes, regardless of the age of the defendant. Some jurisdictions allow mentally challenged adults to be prosecuted in Juvenile Court. In neither case, does the defendant shift magically between adult to child based on the court in which his case is pending.
Nor does the legislature consider juveniles charged in Superior Court as being anything other than children. That is why certain things apply to them that do not apply to other defendants. They are housed in juvenile facilities, not jails and prisons. They must remain separate from the adult inmates being held at the courthouse for court. They cannot be transported with adults, even if coming from he same place. A facility housing them must provide them an education and they are not allowed to choose not to attend until the reach the legal age to withdraw from school. They often appear in closed courtrooms, not open. They often cannot be pictured in the press.
“any person who has reached the age of criminal responsibility (most commonly 7, but as young as 6) can be sentenced to mandatory life and potentially life without parole if charged in adult court.”
–Donna, December 7.
“There is no such thing as ‘adult court.’â€
–Donna, December 8
Donna, why not solve this the easy way.
Just provide the name of a child sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Thank you for your moving letter, Ms. Hasakolli. I am sorry that the state has turned a death in the family into a public, legal ordeal for you. You are handling it with grace and confidence, something Lucan apparently learned from you. All the best to you all, and condolences on the death of your aunt. You seem to be a good niece as well as a good mother.
Go back to supervising the way all IT Administrators do in their roll of big brother…..watching and controlling it all!
Actually, the big brother is the responsible party here even if he is not the parent. While the Captain of a ship, USN reference in case you don’t get that, is ultimately responsible for the crew’s actions, the Officer of the Deck is a direct line to the Captain and responsible for the crew’s actions when the Captain is not on the deck. Now, of course no one want the mother or the big brother in trouble for the actions of the little brother who has watched his five older siblings and learned from them.
This situation is a case of a prosecutor making a name for themselves in hopes of a big political career at the expense of the people they work for. The prosecutor is acting like an 8 year old who got away from the DA and can do what they want without an adult supervision.
@Rest of you who want to contact the DA
Wallingford, CT is in the New Haven Judicial District, so contact their office here:
New Haven Judicial District
Michael Dearington, State’s Attorney
235 Church Street New Haven, CT 06510
Geographical Area No. 7
54 West Main Street Meriden, CT 06451
Cheshire, Hamden, Meriden, North Haven, Wallingford
Oy vey, thank you so much for the information on how to contact the district attorney! I’ve just sent off letters in support of Maria to both the addresses you listed. Here’s to hoping that the realization that the world is watching will motivate them to drop these crazy charges!
I just wrote about 30 fkn paragraphs! A real deathly important piece of info…. I spent the last FIVE 1/2 HOURS typing it, and just as I was about to “post” it on this blog, my fkn BATTERY DIED!!!! When I was able to get my phone charged again, I found that every last WORD I so painstakingly typed had gone up in instant electronic SMOKE!!!!! So now, …. screw it!… I’m off to McDonalds for coffee, soda, and breakfast sandwiches! All that passionate work just to have it “disintegrated!”