Ohio CPS Wants to Snatch Kid Away from Family that Has Taught Her Self-Sufficiency

Strangers with government jobs know better!


If you aren't frightened by this picture, you're a terrible parent.
Credit: Howard Sayer,

In early March, an Ohio father wrote to parenting site Free-Range Kids to describe the harassment he had received from police for teaching his 6-year-old daughter how navigate their quiet suburban neighborhood and then having the temerity to decide on his own when she may do so unsupervised. After letting her walk to a nearby store, he discovered when she failed to return that the police had taken her:

Once I got to the police station they would not release her to me for over 20 minutes, though she was sitting behind bullet-proof glass just 20 feet away.  When the police finally came to talk to me, I was told that they had responded to a call of a young child being unsupervised.  They refused to identify a reasonable cause for her detention, or even what law had been broken.  They insisted that they were waiting for CPS to respond before they would let me see my daughter, but then they later came back and said that they were releasing me to her because CPS had told them to give her to me, since I was waiting for her.  

That sounds like resolution of sorts, right? Child Protective Services told the police to give her back to her parent. But the story took a turn for the worse, detailed again on Free-Range Kids today:

"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.)

They were again reported to CPS, even though police say they haven't broken any laws. Later he deals with CPS directly:

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.

CPS has responded by filing a complaint alleging neglect and attempting to take the child into protective custody. They are also attempting to try to force the family to allow CPS officials into their home, search the house and interview their children.

Free-Range Kids is asking for pro bono legal help in Ohio to assist the family.

Our Reason TV interview with Free-Range Kids founder Lenore Skenazy is here.

(Hat tip to Popehat)

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  1. Mother. Fuckers.

    1. This is why we need to bring back tar and feathers.

      1. This is why we need to bring back breaking on the wheel.

        1. Gibbets. For the sport of crows.

          1. Dance, puppets!

  2. RAGE.

  3. As someone who has had way too much involvement with CPS, they are modern day equivalents of witch-finders.

    Literally, their findings almost entirely depend on whether or not they like you. The people who conduct the investigations are often the sort of people who find education degrees to be too difficult or onerous and so have gone into social work.

    And the deference judges give them is utterly nauseating.

    I am so grateful that I’ve never been in their cross-hairs.

    1. The people who conduct the investigations are often the sort of people who find education degrees to be too difficult or onerous and so have gone into social work.

      Probably true. When I think of what kind of person would choose to be a CPS worker, I’m reminded of my nosy, opinionated, high school guidance counsellor. An obese woman who felt it was her business to keep tabs on the mental state of every student. Then I’m reminded of a former supervisor who was a talented gossip artist. She derived her position mainly by collecting and spreading rumors.

      There’s a certain type of personality that dates back centuries. The busy-body lady who is constantly peering over the fence to find out what everyone else is up to, making it her business to manage the affairs of other people’s families, and using gossip to revenge herself on those who oppose her. At one time, this lady would have belonged to the church club. These days, she’s a social worker.

      1. Oh it can be both.

        1. back up a sec…
          I thought people who seek education degrees were the ones who found real study too difficult and onerous. Are we really saying that these are lazier/surlier than those?

          Consider my world rocked!

          1. Talk to a CPS investigator some day. I’ve talked to several. Utterly unimpressive, stunningly credulous people.

            They sincerely believed they were doing good. I’ll give them that.

            1. Do you know who else sincerely believed they were doing good?

              1. Peter Griffin?

              2. Menudo.

          2. It’s kind of like how people who crave power tend to become police officers.
            Being a CPS worker gives you an extraordinary ability to push people around and exert your authority.

            1. Except with not even the slightest danger of taking a bullet or getting stabbed.

              Because you kidnap children for a living.

              1. Except with not even the slightest danger of taking a bullet or getting stabbed.

                We had to deal with CPS once, ironically mere weeks after we had put our youngest child into a licensed daycare. She had fallen and chipped her tooth on a piece of playground equipment, along with the most amazing fat lip.

                The came to the door, asked to come in simultaneous to trying to step in the door. I told them to get off my property, and that I would be happy to come out to hear what they wanted. They asked about the lip. “Ask the daycare.” They came back with a cop. Same question. “Ask the daycare.”

                The cop did, and told CPS to get lost if they didn’t have anything else.

      2. Hazel, having failed to use the term “Miss Grundy”, you are hereby found guilty of insufficiently promoting the ideas of RAH, and your punishment is this note demanding that you change your name.

        1. “Miss Mrs. Grundy”


        2. Concur.

      3. Then we need libertarians as CPS workers to counteract the busybody influence. Same as we need libertarians in lots of other occup’ns that have a bad influence on society: journalism, educ’n, gov’t (of course), law, law enforcement, armed forces, psychiatry, advertising, entertainment, psychology, social work, occupational safety, public health, non-occupational safety science, transportation, land use planning…any others?

        1. Oh yeah…clergy, banking…still missing some? Some of these occup’ns have a more direct malign or benign influence potential thn others, of course, and gov’t may be viewed as tops — but that’s not necessarily so. Gov’t technically gives the orders, but they listen to others for their orders, and we’re wrong if we think of them as an autonomous force. Everybody has reasons for doing everything, everybody’s subject to influence.

          Damn, I forgot #1: PARENTS!

        2. EXCEPT… power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Eliminate the government power, not shuffle new people into the tar pits.

          Question the supposed “authority” every possible moment.

          By what legitimate authority?

          Did you ever ask a politician, a gun grabber, a public school teacher, a bureaucrat? “By what legitimate authority do you demand, order, enforce, do these things?”

          I have. Most, of course, cite the “constitution” and/or “the rule of law.” I then ask them how those things can confer LEGITIMATE authority. Where does legitimate authority over people’s lives and property originate?

          So far, NONE of them can answer that, and most become extremely angry when questioned at all. Yet I would think that is the most important question we can ask.

          And it’s the most important question we can ask ourselves. Do we own our lives, or have we given our sovereign and natural authority over ourselves to the rulers and politicians?

          1. Sure, but how you gonna eliminate the power? Usually you have to be an Indian before you can get to be chief.

            You ask people those questions, they answer, “Says so right here.” So where does it get you?

            So for those of us who aren’t in position to be the boss, there should be something else we can do to make things better.

        3. The only problem is most of the occupations you listed involve being able to push your AUTHORITAY on others and basically bully total strangers/ make other people’s business yours. Libertarians, for the most part, have no desire to push other people around and don’t need to have our AUTHORITAY BONERS stroked to feel better about ourselves, which is why so few libertarians go into any of the aforementioned professions.

          1. Including the “profession” of parent, it seems.

          2. Think 5th column, destroy the enemy from within.

      4. An obese woman who felt it was her business to keep tabs on the mental state of every student.

        I think as a high school guidance counselor, it IS her business to keep tabs on the mental state of every student. It’s possible to do that without being a meddling busybody.

        1. How?

      5. It’s called, “Gladys Kravitz Syndrome,” after the weird nosy neighbor lady from ‘Bewitched.”

        People who have so little purpose to their lives, who are so intellectually and morally bankrupt, that they have nothing better to do than spy on their neighbors. . .

    2. Knew a couple here who had a several disabled kid about 2yo. Constantly hospitalized. On a trip out of state, kid sadly died. Coroner’s report said it was result if disability.

      Local CPS & cops here decided that wasn’t good enough. So they embarked on a systematic harassment campaign: got search warrants for their house; he would be driving down the street & a cruiser would U-turn and pull him over.

      He was military and, eventually, his CO decided to bring his next transfer forward & they moved out of state.

      1. Pity his CO didn’t decide to saddle up the troops and tear down the CPS offices, brick by brick.

      2. Heaven forbid you let someone grieve for their dead kid.

  4. Ohio CPS is teaching this guy that, yes, someone could come and snatch his children at any time.

    1. Great point. My wife is among those who have been scared to death by 20/20 and the other news magazines. She sincerely believes there is a pedophile kidnapper-murderer at every store, playground and restroom waiting to snatch your kids the moment they step out of your eyesight.

      I’d love to see the statistics on your chances of having your children wrongfully taken by CPS vs your chances of having your children snatched by a stranger. Hard to get numbers for the first one, but my money is on a better than 10/1 ratio.

      1. Kind of like how you’re ten times more likely to be shot by a cop then by a CCW permit holder.

      2. I don’t know how you can come up with the first number. If CPS takes a kid away, it’s because they managed to convince themselves, and possibly a judge, that it was warranted. Who decides how many of those were wrong, and how do they decide? :/

        However, about 100 kids in the US are abducted by strangers every year. Which, interestingly, is about the same as the number of kids who die in school bus accidents every year.

    2. They’re also teaching children to use the bullying power of the state against people.

  5. “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.

    This sounds similar to a story we heard a few months back. Something about a dad playing a game with his daughter walking down the street and someone was concerned the girl was trying to escape from a guy keeping her prisoner.

    1. There was a case from a while back where the father and child were of different visible ethnic backgrounds, which really upset the busybodies. The problem is that there’s no real due process nor common sense after someone makes one of these complaints.

      1. But here’s the nub of the problem: At some point you would draw a line where you’d say a parent is being neglectful or abusive to the extent force should be used to correct the situation. Do you want every such case to be a criminal one? Would you not want a chance to resolve things short of criminal prosecution, a procedure wherein a parent who isn’t actually evil could be corrected in some way that involves the threat of force but rarely its irreversible use? Do you think there’s no desirable intermediate stage between help from volunteer outsiders who don’t have the force of law behind them (such as other family, friends, etc.) and a full blown criminal case?

        1. That’s what we have now. CPS is Russian Roulette. Once a complaint is made, a machine is set in motion that is almost impossible to stop. Most of the time I’m sure a sufficient degree of subservience shown to the CPS reps will get them to move along – but there are no guarantees. But once the CPS agent gets it in his/her head that action is needed, action will be taken.

          I’m reminded of the reporter who went into the insane asylum to report from the inside. At first he hid his notebook to preserve his anonymity, but eventually he learned that he could just come right out and be a reporter in pubic. Because once you are inside, you are crazy. And anything you do or say is more evidence that you are crazy – even walking around with a pad taking notes on what everyone says. The same goes for CPS… once they decide you are neglectful, everything is evidence of this. Rooms too clean? Probably have some personality disorder, or you beat the kids, or maybe you are being uncooperative and trying to hide your neglect. Whatever, you are still a scumbag.

          1. Right. Once CPS takes note of you for whatever reason, even erroneously, you become a “case”, and some “case worker” is assigned to keep tabs on you, and said case worker is going to pursue that case to the bitter end, because otherwise, why does she have a job?

            There should be some sort of technical term for this phenomenon under public choice theory – the tendency of civil servants to create their own make-work, even when it creates negative “externalities” you might say, for the people who unwillingly become the subject of some case workers need to justify her paycheck.

          2. Yep. I have worked with kids for years, at summer camp. The kids were picked up in a shopping center parking lot every morning, and dropped off every afternoon.

            One hot July afternoon, one of the kid’s fathers walks up, as he did every afternoon, because he was a teacher and so had summer’s off. The family lived about four minutes walk from the stop. He has in his hand a bottle wrapped in a brown paper bag. I remark that I’m envious, and that it would be another hour before I was able to enjoy a cold beer.

            I was telling my colleague the story, and the boss overheard. Flipped out, called CPS. Funny enough, despite my being the only witness, no one ever asked me to take the stand. Almost like it’s a fucking show trial.

            1. Fuckin-a, man. My parents let me suck the limes outta their bloody marys when I was 7!

              1. I mean, a grown ass man walks down to pick up his kids from summer camp, and is drinking a brownbagged beer. This triggered a CPS investigation. CPS, like every other government agency, uses the 2% of useful work they do to justify the rest of their budget.

  6. Goatfuck!

  7. When I was about 6 my mom would occasionally leave the house and run to the store to get something. Roundtrip was probably an hour. I didn’t think of it as neglect, I thought of it as fun time when I could watch whatever cartoons I wanted (got my pick of all 6 channels!). But apparently she should have been investigated.

    1. My older brother was 12, I was 9, and my sister was 6 when our parents started leaving us home alone while they went to work.

      1. By the time I was 9 I was going a couple hours of barn chores by myself, surrounded by 1500 lb cows.

        1. I assume you and Sparky are actually posting as ghosts now?

          1. Even worse: I became a libertarian.

            1. And even worse: I became an individualist.

            2. Damn cows taught you something!

            3. You aren’t dead, you’re just dead to society.

    2. I grew up in the Boston/Cambridge area and by the time I was 8 my friends and I would regularly ride the subway and take the bus around town without incident. We knew which lines to stay away from (cough*Orange line*cough) but other than that we wandered around the entire unsupervised.

      My parents would surely be arrested for this today, it’s just pathetic.

      1. See? Even little kids know to avoid the Orange line – cosmos take note!

      2. During the eye of Hurricane Gloria I took my bike out and rode down the street, jumping downed, potentially live power lines as I progressed. My parents just told me to be back before the eye passed. They were busy dealing with the fallen tree that had clipped the corner of the house.

        1. Hurricane Gloria was awesome. We went surfing on Coast Guard beach because it actually had waves for a change.

        2. haha, I remember taking a bike ride during the eye of Gloria as well at the age of six. branches, trees and power lines down, and the only direction needed was “don’t go too far”

          and what’s so bad about the Orange Line?

          *has only ridden the Orange Line between Oak Grove and Downtown Crossing*

    3. Things I did alone or “unsupervised” as a kid:

      Ages 3+ – played around neighborhood unsupervised with friends every day
      Ages 5-7 – walked to school (about a mile round trip) every day
      Age 5 – flew from MN to FL
      Ages 7-14 – rode bike 8 miles round trip to pool and back every day in summer
      Age 16+ – drove from SW Connecticut to NW Vermont frequently to visit friends

      I guess I probably should have been placed in foster care.

      1. When I was 13, I took the bus from Winnipeg, Manitoba to St. Cloud, Minn, across the Canadian border, by myself, to visit friends.

    4. These people think Phineas and Ferb is a horrific tale of parental neglect. If only Candace had called CPS.

  8. Sorry, but since an ancap society is impossible this must be accepted as the best possible outcome.

    1. Let’s have John come in and tell us how great it is to have government, because otherwise violent people would come in and take your children away. What say you, John? Isn’t government grand?

      1. Listen, CPS is the gatekeeper that keeps us from becoming the Kowloon Walled City.

        1. And remember, we have to ignore all of the incredible flaws in the current system and act like any other system has to be perfect before it can even be talked about. Because.

        2. Mainland Chinese would risk everything for an opportunity to live in the Kowloon Walled City in order to escape the Maoist version of CPS.

      2. Don’t you mean Tulpa?

        1. God, don’t encourage him. Anarchy threads get Tulpical enough.

    2. Strawman is made of straw.

  9. We won the war against running with scissors, and this is what it got us.
    The village idiots are in charge, now.

    1. We won the war against running with scissors

      … which is why The Tardy Barber weeps.

  10. Incidentally, the proper way to deal with CPS is often to submit – they have a massive state apparatus backing them up and they will escalate until they have established their authority.

    Just as you don’t have to outrun the tiger but only avoid being the slowest guy fleeing him, you don’t have to submit entirely, if you are unremarkable to them, they’ll often forget about you.

    In situations like mine, with an ex-spouse who has a track record of leveling false charges of felonies against innocent people, who nonetheless somehow manages to convince social workers that it’s all a giant misunderstanding and that she is a victim of soikumstance, submission is the only viable path.

    1. submission is the only viable path

      There is only one god, and the CPS is his prophet.

      1. Kinda makes you wanna help them make a few few new martyrs, huh?

    2. Submit sez the anarchist.

      1. Yes I do, Agile. I have one life to live, and I am not going to blow it, and injure my kids, just for your entertainment. 🙂

  11. I walked 5 or 6 blocks to kindergarten by myself when I was 5.

    I had a pocket knife, a hatchet, an axe, and matches when I was a Boy Scout at 11.

    Fuck all the busy bodies that treat children as invalids until graduation from college (and then some).

    1. Unless they commit any sort of crime, in which case they feel that a 12 year old who is incapable of defending themselves walking around their own suburban neighborhood should be locked up in prison with adult offenders.

    2. I took a .22 and a shotgun to school when I was 15. No big deal. Older friend has a pickup, and we’d go hunting after school.

  12. Sad… when I was that age I was able to cross streets by myself and used to take solo walks for blocks….

    Shit like this just makes me glad my wife and I are blessed with infertility. I… don’t think I could raise children today.

  13. Christ forbid that children be taught to be independent.

  14. This shit is so ridiculous. Why do parents in general put up with this? When did people start believing that it’s reasonable to harrass families this way? I have friends who are social workers and who deal with CPS all the time. There are some real monsters out there, doing real damage to real children, and CPS goes after people who let their kids play outside unsupervised? The truly evil ones get away with their crimes for years and years, while normal parents get the weight of the state pressing down on then for teaching their kids how to live in the real world. Sickening.

    1. Going after actually nasty people is work. The kind of people who work for the government don’t like doing actual work. It’s work, after all. They’d prefer to go after easier quarry.

      1. Not only is it work to go after monsters, but it’s often racist too. What are you, a racist?

        1. That probably explains why a significant number of clearly innocent parents must be harassed.

      2. Yeah, it’s work, but here’s the catch: when you hear what some of these monsters do, it, to quote Martin Blank, “reads like a demon’s resume.” These people in CPS who claim to be in it to protect children whine and complain that they don’t have enough power to go after the really bad ones–they know how to play the system and usually have cultish control over their families to the point the spouses and other family members are either too afraid to testify or are actively complicit in the abuse–so they spend proportionately too much time going after the normal parents who are smoking an occasional joint or letting their kids play out by the road. These parents are terrified of losing their kids so they’ll do anything CPS wants them to do to keep them. Meanwhile, the monsters are raping their grandchildren while wearing Halloween masks, burning their children as punishment, and performing all other manner of unspeakable brutalities on innocents.

        1. OK, so what is the point of CPS therefore, and what is it achieving? Oh, that’s right: nothing but making busywork for parasites who love nothing more than expressing power by taking children away from parents.

          This is government. Welcome.

          1. Oh, don’t make the mistake of thinking I’m defending CPS. They’ll continue to be ineffective ad infinitum, always claiming they need just a little more power to be able to accomplish their task. Meanwhile they will redirect that power away from the areas where it could do any real good, if power could do any good at all.

          2. Don’t you think the people who set up CPS had basically the same consider’ns you would? You need someone to watch the watchers, and someone to watch those watchers, and so on ad infinitum.

            The basic idea of a CPS makes sense. Children aren’t in a good position to initiate legal action on their behalf, so you need someone leaning on their side of the scale. Problems in families occur all the time, and you don’t want most of them to develop into criminal cases, yet in some cases you need more than voluntary action by parents and their friends.

            If you can think of a better way, do it. You need authority, yet you need authority to not abuse its authority. And you could make the same complaints about family as an institution as you could about CPS/DYFS/whatever. You don’t want to abolish families, however, even though abuses occur in some cases.

        2. CPS is as useless as the TSA.

          Teen starved to death in spite of state’s involvement

          Huddled overnight beneath the shopping carts at Walmart, Markea Berry confided in her journal that she would rather live at the store than at home.
          The next day, after store employees found her wandering among the produce, the Smyrna teen told police she had run away because she didn’t want to be a burden on her mother. She was 14, but she was so small and skinny that she looked five years younger.
          Now, less than two years later, Markea is dead; at the time of her death in June she weighed 43 pounds. The mother she wanted not to burden, Ebony Berry, is charged with murder. She is accused of starving her daughter to death despite multiple investigations over nearly 10 years by child protection workers in Michigan and later in Georgia.
          The last time the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services had contact with the family ? a couple of months after Markea’s Walmart escapade in 2010 ? the caseworker and supervisor noted their concerns that Markea was undernourished. But the agency closed the case after Berry sidestepped efforts to compel her to get medical attention for Markea and her siblings.
          Markea’s is a death that should never have happened, said DFCS Director Ron Scroggy.
          “This case should have remained open and a care plan should have been put in place and followed up on,” he said.


          1. Theory:
            Because the case workers lives revolve around pursuing their cases, it is in their interest to never close a case.

            Thus, whenever they have one where a kid is actually abused, if they can drag it out into multiple ivestigations over several years they are better off. Simularly, even if there is absolutely nothing to the case, if they can keep coming back and investigating repeatedly, they can drag it out longer.
            It’s more in their interest for the case to drag on and involve repeated investigations than for there to be any kind of final resolution, one way or another.

    2. If they aren’t writing enough citations, someone might wonder why they have a job. You have to justify your existance.

  15. Every time something like this happens and cops and CPSers don’t get murdered or go missing, the universe gets more out of balance.

    1. Eventually the day will come when people get fed up and do exactly that. And the people in power are hoping for that day, because that’s when they will be able to exercise total tyranny.
      It’s going to get bad before it gets worse.

      1. Ya I foresee a crowd-sourced solution to these problems. Anonymous seems to already being doing it by posting addresses. Hell batman never had such good intel.

    2. I am absolutely serious, if CPS tried this on me because I let my kid walk to the hot dog stand or the ice cream shop by himself, there would be shooting. If I ended up in jail (likely) or even dead (also likely), it would be worth it just for all the resultant publicity which could possibly slow down these brainless twats who have been handed the power of the State. Police abuse (Balko Nut Punch) is bad enough, but when the State starts fucking with kids with NO due process and NO recourse, it really is time for armed resistance.

      1. If I ended up in jail (likely) or even dead (also likely), it would be worth it just for all the resultant publicity which could possibly slow down these brainless twats who have been handed the power of the State.

        Dude, you think the publicity will slow them down? Where have you been the last 90 years? Every time they trigger a violent reaction they turn it into a propaganda victory!

        You’d be throwing away your life to help them!

        1. Even so. Fuck with me, fine. Try to hurt my kid and you’re dead. Even guys like me have standards.

          1. Yeah, I’d have no problem killing a would-be kidnapper of my child. ANY kidnapper, even (and especially) ones wearing a badge.

          2. You say this, and yet it almost never actually happens. This confuses and interests me, because my initial reaction is the same.

            I first became aware of this issue in the early 80’s when 60 minutes covered a Navy officer who had a run-in with CPS, I believe in Maryland. He was washing dishes one day and saw some guy pulling at his 12 year old daughter in the back yard. The girl was holding on to the fence for dear life. He runs outside and confronts a deputy and social worker. It turns out a neighbor had filed a complaint and they were there to take the kids into protective custody. He wound up in jail. He was forced to divorce his wife and move out of the family home to prevent the kids from being taken into state custody permanently. He was not allowed to see his kids at all.

            After a while – 3 years I think – the investigation proved fruitless and he beat the obstruction and assault charges. But family court is there “to protect the children”, so the family court judge didn’t care what the other courts had to say about his innocence. All parental rights suspended, no visitation was the finding a year later after he finally got a hearing. He kept fighting, but as of the story he still hadn’t won.

            The case cost him his career, his family and all of his savings/retirement. And he was a trained killer for the military. Yet nobody got massacred. Heck, I wanted to massacre somebody and I just saw 40 minutes of summary on the TV. Psychology is strange.

  16. When I was 5 years old, I would walk home a quarter mile from kingerdarten by myself.
    When I was 6, I would take the bus home from the library downtown by
    myself. A few times I walked home 4 miles with my 5 year old sister because I wanted to save the bus fare.

    1. What I find confusing is that parents buy into the terror that kids just aren’t safe. In the ’80s my mom could not care less where I rode my bike during the day, or what abandoned construction site my friends and I were playing at so long as I didn’t get in any cars with strangers and showed up at home for meals.

      By the early 2000s my parents were terrified to let my little brother (12 years younger) walk or ride his bike to highschool because it “just wasn’t safe.”

      1. Cable TV had lots of air time to fill. Missing and/or abused kids are attention grabbers that keep eyeballs glued to the TV during commercial breaks.

      2. That’s the weirdest thing. By pretty much all measures, it is far safer now than in the 80s for kids to be out on their own. But everyone has been convinced somehow that there are all these growing dangers out there and that the world is becoming less safe.

        1. The weirdest thing was that when I was in 5th grade or so I had some dbag in a sports car try very hard to get me into his car after my bike was stolen (I think the kid who stole the bike was in cahoots). So that we could chase the thief down together. I reflexively declined (good parenting on my mother’s part) and told him I’d meet him at the police station a few blocks away.

          My parents thought I was crazy for thinking that it was a kidnapping attempt.

          1. OK, that’s pretty weird.

            1. Yes, but it was easily avoided by not being a dumb schmuck. I just think it’s funny that my parents are so paranoid about abstract dangers to children but when I actually faced one (and won!) they were frustratingly blas? about it.

    2. “I walked home 4 miles with my 5 year old sister because I wanted to save the bus fare.”

      You fucking libertarian.

  17. There’s an elementary school not far from me, and if I’m driving by those neighborhoods when school lets out I’ll see tiny kids walking home all by themselves. As in, little rugrats whose backpacks are nearly as big they are. No abductions, no lost kids getting run over in traffic.

    Back when I was a kid I’d walk to the store across a very busy intersection several times a week, and my friends and I would sit outside selling lemonade buy ourselves all day long when it was hot out. Guess both of those things would be a felony these days. (I’m under 30, so we’re not talking about Andy Griffith times here either.)

    1. Just remembered that my brother and I used to roam the Shenandoah mountains on our own with nothing but BB rifles when both of our ages were in the single digits. The worst trouble we ever had was when we saw a bear trundling through the woods doing whatever it is that bears do. Those were fun times.

  18. I used to watch a couple sisters when I was in college in DC – they were 8 and 12 years old. You would think a 12 year old would at least be able to handle herself and her own sister after school, but no. Mommy and daddy hired me to pick them up and hang out with them until they got home from work. One time I didn’t have the family car, so I picked up the 12 year old and we took the bus up Conn Ave to their house in Van Ness. No biggie. The kid was nervous as hell. She didn’t even know her own goddamn neighborhood – just the one block she lived on.

    I once brought the girls to my apartment in a very nice DC neighborhood right across the street from the National Cathedral (in fact, the younger kid had gone to the Cathedral School in first grade), and they were scared and clinging to me like we where going into a crack den.

    And this was 23 years ago.

    1. (BTW, both girls seemed to have turned out OK – one is a psychologist with a PhD and the other is an MD. Both seem to have followed in daddy’s footsteps – he was a psychiatrist).

    2. …and they were scared and clinging to me like we where was going into a crack den.


      1. …erm. RACIST

        1. Classist, GILMORE. I’m a classist.

    3. Utterly ridiculous. I became my sister’s babysitter when I was ten years old and she was two. My parents realized that I did all the work anyway, and they were paying some high school girl to talk on their phone and eat their food. This was in 1986.

      And along those lines – when the hell did elementary schoolchildren become unable to wait at a school bus stop without a cluster of parents watching them?

      1. Maybe when the schools decided they can’t.

        A few weeks ago, a neighbor called to ask me to pick her 9yo daughter up from the bus stop, because she wasn’t going to be home in time. (The stop is one block from her home, and don’t even get me started on the fact that the school itself is only a few blocks away in a quiet suburban neighborhood.) I was just stepping out of the shower, so I sent my 15yo daughter to the bus stop. The bus driver would not let the girl off the bus without an adult to pick her up, so he drove her to the police station and dropped her off there instead.

        Because a 9 year old having to walk one single block to her own home, under the supervision of a teenager, is call for involving the police.

    4. Were their parents government workers?

    5. Kristin–you didn’t live then at The Chancery by any chance, did you?

      1. Bishop’s House – right at the corner of Wisconsin & Mass.

        1. The wife-unit lived at The Chancery while we were dating. Nice neighborhood.

          My fondest memory of that neighborhood is, while taking a walk one summer night in the residential neighborhood behind the apartments, is the very cute, very nude woman, descending a spiral staircase, inside a well lit house in one of the largest picture windows I’ve ever seen.

          I wasn’t allowed to go back to see if she’d do it again.

          1. Nice! I really liked the businesses up the street on Wisconsin – there was this crazy old department store that was kind of a landmark (name escapes me), with a real lunch counter. The Zebra Room. Cactus Cantina (their chips & salsa were made of pure crack cocaine, I tells ya). I was introduced to Thai iced tea when I lived there.

            We used to go over to the Bishop’s Garden at the Cathedral, where there was a gazebo, and get drunk. Don’t know why we didn’t just drink at home, but there you go.

            1. GC Murphy’s is the store, I believe. There was the nicest and fairly smart bum who used to hang out in front of it, who I would talk to occasionally. It’s gone now. The Giant Food expanded into the space after it closed, or tried to. The “neighborhood” was fighting it last I heard, for whatever half-baked reason their well-trust funded minds can come up with.

              Actually, I do remember this one night of hearing what we thought was someone smacking a 2×4 against something at 4 in the morning. Turned out it was a women being shot to death in the garage of the apartment building next door. Extra creepy.

              I do recall some very nice times at the Cantina that were heavily tequila-based. Zebra Room is still there in some form, a buddy of mine performs there sometimes, but the Thai restaurant closed. Bummer.

  19. CPS is awful, but why can’t other people just mind their own damn business? There are loads of kids who live in legitimately awful situations where intervention is probably justified, and this guy gets targeted. Sometimes I think I’d like to have kids, but shit like this makes me glad I don’t.

    1. why can’t other people just mind their own damn business?

      Some are bored and bitter, others don’t want the liability of unattended kids roaming around their neighborhoods, others may have personal animus towards the parents. And then you have the do-gooders; they feel they are actually doing something good for society. This last type is the most dangerous sort.

    2. They get their rocks off trying to mind other people’s business.

      (I wish I had coined the word bansturbator.)

  20. fucking CPS does more to lose credibility than the cops. the cops at least didn’t know the guy was her dad and had to check it out. the CPS has all the facts and is still pushing this bullshit.

  21. Fuck all,it never changes. I’ve already detailed my experiences over at Free Range Kids, bottom line is I was subjected to the same sort of harassment for similar reasons when my kids were young. I feel terribly sad and angry over what this family is being put through, and I applaud the father for knowing and exercising his rights.

    I’m always sort of shocked by how easily the majority of Americans accept the practice of removing kids from the home and asking questions later, or the common tactic of threatening to remove the kids if the parents don’t do what they’re told. Workers manage to convince some parents that voluntarily surrendering the kids, temporarily of course, will speed up a satisfactory resolution, and the compliance will be appreciated when they get to court. They promise things they can’t or won’t deliver, like help with housing,childcare, transportation, whatever it takes.

    None of those promises are legally binding, and once you surrender your kids, the state has what they were after, and you’re no longer their concern. If you realize you’ve been duped and try to get your kids back, those helpful workers may testify against you and use your voluntary surrender to prove negligence.

    Complain about it, and people assume you’re carrying a grudge because you got caught– after all, why would they be investigating an innocent person?

  22. I wouldn’t shed a single tear if someone went Timothy McVeigh on the CPS offices.

    What kind of agency misses glaring, obvious signs of abuse and never follows up yet has mounds of time and personnel to hassle people for (at best) trivial things like letting a 6 year old walk to the store alone?

    This is the equivalent of homicide detectives setting up elaborate stings to catch jaywalkers and leaving no stone unturned when pursuing suspected jaywalkers, YET they ignore reports of gunfire followed by calls that a guy with multiple gunshot wounds is lying motionless in the street.

    Their biggest offense is that they make the TSA look reasonable and effective in comparison.

    1. That might be a little too Tim McVeigh, given there are probably kids there for one reason or another. Besides, it’s pretty impersonal.

      1. Eh, I always thought there was some poetic justice in the children of ATF agents dying in the same way they murdered the children in Waco.

        An eye for an eye and all that.

  23. This kind of abuse must vary by locality. Our suburb isn’t frequented by cops and doesn’t seem to have many busy-bodies in it. The 6-8 year old kids pretty much have free reign within the neighborhood and I haven’t heard of anyone being harassed by CPS or local law enforcement.

    That being said, I’m sure it only takes one incident to change things for the worse. Last year a girl scout “went missing” for a few hours while selling cookies door to door. A bunch of relatives and friends went around asking about her. Turned out she was just with a different relative. I hate to think what would have happened if the police had been called instead…

    Just another reason to get to know your neighbors…

  24. “…They refuse to state any reasonable suspicion of a crime being committed or say what law has been broken…”


  25. Thanks for the nut punch, reason! I really needed that. I just finished eating lunch and was going to go back to “work” and was thinking to myself “You know what I really need first? A nice hard punch to the scrotum!” So, thanks! /sarc

    Seriously though, fuck the CPS, and especially fuck the stupid mouth breathing busy bodies who think it’s somehow their business to report every instance of a grown man talking to a child. Fucking A people are stupid.

  26. This is all progressivism in action. Statism+radical feminism = totalitarianism.

    The only solution to this is to completely remove all influences of the above from every institution in society.

    This is why I will always advise any young man today to NEVER have children, not in this country. It’s simply not worth it. I have 2 grown children, who are out on their own. I would never bring another child into this fucked up world. Getting married is a huge risk all by itself for any man in America, but having children is just an unacceptable risk. It’s bad enough trying to protect yourself from a totalitarian police state, let alone having to worry that they are going to snatch your kids on a whim. Get a dog or cat.

    1. Get a dog or cat.

      Then you have to worry about the cops shooting it on a whim.

  27. So the lesson here is that you shouldn’t let your young children go outside alone because they will get kidnapped. By the police.

  28. I think they resent having to investigate, or maybe they’re so afraid of missing something and getting blamed that they feel they have to find a problem no matter what.

    I was recently told by CPS that allowing my 6yo to play at our local neighborhood park is neither illegal, nor unsafe, nor unreasonable. However, they say, I can’t do it anymore, because if someone complains and they have to come back out, they’ll find me negligent. It doesn’t matter that my daughter and I are well within our rights; all that matters is that they would have to investigate me more than once, and at that point they have to find something.

    It reminds me of a grandmother I read about in Texas, who recently won a federal civil rights lawsuit against CPS. She called CPS because her daughter was a drug addict and she felt her grandkids were in danger. Soon after, the daughter willingly turned her kids over to Grandma. At that point the kids were safe and cared for. Months later, CPS finally got around to investigating, and decided to take the kids away just to cover up the fact that they hadn’t investigated when they should have. The case worker even told the grandmother that she had to “do something,” or she would lose her job. Here’s an article about it:…..-children/

    1. Hey, that grandma raised a druggie. She can’t be trusted with kids.

    2. I think they resent having to investigate, or maybe they’re so afraid of missing something and getting blamed that they feel they have to find a problem no matter what.

      No, they like investigating. It gives them more work to do, which increases job security. I vguarentee you, most of the time their lives are so boring they are in a constant state of worrying that they are going to get laid off if they don’t find some abused kids to rescue.

      In the absence of actual cases of child abuse, they will concoct them out of whatever thin soup is available.

  29. The case worker even told the grandmother that she had to “do something”

    And there’s a big part of the problem. Now we have millions of government employees who have to ‘do something’, even when they shouldn’t be doing anything, or there’s just nothing to do.

    It’s like quotas for cops, something unjust is going to happen and someone’s going to be the victim of the injustice, but to the government, it’s not an issue, because they’re just doing their job.

  30. If someone is kidnapping your child, be it your friendly local pedophile or a government official, a death sentence for the kidnapper is pretty reasonable. I would literally kill anyone who tries to take my daughter, I don’t care what authority they claim to have.

  31. I hope to have kids soon, but I’m waiting until I can afford them–even more damning evidence that I’m an ill-adjusted bad citizen. Articles like these underscore to me that given the way I intend to raise my kids and the rapport I’m likely to have with CPS, I need an exit strategy in case these fucks come after me and mine.

    I wonder how much coyotes would charge to sneak a family into Mexico?

  32. I know some people can’t grasp subtleties, but clearly, this guy is an asshat who is a shitty parent. That said, CPS sucks — but we live in a world full of dumb asses and — last time I checked — societal shaming was one the approved libertarian pushbacks. If I saw this idiot letting his kid walk around the neighborhood alone at SIX, I’d exercise my right to picket his house from the easement.

    1. And I’d exercise my right to point and laugh at you. The average six year old is perfectly capable of walking safely down the sidewalk, and even crossing quiet residential streets, as long as she’s been well taught to watch for cars. A generation ago, a six year old who wasn’t capable of walking a couple of blocks to a friend’s house or to run a small errand would have been considered developmentally delayed.

      So what makes this guy a shitty parent? That he’s teaching his daughter important life skills? That he’s giving her age-appropriate opportunities to learn and grow? That he’s instilling in her a legitimate sense of self-worth, confidence, and independence by allowing her small accomplishments?

      Or is it just that he’s not crippled with fear of the imaginary boogeyman lurking behind every bush, waiting to snatch up the first unattended child who happens to wander past? If that’s what you’re worried about, you should know that stranger abduction is vanishingly rare. About 100 US kids a year are abducted by strangers, which is about the same as the number of kids who are killed in school bus accidents. If you’re one of those people who says, “It’s 100% if it happens to you!” or “Even a small chance is too much!” then be sure you never put your child in a car. Children are killed in car accidents every single day.

  33. I am in oklahoma, the exact thing has happened to my son. They detained the child until he signed. I am going to present this to them. They don’t know the problems they have created in the family. Stress arguing ,worry .gestapo tactics do we live in the fourth rike? Let people take care of their own. DhS

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