Free-Range Kids

Mom Who Made Her Kids Walk to School Is Charged with Neglect

Who has authority over kids: parents, or police?

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Walking
Dreamstime

Free country? Not if you think your kids are old enough to walk to school and learn a lesson.

A Tennessee mom, Lisa Marie Palmer, learned this the hard way, after she made her kids walk to school when they missed the bus.

Wait a minute—she made her kids walk? Outside? To school? How could they possibly do that, I'd like to know. It's unheard of. Of course it must be a crime.

As the local Times Free Press reports:

It "appeared as if she was driving ahead of the children and allowing them to walk and catch up to her vehicle and to proceed with that action until the children reached the school," [ Marion County sheriff's deputy Chris] Ladd states in the report.

Ladd estimated the girls already had walked about a mile and a half and still had about two more miles to go.

Surely no child has ever walked more than a few houses down the street.

And if, as the mom claims, she was "watching" them—ah, that's hardly an excuse. Because  the very worst part was that Ladd could imagine something terrible happening to the kids while the mom was a few crucial yards away:

"Temperatures were cold, and traffic was beginning to become heavy with citizens heading to work," Ladd states. "Mrs. Palmer was in no position to reach her children safely in the event of an emergency."

There you have it. The deputy has put into words the precise crime of our era: Daring to let a kid out of reach, ever. Officially, children are only safe when their mom (or proxy) is near enough to yank them away from any approaching threat, because what if?

So, dear readers, I hope you weren't planning to do anything else with your lives beside stand next to your kids anytime they are not in school. Do this, and you will be punished:

At that point, Ladd cited Palmer for child neglect and began trying to arrange for the girls to get the rest of the way to school.

Because both those moves were so extremely necessary. The kids need help walking, the mom needs help learning how to parent, and the state rushed in to provide both. It cares so much about making this family do things the right way. And of course there is only one right way.

NEXT: Trigger Warning: "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" is coming to Blu-Ray

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  1. Palmer didn’t have a valid driver’s license and couldn’t be allowed to drive the girls on to school. When Palmer’s husband, Brandon Palmer, and his father, Douglas Palmer, arrived, officers asked for a valid driver’s license from them, according to the report.

    Douglas Palmer refused and began to argue with officers, using what Ladd described in the report as obscene language “with the children observing his every word and action,” Ladd states. The man then accused Ladd of being “the cop that beat me up last time,” and then started to take off his seat belt and get out of the car.

    Ladd said Douglas Palmer then grabbed at his waist, where the officer said he saw a fixed-blade knife in a sheath. A struggle ensued and the elder Palmer was disarmed and handcuffed.

    During a pat-down search and a search of the vehicle the two men were driving, the officers reportedly found drug paraphernalia in Douglas Palmer’s pants pocket but no drugs. He ended up being booked on charges unrelated to the girls walking, officials said.

    1. He’s lucky to be alive.

    2. Of course cops never make shit up, so yeah guilty as charged. Cop has spoken. End of discussion.

      1. Palmer didn’t have a valid driver’s license and couldn’t be allowed to drive the girls on to school.

        She was driving slowly in the median with her kids walking behind her. The police show up after receiving a complaint (at the very least her actions would look strange), and find out she does not have a valid drivers license. If instead of citing the woman for child neglect the deputy cited her with driving without a license, and then had her arrange for a ride that would have been an improvement?

        The child neglect charge is bullshit, but the details of the story are not what Lenore made them seem.

        1. She was charged with child neglect, the details of which are exactly what Lenore disclosed. what you’re talking about is an unrelated bullshit crime.

  2. Not that it matters but you think a basic fact that would be included in the article is the kids ages if only to let us know how much of a moron the deputy is.

    1. I was thinking the same thing.

    2. After looking at the highway on google earth, and considering the lack of sidewalks and minimal shoulder, and ,Imma guess, 55mph speed limit. I’d say parking on the edge and letting your kids walk along behind you is pretty stupid. Depending on the age of these girls I don’t know if I’d necessarily call this deputy a moron or not.

        1. Maybe it’s different there, around here I drive roads that appear very similar, and one is just not expecting to encounter pedestrians, we have a couple fatalities a year where people plow into some poor amish bastard on just such roads, and these amish are in large buggies with reflectors. Also if they were following behind the mother’s car they were walking with traffic, not very smart.

          1. Yeah, no sidewalks means you should not be walking there. Simple as that.

            1. No sidewalks, no shoulder, and walking to wrong way with 55 mph traffic that isn’t expecting pedestrians, yeah you shouldn’t probably be walking there. Allowed to? sure. But I’m still gonna call you dumb for doing so.

              1. No sidewalks, no shoulder, and walking to wrong way with 55 mph traffic that isn’t expecting pedestrians, yeah you shouldn’t probably be walking there.

                Surely you aren’t implying it would be safer to walk in a sidewalked area with low-speed traffic and lots of pedestrians, are you? That’s the exact sort of dangerous area you would be likely to be accosted by life-threatening chalked messages. I heard just such a terrorist attack felled dozens of students at several cplleges just recently.

                1. I am implying that, and don’t call me Shirley.

                  1. from this I will infer that you’re an asshole!

                    1. No inference necessary, I make no bones about being an Asshole.

            2. Yeah, no sidewalks means you should not be walking there. Simple as that.

              only 2 streets in my town even have sidewalks. One of them being the one that leads to the school, but that only got a sidewalk like 16 years ago. (it’s a k-12 school) So every kid going to school before that walked there on the shoulder.

            3. Yeah, no sidewalks means you should not be walking there. Simple as that.

              I don’t usually come here on Sunday nights. Is this retardation normal for Sundays?

          2. Round here there are no sidewalks. Period. It’s a small town. And most of the roads are 45mph or more. Yet you see kids walking around. How the hell else are they supposed to get anywhere without their parents being their personal taxi?

            1. If the locals are OK with it and you can trust them not to run your kids over, no problem. I’m a city boy so yeah my perspective is different. I would want the sidewalks.

              1. Sidewalks are nice, but they aren’t free. Guess it depends on how much you want to pay in property taxes.

                1. Of course they’re free. Government pays for them.

            2. Same here. People are always walking along the shoulderless rural highway by where I live. The only people who seem to get hit are drunks walking at night without reflective clothing.

              1. The only people who seem to get hit are drunks walking at night without reflective clothing.

                Same here.

                1. sooo the children should have been wearing reflective clothing (and should therefore been drunk?)

          3. I’ve spent most of my life living outside of town limits, and I dunno, that road looks like a local would describe it as, “Uster be the highway, back before’n the federal men druve through thet new one.” *spits*

            Population 1660. If this road isn’t safe to walk on at any speed, then there might be a bit of a problem.

          4. I find the Amish triggering. I wish they’d get with the program but without smart phones, they probably don’t know what the program is.

            1. I wish they’d get with the program but without smart phones, they probably don’t know what the program is.

              The word is “app”, ya Mennonite.

    3. No, it’s more important to know that the children’s parents are violent, cop-disrespecting druggies.

      1. We used to miss the bus on purpose and then walk about five or six miles.

    4. mmmm…deputy…moron…Barney Fife???

    5. Yes. Also the total distance from their house to the school. I think I read somewhere that it was a bit over three miles, and that the younger of the two girls was 6. But all I can find now is the statement that both girls were “under 10”, and that they had “about 3 km” left to walk [the story is from an Australian website] when the police intervened.

  3. “Temperatures were cold, and traffic was beginning to become heavy with citizens heading to work,” Ladd states.

    Would it be better or worse if the traffic only consisted of illegal aliens and foreign tourists driving around?

    1. The fact that he used the word “citizens” there is creepy.

      1. At least he didn’t say “civilians”.

  4. I grew up on a farm in the early ’70’s. If I could be seen I was put to work so after the basics were done we disappeared. We spent a lot of time wandering the woods and swimming in the creek. After about ten years old we often had a 22 rifle or a shotgun with us. Unsupervised.

    I am not sure what made me remember this. I haven’t thought about it in decades:

    Sevral miles away there was an old house where a drunken Indian lived. His house was in the middle of the woods and his driveway had grown up in saplings. The house overlooked a small lake. He was a pretty cool guy so we would wander over there and visit. He even built us a rope swing over the lake. I guess we were his only visitors aside from his sister who kept him fed and in booze. He was a WWII vet and he told us horrible stories about the war in Europe, so of course we were fascinated. We also loved his Garand which he actually let us shoot once. I think his old Catahoula Cur enjoyed our visits as much or more than he did. Imagine 4 skinny kids barefoot and rarely wearing more than cutoff jeans and t shirts, tough as nails and completely full of shit.

    Sometimes we would find him passed out but we would stick around and swim in the lake or fish. Sadly the last time we went he was lying dead on the front porch, empty whiskey bottles strewn about.

    1. But it takes a village, Suthen!!!

      (My wife’s Dad was in the 2nd Division from Omaha beach to the Battle of the Bulge, when he came back he drank heavy for the rest of his life, sleeping with his sidearm under the pillow for the rest of his life.)

      1. Who doesn’t drink heavy and sleep with a pistol under their pillow?

        I mean, Jesus man, do you know where you’re commenting?

        1. Just got back home and read Slammers reply and though “Yeahhhhh…and?”

        2. I will if Trump gets elected.

      2. Ms. Jillette? I mean, is that you?

    2. periodically I wonder how many of these jackass LEOs had similar upbringings, the ones who grew up in small towns or rural areas. Your story could be repeated who knows how many times and somehow, we reached adulthood. And this sort of thing was likely even more common in our parents’ generation.

      1. LEOs don’t have upbringings. They reproduce by fission, like all other bacteria.

    3. When my father was a boy in the 1950s he would bring a shotgun to school and lean it against the wall by the coat rack. After school he would shoot squirrels for dinner as he walked home. Today he is a raging progressive who would support most anything that the government does, provided that his team is in power.

      1. Late-onset PTSD from all the school massacres he narrowly avoided committing.

    4. Did you poke him with a stick?

    5. He died doing what he liked best.

      1. Same thing happened to Phil Katz of PKZIP fame.

  5. sweet tapdancing christ, but the Bruins are a sorry hockey club

  6. At that point, Ladd cited Palmer for child neglect and began trying to arrange for the girls to get the rest of the way to school.

    “Reform” school, right?

  7. What an asshole.

  8. None of this would have happened at all if the state didn’t force families to send their kids school.

    1. Thank you for cutting to the bottom line. Government breeds more government and here we have “libertarians” worrying about the speed limit and defending the gestapo. Pretty fucking sad.

      1. With the online education options available today, pretty much anyone who can read can home school, at least at the grade school level.

        1. I’d say even beyond that.

  9. W
    T
    F
    ???

  10. Whitwell, TN.
    Population: 1660
    Morning traffic is when the three guys carpooling in the same pickup to the sawmill had to slow down, because the mayor’s kid’s FFA project is lying down in the road again.

    1. A town that small has no business having a police department, except to enforce petty edicts from petty tyrants in the town government.

      The town I live in has close to six thousand residents, and no police force. We pay the State Troopers and County Sheriff to have two guys available to answer emergency calls, but mostly all they do is take naps at the public boat launch or hand out speeding tickets. The advantage to this is that the town government can’t enforce stupid little ordinances, since the enforcers will only enforce state law. The disadvantage to this is, well, shit, I can’t think of any.

      1. Shit man, I live in a town of 15,000, we contract half the patrol work out to the local casino police and our police force mostly take naps and hand out tickets. Half the time they can’t be bothered to hand out tickets – the casino cops are more likely to ticket you than the town ones.

        Funny story – I rent out a room and had one dude staying there, turned out he was sort of a tweaker and after one bad weekend called the cops because he thought someone was stealing from him. Was hallucinating – pointed to an empty spot and said ‘look, those are the guys who broke into my room and took my stuff’.

        So I’ve got cops from three different agencies at my house (both local police and county sheriff), an obvious drug user, and you know what they did? Told him to sleep it off, posted a cop down the street to snatch him if he tried to drive anywhere, and . . . that’s it. No arrest, no guns drawn, nobody threatened or shot. Fucking amazing.

        1. Occasionally cops are capable of acting like human beings. It is unusual, but it does happen from time to time.

          1. that’s what blind pigs and broken clocks are for…

  11. Today I went to the grocery store and let my 6yr old girl go to the water fountain which was out of sight from me as I walked down the frozen food aisle. When she was done she caught up to me. Nothing else happened. Well, except for some really dirty looks from some of the customers as I let my kid out of my sight. I’m just glad no one called the cops.

  12. Making your small children walk 3.5 miles to school sounds like a punishment to me – which is certainly none of my business but still an asshole move.

    1. Sometimes being a parent requires being an asshole.

      1. As I well remember…

        1. I’m serious. One point of contention I have with my wife is that she wants to be her kids’ best buddy. You can’t be a disciplinarian and a best buddy at the same time. It just doesn’t work. The result is me being the “bad guy” from time to time. But if that’s what it takes, then that’s what it takes.

          1. Agreed. Not a parent, but this seems sensible to me.

    2. Sure, it’d be nice if this story was a little more black and white. But in an age where parents seem increasingly willing to cede discipline to teachers, etc. so what if this was “punishment?” The easy thing for this parent to do was nothing. Crawling along for 3.5 miles in a car, constantly looking at her kids, was an imposition for her I’m sure, and evidence that she was trying to do the right thing. Maybe these kids won’t find themselves someday in college someday with never having had responsibility or suffered consequences — and therefore won’t melt like snowflakes.

    3. “Making your small children walk 3.5 miles to school sounds like a punishment to me – which is certainly none of my business but still an asshole move.”

      It was punishment. She was punishing them for missing the school bus. I don’t know if she’s an asshole, but the probability of them missing the bus again is likely much lower after that long walk.

      1. The parent is responsible for making sure their young children is at the bus stop on time. If they’re older then this shouldn’t even be a story. But of course we don’t know.

  13. “Maybe tomorrow when the bus comes, you’ll be out there waiting.”

  14. It’s been a great day for Hit and Run, today. I’ve learned a lot:

    1. Melissa Harris-Perry is black.
    2. I can smoke weed in public and not get arrested as long I call myself a “protester.”
    3. The grandparents of tomorrow will not be regaling their grandchildren with stories about how far they had to walk to school, but rather how their parents were so horrible that they were arrested for forcing them to walk to school.

    1. #1 – that is false. she is a Pock. Or Poke. Or a Pook. Or however people pronounce POC

      1. Piece Of Chit?

        1. I believe it is “Personage Other-than Caucasian”

          1. Person of Color?

      2. Individual Delving Into Opportunistic Thinking?

    2. For number 2 it also helps to be in a place where weed is legalized and public use apparently decriminalized.

  15. Although the cop described the issue in idiotic terms:

    “Mrs. Palmer was in no position to reach her children safely in the event of an emergency.”

    Which merited Skenazy’s scorn:

    The deputy has put into words the precise crime of our era: Daring to let a kid out of reach, ever.

    It seems reasonably likely the conditions were unsafe for walking down the road: 3.5 miles, highway, “fog line”, traffic beginning to become heavy.

    Perhaps unsafe conditions were the issue, and the cop just poorly expressed that as an idiotic concern about her not being able to reach her kids in the case of an emergency, which really would be doubly idiotic, as the risk of getting run down by a car is really the important thing, and not whether mommy is available at arms length if you do get run down. Would it have been better if she had walked beside them, so that she got run down too?

    For me, this is more an instance of outrage porn over the idiotic sentiment expressed by Mr. Policeman, and not what he did in the circumstances. As far as his actions go, I’ll save my load for a more clearcut case.

    1. Then tell her to knock it off, load them up in the car, and take them to school. All this business with detaining the woman, calling her husband, arresting her husband, and citing her for neglect could have been avoided.

      1. That would be making an independent decision rather than mindlessly following procedure. Government employees are trained NEVER to do that.

    2. It seems reasonably likely the conditions were unsafe for walking down the road: 3.5 miles, highway, “fog line”, traffic beginning to become heavy.

      Seems unlikely that that road gets much more than local traffic as the major artery rt 28 runs parallel with the school at the end of the road.

      If you zoom in you can see numerous cars on Rt 28 but I couldn’t find a single car on View Valley Hwy. To those of us who live in rural areas this appears to be safe road to be walking down.

  16. Obama admin blackmailing NC. Illegally:

    WASHINGTON ? The Obama administration is considering whether North Carolina’s new law on gay and transgender rights makes the state ineligible for billions of dollars in federal aid for schools, highways and housing, officials said Friday.

    Cutting off any federal money ? or even simply threatening to do so ? would put major new pressure on North Carolina to repeal the law, which eliminated local protections for gay and transgender people and restricted which bathrooms transgender people can use. A loss of federal money could send the state into a budget crisis and jeopardize services that are central to daily life. …

    There is no recent precedent for the federal government’s applying similar pressure to address a state law that it sees as discriminatory. …

    Dan Forest, the Republican lieutenant governor and the president of the State Senate, said he expected that federal aid would continue. He noted that many states did not explicitly provide gay and transgender people with anti-discrimination protection. Neither does federal law.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04…..&smtyp=cur

    1. So how many of these countries are going to be losing their US foreign aid?

      http://mondoweiss.net/2015/11/…..n-foreign/

      1. I see a few of these same countries on this list

    2. I say let him do it and then an honest discussion of these issues might ensue.

  17. I let my kids walk from the living room to the kitchen and back without supervision.


  18. I let my kids walk from the living room to the kitchen and back without supervision.

    I hope you allow them to fetch you a beer.

    1. I’m no sexist! I recognize my wife is perfectly capable of getting me my beers. She’s already in the kitchen anyway.

  19. GASP!?

    Say it aint so?!

    World Leaders
    , UN, Corrupt as Shit

    1. Taxes something something civilization.

    2. Oh, there’s some good stuff in there. Turns out some of the commies aren’t quite so into sharing when it’s their shit to get shared. Who woulda thunk it?

      1. Well, there’s few actual ‘commies’ (i.e. Chinese, Norks, Venezuelans)…. but still, a few.

        e.g. former head of the Venezuelan Military, Victor Cruz Weffer, dealt in bearer-bonds from a bank in the Seychelles between 2007-2011…

        also, Li Xiaolin, second child and only daughter of former Chinese Premier Li Peng… who was stowing away funds in a shell company in the virgin islands….

        Its mostly the usual suspects = Russians, Arabs, Africans, Latin-Americans… politicans and friends & family of politicians.

        Its not quite the slam-dunk case they want to pretend it is. Everyone knew these people were corrupt. The few who will really suffer are those from Western countries, like the PM of Iceland, or those who won office on promises of “Cleaning Shit Up”, like Macri in Argentina.

  20. Story is meaningless without ages. 5 or 6 year olds navigating busy streets themselves, maybe an issue depending on other factors. Much older than that than pretty ridiculous.

  21. Crusty Says: “Would All“?

    1. Damn. There looks like some serious oppression going on there.

      1. I reject your negativity and embrace the rainbow of the genderverse

    2. “Some days I am male, some days I am female, some days I am neither; some days I am both. Gender fluid.”

      I change my gender fluid every 7000 miles.

      1. Eeeew!

        /teenage girl

      2. Buffalo Bill, is that you?

  22. OT: From a proggy’s POV If something is not 100% regulated it is totally unregulated.

    1. If someone with the power to use violence is not there to administer the rules, then there are no rules. That is why every friendly game of cards requires a police observer. That’s the only way to know that the rules are being followed. As far as what the rules are, that depends on the wise interpretation of the government official. Peasants are not to be trusted with tasks like that. I mean, I was trying to teach my stepson how to play Rummy the other day, and I told him that straights are better than sets because you can make more points from them. Thankfully a government agent was there to club me upside the head and remind me that sets are better because Big Brother said so.

      I need another drink.

    2. “We’re about to enter Knowhere, there’s no regulations at all.”

      -Gamora, The Statist Assassin

  23. The woman was arrested for not driving her kids to school when she had no license? Wtf.

  24. The real problem is cops are too young to have been free range kids themselves.

  25. OT: Quick, someone tell the Mounties they need to talk to Cytotoxic, and learn that immigration never has any downsides: Top Mountie says 500 organized crime investigators now on terrorism cases

    1. Wow, 500 racist witch-hunts!

      1. See, immigration does create jobs! Surveillance jobs, at least.

    1. So basically the alt-Right = Democrats saying they are Republicans (like Trump)?

      1. Uh, don’t know how you came to that conclusion….

  26. I walked to school until my freshman year at high school. The trip took about 15-20 ,minutes. I was part of maybe a dozen kids who walked together as a group. It would start as a handful of kids who lived the farthest and slowly increase in size and others from neighborhoods joined up. We often talked about Megaman and Mario games or share snacks. On the way back we would sometimes hit the liquor store and have a few rounds of Street Fighter or Samurai Showdown. It was a daily ritual.

    It’s sort of disturbing how rapidly the country is infantilizing. I can get arrested for letting my (future) kids walk mile and a half? I used to walk 30-40 minutes to Blockbuster to rent and return video games. My friends and I made bunch of 8 PM trips to Mcdonalds (Mac meals were once $2.99) during the Clinton year summer breaks. And we were like 14-15 back then.

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  30. They need to change that line on the Passports from “Nationality” to “Subject”.

  31. School let out at 3. Dinner was at 5. My Mom had no idea where I was between those times. Here’s a clue: I survived that “abuse”, and so did everyone else still alive. Nor was there any huge epidemic of children being molested or kidnapped or killed.

    What the fuck is wrong with people these days? What happened to the land of the free and home of the BRAVE?

  32. no wonder kids in college need to have “safe zones” and “trigger warnings” and police to protect them from their own foolishness. They’ve never learned to be responsible for their own lives. FOUR MILES? When I was a kid I rode my bike that far each way to school… all by myself. then, sometimes, I’d go to a friend’s house after school, then home. (with permission ahead of time, you will understand). After school, we’d go find friends, then a schoolyard or park, and play pickup games of baseball, football, whatever.

    And the government now mandates kids never be out of sight of a parent/designated adult? HOW will they ever grow up without facing consequences for their carelessness (missing the bus….) or bearing responsibility for their own lives? Robots, I guess….. that’s what they want. I’d pull my kids out of a school they had to walk to now I’d been arrested for making them walk….. solves that problem, hey?

    How many kids are allowed to gather at parks, or the mall, unsupervised, often getting into trouble of various sorts, “hanging out” and being foolish in a public place? And what’s the difference?

  33. RE: Mom Who Made Her Kids Walk to School Is Charged with Neglect
    Who has authority over kids: parents, or police?

    The mother should go to jail.
    Making her children walk to school only gives them exercise, a little bit of freedom and learn a little geography.
    A life sentence without possibility of parole should do it.
    Also, who has authority over kids: parents or police?
    Are you kidding me?
    Talk about a stupid question!
    Our loving, benevolent and caring police has authority over them.
    After all, its the police who conceived them, feed them, shelter them and show them love with their batons.
    I can’t believe people are this stupid.

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