Free-Range Kids

The 10 Worst Helicopter Parenting Hysterias of 2020

Another year of unnecessary fear.

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Without further ado:

1) Pointing Fingers

A 6-year-old with Down Syndrome made a finger gun gesture at her teacher and said, "I shoot you." That was enough to trigger a call to the cops in Tredyffrin, Pennsylvania. While the principal and teacher agreed that the girl had not intended to make a threat, they said district policy mandates safety threat assessments. Apparently even when everyone knows there is no safety threat.

2) Whole Latte Mom Shaming

A study by a professor who had dedicated his life to excoriating caffeine warned pregnant women not to drink even a sip of demon coffee. That his analysis, published in BMJ, drew on just 48 of more than 1,000 studies done on caffeine compelled 20 academics and health officials to sign a letter objecting to it. "I don't think we need to worry about coffee," said one. "I think we need to worry about this relentless regulating of pregnant women's choices."

3) For Pod's Sake!

The day before the start of school, Pennsylvania suddenly informed parents that any learning pod of six or more children had to develop COVID-19 protocols in sync with the CDC's, document an evacuation plan, background-check all adults, and comply with local zoning ordinances. "My daughter can have five friends over for a sleepover without my being fingerprinted and federally background-checked," said Theresa O'Brien, mom of an eighth grader. "I also don't have to provide her friends' parents with an evacuation plan."

4) Get On the Bus

A South Carolina mom asked the local public elementary school to let her kids—ages 9, 10, and 11—walk the mile home on their own. The school refused. If an approved adult does not pick the students up, it declared, they must ride the bus—which not only takes longer than the walk, but is an enclosed space and we're in a pandemic. But for their "safety" the kids must climb aboard.

5) Toke or Treat:

"Beware of marijuana edibles in your kids' Halloween stash," warned Yahoo News in October. The ostensibly helpful piece went so far as to note that, once kids are high as kites, "In severe cases, children can become unconscious and need ventilator support." Yikes! But the fact that there is zero incentive for a person to give away their high-priced edibles? That did not make it into the story.

6) Save the (Imaginary) Children

Instead of going after actual sexual predators, adult police officers have started posing as adult women on adult dating sites where they flirt with adults and only later "confide" that they are actually underage. But the photos they send of "themselves" are of adult women in their 20s. When the mark arranges a date, the adult woman from the photos opens the door. Whereupon cops arrest the guy as a child predator…. even though he hadn't gone looking for children, and no actual children have been saved in the course of this arrest.

7) A Cuckoo Case

A Swiss 8-year-old who asked if he could use play money to buy something in a local shop was investigated for counterfeiting. Store manager Tanja Baumann said that even though the money was obviously fake, she had to call the cops because, "It is our store policy." For their part, the cops spent three hours at the boy's home, investigating the crime. The boy will have his name in police records until the year 2032.

8) Silly Rabbi, Trips Aren't for Kids

A Brooklyn rabbi who let his kids (11, 8, and a 2-year-old in a stroller) walk a few blocks to the store was arrested and charged with endangering the life of a child. The charges were dropped about 12 hours later, but not before the police called an ambulance to the scene. Because in the spring of 2020 in New York City, ambulances certainly had nothing better to do.

9) The Van That Got Away

Kevin Johnson, a Springfield, Ohio, man, spotted a white van he was convinced was trying to kidnap a girl. He chased the vehicle while valiantly filming the incident for social media. The van got away, but the video went viral on Facebook. Springfield's WHIO TV followed up with the police, who said there had been no substantiated reports of attempted kidnappings. The reporter nonetheless concluded: "Anyone who sees something suspicious or is a victim of a crime like this is urged to call police immediately." A crime like what?

10) Suspension of Disbelief

In September, a Louisiana school suspended a 4th grader for six days because the teacher glimpsed his BB gun in his room during a Zoom class. The boy, Ka'Mauri Harrison, was moving the "gun" so his brother wouldn't trip over it. At a school board hearing, he was asked: "Are you aware you were suspended because you brought a BB gun to school?" "I didn't bring my BB gun to school," Harrison replied. The school board has refused to remove the suspension from his permanent record.

Bonus story: Mom Fit to Be (Hog) Tied

Although this happened in 2017, the story only came to light this year: Vanessa Peoples' toddler wandered away from her at a family picnic. The Aurora, Colorado, mom found him soon after, but not before a passerby called the cops, who issued Peoples a ticket. A month later, when a caseworker arrived for a follow-up visit and Peoples, partly deaf, did not hear her knocking, back-up cops were called. Three of them entered the house unannounced, guns drawn. In the fracas that ensued, they hogtied Peoples and took her to jail. The police ended up settling with Peoples out of court for dislocating her shoulder. No word on what it meant to dislocate her sense of peace, proportion, or sanity. Or her kids', who witnessed the whole thing.

NEXT: New COVID-19 Strain and Bungled Vaccine Rollout Threaten the 'Return to Normal' in 2021

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  1. The whole list should just be “covid19”

    1. Yep. Hard to blame the parents when we have the MSM and Nancy Pelosi telling us we are all going to die every day, all day, with COVID death counters running 24/7/365 and any news of median ages of death and comorbidities censored . Unless you’re Pelosi at your hair salon for a private blow out or Feinstein at the private jet lounge or Newsom at a table for 12 at the French Laundry. Then you’re fine.

      1. But masks and lockdowns are totes working, and we need to do it more.

        1. Worked for Biden.

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      2. easy to blame the parents if they listen to the MSM and Pelosi.

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  2. #defundcps

  3. As LTB posted earlier today, “if you see something, do nothing;”

    Which is a bit like the Hippocratic Oath: “At first do no harm”

    1. I saw nothing.

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  4. And the 11th worst helicopter parenting story of 2020: Kobe Bryant.

    1. Too soon?

    2. “Swoosh”!

      1. Flew right over his head.

    3. Brilliant.

  5. Thankfully, nothing about clowns.

    1. 2018; Ronald McD hardest hit [they actually cancelled his contract over the hysteria, as clowns became creepy pedophiles sneaking out of the woods]

    2. They just changed the masks they wore.

      1. *writes a sticky note*

        Market idea: face mask with creepy clown smile

        1. Too late. Saw a guy wearing one at Walmart near the toys.

  6. #1 for me would be almost everything my mother-in-law did this year
    a. Making sure Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings for her family were cancelled
    b. trying to force my preschooler to wear a mask everywhere
    c. going apeshit when one of her toddler grandchildren got COVID (the grandchild had mild symptoms but that didn’t stop her from shrieking repeatedly that the kid was on death’s door)
    d. gleefully encouraging my father-in-law when he, as Director of the Health Dept in their county, implemented the most draconian restrictions in the state
    e. now he’s being sued and she just wearily sighs “I’m so tired of politics!” Yeah, it’s a bitch when people try to push back when you try to control every aspect of their existence. Ugh, life is so hard!

    1. I guess she is “technically” a helicopter grandparent, but you know…”it takes a village”

      1. Thanks, you make me feel considerably better about MY year.

    2. She could start taking MDMA. It could help her function in a better way.

    3. We should never have let women vote.

      1. We should never had allowed anyone without a net taxable income to vote.

  7. Don’t forget the guy following mom around Target (or was it the Goodwill) until she talked to the security guard (which every Target and Goodwill has).

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  9. “While the principal and teacher agreed that the girl had not intended to make a threat, they said district policy mandates safety threat assessments.”

    Ahh, the “just following orders” defense.

    1. Store manager Tanja Baumann said that even though the money was obviously fake, she had to call the cops because, “It is our store policy.”

      Part two

      1. The reporter nonetheless concluded: “Anyone who sees something suspicious or is a victim of a crime like this is urged to call police immediately.”

        Part three

      2. I hope the store lost customers as a result of this.

  10. I’m bored. Talk about Trump some more
    And how he triggers you snowflakes.

    1. What are you going to bitch about after the 20th?

  11. “But the fact that there is zero incentive for a person to give away their high-priced edibles?”

    They ran out of razor blades?

    (Christ, humans are stupid.)

    1. In reply to this I feel obligated to note that the only confirmed cases (and there are only 3 or 4 such cases) of Halloween candy tampering were proved to be targeted at a specific child by an adult who was either a relative or an acquaintance of the child’s parents.

      Not one single case of confirmed tampering targeted at random children who were strangers to the perpetrator.

      1. “Not one single case of confirmed tampering targeted at random children who were strangers to the perpetrator.”

        What does that have to do with anything?

        1. You don’t know how Halloween works?

        2. It has to do with 5) Toke or Treat:, the idea that some adult would be maliciously handing out Halloween treats laced with cannabis.

          The entire tampered Halloween treat scare was nothing but a big fat urban legend. I didn’t happen with poisons, it didn’t happen with razor blades, and it’s not going to happen with recreational chemistry.

  12. We need to get busy on that artificial intelligence stuff before it’s too late.

    1. It’s already too late, artificial stupidity already controls the market.

      1. Unfortunately, it’s natural stupidity.

        1. Artificial stupidity is much more powerful than natural stupidity.

  13. This piece of work should get honorable mention.
    https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/katie-sorensen-viral-video-kidnap-petaluma-15819497.php

    But it’s really not funny. This woman probably needs to seek professional help

    1. This line is especially telling:

      “I felt uncomfortable around them, and instead of making them uncomfortable with my discomfort, I choose to remain in my discomfort.”

      Then I called the cops and posted the experience on my influencer account.

    2. This appears to be another story of “it’s assholes all the way down”. First Sorenson is a narcissistic asshole for everything she did. But then Sadie Martinez states Sorenson targeted her for racism and then the police department is investigating Sorenson for hate crimes. No one wears a white hat in this story.

  14. I wish we could go back to before the internet and cable news when you didn’t hear about every little stupid thing people did outside of your immediate vicinity.

    1. There was always stupid stories spreading in most areas. I remember the one about not flashing your lights at a car that didn’t have them on. The car that didn’t have its headlights on at night was supposed to be gang bangers looking to attack people who flashed their lights at them.

  15. Great arricle. More like this, please.

    1. Hmmm. Bot post without a link? Have we entered a new era?

  16. “The 10 Worst Helicopter Parenting Hysterias of 2020”

    Government along with the media and their handling of the people and ‘news’ during COVID.

    You know, dictating rather than giving information that was accurate for what we knew at the time rather than lying, spinning or both depending on what city or state you lived in, thus nobody was really able to make an informed decision.

    1. Just do as SleepyJoe says. His wife is a doctor.

  17. This article is more about stupid is as stupid does. Unfortunately, the stupid have no idea they are stupid. Our city has a stupid mayor that believes that locking up healthy people prevents the spread of disease. Fortunately, the chief of police agrees that any and all officers called to the ‘crime’ of one of the stupid mayors demands use their power of discretion very liberally, and they have. There has been only one related arrest and that was for a charge of disorderly conduct of a stupid in a store insisting that others not keeping 2 meters distance be arrested, and doing so loudly and calling the police and others. The police arrested only her a very few minutes after they arrived.

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