Free-Range Kids

Cops Arrest Mom Working Evening Shift at Pizza Place for Leaving Kids, Ages 10 and 2, Alone

Is that really helping?


An Ohio mom has been arrested for leaving her kids, a 10-year-old and a 2-year-old, in a motel room while she worked her shift at a pizza shop.

A tip to the police led officers to a Motel Six in Youngstown at about 6:15 p.m. on Thursday night. The 10-year-old explained that her mom was working and would be home at 10:00 p.m.

The officers went to the pizza shop where the mom, Shaina Bell, 24, told them she usually has someone look in on the kids every hour. She was booked into jail on two counts of child endangerment and the kids were sent to their father. She got out on bail.

It's certainly not ideal for a mom to have to work at night while her 10-year-old babysits her little sister. But the facts—the motel room—seem to suggest that the family is under serious financial strain. And when that is the case, and there is a pandemic, and you are a mom trying to earn a living, it does not make your kids better off if you are under arrest, or in a cell, or possibly now contending with custody lawyers and the courts to get back on your feet.

We don't know any more details about the case. A GoFundMe for the family was started and then stopped. The comments section on the local news story is rife with folks trying to figure out her relationship to the kids' dad and his family. But having the police and probably child protection authorities in the middle of this family's drama—all because mom had to go to work an evening shift—is not going to make life easier for the kids or teach them any lessons we would want them to know.

Think about the moral of the story from the viewpoint of the 10-year-old. She answered the door responsibly, gave the information requested, and seemed to be managing fine at the time the police were called. Now the lesson may be, You should be afraid when mom asks you to watch your younger sibling. Or even, Don't trust mom.

In the name of protecting kids, this intervention may not be protecting kids at all. And in a country busy rethinking whether it really makes sense to have cops handling cases involving mental illness, this seems like a good time to also consider the mismatch between the usual law enforcement responses and parents in poverty. Instead of arrest, charge, jail, bail—nothing that actually helps the family and plenty that puts it even further behind the eight ball—the cops should, like doctors, first do no harm.

"This case is far too common—so common that Congress has started to get the message that family poverty is not neglect," says Diane Redleaf, co-chair of United Family Advocates and Legal Consultant to Let Grow. "Instead of punishing parents for being poor, we need to start building up community responses so children can be safe and supported. And when children are not in obvious immediate danger due to real abuse, it might be time for authorities to stand back. Ask the mom what help she needs, but don't make poverty a crime."

That sounds sensible to me.

NEXT: On This Presidents Day, Stop Worshiping the Imperial Presidency

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      1. = Misery.


        You morons act like child poverty only started with the Great Society in the 1960s.

        1. Looks like you you got butt hurt over there buttplug.

          I know buddy. Truth hurts. But the fact of the matter is - democrats are the party of safety nets and social programs and endless nannyism over the entirety of your life.

          Oh - and by the way, we weren't talking about child poverty. We were talking about the leftist state letting parents know what your 10 year old can and can't do, instead of parents.

          But whatever man. Pull your buttplug out, and bend over, because Biden is approaching from the rear, and he wants to know what your hair smells like.

        2. Oh! - and the 60s were not a "great society." Pretty much everything about your statement was a false premise.

        3. Trump was president. Presidents don’t enter into this. Her arrest is a function of state and local government. You’re too busy raping children and/or jacking it to kiddie porn to think anything through.

          Kill yourself.

        4. Until about 20 years ago most of the world was in poverty.

        5. With close knit family groups and closer community ties and stronger church associations, such things probably were less common with younger kids, but also we have softer ideas of where children become responsible in this era.

        6. non sequitur there, buttplug.

        7. No but that is when poverty stopped declining.

    1. Doctors with kevlar armor and dog packs should be treating the crime problem, not gutting motherhood of its rightful share of personal problems. Right, Buck?

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  1. The only thing the mom did that I can see is not teach her 10 y/o not to talk to the cops.

    1. This is how kids will grow up to be domestic terrorists. It’s almost like they’re pushing for it.

      1. OF COURSE they’re pushing for it. How else to justify “temporary increases in domestic surveillance”?? For our own good.

    2. The only thing the mom did that I can see is not teach her 10 y/o to shoot first and ask questions later.

  2. Hell she was a mother at 14 herself.

    Hope her kids are smarter.

    1. Regression to the mean is a positive outcome in many cases.

      1. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you don’t have any self-awareness.

        1. Then there’s all that valor he stole when he falsely claimed to be a war vet. SF even. Though in reality he’s just a sock for Chemjeff/Cytotoxic.

      2. Why was the father not arrested if the mother was ?
        Neither one was there .
        Why was the father not tending to the kids while mom was at work ?
        Just Questions

    2. The best way to help her is to give her some condoms.

    3. At least she was working.

  3. Is that really helping?

    The mother and the family; no.
    The police union; hell yeah!

  4. I wish Lenore Skenazy would do some political reporting for Reason. She at least has some clear principles she doesnt deviate from depending on the circumstance and the parties involved

    1. Oramge Man Bad not being a real clear principle for the rest of the crew

      1. Orange Man Does No Wrong is not a real clear principle either.

        1. It’s fun watching you try to conjure a counter for your TDS out of thin air.

          1. It’s fun watching you counter a perfectly cromulent message by blaming the messenger.

            1. It’s a pathetic strawman used to deflect from fair criticism, and serves as an example of the person using it behaving exactly as those they’re accusing.

              1. It’s the exact counterpart of what it responded to. If one is a strawman, so is the other. TDS works both ways.

                1. None of what Nash said is a strawman, it’s a clearly stated conclusion he’s reached about Reason.
                  If you want to defend this publication’s integrity and objectivity, go for it.
                  But be better than an emotionally insecure parrot living on your knees.

                  1. An insecure parrot living on his knees? Nice. Although in his case that sounds like a compliment.

        2. Where do you get this? I never see any “orange man does no wrong” sentiment in this comment section.

          What I DO see is some well-practiced and unsubtle misrepresentation. Any time someone disagrees with the “orangeman completely bad, every time, on everything” narrative,
          we see this hyperbolic, unsupported accusation that the narrative resister therefore thinks Trump is always right. It’s stupid and it’s bullshit.

          It sounds like the projection of a binary mindset that most intelligent people don’t actually share. It’s not an either/or between always right and always wrong. Both are inaccurate, but you insist on defending *your* mindless hysterical reaction.

      2. Oramge Man Bad … !?!?

        What is an oramge man, is it related to an origami man?

        Now about ORANGE man being bad…

        Orange Man bad?!? He BAD, all right! He SOOO BAD, He be GOOD! He be GREAT! He Make America Great Again!

        We KNOW He can Make America Great Again, because, as a bad-ass businessman, He Made Himself and His Family Great Again! He Pussy Grabber in Chief!

        See The Atlantic article by using the below search-string in quotes:
        “The Many Scandals of Donald Trump: A Cheat Sheet” or this one…

        He pussy-grab His creditors in 7 bankruptcies, His illegal sub-human workers ripped off of pay on His building projects, and His “students” in His fake Get-Rich-like-Me realty schools, and so on. So, He has a GREAT record of ripping others off! So SURELY He can rip off other nations, other ethnic groups, etc., in trade wars and border wars, for the benefit of ALL of us!!!

        All Hail to THE Pussy Grabber in Chief!!!

        Most of all, HAIL the Chief, for having revoked karma! What comes around, will no longer go around!!! The Donald has figured out that all of the un-Americans are SOOO stupid, that we can pussy-grab them all day, every day, and they will NEVER think of pussy-grabbing us right back!

        Orange Man Bad-Ass Pussy-Grabber all right!

        We CAN grab all the pussy, all the time, and NONE will be smart enough to EVER grab our pussies right back!

        These voters simply cannot or will not recognize the central illusion of politics… You can pussy-grab all of the people some of the time, and you can pussy-grab some of the people all of the time, but you cannot pussy-grab all of the people all of the time! Sooner or later, karma catches up, and the others will pussy-grab you right back!

        1. I have been told that origami man knows when to hold ’em, knows when (and WHERE) to fold ’em!

  5. Good thing those cops never visited the eighties, or they would have had to arrest everyone.

    1. Before Twitter. Ancient of History.

      1. Wasn’t the cast of Stranger Things blown away by the freedom the children enjoyed?

        1. I wouldn’t be surprised. There wasn’t a managed play-date anywhere in that script.

        2. Including the actors who played the older siblings? Because I’m their age and my childhood was just like the kids in the show, except with unsupervised pick-up sports and air soft gun fights instead of D&D.

          1. Air soft? We had bottle rocket fights

            1. Pussy. We used roman candles and bb guns.

              1. You try so hard to fit in and yet are still a pariah.

              2. a) wasn’t meant as a brag, more a lamentation that things considered pretty tame just 15-20 years are unconscionable to many parents today. b) roman candles are expensive, thus roman candle duels were reserved for special occasions. c) my parents would’ve been pissed if we used bb guns or roman candles indoors.

                1. Indoors?!?!

                  1. Oh god you’re still trying


                    1. You know that thing you said about self awareness a little earlier?

                      Might want to try it.

                    2. Ok I am aware that it made you big mad.

                      Hey it worked!

                    3. “You know that thing you said about self awareness a little earlier?”

                      Pissed you off did it.


                    4. Why does he keep giving us these easy layups?

                    5. “Why does he keep giving us these easy layups?”

                      In case we weren’t already absolutely certain that making him look stupid pissed him off.

                    6. You guys are doing a pretty great impression of a troop of baboons. Except you are supposed to throw the poop, not smear it on your face.

                    7. Lol it bothered you so much!

                    8. Man, DOL got real upset here.

                  2. The guy who is being ignored thinks he’s getting zingers when his comments go unread. What a loser.

                    1. “when his comments go unread.”

                      “De Oppresso Liber
                      February.15.2021 at 4:02 pm
                      You know that thing you said”


                    2. He’s so mad about you pointing out how he tries to fit in and fails that he’s become illiterate.

                    3. Damn DOL and sarc’s scalp in the same thread.

                    4. Doesn’t your whining about it prove he is though?

                    5. Reason really needs an “ignore” button. That would send the trolls packing. It is not hard, most other comment sections have one.

              3. We played army with BB guns. My one buddy was blinded in one eye, poking his head up while pinned down behind a log.

            2. Did you ever load a bunch of cut-off match heads into an empty air pistol C02 cylinder and launch it like a missile? We put a 6 inch hole into a sheet of plywood with one of those.

              The 80s / early 90s were great.

              1. No, but we used to make gasoline beer can apple cannons.

    2. I know. When I was 10 I walked to and from school just under a mile away (about 100 yards or so further and I would have ridden the bus) and got home from school about 2 hours before my parents. I was completely unsupervised for 2 whole hours. Horrors.

      1. Yeah, this tendency in the modern era baffles me. Nearly everyone walked (or rode a bike) to the elementary school I attended, from kindergarten on. And this is like, 1981, not 1951. So it’s those same people who are parents today. I have no idea where they came up with this nonsense.

  6. Is that really helping?


    The goal is that lower income, working class wage earners are wards of the state. If she found a way to make ends meet without the state’s intervention, then the state will intervene the hard way.

    1. Agreed, it’s a poor word choice. The question should be who is that really helping?

  7. Now the lesson may be, You should be afraid when mom asks you to watch your younger sibling. Or even, Don’t trust mom.

    The correct lesson is never trust the police.

    1. No. The correct lesson is don’t violate the law by leaving your two year old and ten year old unattended.

  8. Umm, don’t 10-year-olds (at least responsible ones) often earn pocket money by babysitting? So it’s okay for them to look after other people’s young kids but not their own siblings?

    I grew up in the 80s, so maybe that is not the case anymore. You probably need at least a bachelors degree in early childhood education and a certificate in diversity training before you can even think about babysitting those days.

    1. The Red Cross offers babysitting courses for children but they have to be 11 to enroll. Ohio doesn’t have anything on the books requiring a minimum age so it becomes like so many other vague and ethereal “knowing it when they see it” laws rather than having any actual substance. Of course we can’t forget the county and city nannies might have their own set of gossamer rules.

    2. Well in my day (the 70s) baby sitters tended to be teens. Usually 13 to 16. Because the 17 and 18 year old girls had jobs. They did until the 80s when unions made war on part time work by teenagers.

      1. Safety third.

      2. I think I was babysitting at 10 or 11, but I only did if for a couple of years, since by 12 or 13 I was making more money mowing neighbor’s lawns at $10-$20 a pop. Then from 14-16 I had summer jobs doing janitorial work at the local church and school in addition to the lawn mowing.

        I wanted to have enough cash saved up to buy a car the week I turned 16.

        1. I thought you were gonna say you were making 900 buck week two hour day online…

          1. Nah, I still work at Shoprite. I’m the only employee left.

      3. “Well in my day (the 70s) baby sitters tended to be teens.”

        An obvious falsehood. Teens cannot have obtained the necessary Ph.D. in Babysitting Studies.

    3. I grew up 80s-90s. Sometime in the early 90s the law changed for the legal age of babysitting in MD and my Aunt was one of the early recipience of a CPS report from a “concern” neighbor for having her 10 year old watch her 8 year old. I know this because I started working a summer on the payroll job at 11 years old but when I hit 12 I got to take the next summer off to watch my lil brother and my cousins above. Which was actually great since 1) got to goof off by the pool all summer while being paid and 2) gov’t didn’t take a piece of my earnings that summer.

      1. I was 11 or 12 in the 1970’s when I started babysitting. I had gone with my sisters a few times to learn what to do. Started with some relatives kids and then moved on to friends of my parents typically. I was pretty good at it and learned a lot and earned some cash to buy kid stuff. Without it, I would have been totally broke and even unhappier with life. Going rate was about a dollar an hour. I probably cleared $300 a year until I was 16. I never had my son do it as apparently boys don’t do this anymore. He would have been good at it. My daughter started at 12 and took classes. I never took any babysitting classes.

        1. “…. and even unhappier with life.”

          At 11 or 12? Damn, dude. Bummer.

          1. It happens. I was in Hawaii at that point in my life. That’s where I learned that ethnic animus was *not*, in fact, a relic of the past.

            Anyone who says it’s impossible to be racist towards white people was obviously never a white kid in Hawaii.

    4. So it’s okay for them to look after other people’s young kids but not their own siblings?

      Don’t know about where you live, but around here you can’t legally leave kids alone unless someone is older than thirteen.

      1. I don’t know where you live, but that is very extreme, and the only state in the US that requires 13 is Illinois, land of excessive laws. According to the Red Cross you can get your babysitting class done at eleven years old, and my eleven year old gets lots of babysitting jobs. We are in an urban Blue State and no one thinks it is weird. Eleven year olds are better babysitters than fourteen year olds, they actually play with the kids and don’t stare at their phones or invite their boyfriends over.

        1. Red Cross will allow the babysitting class to be delivered to 9-year-olds, or at least, they would when my kid was 9. But my kid didn’t have any younger siblings to watch over, and also started elementary school at 4 and started college at 16. She is currently married, a graduate student, and working as a nanny.

    5. I want to say that I was 11 or so when I was first babysitting for the neighbors. Then again, clearly those were different times, since no one would ever let a boy babysit now for fear of molestation.

  9. Today in libertarian news and commentary.

    Facebook is silencing debate on lockdown
    Two of the scientists behind the Great Barrington Declaration on their brush with Big Tech censorship.

    On 2 February, we put up a post in favour of the Covid vaccine on the Great Barrington Declaration (GBD) Facebook page. We, as two of the primary authors of the GBD, are firmly in favour of voluntary vaccination, using vaccines that regulatory authorities have carefully evaluated and approved for use. Our post argued for prioritising the elderly for vaccination against Covid-19 as a tool for the focused protection of this vulnerable group. It generated a vigorous debate in the comment section among people against the Covid vaccines and people who agreed with us.

    On 4 February, without warning, Facebook deleted the entire Great Barrington Declaration (GBD) page. The only explanation it provided was that the page violated its ‘community standards’, but it did not specify what standards the page violated. A week later, again without any explanation, Facebook restored the page.

    1. The first time is the warning; next time you sleep with the fishes.

    2. At least it wasn’t the government. People want the government to be in charge of this stuff. But how would government be any better? Cops with guns arresting moms for working in pizza parlors are now going to be in charge of what gets posted? No fucking way.

      Facebook may be a bunch of assholes, but government is a bunch of assholes with guns. See the difference?

      1. “People want”

        I’ll take hurried deflections with straw men for 1000 Alex.

        1. Facebook cooperates with government; Facebook gets government money; Facebook conspires with government to coordinate clandestine surveillance; Facebook assists government in imposing democracy; and Facebook operates to please government and silence government’s adversaries.

          Somehow, Facebook is “private.”

          1. And somehow moar government is the answer.

            1. No, it is not.

              I can make the case without resort to my anarchic utopia: the federal government can be dramatically downsized and Facebook as well as the FAANGS can be defanged.

              1. It’s seriously pathetic how some people on here, who for years have talked about the dangers of crony capitalism, suddenly get a massive blind spot when it comes to a Gilded Age-style trust like Big Tech, even after 20-plus years of government investment from front groups like In-Q-Tel and proxies such as Greyhawk. Or the fact that these companies are now deep in bed with the government by providing them with contract services for their comm infrastructure, which as we now know, are vulnerable to massive hacks.

                Somehow, they’ve deluded themselves into thinking that these companies are acting as independent actors, rather than carrying out a mutually parasitic relationship with their government sponsors.

                1. You can get treatment for your paranoia, and it doesn’t have to come from the government.

          2. It is private, and I freely and voluntarily deleted my account several years ago.

            1. If only I could do that with the government.

            2. Try doing that now. I have tried to delete Twitter and it just plain old doesn’t let you.

              1. Doesn’t mean you have to log on or look at it. If you don’t like it, just ignore it.

      2. Facebook may be a bunch of assholes, but government is a bunch of assholes with guns. See the difference?

        This is the thing that seems to confuse libertarians.

        If you make criticisms of the Silicon Valley culture, and point out that they are turning a very good thing into a dystopian nightmare (as it were), that you’re not allowed to even make that criticism because it’s targeted at a private corporation.

        Nowhere did I suggest, nor did the linked article suggest any government intervention. The Silicon Valley oligarchy is absolutely deserving of 147% of the derision it gets, and I will continue to deride it at every opportunity, and my derision is entirely libertarian.

        1. If you don’t like how Facebook moderates content, don’t give them your content.

    3. Uh, FB just launched a new “viewpoints” app. No idea what it does but maybe it could be to move contentious key words into a quarantine zone?

  10. A GoFundMe for the family was started and then stopped.

    Meanwhile, the GoFundMe for the retard who gorilla-glued her hair to her head collected $20K which, thanks to her plastic surgeon’s generous donation of free surgery, she can now give to charity.

    1. People sent $23k so a moron wouldn’t have to shave her head? WTF?

  11. I expect an article soon blaming Trump for this, because his immigration policy prevented her from hiring a Central American immigrant as a nanny for 50 cents a day.

    1. And then another by ENB blaming Republicans for this because the mother couldn’t get free taxpayer abortions

    2. And can who is also literate.

      1. *And is also literate. LOL!

  12. I thought equity was the point of everything now.
    If a 10 year old is mature enough to select their own gender, they surely are mature enough to watch a two year old.

    1. I’m sure a ten year old is mature enough to have sexual intercourse with a two year old, as long as they both self identify. But perform childcare? You need college-trained, licensed-professionals for that. I stress the “licensed” part. They’re not qualified unless they paid the government for a piece of paper.

      1. Gross pervert.

    2. Surely the 10 year old could have identified as an adult?

      1. No one wants to hear about your bedroom behavior.

    3. Yes, the police force is such a well known bastion of progressivism, they’re definitely all about transgender rights.


  13. She’s black right? Fuck her, welcome to equity.

  14. Back in summer rich White folk were bothered and befuddled as to why poor Black folk didn’t trust the police. Well here is the answer. Poor White folk don’t trust the cops either, but they don’t tend to make the news. Poor folk in general KNOW the cops aren’t there for them. This confuses the middle class White folk who trust the cops and demand cops oversee every aspect of other people’s lives. “Why should I be afraid if I haven’t done anything wrong?” they tell themselves. Well this mom didn’t do anything wrong. The hotel room wasn’t ideal, but how is it any different than an apartment?

    Don’t trust the cops. This is what that ten year old is learning.

    1. Hotel room is different from apartment in that hotels/motels often have rules about who can be left alone in the room. Generally children cannot be left in a motel room while the parent/guardian is not on the premises. I don’t know what the cutoff age is, it may vary by motel. But even in a town with no minimum babysitting age, if the motel has rules that are being violated, they can call the cops. Once the motel realized the kids were unattended, that’s when the ball starts rolling, because what if something happened and the motel was liable. So they follow their procedure and call the police. That is my guess as to what happened. Who told the motel? Not sure.

      Motel 6 is housing So Many low-income people, all over the country. As a chain they are performing a public service in addition to making money. But they are businesspeople and it is too much to expect them to allow unattended children even if it would be fine in an apartment.

      1. And the police are going to call social service agencies, because the children need assistance, and the police are not equipped for child care. That is not their job.

  15. Welcome to my life in the 60’s.

    And don’t forget that my 6 year old sister was there too!

    But getting paid for it? Keeping an eye on the pests was part of “things we expect you to do around here as a member of the family”.

    1. Oh, and the NYT continues to edit away its fabrications about officer Sicknick. I’m guessing that within six weeks, the original NYT article will still have the headline about an officer dying DURING a pro-trump Rampage, with the article text simply mentioning his passing.

      1. All the alleged Jan 6. fatalities are CRISIS ACTORS! Nobody really died! It’s all fake! There wasn’t even anybody really at the Capitol, it was all filmed on a soundstage in Burbank!

  16. How about “10 year olds are perfectly competent to be babysitters so the mom did nothing wrong in the first place.”

    1. Up next, the mom who hires the neighbor’s 10-year-old to baby sit gets arrested.

      The nanny state can’t handle competition.

      1. If you are too young to have kids, you are too young to look after them.

        1. It depends upon the child and really your opinion here is meaningless.

        2. A 10-yr old looking after a kid out of diapers (3+ yrs old) is probably OK. But what about when the 2-yr old craps her diaper and has to wallow in it all day? That is the abuse.

          The length of the time the 10-yr old is in charge is also an issue. An hour or two might be OK, but an 8-hour shift is pretty irresponsible because the kids have to eat.

          1. At 10, I knew how to change a diaper and was a pretty reasonable cook. Admittedly, Motel 6 rooms often lack kitchens.

            1. “At 10, I knew how to change a diaper and was a pretty reasonable cook. ”


        3. Well, it’s not all that unusual for a 10 year old girl to be physically capable of having kids.

          1. Well, the ones that are virgo intacta aren’t physically capable of having kids, which is most of them.

    2. “How about “10 year olds are perfectly competent to be babysitters so the mom did nothing wrong in the first place.”

      SOME 10-year-olds are perfectly capable of being babysitters, and some are not.

  17. Look at the bright side. In another ten years the Second Amendment will kick in. Then, who knows, maybe some of the initiators of force will get a taste of their own favorite medicine. Picture the trailer: “Do you remember bullying my mom?”
    The Republican party found out how this feels back in November.

  18. The problem here is like so many others, using the police as first responders for social and mental health problems. If you send police to deal with child welfare or a person in a mental health crisis you are looking for this kind of trouble. This of course is not the fault of the police, we just dump the problems on them. “Hey while you out on crime patrol can you do these six or seven other things that are only tangentially crime related”.

    So here a thought, next time the Police Chief turns in a budget saying he needs more money, and they always do. Let have the Mayor and the city counsel say we can’t give you any more but we are going to shift some of this work off your staff.

    1. Excellent point.

    2. “The problem here is like so many others, using the police as first responders for social and mental health problems.”

      yeah, yeah, yeah, defund the police. Anarchist.

    1. Who was supposed to be watching HIM?

  19. Trump associates who have been sent to prison or faced criminal charges

    Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., the congressman who was once the first to stand up and endorse then-candidate Trump during the 2016 election, was sentenced to two years and two months in federal prison on Friday.

    Having pleaded guilty to charges related to securities fraud conspiracy and making false statements, and resigning from his post last year, Collins is just the latest in a series of close allies and associates of President Trump to face the stain of a criminal record. In all, 14 Trump aides, donors and advisers have been indicted or imprisoned since the days when the first-time candidate promised that he would only hire “the best people.

    More to come. The Trump crime gang is the most corrupt in US history.

    1. 0 and 2

      1. Depends on how you keep score.

        Number of times Donald Trump was President immediately after an impeachment trial: 1 out of 4.

        1. Which puts him ahead of Richard Nixon (0 out of 4), and tied with Bill Clinton (1 out of 4).

    2. Among those, at least 4 who were actually innocent and were framed by their government in order to provide cover for illegal surveillance of American citizens by the FBI and CIA at the behest of the Obama administration. Not something I’d be crowing about.

      1. Yeah, and your guy “won in a landslide”.

    3. Aren’t you the kid fucker?

      1. You can see why he’s steering the conversation away from children in motel rooms.

  20. For once, the spam comments on here are slightly relevant.

  21. Maybe being single with kids is not such a hot lifestyle after all.

    1. Sure, but you head down to the river with your kids and a big burlap bag just once, and suddenly you have an arrest record.

  22. So…. advertising is doing something odd that makes my computer take forever to finish loading these pages. Ok, that’s an exaggeration. Strike “forever” and go with “a good 30 seconds”.

    I have not found the offending script, but i did find out that adding this to my adblock filter makes the page responsive and useful sooner.[class=”sidebar magicSidebar”]

    It gets rid of the links and stuff on the sidebar – and a couple of ads that seem to go with it. The “loading” indicator still spins away nearly as long… but without waiting around to draw those elements, it becomes more useable.

    1. 30 seconds IS forever in internet years.
      On a real computer, chrome and adblock work well.

      1. Firefox plus NoScript clears away all the clutter.

  23. Yes we can!

    1. “we need to start building up community responses so children can be safe and supported… That sounds sensible to me.”

      That sounds socialist to me.

      1. De[pends on what one means by community. The people living there by free and voluntary association or through more gubmnt plans, programs and laws?

        1. “The people living there by free and voluntary association”

          In the USA? Are you nuts?

      2. “That sounds socialist to me.”

        EEEK! People helping other people is SO icky!

  24. A couple of thoughts:

    I was babysitting for cash when I was 12. Couples would often stay out until 2am. I never sat for a 2 year old at that age… but I did have a good number of 4 and 5 year old kids.

    I’m not sure about 10. My daughter just turned 11 days ago, and she’s whip-smart and pretty danged responsible. More responsible than her brother was at that age. I’m not sure if I’d leave her for 9 hours with a 2 year old sibling… but if with someone looking in every hour? In a pinch? Maybe….

    Second thought:

    When I was just starting out, the wife and I lived in a cheap apartment in the Atlanta area. There was a family downstairs in similar straits. Daddy was in jail. Mom worked at a hotel as a maid. She was trying.. but ill equipped. She had 3 kids. 12, 5 and 3. The 12 year old was supposed to watch the little ones. He didn’t. He ran off to play with his friends, leaving the 5 and 3 year old alone.

    The 5 year old was a force of nature. Crazy smart and a born leader. She brought her brother up to knock on our door. They were hungry. We went downstairs with them to investigate. Mom left them with no real food in the house. Just a bowl of hard candy.

    So we had them up for some food. They hadn’t eaten all day.

    Now…. time for a choice. Do you call the police? Child welfare?

    We sent them home with a jar of dry roasted peanuts to snack on until mom came home and left her a note explaining the situation and asking her to come see us.

    She told us her story. Alone, dad set to get out of jail in a couple of months. Trying, but drowning.

    We pointed her toward a couple of service organizations that could help her get the aid she needed. I gave her a ride to the offices of a charity that helps navigate the system of government aid and private charities. They helped ensure that food was in the house.

    The 5 year old still stopped by with her brother regularly when whatever babysitter that was (or wasn’t) arranged fell through. The 5 year old always asked to be taught. That first day, she saw a notepad on the table and asked me to teach her to write. She was desperate to learn.

    So we gave them a hand up, best we could. I taught the kids about science, and I read to them and taught them their letters. We didn’t have much ourselves, but we had a hell of a lot more than they did.

    I have no idea how it worked out. Dad got out of jail and they moved away, never to be heard from again. Mom was completely uneducated and kinda dumb as a stump too. But she was trying hard. The kids were pretty amazing, especially the 5 year old girl. she’ll be the CEO of a major organization one day. (even if that major organization is a criminal organization. Or worse… government)

    So I probably did the wrong thing, by these people’s standards. I should have called the police so mom could go to jail and the kids could be split up into foster homes. The 5 year old probably stood a good chance of charming her way into an adoption. The 12 year old? Yeah… permanent foster care and probably what they call a “troubled” life. And the little one? He seemed kinda below average at first glance… so probably no adoption for him.

    I suppose rather than concerning myself about busybodies who are all too eager to wreck a family in order to save it, I should thank my lucky stars that none of these types were around to point at my wife and I, shrieking like Donald Sutherland in “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” and making all kinds of wild accusations about how horrible we were for helping out this young family instead of turning them in like good little party members.

    1. 10 is too young. Mother Nature has decided that child rearing starts after puberty, not before.

      ” I should have called the police so mom could go to jail and the kids could be split up into foster homes. ”

      I disagree. Involving the police in these situations is unlikely to make things better.

      “We didn’t have much ourselves,”

      Kids don’t demand much. They are usually content if you are willing to give them nothing more than your time and attention.

      1. And food. Kids need food.

        1. Sharing food with the hungry is a rewarding experience. Still, it’s probably better if the food is prepared and doled out by an adult rather than a child. There’s a reason why all of the world’s most notable chefs are considerably older than 10.

          1. “There’s a reason why all of the world’s most notable chefs are considerably older than 10.”

            Because we don’t typically teach kids the finer points of cooking by that age?

            1. Because 10 year olds are immature, physically and mentally.

              1. Obviously you’ve never seen Master Chef Kids

                1. Or the X-Files.

          2. THAT’S FUNNY!

      2. Apparently I embody storytelling failure. “So I probably did the wrong thing, by these people’s standards” was supposed to convey that modern busybodies would insist that I did the wrong thing by getting involved and helping people myself. In their version of the best possible world, only the state can solve problems, so you call the police if someone is in need.

        “We didn’t have much” was supposed to invoke and understanding that we were in a crappy apartment working in fairly low-paying jobs and hoping to get a leg up so we could start our own family. We were hardly in the position to feed and cloth a random stranger’s kids, and the demands on our time at that age were such that providing free (and random) childcare wasn’t really on our agenda. It was more than just a little bit of a sacrifice to look after this broken family of complete strangers.

        Why is that important? Because the Karens of today are in charge, and they insist that Big Brother fix these situations. Put mom in jail. That’ll teach her! Send people with guns, that’s sure to help. Whatever you do, don’t get involved. Don’t offer a simple bit of charity, person to person. What could you possibly gain from that? Better to vote for politicians who promise to give the government more money and more power to handle the situation for you.

        It is my thesis that this mentality is the root of many of our problems. When settlements were small, people knew each other. Simple human empathy drove people to help one another when things went south. But now we have a huge layer of government between us and our neighbor. Very few people feel the need to get their hands dirty helping a neighbor, because they quench that need to help others by voting for a politician who promises to do it for them by taking money from someone else.

        The world would be a much better place if everyone had a little more personal charity and a little less “I’ll let government use force to handle things for me”.

        The thing is… this sort of thing can be rough. That family just left one day. I never met dad. He never came by to say thanks. Mom never came by to let us know what was happening. Heck, she really only offered the perfunctory “thanks” when she accidentally was in the same space with us, after that initial encounter where I took a whole day being her personal chauffeur and guide to the social services world.

        We did even more for another family years later. Several families in our church took a mom and her kids under our wing because they were in a bad place and they asked. Mom was probably an ex prostitute – maybe a current prostitute, but one without much earning potential at this point… We helped her get a job, twisting church member’s arms to give her a break. We bought her a mini-van. We got her an apartment, then a rental home. We bought her kids clothes and supplies and toys. We bought her furniture.

        She was doing OK, the job was going well. But then she saw a better grift, and burned all her bridges and left town. Stuck the couple that provided the rental home at way below market with a mess, didn’t pay a couple months rent and left with no notice of any kind. Ended up suing the company that gave her the job.

        That’s what helping people in need can look like.

        So the pressure from every side pushes us away from the one thing that could truly make this world better – an individual human connection between people and a willingness to help where it is needed, even at some cost – and toward a depersonalized big-brother solution. It doesn’t make society better… but it does solve problems with “out of sight, out of mind” solutions. Better to give up some taxes (that hopefully someone else will pay) and some freedoms…. that’s safer than getting involved and doing it ourselves.

    2. This echoes my sentiments. Generally speaking, 10 is young to fend for themselves all day. It’s even worse imo for that child to be tasked with a toddler. If the youngest was a couple of years older then I’d have less issues. My older kid is about to be 13, but we don’t trust her to watch the 2 year old for more that about half an hour. Just hasn’t shown the necessary interest and responsibility to provide the care and attention a toddler requires.
      The situation from this article is certainly concerning to me. I don’t know that I’d advocate calling cps or police. People do get stuck in hard places and sometimes rough situations like this become a short term necessity. Ideally, a friend or neighbor could do what you did for that family.
      What gets me is that I’m supposed to be outraged that the kids were removed from a bad situation and placed with their father. Considering none of the relevant details have been provided, is it possible that the father is the more fit custodial parent? Is it also possible that he didn’t get custody because of the legal system’s bias towards awarding custody to mothers?

      1. The most interesting thing about your reply?

        That I had the same thought about the father and promptly discarded it as a topic for discussion. PC culture is so pervasive that anything that smacks of “men’s rights” is like the 3rd rail of internet comments. You just don’t go there.

        Of course, you are right, a priori. Mom couldn’t take care of her kids and they took them over to dad’s place.

        Which makes one wonder what in the world is going on with these people’s lives that she has kids living alone in a seedy hotel room and can’t call the father to take them.

        Once you’ve seen it, you can’t unsee it. Why did mom refuse to call in dad? Does he have any relationship with the kids? Is he a serial abuser that she was escaping at any cost? Is she a mentally unstable fabulist who was hiding her kids from their father? The idea of making a home in a motel and leaving young kids unattended in this single room home for entire work days raises so many questions, invites so much speculation.

        Now I kinda want to know. We need Maury Povich to unearth all the seedy details and spread them before the public.

        1. Maybe dad has a job too.

          1. i always ask what about the dad when i see stories like this but the fact is that too many of these dopey mom’s let the losers skate and play that empowered chick card of “i don’t need no man”

            well, my darling, you do. and so do the demon seeds you guys popped out. old pops has a mom and dad and so might you. y’all need to take a shift and get them kids raised up. this is the entirely predictable result of the welfare state enabling single motherhood and denigrating fathers.


    3. “When I was just starting out, the wife and I lived in a cheap apartment in the Atlanta area. There was a family downstairs in similar straits. Daddy was in jail. Mom worked at a hotel as a maid. She was trying.. but ill equipped. She had 3 kids. 12, 5 and 3. The 12 year old was supposed to watch the little ones. He didn’t. He ran off to play with his friends, leaving the 5 and 3 year old alone. ”

      When my kid was still an infant, we had a neighbor we never saw. She had a 12-hour production shift at the local semiconductor foundry, which paid well but not quite well enough to pay for childcare 12 hours at a time, so the neighbor’s kid was left at home alone. the kid was maybe 5, and would sometimes knock at another neighbor’s door asking to be fed. We got interviewed by the CPS caseworker investigating. They didn’t take the kid away from the mother, but they did arrange for mother and kid to move in with someone who could provide basic childcare.

  25. … Or how Eleven Thousand Years of female empowerment and gains in women’s rights and marketplace fare such as “instant contact devices” just swish around aimlessly in the Ohio government toilet bowl.

  26. OMG, I was left in charge of four younger siblings when I was 10. Do I need to turn my mom in? She just turned 85 but I want to to the best for our great leaders so I’m ready to get her sent to a reeducation camp.

  27. “Instead of punishing parents for being poor, we need to start building up community responses so children can be safe and supported.”

    Here’s a really wild and outside the box idea; end the lockdowns.

    1. Because if the parents are in the hospital, the kids will be well-cared-for?

  28. Choice ends at birth.

  29. The idea that of “If someone could do a better job then they should,” isn’t only about taking kids away from a parent, it goes for the ballot box as well.

  30. Now the lesson may be, You should be afraid when mom asks you to watch your younger sibling. Or even, Don’t trust mom.

    Or, don’t talk to the damn cops.

    1. That is a very reasonable (if hopefully wrong) take-away: the cops will use what you say to arrest your mom.

  31. This story is SO incomplete as to be fraudulent. It is sheer self-promotion (promotion of the writer’s cause).

  32. Good intentions! Producing perverse incentives since the first regulator crawled out of the primordial ooze.

  33. Yeah, my first thought after reading the kids were sent to their father’s was that there must be some reason they weren’t already there to begin with, and perhaps Job #1 would be to figure THAT out.

    I’m a divorced dad, my ex had primary custody. If she ended up in a situation where my child had to be left alone so ex could work BUT I WAS AVAILABLE then there would have been a conversation, believe me.

    1. ” If she ended up in a situation where my child had to be left alone so ex could work BUT I WAS AVAILABLE then there would have been a conversation, believe me.”

      sounds like if you’d reached that point, the problem would be related to not having conversations.

  34. “But having the police and probably child protection authorities in the middle of this family’s drama—all because mom had to go to work an evening shift—is not going to make life easier for the kids or teach them any lessons we would want them to know.”

    That depends entirely on what resources (if any) the police and probably child protection authorities have available to address this particular problem.

  35. The problem will soon be solved when Congress raises the minimum wage to $15 and mom’s employer finds that they no longer can afford to keep her on the payroll. Then she’ll be able to stay home (or more likely, at the homeless shelter) and take care of them all day.

    1. The current proposed bill has a five-year phase-in to $15 as the minimum, so she’ll have plenty of time to look for something else, plus the 2-year-old will be in school when that happens.

  36. The fact that the GoFund Me account for this family was paused should make us all pause as well. There is apparently more to this story than we are seeing. Whether a ten-year old can adequately supervise a two year old is a legitimate question, which depends at least partly on the ten year old. This two year old could well have been in danger–we don’t know. Among other things, how safe was this hotel? It may well be that the family DOES require intervention of some sort.

  37. quit working at shoprite and now I make $65-85 per/h. How? I’m working dcs online! My work didn’t exactly make me happy so I decided to take a chance on something new… after 4 years it was so hard to quit my day job but now I couldn’t be happier.

  38. obviously our working mom doesn’t read the reason mag comments section or she’d know she can quit working at shoprite and make $65-85 per/h.

  39. 10 WATCHING A 2.. what could go wrong? i’m the FIRST to denigrate the nanny state but 2 needs to be dealt with by anyone but the ma

  40. Not only have Reason’s philosophical principles become highly suspect and very elastic for a principle, but their journalists and editorial staff have been replaced by high school drop outs.

    “She was booked into jail on two counts of child endangerment and the kids were sent to their father. She got out on bail.”

    Let’s try that again…

    “She was booked into jail on two counts of child endangerment, and was subsequently released on bail. The children are in the custody of their father.”

    One concept per sentence, please. Got means to take possession of something. She did not take possession of out.

    1. She got released.

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