“My Crime: I Let My Kids Play Outside” (via Free-Range Kids)

Monday, August 13th, 2012

Hi Folks — It’s Lenore from Free-Range Kids, where I get letters like this one with shocking regularity (check my blog and you’ll see a new one there right now!).  CPS must do some good. I’m sure it has saved a lot of kids in danger. But it also has a lot of power, which sometimes it uses to threaten, or even destroy families. Parents who are confident in their kids, their community and their own parenting often allow their children to have some independence. They even — if you can believe this — allow them to play outside! For this, they are sometimes (too often!) hounded. – L.

Dear Lenore: A neighbor of mine called the Texas CPS (Child Protective Services) and the Police on my wife and I because we allow our children, ages 6 and 8, to play in the courtyard directly in front of our apartment. CPS has been investigating my family since April 4th 2012, it is now August 12 2012, and all they have come up with is the one report to Police about my 6-year-old being outside in front of his home. Now we are dealing with the courts in a “Negligent Supervision” case, which makes absolutely no sense because my child wasn’t hurt or asking anyone for help. I was outside with my son when the Police arrived, but the CPS caseworker insists that I take drug tests and parenting classes. People are not neighbors anymore, they are just @$$holes. – A Texas Dad


Digg it |  reddit |  del.icio.us |  Fark

63 Responses to ““My Crime: I Let My Kids Play Outside” (via Free-Range Kids)”

  1. #1 |  Renee | 

    “However, let none of you become as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer OR AS A BUSYBODY IN OTHER PEOPLE’S AFFAIRS.” 1Peter 4:15

    2 Thessalonians 3:11 We hear that some among you are idle. They are not busy; they are busybodies.
    1 Timothy 5:13 Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying things they ought not to.

    I guess we all have to plead guilty now…lol

  2. #2 |  Texas Dad | 

    I am “Texas Dad” and I would like to clarify a couple of assumptions posted here. The Police officer was extremely nice and helpful. The officer said that there was no problem and no neglect had accured. My son was playing directly in front of his home, no more than 20 feet from me. This is an issue of harassment by Texas CPS, a vindictive neighbor, and an apartment manager who is abusing her miniscule amount of authority in retaliation for reporting her negligence and harasment to her employer. If my child was not intelligent enough to play outside, I would not let him do it.

  3. #3 |  Texas Dad | 

    I am “Texas Dad” and I would like to clarify a couple of assumptions posted here. The Police officer was extremely nice and helpful. The officer said that there was no problem and no neglect had accured. My son was playing directly in front of his home, no more than 20 feet from me. This is an issue of harassment by Texas CPS, a vindictive neighbor, and an apartment manager who is abusing her miniscule amount of authority in retaliation for reporting her negligence and harassment to her employer. If my child was not intelligent enough to play outside, I would not let him do it.

  4. #4 |  Warren | 

    Renee,
    It is absolutes like you state that are a big part of the problem, when we let gov’ts and agencies dictate how we raise our children. You say the front yard is unacceptable……….my front yard makes up half my five acres. Yes I know the ones in the city are considerably smaller, but a black and white statement like that is why we get into trouble.
    Also you and others have made the assumption that the officer had other reasons to do what he did. Why do the officials get the benefit of the doubt, instead of the Dad? This again is why we are in the trouble we are in. I socialize with many cops, and they will be the first to tell you that far too many cops let the power go to their head. They will be the first to tell you, that if confronted by an idiot cop, you have the right to tell them to f— themselves.

  5. #5 |  Texas Dad | 

    @ Rick L. ~ I am in the Dallas area, you can contact me if you would like to.

  6. #6 |  Renee | 

    not unacceptable as long as the children are age appropriate according to the law… why do you have a problem obeying the law… Do you break the coomandments? These are not guidelines for some, but laws for all. Problem with the law move…

  7. #7 |  Renee | 

    not unacceptable as long as the children are age appropriate according to the law… why do you have a problem obeying the law… Do you break the coomandments? These are not guidelines for some, but laws for all. Problem with the law move…

  8. #8 |  Warren | 

    Renee,
    For the record, yes I have broken, and or bent the odd commandment. I know I am going straight to hell.
    But this whole the law is the law, is the law is crap. Just because some good old boys sat around in the capital, drinking Jack Daniels, and smoking illegal Cuban cigars came up with a law to appease the paranoid masses, doesn’t make it right. So do not preach, and do not throw stones while living in that glass house, of yours.
    Problem with the law move? That is bull. Problem with the law, fight to get it changed.

  9. #9 |  Texas Dad | 

    The problem here isn’t that the Police or CPS responded to a call, the problem is that when there was no sign of neglect the CPS caseworker and supervisor decided to press charges anyway, in spite of the evidence that suggested otherwise.

    Children playing outside is normal and there is no law which states that children are not allowed to play in their own yard or directly in front of their home.

    I do not have a problem with CPS or the Police, I understand that they have a job to do, but there is no reason to harass parents who have done absolutely nothing wrong.

    There are children running around in the streets all day long, breaking windows, fighting, doing drugs, etc. but the CPS agents harass parents who allow their children to PLAY in front of their home. That is the problem!

  10. #10 |  Texas Dad | 

    I received the Court documents. They didn’t give me much time to prepare, only 6 days away from the court date.

    After reading the information they have gathered on my wife, children and myself over the last 4 years, it is obvious that they have literally twisted every single situation into what they wanted it to be.

    The information in the case record is 100% false, they even made up some stories about my wife. They said that the Police were called out to my home on May 7th due to a report that my youngest son was outside “knocking on a neighbors door and asking if they could play,” and “he was allegedly outside by himself for 45 minutes.”

    The Police were never at my home on May 7th, and the child they are referring to is 5 years old and has the wherewithal to knock on a neighbors door and ask if they can play. They also state that my 5 year old was allegedly hit by a car when he was 3 while not being supervised, that NEVER happened.

    They also allege that my wife admitted to “recreational use of Marijuana, but she was given an oral swab drug test and the results were negative.” My wife never admitted to any use of Marijuana, but she did take and pass a drug test.

    They are also accusing my wife and I of “letting our 8 year old take laundry to the laundry room.” They asked him if he was scared going outside at night, he said, “yes.” The reports states that he made an “outcry” of being scared while outside at night when he does laundry by himself.

    This is getting to be extremely irritating, and I am tired of the harassment. The stress is literally making me sick to my stomach.

  11. #11 |  Texas Dad | 

    The reason the report states that the Police came out to my home on May 7th is because they only had 60 days to investigate and they wanted to add it to the report. The Police came to my home on July 14th, more than 100 days after the investigation began. I informed the CPS caseworker, on the phone, that I was outside with him when the Police came and he was never outside by himself. She failed to put that in the report…..

  12. #12 |  Texas Dad | 

    The report also states that “the original reporter called a second time to report that a maintenance man had seen the children’s mother standing next to an occupied vehicle and snorting something up he nose. She also had something tied around her arm and she appeared to be high.”

    I asked all of the maintenance men if they had said such a thing and they all said, “No.” They gave me their names and said they would sign a document stating that they had not seen anything like that.

    The reason the apartment manager did this is because I called her employer to report the continued harassment. She has called CPS two times and made false reports. The company who employs the apartment manager refuses to do anything about their employee, so I will hold them liable as well.

    This is slander in its purest form and I will file a lawsuit against the apartment manager as well as her employer. I have had enough of the harassment. I have spent the last 4 years being bullied by vindictive neighbors, ex-employees, and the liars at CPS.

  13. #13 |  monica labranche | 

    We have had a few run ins with cps. Not fun to be poked at for doing nothing wrong.