When two Florida parents came back to their son playing basketball in the front yard, they were greeted with a strip search and a night in jail. According to Reason.com:
One afternoon this past April, a Florida mom and dad I'll call Cindy and Fred could not get home in time to let their 11-year-old son into the house. The boy didn't have a key, so he played basketball in the yard. He was alone for 90 minutes. A neighbor called the cops, and when the parents arrived—having been delayed by traffic and rain—they were arrested for negligence.
They were put in handcuffs, strip searched, fingerprinted, and held overnight in jail.
It would be a month before their sons—the 11-year-old and his 4-year-old brother—were allowed home again. Only after the eldest spoke up and begged a judge to give him back to his parents did the situation improve.
I spoke with Cindy about her family’s horrible ordeal.
“My older one was the so-called ‘victim,'” she said during a phone interview. But since she and her husband were charged with felony neglect, the younger boy had to be removed from the home, too.[…]
The children were placed in foster care for two days while the state ran a background check on a relative who was willing to take them in. “Our first choice was my mother,” said Cindy. “But she lives in another state and so the kids would have been in foster care even longer until they cleared her.” The parents decided to have them placed with a slightly problematic in-state relative instead.
Unbelievable. This entire issue stems from the fact that the government thinks it can run your life better than you can – and, naturally, this extends to parenting. The culture of fear that makes someone see a child alone in their front yard as suspicious is crippling this nation socially. It's natural for kids to not be accompanied by an adult at every single waking moment of their lives. It's okay to let your kid walk to the park or play in the front yard. In fact, there really is nothing to be afraid of. The chance of your child being abducted is exactly the same as the chance of him or her being struck by lightning.
What do you think? Do you think it's rational to be overly protective of your kids in order to ensure their safety or is this kind of coddling ruining their childhood?