Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Ohio CPS Wants to Snatch Kid Away from Family that Has Taught Her Self-Sufficiency

If you aren't frightened by this picture, you're a terrible parent.Ohio CPS Wants to Snatch Kid Away from Family that Has Taught Her Self-Sufficiency:
In early March, an Ohio father
wrote to parenting site Free-Range Kids to describe the
harassment he had received from police for teaching his 6-year-old
daughter how navigate their quiet suburban neighborhood and then
having the temerity to decide on his own when she may do so
unsupervised. After letting her walk to a nearby store, he
discovered when she failed to return that the
police had taken her
Once I got to the police station they would not release her to
me for over 20 minutes, though she was sitting behind bullet-proof
glass just 20 feet away.  When the police finally came to
talk to me, I was told that they had responded to a call of a young
child being unsupervised.  They refused to identify a
reasonable cause for her detention, or even what law had been
broken.  They insisted that they were waiting for CPS to
respond before they would let me see my daughter, but then they
later came back and said that they were releasing me to her because
CPS had told them to give her to me, since I was waiting for
That sounds like resolution of sorts, right? Child Protective
Services told the police to give her back to her parent. But the
story took a
turn for the worse
, detailed again on Free-Range Kids
”Emily” and I are both walking back from the library.  She
wants to do it herself, so I let her walk separate from me
some of the time.  The cops get a phone call from a concerned
citizen who says there’s a strange guy talking to a little girl.
 Three officers respond and cite a concern for Emily’s safety
in crossing the street.  I confirm that I am her father and
give my name, as is required by law.  They refuse to state any
reasonable suspicion of a crime being committed or say what law has
been broken, and so, in accordance with my 5th amendment rights, I
refuse to answer any questions.  We are detained for over half
an hour before being released.  (I asked many times over the
course of the detention whether I was “free to go” and I was told
that I was not. We were told that we were being held for an
“investigative detention.”)  The sergeant who responded
to the scene stated over the radio that he wanted to “hook this
guy” for child endangerment. (The recording of radio traffic during
the encounter was later received through a public records request
that I made.)
They were again reported to CPS, even though police say they
haven’t broken any laws. Later he deals with CPS directly:
I talk with the supervisor at CPS on a recorded phone call.
 I refuse to answer any questions or make any statements.
 Though he did relay that he was concerned about a child
“roaming the streets of [Our City, OH],” he refuses to tell me what
law has been broken.  We go around and around for about 25
minutes.  I find out through my employer shortly after the
phone call that if I do not “cooperate” CPS is threatening to seek
an ex parte order, which would allow CPS to take
custody without a hearing, to separate us that Friday (and
then keep Emily all weekend since a hearing would not have to be
held until close of business on Monday).  Note that I have
cooperated to the full extent required by law.  The Home
School Legal Defense Assn. is very helpful in getting CPS to agree
not to seek an ex parte order so long as Emily
does not go outside again by herself.
Since then CPS has knocked on the door many times.  I did
answer the door when the CPS supervisor came by–I thought that he
was a delivery guy or what not since he didn’t have a uniformed
police officer with him–but otherwise we have simply ignored them.
 There is no law requiring someone to answer their door, and
since I had no interest in talking to them or getting detained by
the cops simply ignoring them seemed the best course of action.
CPS has responded by filing a complaint alleging neglect and
attempting to take the child into protective custody. They are also
attempting to try to force the family to allow CPS officials into
their home, search the house and interview their children.
Free-Range Kids is asking for pro bono legal help in Ohio to
assist the family.
Our Reason TV interview with Free-Range Kids founder Lenore
Skenazy is
(Hat tip to Popehat)