Skip to comments.Mom Let Her 9-Year-Old Play in Park "for Hours at a Time" in the Summer... So Lock Her Up!
Posted on 07/16/2014 9:55:58 AM PDT by yoe
When I was nine years old, my family moved to Eau Gallie, Florida, near Melbourne. That summer my mother decided she needed to come up with something for my younger brother and me to do. She got some kind of deal buying a book of tickets to the local skating rink. Five days a week we would walk there in the morning and spend hours there before walking back home. There were no mobile phones back then. Our only way to contact home was to use a quarter in the pay phone that was there. The walk was about two miles.
So she set us off by ourselves and we came back hours later by ourselves day after day.
A mother in Augusta, Georgia did something similar. Lenore Skenazy describes what happened at Reason magazines blog.
Here are the facts: Debra Harrell works at McDonalds in North Augusta, South Carolina. For most of the summer, her daughter had stayed there with her, playing on a laptop that Harrell had scrounged up the money to purchase. (McDonalds has free WiFi.) Sadly, the Harrell home was robbed and the laptop stolen, so the girl asked her mother if she could be dropped off at the park to play instead.
Harrell said yes. She gave her daughter a cell phone. The girl went to the parka place so popular that at any given time there are about 40 kids frolickingtwo days in a row. There were swings, a splash pad, and shade. On her third day at the park, an adult asked the girl where her mother was. At work, the daughter replied.
The shocked adult called the cops. Authorities declared the girl abandoned and proceeded to arrest the mother.
Im not surprised that the cops nabbed the mother. Thats what they do, especially when summoned by some nosy parent. Im not surprise that the Department of Social Services took the daughter into custody (a much less safe environment for the typical child) because, again, thats what they do. I hate it but Im not surprised by it.
[Earlier Post: Child Takes a Walk; Father Arrested for Child Endangerment]
What makes me angry is how the media is full of stupid, moronic, sermonizing, cowards. (The video below takes a minute to appear on my browser. You can also go here if you dont see it.)
Here is a woman thrown into jail and her daughter is now the property of the Department of Social Services, and these people craft a narrative and speak with moral outrage as if the woman is the aggressor. No, she and her daughter are the victims; these interfering busybodies, both private and public, are the aggressors.
[See also: Father Convicted & Punished for Making Son Walk a Mile Home from School]
Debra Harrell did nothing wrong. But I doubt she can hire a real lawyer on her McDonalds salary. If you dont think Ms. Harrell was evaluated for her ability to afford a lawyer when the police were deciding whether or not to arrest her, then you are being naïve.
Imagining the possibility of a kidnapping is not a rational accusation. Read the story again. The girl could easily have been hurt if she had been home when it was robbed. She obviously doesnt live in a safe neighborhood. Do we take all the children of all poor minorities now?
The playground, on the other hand, was full of witnesses. Despite the common myth, the fact is that the crime rate has dropped. Children are as safe as they were a generation or two ago.
Lets be honest: this nine-year-old girl was abducted and imprisoned by the South Carolina bureaucrats because she is capable of taking care of herself and expects to do so. The system punishes the independent and demands dependence and helplessness. Debra Harrell and her daughter need to learn their proper place in the world. This is re-education for them.
Ill let Skenazy have the last word:
Because some busybody thought she knew more about this girls safety than the girls own mother, a family has been separated. Harrell is in jail and the child is in the custody of the Department of Social Services. If only the girl had spent her whole summer sitting in McDonaldssurfing the internet and eating a Big Mac instead of playing outside and getting fresh airthis never would have happened.
During summer, we had one rule: Come home when the street lights come on.
It would be okay if they are illegals and the kid walked a thousand in the company of strangers and criminals though.
When I was young, perversion was neither tolerated nor accepted. Today it is. All three of mine are under six and they won’t go out back without me for a long time. The guy two doors down is gay. He always comments on how cute my son is. All three of my kids are very good looking. I’m not trying to brag, honestly, but they’re commented on wherever we go. Random strangers walk up to us and tell us this. Our neighbor has never commented on my daughters. Not once. It’s always my son, who he has also tried to call out of our yard into his when he dog sits for somebody. I told the neighbor our son wasn’t allowed out of the yard when he called. The guy hasn’t dog sat since then. We actually think he was dog sitting to have an excuse to call our son over. Paranoid? You betcha.
In a couple of years, someone will complain that she became obese and it was the parent's fault for not making her play outside.
I remember riding my stripped and tuned Honda SL-70 mini cycle all alone 40 miles in the desert on back roads and washes just to get to the races.
I did wear a Helmet and gloves but it was a year or so before I could make enough on my paper route to buy a proper set of motocross boots.
The Emergency Room was my friend
Those were the days.
The world has changed. When we were little, in the Summer we just played around the house, went exploring etc. Mother would call us for Dinner and Supper. We would take a bath before going to bed and start all over the next day.
Now when Mother was 6 she was on a huge farm, over 1000 acres. Her 12 Brothers and Sisters worked on the farm except the older girls helped their Mother in the kitchen, taking care of the little ones etc.
One day when she was in her 80s Mother asked me to drive her around where she grew up. She showed me the field where her daddy kept cows. As a 6 year old she had to walk several miles, gather the cows and walk them home. Her 8 year old Sister took them back to the field the next morning.
Despite the fact that we gained tremendous independence by the way we, and every other kid in the area grew up, I would never let mine do the same thing. The world is now full of perverts, criminals and various and sundry undesirable elements.
> During summer, we had one rule: Come home when the street lights come on.
We had the same rule.
At age 11-14, about 15 of us used to ride our bikes 17 miles (one way) and play on the Yorktown Battlefield. We’d bring paper sack lunches and drink from the park drinking fountain.
As long as we got home before dark it was OK.
Grew up in the 70s/80s. Every time one of these threads comes up I think back and marvel at how quickly our parents would have ran nanny staters out on a rail.
I doubt that literally anything we did back then would not be grounds for arresting our parents today for child abuse/endangerment. Especially those of us that lived in the sticks.
And it was normal. All of it was how people lived. When that went away. today was the result.
I remember riding a go cart up to a 3 foot high cliff as fast as I could get it to go. It would sale about 6 feet into the air and crash onto the ground. After a while the steel pipe frame broke.
I grew up in Flordia, running the woods and creeks full of gators till the sun went down. I lived there till 3rd grade. In Maryland, we ran and played in the woods. Same thing in Virginia and later in Texas. I spent most of my young life alone in the woods, miles away from civilization, pretending I was the last human on earth, teaching myself survival skills like. By todays standards, my parents were a abusers. That time spent being independent created who I am today, which is likely why I am Conservative and fiercely independent.
Parents today hover like crazy thanks to 24 hour cycle of rape and murder news, convincing parents the world is going to kill their children the second they turn the backs.
I’d be in jail on a life sentence for letting my kids
1. Walk a mile to school and another mile back
2. Go to the beach with their friends with no adult present.
3. And for trusting them to follow the rules of safety and decorum.
Of course, we lived less than a block from the beach, they were good, smart kids, and that WAS the ‘70s. Plus, the neighborhood was comprised of actual neighbors who always watched out for one another’s kids.
I was thinking of that SoCal beach this morning a lovely senior apartment there with an ocean view was my planned retirement residence. Forget it! Crime ridden neighborhood, nasty Hispanics literally push white ladies off the sidewalk into the oncoming traffic. White men too.
Exactly, GeronL. Those illegal kids are apparently worthy of trust but not ours.
I remember doing that and also where you would build up a good amount of speed and grab the one side brake and do the apun out thing
God I loved my big wheel haha
Mine was a Honda CL70 and I was always getting clothelined on tree branches in brush, burning my legs on the muffler, road rashes... I was nine years old in ‘69 and while the bike was a bit big for me I grew into it - and doctored most of my wounds myself. I was a total latchkey kid and both my parents worked - so it was total freedom. The one time I encountered boys messing around perversely in the woods I yelled “Perverts! Fags! Creeps!” And tore off home and reported them to every mother on the block who would listen. The fathers were waiting for the bad ones in their driveways with switches ready that night. Didn’t see anymore pervs out in the woods after that! Just sayin’!