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’!
Mom would send me down the block to sit on the corner and wait for my sister to get home from grade school. I was three & four years old.
Yep or when you heard Mom’s yell for you.
I lived across the street froma fields...I used to spend ENTIRE SUMMER without shoes (i took them off the last day of school and didnt put them back on until the start of school next year) and in the woods across the street from my house- from the time I woke up until it started to get dardk.
I would give anything to go back to those days- the most fun I ever had. We would carry in 2x4’s and plywood pieces we could scrounge, and chopped down trees to build a fort... it was AWESOME
I imagine at least 9 out of 10 of those things would get me or my parents thrown in jail these days.
I wasn’t too much older than this when my siblings and I would pack a lunch, ride the base shuttle bus 30 miles (one way) from the town we lived in to the AF base, swim all day at the base pool, and keep an eye on the time to catch the bus back home at the end of the day. No parental or any adult supervision. And we were in a foreign country. Never once missed the bus.
Ya, that’s how it was back in my day. We went outside in summer and played all day. Nobody asked where is your mother. I realize times have changed. But that little girl was safe as can be in a public park with lots of other people around.
Where did you live? My domain was between Huntington Park and the Warwick Yacht club, about a 12 mile spread... all neighborhoods and back roads. I now live in Hilton and my current 5 year old will have the same limitation with the only rule being “no crossing Warwick Blvd”. Probably also about 17 miles from Yorktown, but no safe way of getting there via bike.
It’s not paranoia when they really are out to get you.
Faggots like to rape little boys. It’s how they make more faggots.
Sometimes faggots need a bit of wall-to-wall counseling ...
I disagree with the conclusion of the article that the bureaucracy wentvafter this woman because her kid was independent.
The bureacracy went after this woman because it needs to provide a reason for it’s own existance. An idle bureaucracy is an endangered bureaucracy; when bureaucrats run out of legitimate cases to pursue they find ways of manufacturing some.
quote “During summer, we had one rule: Come home when the street lights come on”
we had the same rule! we were only allowed back inside if we were bleeding or it was dark!
I liked my Big Wheel.
But I LOVED my Green Machine.
They actually make adult-sized versions of it now. I’ve been itching to buy one.
Yep. Good God, my childhood would have been absolutely no fun if it were run by the soccer moms of today.
Your childhood sounds like the perfect dream to me. I LOVE feeling that I’m the only human on earth:)
When I climbed out of a 747 at dawn in Fiji, it felt like the first morning of the world. Was up at dawn every day there to watch the sunrise, gorgeous, dewy, so fragrant that you feel blessed just to breathe. Heavenly.
You got survival skills, I got poetry. It’s exactly who we were meant to be.
Pity those poor kids today who are never allowed a minute to themselves to figure out what their hearts need.
They were around then also.
There is always a small percentage of the population with mental issues. What has changed it the population size and how news is covered.
Some kid gets grabbed in Boston, and parents in Texas here about it and make their kids come inside out of fear!
For me-grew up in the 60s and 70s.
On count we had 12 “common age” kids within a three block area. We’d stay out past dark playing “hunt” (a form of “statue”) across all three blocks. Weekends would start with a baseball game around 10AM and go non-stop until mom&dad got pissed and came “yelling” after us; street-lighjts, schmeet-lights!
From my perspective, we knew about sodomites and didn’t really bring-in strangers from outside the neighborhood. Older kids hung out with older kids. If we didn’t know them from school, we told them to “take a hike”. If they were an adult who wanted to join in...we’d tell our parents.
Some of today’s parental angst is the result of the culture ^requiring^ acceptance of sodomy. To wit: “What if, after all, my 8 year old IS homosexual and is simply exploring his budding sexuality?”
Our rule was, come home at the dinner bell. My friend and I would stay all day down at the creeks and woods behind my house. When it was time for my friend to come home, his parents would ring a large bell in their backyard. It could be heard throughout the neighborhood, and even down at the creek.
My next door neighbor’s dad used a CO2 powered boat horn.
Otherwise we were pretty much left alone to our own devices.
Repeatedly sledding down a steep hill, with the only way to stop at the bottom was hitting a chain link fence (and sometimes the pole...ouch)
Playing chicken with a piece of rebar... did that at dusk once and wound up with some stitches in the head
Playing with bows and arrows... shoot the arrow straight up in the air and see how close to your foot you could get it when it hit the ground
Shooting an arrow at a bamboo pole stuck in the ground... deflected off once and went through a neighbor's bathroom window (which was closed)
Making flame-throwers out of spray paint cans
All sorts of things on a Pogo stick
Etc., etc., etc.
I am convinced that the above, along with other “hassle the parents laws” are all forms of population control. The government is trying hard to make it expensive and a hassle to have kids to deter the masses from having too many.
during my childhood we could leave in the morning on our bikes and had to be home by the time the street lights were on....40’s and 50’s were much safer for kids...its a shame that kids now a days don’t have a safe harbor to play in...
I remember when parents said, “Get out of my hair, go out and play.” And we went out and played all day, doing whatever we wanted and going wherever we wanted, as long as we looked both ways before crossing the street and avoided talking to strangers. At suppertime we came home. I guess all our mothers deserved to be arrested.
I don't give a good crap what the laws are. I would have had a quiet talk with this perv and told him very plainly what kind of swift, severe and gruesome things would happen to him if he even talked to my son ever again. He could call the cops but without a recording, it never happened.
Hell, when I was a boy in the 1950s, cars didn’t even have seat belts. And at 7 we all carried pocket knives to whittle and play mumblety-peg.
Maybe the same place mine was, 300 miles away living in another city........
When I climbed out of a 747 at dawn in Fiji, it felt like the first morning of the world. Was up at dawn every day there to watch the sunrise, gorgeous, dewy, so fragrant that you feel blessed just to breathe. Heavenly
Reminded me of my first arrival in Tahiti & then Moorea back in the 1970s. That fragrance! Your post brought it back.
I grew up in NYC, where we didn’t have gators but did have a lot of dangerous things (mostly human), and when I was 9 or 10, I was outside for hours at a time, either in the parks, riding my bike off to other parks, or simply hanging out some place. No cell phone, no nothing; I just had to check in by mealtime. All the kids I knew had the same “neglect.”
:) Yes indeed, those islands too. I sometimes think God gave us the tropics to remind us of heaven.
I think part of it is that we aren’t as close knit of a society as we used to be. All the families in a neighborhood knew each other, and kept eyes on each other. There would be a Gladys Kravitz type, sure, but the Moms (correction: housewife stay at home moms) knew all the kids and the kids looked out for each other.
I remember, strongly, my Mom and Grandmother talking about how they’d grown up with the prevelant fear that Gypsies were going to kidnap them. So that kind of fear is nothing new. What is new is a knowlege that if something like that were attempted, kids would have less options to quickly get away and to safety.
My husband works 24 hour shifts, and the neighbor would only do this on the days my husband worked. Our other neighbor had a talk with him and we’ve not had a problem since. My guard is not down, mind you. We live in Steubenville (aka Little Chicago), and until about 25 years ago this guy would have been taken care of if you get my drift.
I should add that he wouldn’t answer the door the multiple time my husband tried to talk to him.
Almost the same thing. The woods were a magical place when we were little.
We played in the woods near the swamp & Grapevine Bridge of the Seven Days Battles. We made forts, played in old earthworks, ate watermelons in the fields. Life was good.
Unless we wanted to take a nap, we were expected to stay outside. We even had a cup near the spigot in case we were thirsty. No need for that—we knew the locations of several springs and that water was always the best. :)
We knew it was time to come home when we heard the car horn blow.
I lived in Buckroe Beach and it was the mid-50s. The road between home to Yorktown was a very rural one or two lanes.
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