Child Services to Mom Who Did Nothing Wrong: ‘Just Don’t Let Your Kids Play Outside’

Child Services to Mom Who Did Nothing Wrong: ‘Just Don’t Let Your Kids Play Outside’

When I was a kid and wasn’t in school, my mom made me and my brothers spend most of our time outside. I remember her saying,”You’re either in or you’re out. I won’t have you coming in and outside all day long”. That meant that after the first time we left the house in the morning we weren’t suppose to be back until lunch and then afterward until dinnertime. As an outside child we made mistakes and learned often on our own how to recompense for those mistakes. We were free and made decisions. Despite the fact that most people over 30 spent most of their childhoods outside, it seems that allowing kids outside can get a parent in a lot of trouble with the local government. Mother, Kari Anne Roy, was recently visited by the Austin police and Child Protective Services for allowing her son Isaac, age 6, to do the unthinkable: Play outside, up her street, unsupervised.

Kari Anne Roy

According to Reason.com:

He’d been out there for about 10 minutes when Roy’s doorbell rang. She opened it to find her son —and a woman she didn’t know. As Roy wrote on her blog HaikuMama last week, the mystery woman asked: “Is this your son?”
I nodded, still trying to figure out what was happening.

“He said this was his house. I brought him home.” She was wearing dark glasses. I couldn’t see her eyes, couldn’t gauge her expression. She motioned to a park bench about 150 yards from my house. A bench that is visible from my front porch.

“You brought him home… from playing outside?” I continued to be baffled. And then the woman smiled condescendingly, explained that he was OUTSIDE. And he was ALONE. And she was RETURNING HIM SAFELY. To stay INSIDE. With an ADULT. I thanked her for her concern, quickly shut the door and tried to figure out what just happened.
Roy might not have given the incident a whole lot more thought except that shortly afterward, her doorbell rang again. This time it was a policewoman. “She wanted to know if my son had been lost and how long he’d been gone,” Roy told me by phone. She also took Roy’s I.D. and the names of her kids. About a week later, an investigator from Child Protective Services came to the house and interrogated each of Roy’s three children separately, without their parents, about their upbringing.

“She asked my 12 year old if he had ever done drugs or alcohol. She asked my 8-year-old daughter if she had ever seen movies with people’s private parts, so my daughter, who didn’t know that things like that exist, does now,” says Roy. “Thank you, CPS.”

In her last conversation with the CPS investigator, who actually seemed to be on her side, Roy asked, “What do I do now?”

Replied the investigator, “You just don’t let them play outside.”

The question is at what point should society allow local, state and federal government intervene on parental choice? When you trade freedom for security you inevitably end up with less freedom and discover that the “security” it was traded for is relative.

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