LAPORTE, TX — A stay-home mom was arrested for letting her children ride their scooters in a cul-du-sac in front of their home. Police say Tammy Cooper was endangering the children because her lawn chair wasn’t close enough to where they were playing. She was handcuffed, put in an orange jumpsuit, and thrown in jail for 18 hours. She has already spent $7,000 trying to defend her case. The children were taken to Child Protective Services and interrogated.
Gotta be fucking kidding me.
This is why I think Free Range Parenting could spell trouble.
Yeah…La Porte is pretty much down the street from me. And I KNOW Pasadena would do the same shit. Chloe is not going outside by herself. Fuck that.
jesus fuckdamn christ no. KIDS CAN PLAY OUTSIDE. I let my six year old go to the little store up the alley by herself. It’s maybe 80 yards, come arrest me.
Her kids are 9 and 6, not fucking babies! At 6 I was playing outside in the front yard/around my street without parental supervision. At 9 I was riding all over town with my best friend (who was 7) on my bike, all our parents knew was that we were out playing. Nothing else necessary. And it was the ’80s, so we didn’t have cell phones to keep track of us or anything. This was perfectly normal stuff that all the kids did. (And I grew up in Los Angeles, not some small town or anything.)
This sort of thing really freaks me out and makes me sad for kids these days. Even if their parents don’t want to be so super overprotective, they are forced to be because otherwise they’re considered bad parents. (And yet at the same time there’s the message that you’re a bad parent if your kids don’t go outside and exercise because omg obesity epidemic. Lose/lose situation.)
Six and nine. Holy. When I was eight, I would get up in the summer before my parents and get on my bike and go to the park across the street and disappear for hours. I’d come home at lunch and my dad (dad stayed home, mom worked) would be “hey, where have you been?” A couple of times I got industrious and bagged up my own lunch (PB&J and a piece of fruit, I was self-sufficient, yo) and I didn’t come home at lunch, so my dad came over to the park and wandered around till he found me. (In retrospect, he probably came and checked up on me other times without my knowing, he was stealthy like that. But he wasn’t hovering or very nearby at all.)
But it was a different world in the summer of 1981. It was less safe. We didn’t have the boogeyman on every corner idea of registered sex offenders, we just had sex offenders and kids who weren’t believed when they told, if they told. The culture of stranger danger and “if someone asks/tells you to do X, find an adult” didn’t exist yet. The worst thing anyone really expected to happen to their kid in the park, or playing on their own sidewalk or down the block was that they’d fall, tripping while they were running or in an accident on their bike, and get hurt. Maybe there might be some kind of push-and-shove fight between kids.
The idea that you can’t sit on your porch while your kids play in a freaking cul-de-sac is atrocious and as wrongheaded as anything I can imagine. Not only would I be suing the police, I would be suing the holy hell out of the neighbor who reported kids outside of their own house, playing as abandoned. The kids were on motorized scooters, which can be noisy. This was clearly retaliatory and malicious reporting because kids were daring to not be locked inside and silent. Someone was prepared to destroy a family over some noise. I’d rip that person to shreds. In fact, I’d offer to drop my suit against the cops if they rightfully prosecuted that asshole for making a false police report.