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Old 06-11-2008, 11:40 PM   #1
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Does anyone else think this is a bit harsh?

I can't find a link, but I just saw on the news where a 27 year old Kentucky man was arrested and held on $75,000 bond for- allowing his 2 year old son to play outside without sunscreen, and he's not allowed to see the kid! The mother was at work and he was the father watching him. I know it's been hot, but my gosh, that is steep for someone I'm sure meant no harm. I can see that kind punishment for holding a kid's arm on the stove until it burns, but really, I am sure this guy just didn't realize that the kid would get sunburned and blistered. I really, really don't think it's abuse. Unintentional neglect, give him parenting classes at the most. Things like are getting so ridiculous I'm almost afraid to have kids

Don't you think that's really gone too far? What will they throw people in jail for next?
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Old 06-11-2008, 11:47 PM   #2
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If that's all he did then this could be one of the worst cases of politically correct facism I've ever heard of. I'm going to do some digging and get back to you. Thanks for the heads up.
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Old 06-11-2008, 11:49 PM   #3
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http://www.kentucky.com/779/story/430947.html

This seems to NOT be working. I just read it seconds ago. What gives??? Sorry.
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Old 06-12-2008, 12:20 AM   #4
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You left a slash out, I fixed it.

Not leaving a 2-year-old unprotected in the sun ought to be a common-sense basic safety practice (then again, so should not leaving your dog alone in a closed-up car on a hot day, and look at all the idiots whose dogs die that way). So I can understand the state moving in over it (especially since the boy did get second-degree burns), though the form the punishment took may not be appropriate.

I had actually been thinking of posting a thread on a somewhat related topic--an Illinois case SCOTUS is currently considering taking, concerning whether that state's procedures for investigating allegations of child abuse and neglect violate parents' rights.
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At issue in the Illinois case is whether state officials can use the potential threat of placing children in foster care as a means to pressure parents to forfeit their parental rights. Agents with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) routinely advise parents in the initial stage of an abuse investigation that their children may be taken into state custody unless the parents agree to a state-imposed "safety plan." Such plans can require the accused parent or parents to leave the home immediately and cease all unsupervised contact with their children for the duration of the investigation, according to a lawsuit filed by a group of Illinois parents.

Imposition of the safety plan can be authorized by a single unconfirmed tip received via an anonymous child-abuse hot line, the suit says. In contrast, to authorize the removal of children from their parents, authorities must be able to present enough evidence to convince a judge that there is "reasonable suspicion" that a child has been abused or is in imminent danger. Illinois officials bypass this evidentiary standard and judicial oversight by giving parents an offer they can't refuse, according to the lawsuit. The offer: Agree to a safety plan or your children may be taken away. Parents are not given an opportunity to know the substance and source of an abuse allegation, nor are they given an opportunity to challenge the safety plan before a neutral decisionmaker.
.....................................................................................................................
Both sides in the case dispute various statistics. Fisher says allegations in approximately two-thirds of all Illinois hot-line reports are eventually determined to be "unfounded." The state responds that less than 20% of all hot-line reports are even investigated.

One case involved a married couple, both professors at a major Chicago-area university. Someone made an anonymous call to the hot line suggesting that one of the professors had abused his 8-year-old adopted daughter. Prior to any investigation into the veracity of the charge, state agents offered the professor a choice: leave the home immediately pursuant to a safety plan or DCFS would take the girl into foster care. The professor moved out. During the investigation, the state found no credible evidence supporting the abuse charge.

In another case, high school science teacher James Redlin was suspected of child abuse after state authorities received an anonymous tip that he had sexually abused his mildly autistic 6-year-old son on an occupied subway train. Mr. Redlin says it was playful tickling, not sexual abuse. But someone thought his conduct was inappropriate and informed state investigators. The state's safety plan required Mr. Redlin's wife, who uses a wheelchair, to provide 24-hour supervision of any contact between Redlin and their son. That case was later determined to be "unfounded."

In a third case, a preschool teacher, Patrick DeLaFont, was accused in a hot-line call of abusing a preschool child. State investigators required Mr. DeLaFont to move out of his home, pending the investigation, even though none of his own children were the subject of the accusation. After living apart from his family for 11 months, investigators concluded the allegation against DeLaFont was "unfounded."

After a 2-year-old girl fell from a back porch while playing, her parents took her to a hospital emergency room where X-rays revealed a fractured arm. Someone at the hospital doubted the back-porch explanation. State investigators demanded that the husband--seen as the likely abuser--leave the family home for 24 hours. He did so. A week later, the day before Thanksgiving, agents ordered both parents out of the house or risk having both their children taken into foster care. Grandparents arrived to care for the children while the parents were sent away. A week later, the parents were allowed to return home to their children after another doctor examined the X-rays and found no basis to suspect child abuse.
I assume that from the state's POV, the justification for the low evidentiary standard on these 'safety plans' is that often enough, an anonymous hotline tip is an abused child's only chance at getting the protection s/he needs. But I can certainly also understand why parents like those whose experiences are described above are outraged by the policy's effects on them and their families.
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Old 06-12-2008, 02:48 PM   #5
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The link Harry posted has the bond at $7,500 not $75,000. I agree with Yolland though that based on the severity of the burns it was wise for the state to investigate. The mother had to have been horrified when she came to pick up her son and saw how badly he was burned.
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Old 06-12-2008, 03:43 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by AngelofHarlem01 View Post
The link Harry posted has the bond at $7,500 not $75,000. I agree with Yolland though that based on the severity of the burns it was wise for the state to investigate. The mother had to have been horrified when she came to pick up her son and saw how badly he was burned.
I never saw it in writing, the TV news anchor said 75 and that's the biggest reason I was so shocked. I don't know who made the error, I hope it was the TV station!

Anyway, it's not helping this family to arrest the father. The clip on TV showed they lived in an older trailer, so they obviously don't have much money and this (fines, lawyer fees, time missed from work) can only give them an added financial burden they don't need. If he had intentionally hurt the kid I'd say haul him away but I don't think so. The mother herself (on the news clip) said she thought he just didn't realize the child would burn. (and really, men are much less likely to consider stuff like that than women) Then when she took him to the dr. and they asked what happened, that got the investigation going. While I do believe in the need to protect kids, I also think in many cases it gets ridiculous and does more harm than good (like this)
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Old 06-12-2008, 04:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Butterscotch View Post

Anyway, it's not helping this family to arrest the father. The clip on TV showed they lived in an older trailer, so they obviously don't have much money and this (fines, lawyer fees, time missed from work) can only give them an added financial burden they don't need. If he had intentionally hurt the kid I'd say haul him away but I don't think so.
So neglect isn't punishable? Even though the results could be the same or worse?
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Old 06-12-2008, 04:28 PM   #8
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The child's parents are separated and the mother actually reported the incident to the police before the hospital visit, not after. I think you might be confusing the man's mother or sister (who've both defended him in the media) with the child's mother.
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Old 06-12-2008, 05:37 PM   #9
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Yes I must have thought the sister was the mother. Like I said all I saw was a brief video on the news, and the anchor saying the price was 75,000. Now that I know the parents were separated that makes it more likely the mother may have tried to get him in trouble, don't know the whole story so I can't say for sure.

No, I don't believe neglect should be 'punished' if it was just stupidity and unintentional.Usually when it happens, the parent's guilt is more than enough to make them suffer and teach them a lesson. This is why the parents of kids who die being left in hot cars are rarely prosecuted harshly. They have the worst punishment they could ever have, having to live with the guilt of knowing their ignorance and inattention killed their child.

In cases like this guy, I believe that neglect should be treated and cured, not prosecuted. Honestly what good is jail going to do a person but make things worse for them? What he needs is parenting classes or counseling and probation.
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