Let Your Kids Walk To Park, Get Arrested

It's officially a trend, because it happened twice. Mamas are being arrested for letting kids play alone.

There's a post in my drafts folder that has been sitting unfinished for weeks. It's entitled The Christian Urge to Hide. Maybe now I'll get up and finish it. Or maybe I'll be totally crazy and publish a list of the things my family does that makes the state to frown, in solidarity with these mamas. Or maybe I'll stay in my default setting of keeping my head down, because I know that busybodies and and governments will ruin the lives of people they disapprove of.

Debra Harrell of N. Augusta, S. C.
In my own state of South Carolina a mother was arrested for allowing her nine-year-old daughter to play by herself in the park. Read this article to see this as part of a continuing and growing trend of governments making bureaucratic war on the poor, especially those trying to avoid indentured servitude to the state.

South Carolina is known for having a relatively unintrusive state government (except when it comes to black people, that is; black and white leaders alike agree that blacks can't be trusted to look after themselves). I suppose the unintrusiveness only extends to people willing to live according to the accepted templates: ignorant crazy people in the country, normal people in suburbs and pleasant city centres, ignorant dependent people in urban areas.
Debra Harrell works at McDonald's 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. (McDonald's 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 park—a place so popular that at any given time there are about 40 kids frolicking—two 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. 
Watch the news: It sounds like Debra Harrell committed a serious, unconscionable crime. The reporter looks ready to burst with contempt. But what are the facts? She let her daughter play at the park for several hours at a time—like we did as kids. She gave her a daughter a phone if she needed to call. Any "danger" was not only theoretical, it was exceedingly unlikely. 
But, "What if a man would've come and snatched her?" said a woman interviewed by the TV station. 
These fears pop into our brains so easily, they seem almost real. But they're not. Our crime rate today is back to what it was when gas was 29 cents a gallon, according to The Christian Science Monitor. It may feel like kids are in constant danger, but they are as safe (if not safer) than we were when our parents let us enjoy the summer outside, on our own, without fear of being arrested.
But lest you despair and begin to think that the busybodiness harrassing Debra Harrell is completely race-motivated, permit Nicole Gainey to come to your rescue. She allowed her 7-year-old to walk a half-mile to the park, and has now been charged by police with neglect. Although a very intelligent Florida Department of Children and Family Services functionary leaked to Ms. Gainey before she went on television that she should expect her case to be dropped. Because, you know, bad press.

Please note that the news anchors of local stations set the tones of both stories. Because the anchors did not show contempt for the white woman, FDCFS felt more and quicker pressure to back off. Just saying.

If you've ever said the words "they should make a law" you're an asshole.

Get on Google maps and check what's within half a mile of your home. Would you allow your kids to walk there on their own? There are a lot of variables at play, maybe you would, maybe you wouldn't. It bears mentioning that the state requires thousands of kids to attend government institutions daily. If their parents are unable to provide transportation, the state will make your child walk to state-provided transport. In my county, that distance is set at 1/4 mile, because that's a safe distance at 6 a.m., but I guess 1/2 mile at mid-day is considered unsafe by bureaucrats.

By the way, there is nothing illegal about allowing your kid to walk to school. Go ahead, walk a mile. After all, no one neglects their kids by sending them to goverment institutions. Right?


  1. Wow. Just Wow.
    Who are they interfering, busybody, backstabbing, communist, collaborator, hypocritical a-holes who call the police on these poor people? What the????

    So, you get a woman arrested for working to support her daughter. But you'd happily pay the taxes to allow a woman to kill her child, just because she happens to be 9 years and a couple of months younger?

    Did these people honestly think the kid would be better off in foster care than with a woman who works hard to support her kid. A woman who allows her kid to *gasp* play outside? If you really were that worried about the kid, just keep an eye on her. You could go talk to the mom and arrange a play date. Offer to look after the kid while she's at work. You know, like, actually help a neighbor. Honestly. This makes me want to go live back in the woods somewhere on several acres of land. Just so my kids can actually play without some ass-hat sticking his nose in. Why can't the police officers just talk to the girl? And when it becomes obvious that the girl isn't abandoned, just walk away. Maybe write the person who called a ticket for being insufferable.

    1. Ass-hats abound. And yes, foster care is better than playing in the park. The most important value of modern parenting is SUPERVISION!

  2. I would chalk it up to the same urge as kids get to tattle on each other - rule following equals love and affirmation, and getting someone in trouble makes us look better and feel better.

    Actually I have another theory as well - this is what girl on girl aggression looks like. Call it passive aggression if you want but it's still aggressive. Boys are taught not to fight but girls are not taught not to be verbally and socially nasty to each other.

    Obviously I don't know their true motives but there are a couple of ideas. And I agree it is sad that you can't write a ticket for insufferability.

    1. Hm...I wouldn't mind a further exploration of that girl on girl aggression...

      I do think that both boys and girls are being taught that feminine forms of violence are acceptable, and masculine ones not.


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