Sunday, February 19, 2012

When Ordinary Parenting Practices Can Land You in Court

Libertarian and ex-Russian law professor Ilya Somin writes:
Law professor David Pimentel has an interesting article detailing the ways in which law and social norms have evolved to the point where perfectly ordinary parenting practices can land you in prison or at least subject you to an expensive lawsuit or prolonged official harrasment ... this is often a result of vague statutes and regulations that are interpreted by courts and administrative agencies to require extremely overprotective parenting. Pimentel notes that many such overprotective practices are influenced by media sensationalism and have little or no support in the actual data on child safety and some might even harm children more than they benefit them.
This not just a possibility. A man is currently On trial for a Grand Canyon hike. It appears that a child suffered a nosebleed, and the granddad faces life in prison.

I am glad to see law professors waking up to this sneaky change in the law.
There are parenting practices that were considered admirable a generation ago, and overzealous prosecutors consider them criminal today.

A comment added this ABC News story:
An Arkansas mother is being charged with a misdemeanor count of endangering the welfare of a minor after she made her son walk 4.6 miles to school in order to "teach him a lesson."

Valerie Borders, 34, told police her 10-year-old son had been suspended from the bus for a week and she was making him walk to school as punishment.

A bank security guard spotted the boy walking alone in 30-degree weather on Monday and called police. ...

"There were a number of things that could have happened to the child," said Lyle Waterworth, a spokesman for the Jonesboro Police Department. "The child could have been injured, abducted."
So what is teh mom supposed to do? Give him taxicab money in case he gets kicked off the bus?

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