Two Florida parents may lose custody of the 11-year-old son, and are facing felony of charges of child neglect, because they let him play alone in the yard for 90 minutes.
According to his mother, the 11-year-old boy came home before his parents did. (The boy’s name, as well as his parents, are being withheld by the media at their request, as they continue to fight their legal battle.)
Locked out of the house, he just shot some hoops in the yard until they arrived.
Unfortunately for this family, a nosy neighbor saw the pre-teen outside alone… and abruptly called the cops, who in turn called Child Protective Services.
By the time the boys’ parents got home, just 90 minutes after their son did, they were arrested for child negligence by the attending police officer.
They spent the night in jail, after being strip-searched, fingerprinted, and carted off in front of their kids in handcuffs.
And worse, their son, along with their other four-year-old son who was with the parents at the time, were both taken away by Child Protective Services–for a month.
According to an email the mother sent to the website, Free-Range Kids, which advocates children being allowed to explore and grow on their own, the police claimed that their son “had no access to water or shelter,” despite the fact that they had an unlocked shed, and a hose–which technically would satisfy those requirements. And, again, the 11-year-old was only alone for 90 minutes, during which time water and shelter would scarcely be needed anyway.
She adds about how shocked they were that their kids could be taken away–considering that Florida “has no minimum age for children to be left alone.”
Thankfully, the parents received their children back–but only after a month, in which case their two kids were put in state-run foster care. While the kids are home, they’re forced to attend government-mandated day care each day, so the government can keep an eye on them.
These parents’ legal fight still continues, despite having their kids back–but, regardless of the outcome, it’s shocking that the government could take away kids for a month–just because they played outside in their own yard.