Stories about how the government tried to step in and take children away because their parents were letting them have a little responsibility are a flashpoint for me. They tweak my nose because they are about society's obsession with safety beyond reason, misunderstanding of actual risks, interference in private lives without justification, and abuse of legal powers. Any of these things by themselves gets me going, but all at once they make me feel like my body is soaked in burning oil and set alight.
Really, that is what it feels like. A wet substance all over the surface of me, on fire. Weird, right?
This article today did that. It talks about 2 siblings, ages 6 and 10, who walked 1.6 kilometres home from school. They were grabbed by police against their wishes, brought home, and child protective services forced the parents to sign documents without consultation or legal representation. Had they refused to sign, the children would have been immediately taken away from them by force.
So just to review. The state, worried unreasonably that the children might be kidnapped, took them against their will. Then the state threatened to take them away from their parents unless their parents signed agreements they had no say in or control over, and all while being denied legal representation of any sort.
We shouldn't be worried about kidnappings by strangers at all. Unless, of course, those strangers are the police and official government representatives in which case kidnapping sounds like an extremely likely event indeed.
If this is the protection on offer, count me in for not wanting to be protected at all.