Childrearing

Watch What You Write Online: Child Protective Services Could Come After You

By  | 

Earlier today I wanted to write a story about my daughter that would have required me using her name. After talking it over with my husband, we decided against it. Not an hour later, I read a scary story about the dangers of mommyblogging.

Here’s the story. About a month ago, the proprietor of the Douglass Diaries wrote up a very interesting story about how her oldest child’s teacher was not holding her son accountable. He had messed up on a test that basically required a calculator by, well, trading his calculator for Pokemon cards.

The mom that the poor grade he received for his poor decision making skills was a great lesson in consequences. The teacher, however, let him retake the test and lent him a calculator. Apart from whatever discussion we could have about this story, what happened next is the scary part.

A commenter reported this woman — who is raising three children while her husband is deployed fighting the war — to Child Protective Services. What that meant is that government officials removed her children from school and asked them detailed questions about the types of punishment they received and when. The youngest child — who is already dealing with anxiety — took it poorly. The middle child — who has serious health conditions — took it poorly. And the oldest kid — who we’ve discussed — worried that he’d destroyed his family and would be the cause of everyone being put in foster care and separated.

All that happened before Child Protective Services showed up at the mother’s door and explained the details of the investigation.

Now everything turned out all right, I guess, in that CPS was able to see that the children were well taken care of by their mother. But how horrifying is it that in the blink of an eye, your children can be questioned without your knowledge — much less your permission — and potentially seized from you without due process?

Ugh. The mom — Brandi Douglass — wrote about the harrowing experience here. But now I’m worried whether every joke I make about my parenting skills means I’m one step closer to having my children placed in foster care. That is just not right and, frankly, scares me. Come on people. If you truly need to get the government involved in a parenting situation, that is probably a once-in-a-lifetime situation. If you’re calling CPS because you don’t like a mother opposing artificial grading, you have a very serious problem.