Most people think of parents as responsible adults looking out for the best for their kids. Aside from unfortunate (and unfortunately common) cases of child abuse and neglect, it’s rare to read about everyday parents getting into trouble for their parenting style itself.
However, sometimes they do, and in other cases parents are arrested because their style of parenting might clash with what is considered “mainstream” practice. In fact, an entire debate has been raging about such differing parenting styles. The emergence of “free-range” parenting has made the headlines with numerous cases of the parents of younger children under investigation for allowing their kids to play in a nearby park unsupervised or walk to school unaccompanied by an adult.
On the other side of the equation, some parents have been confronted for “old fashioned” parenting behaviors such as corporal punishment or even as we’ll see, the confiscation of a smartphone!
Below are the three most shocking parental arrests that we have found:
A Texas man’s simple act of discipline got on the wrong side of his daughter (and more importantly, his estranged wife) when he confiscated the 12-year-old daughter’s iPhone after he had discovered a “rude text.” The mother of the daughter, claiming ownership of the phone, called the police and had the father arrested for theft. Just this week he was thankfully found not guilty for lack of evidence, but it seems that this family’s relationship is permanently broken.
From the “free-range” department, a mother was arrested after it was discovered her eight year old had walked himself to school when he realized his mother was still sleeping. Debate continues to rage on either side of this case whether arrest was justified and how young is too young for children to be in public without parental accompaniment.
In an even more egregious case, a working mother was arrested for allowing her nine-year-old daughter to play in a park as an alternative to sitting in a McDonald’s all day. The woman even gave her daughter a cell phone so she could call her in case of any emergency or issue. It didn’t matter to the police; she was arrested for “unlawful conduct towards a child” and her daughter was removed to protective services.
The above cases are surprising and debate worthy, for different reasons, but we hope they make you aware that even well-meaning parents can find themselves on the wrong side of the law for parenting too much or not enough, in society’s view.