I was a guest this morning on The Doug Stephan Show and he asked me what I thought about the story of the Arizona parents who had their kids taken away by protective services because a Walmart employee felt that some pictures they were developing were not appropriate because they contained photos of the children naked in the tub.
Now, I have not seen the photos. But, as a parent I know that every one of us out there has taken pictures of our kids during tubby time. It is one of those playful fun times that always leads to great memories with our kids. I personally have had a rule never to post these online, because I did not want to share them with the world,but I know we all have pictures like this.
My first reaction was to scream at Walmart and it appears that the family is doing that as well since they have announced a lawsuit against them. This minimum wage worker in the photo lab was probably doing just what they thought was right. The more I think about it I don’t think them raising a flag and saying “hey can someone look at this” is a totally wrong thing, but I would have hoped that soon after that it would have gone away with a, “these are fine, it is parents being parents.” I am upset that it went beyond that and that they sent them to the police.
I’m more upset by whatever local authorities let this go as far as it did that the children were actually taken away from the parents. My mind can not begin to wrap my head around how something as innocent as some tubby time photos mixed in with vacation pictures could lead to such young children being taken away from their parents. What must that have been like for both the children and the parents? Pure torture is the only thing I can even imagine.
Don’t get me wrong I know that there are a lot of sick and twisted people out there. In my mind there are very few crimes worse then hurting physically or mentally a child. I believe with my heart and soul that anyone who harms a child should be punished beyond what they get now in our system. They can’t punish them nearly enough for me.
But, with that being said, I can’t imagine I’m the only person who thinks we as a nation have gotten to the point where we are over protecting everyone more then we need to. This is just one example of this, but every day we read stories like this and as a father is scares the shit out of me. What if this had been my kids? What could I be accused of based on one person’s reactions and an over reactive system? I worry about that every day and worry about what we can do to fix it.
I don’t know what the answers are. I don’t know all the details of this case, but everything I’m reading has the hair on the back of my neck crawling and I had to share my thoughts here because I was and am so upset about this.
Where is Epson, Kodak or HP right now? One of you should step up and send this family a photo printer and a life time supply of ink and paper so that they don’t ever have to develop another picture outside of their house. It won’t solve this problem, but at least they wouldn’t have to live in fear of having their pictures developed.
We MUST protect our children, but we can’t let it get in the way of common sense.