An Ohio father recently found himself arrested after his eight-year-old son skipped the church bus and was found a few blocks away at a Family Dollar Store. The facts of this case could happen any day of the week. What resulted from this is hard to wrap your mind around and the consequences have been devastating for this family.
This father sent his son with siblings every week on the church bus. That day the boy skipped the bus to play. It was not unusual for the kids to play outside unsupervised with neighborhood kids. Once the child was located, the father was arrested. He ultimately lost his job at McDonalds when the information went public.
No one can possibly think that this was the best way to handle this event for this child or his siblings. This is outrageous. The police could have just brought the child home. Instead, they arrested the father in front of his crying children. They will forever think of the police as people who take their parents away, not protectors who are charged with keeping them safe.
I have never seek a case like this or heard of one in my area. Every day I see kids walking to school, some younger than 8. Orange County has many safe communities. While I sometimes am surprised to see young kids on their own (I was never allowed to walk to school), I recognize that it is commonplace. It is hard for me to imagine this turning into a criminal case or CPS case in my jurisdiction. I would be shocked to see these facts turn into anything at all.
Times have changed and the society now fears strangers more than parents, though parents are overwhelmingly responsible for the majority of abuse children encounter. Fortunately nothing happened to this child. However, it is hard to understand how a parent sending his kids off to the bus to church is to blame when that child skips out. I guess the question is, was eight too young to be trusted? It would be helpful to know if the siblings he went with were older or younger.