Mommy, What’s A Civil Liberty?
As promised in a previous blog regarding the case of the Cleveland, Ohio family torn asunder by government instituted size bias, I wanted to share the comments of the American Civil Liberties Union representative working to protect the basic human rights of a young boy taken away from his mother solely because of his weight.
The boy, now nine, was returned to his mother earlier this year, and then at the beginning of May, the court decided that the mother and son no longer required the constant supervision of Cuyahoga County Children’s Services … for the time being.
Speaking For The Silenced And Ignored
James Hardiman with the ACLU told Associated Press on May 11 that the organization was against the boy being placed in foster care in the first place, stating, “Placing the boy with his uncle and getting him a gym membership and exercise equipment should have been done before he was sent into foster care,” which is an excellent point. Why were such draconian measures implemented before common sense ones?
In a May 10th story in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Pat Galbincea writes that the prosecutor in the case suggested that the mother “consider hiring a personal chef to serve healthy meals.” Hardiman wisely pointed out that, “the mother could not afford a personal chef to come to the house at $200 a session for 10 sessions and serve healthy meals, even if the county picked up half the tab.”
How many average working single parents do you know that have $2,000 laying around to observe how to prepare foods they likely can’t afford in the first place?
Even though the court has ruled that the mother and son are free of Children’s Services, a shadow of a threat still looms – if the boy returns to his original weight, or even gets closer to it, the government can interfere - that is to say, intervene, again.
One ray of hope here is that the ACLU will also intervene, but to protect the family’s rights, not take them away again.
A Perilous Precedent
This case has set a legal standard that should strike fear into the hearts of all parents, not just the parents of fat kids. Now, because of the actions of Cuyahoga County authorities, if a government bureaucrat decides your child is bigger than s/he should be (in that person’s singular opinion), said government can step in, tell you how to raise your child, what you can and cannot do, and even take your child from you.
Just how big is “too big” and how will that limit be set? Who will set it? What measures will be accepted as compliant with government orders and which will be seen as non-compliant and result in a loss of custody?
How do you see these events?
Born and raised in Northeast Ohio with her BA and MA from the University of Akron, Mary has 20 years experience in the corporate sector working for local companies and Fortune 500s in customer service, PR, sales, advertising, and broadcast media. She currently teaches English Composition at Stark State College and UA. Her passion is living and teaching tolerance while pushing for Size Acceptance. She hopes to inform as many everyday Americans that the issue of Size is not an issue at all but merely a distraction from the real issues, such as the decline in public education, our infrastructure, economy and healthcare system. Mary loves irritating people by speaking her mind and presenting them with annoying facts, contrary opinions, and life's little ironies; when not doing that, she loves being with her family.