Can My Child’s Artwork Get Me Arrested?
For the most part, my goal with this blog is to write about the things that amuse me about fatherhood. That doesn’t mean that sometimes I don’t get the urge to write about other things that catch me offguard.
That urge struck me yesterday when reading this article in the online news version of The Record.
The story is about a father (Jessie Sansone) who was arrested while picking up his 4 year old daughter from school because she drew a picture of a man holding a gun. When asked about the photo, the girl replied “That’s my daddy’s. He uses it to shoot bad guys and monsters.”
Sansone was strip searched at the police station and three of his children were taken to Family and Children’s Services to be interviewed.
Several hours after being humiliated in front of the entire school, a detective apologized and said Sansone was being released with no charges. Sansone was also asked to sign a paper authorizing a search of his home, where police found no real guns but did find this plastic gun.
I understand the school’s need to deal with this information in a very serious manner. With all of the craziness going on in schools today, I would be outraged if something like this went without being brought up. My problem is with the way the situation was handled.
Sansone recounts that he was not even warned at the school, he simply showed up to get his daughter and they cuffed him, strip searched him and embarassed him in front of his whole community. “My family has been tarnished. My name has been tarnished,” Sansone said.
I can only picture this happening to me and it makes me wonder why they didn’t just call the police and set up a meeting with Sansone to discuss it privately and then decide if action was required?
Imagine going to pick up your 4 year old kid from kindergarten and getting ambushed out of nowhere and rushed into a police car in handcuffs. How would that make you feel? How would it look to all the other parents, kids and community members who witnessed it? How would you ever fix your reputation at that point?
You know how it goes, once your accused of something, you’ll always be the guy that was involved in that scandal, regardless of the outcome. It’s unfortunate but true.
Really, what this story did, is make me rethink my whole parenting philosophy. We play with super soakers in the summertime and the whole neighbourhood joins in. We’ve had some really fun house to house battles but is it really worth it? Does this same fate await me or one of my neighbours? What other things do I do as a parent without realizing the consequences? It’s a scary thought.
What are your thoughts about the way this went down? Do you think the school and police were right in the way they handled the situation or do you think there may have been a more discreet way to deal with it? Let me know in the comments section and thanks for reading!