Free range

Mother arrested for allowing child to play unsupervised 120 feet from front door

Sonya Hendren, a mother in California, was arrested for felony child endangerment and neglect after allowing her 4-year-old son to play alone on a playground 120 feet from their front door within a gated apartment complex. A neighbor who objects to Hendren’s “free-range” style of parenting spotted the child playing alone and called Child Protective Services (CPS), hoping to discourage Hendren. But CPS took things to an extreme level, charging Hendren with endangerment and taking away Hendren’s child. The mother has since regained custody and seen the charges against her reduced. But she is still fighting to get the charges dropped entirely, and recently rejected a plea deal that would have seen her serve 30 days in jail. “If this happened 20 years ago, we wouldn’t be here,” said Hendren’s lawyer. “There wouldn’t be a criminal case filed.” But for new-age parents, it appears that not constantly keeping a child in view is a prosecutable offense.

Read the full story at People Magazine.

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