Child Seizure Agencies

Friday, October 23, 2009
Posted in category "For the Children"

There have been so many stories over recent years about the state stepping in to take away children because they (the children and/or the parents) are too fat. There’s this recent story on FOX about the couple in Scotland who had their seven children removed from the home (blogged on Formerly, the state used charges of abuse, and now bureaucrats are yanking children from homes based on behavior, weight, and health/medical treatment controversies.

This ties in to a story I read in a recent version of Outside magazine about the amazing teenagers who are sailing around the world. In a time when most teenagers are so uninspring and unremarkable, leading a life of consumerism, television, video games, amusement hunting, and mall wandering in packs with their friends-of-the-moment, we have these enterprising kids who are sailing around the world … solo. Zac Sunderland, 17; Mike Perham, 17; Jessica Watson, 16; and Abby Sunderland, 16 (Zac’s sister). These kids live and thrive in a No Mall Rat Zone.

Four teenage sailors tacking around the globe may not sound like that many. But according to the American Sailing Association (ASA), fewer than 250 people have solo-circumnavigated the world’s oceans since Joshua Slocum, author of the classic adventure memoir Sailing Alone Around the World, became the first, in 1898. By comparison, more than 3,000 have reached the top of Mount Everest in only 56 years. Since Slocum’s era, improvements in boat design, navigation, and technology have made the voyage easier and faster, but the oceans remain as vast and unpredictable as ever.

And then there was Laura Dekker, 13. Civil authorities in the Netherlands have said she does not have permission to skip school to take her planned 2-year journey. The court decided she was too young to engage such an adventure. Child “protection” services threatened to take custody of her for two months to block her September launch and put her through psychological assesments. Media and citizen busybodies are furious that the Dekkers have such an outstanding, independent child would consider letting their daughter take this trip. Laura said, “All the media are horrible.”

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5 Responses to Child Seizure Agencies

  1. Tom Osborne says:

    October 23rd, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    To which the marvelous educator, John Taylor Gatto, would add that America’s first Admiral, Admiral Farragut, got command of his first warship when he was 12. This chapter in his book, The Underground History of American Education, is very thrilling for those of us who believe in the power of teenagers that our society now thinks of as “children” (heck, college students are thought of as still “children”):

  2. cousin lucky says:

    October 23rd, 2009 at 11:54 pm

    It may be my age or my upbringing but those children are too young to know all of the dangers they face making such a voyage. Perish the thought, but what happens to their parents if some tragedy should befall these children?

    While it is very true that some children ” grow up ” faster than others; a trip around the world might seem like a great adventure; but it can end their lives!!

  3. Shannon says:

    October 24th, 2009 at 7:25 am

    The problem with our society is that it has shifted from one of invention, to invasive intervention, crippling the dreams and ambitions of the entrepreneurial spirit. I am all too familiar with the child-napping agencies and spent 2.5 years at the mercy of the foster care system. It still affects me to this day.

    Lucky said, “It may be my age or my upbringing but those children are too young to know all of the dangers they face making such a voyage.” In my opinion, young people in general, are not given that extra push to take on big challenges and risks that build their character and self-reliance. I am sure that many of these young sailors, having sailed with their own families, are aware of the dangers involved.

  4. clark says:

    October 24th, 2009 at 11:39 am

    Exactly right Tom. People once got married and had children at 13, they traveled the world and established colonies in America to start the country… I guess they should have stayed home in Europe, they were too young to do those things?

  5. Mark T says:

    October 26th, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    Nothing to see here folks – it’s all in the best interest of the children…

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