Is cursing a reason to bring in authorities?

Did Nebraska officials go too far in placing a toddler and his 17 year-old mother in foster care?

The pair was removed from their home after a video surfaced of adults cursing and taunting the two year-old boy. The adults continuously prompted the child to repeat curse words; curse at a chair he overturned; and laughed as he shot a middle finger at the camera.

The teenage mother told Omaha reporters that a friend of the family filmed the video while she was in another room. The girl said she does not teach or allow the little boy to use such language and is not a bad mother.

The Omaha police union posted a clip of the video on its website, describing the video as a continuation of the “cycle of violence and thuggery.” That comment sparked a racial debate, with many saying posting the video with such a description antagonized minority communities that make up a quarter of the city.

While it’s unfair to say such a young child will grow up to be a “thug,” the video does show a familiar cycle: irresponsible adults, and sometimes teenagers, putting little or negative effort into raising a child. It’s fair, however, to ask the question, “If this little boy is being encouraged to curse adults now, what will he be allowed or encouraged to do at age 12 or older?”

Obviously, none of us would want the adults in the video raising or even accessing our children. While officials have understandable concerns about the environment the toddler and his mother might live in, however, is removing a child from a home over crude language the right move? Consider how many children you know that live in homes where verbal, physical, mental and emotional abuse are the norm. What about homes where children are subject to drug use? Even when the right authorities are contacted, those children are seldom removed from the homes. If they are removed, they are usually returned within a matter of days or weeks.

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Posted by on Jan 16 2014. Filed under Editorial. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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