Kari Anne Roy found herself having to explain her parenting to police and Child Protective Services recently—and all because she let her children play outside unsupervised. In a blog post from earlier this month that's getting some attention, Roy explains that it all started when she answered the door to find a woman she didn't know, with Roy's 6-year-old son in tow. "He was all the way down there, with no adult," the woman explained, so she brought him home. "Down there," as Roy writes, was a park bench visible from her front porch, about 150 yards away. The boy and his 8-year-old sister had been playing there, with their dog, until the girl and the dog went home. "There's a walking trail," the Austin woman explains to WTSP. "They come out here and they walk around the trail." After the woman left, the next person to come to Roy's door was a police officer. Police confirmed the investigation to WTSP.
As her children watched, the officer "asked if my son had been outside alone," Roy writes. "She asked why I thought it was OK for him to be unsupervised. She took my ID. She wrote down the names and ages of the children." But she left without filing a report. Then, a few days later, a Child Protective Services investigator called. After Roy returned the call, the investigator came to the house and took each of Roy's three children aside, alone, for an interview. "She asked my 8-year-old daughter if she had ever seen movies with people's private parts, so my daughter, who didn't know that things like that exist, does now," Roy tells Reason. She and her husband and even their babysitter were also questioned before the case was closed and "marked as a non-event," Roy writes. "But I was also warned: The neighbor can call CPS as many times as she wants." As for the CPS investigator's advice for Roy? "You just don't let them play outside," Roy says. (This mom, this mom, and this one were all recently arrested for letting their kids play alone at a park.)