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Attention! Caution! Letting Your Children Play Outside Unsupervised is Now a Crime!

WTF

No, really: WTF?

There are lots of things that are considered criminal that you can probably understand. Like not feeding your children. Not buckling them up in a car. Allowing them to run in traffic.

Here’s what might surprise you is also criminal: Letting your children play outside.

A mom in Texas was recently arrested for doing just that. Arrested, and made to spend a night in jail.

According to Yahoo News, Tammy Cooper’s kids, ages 6 and 9, were playing outside while she was watching them in a lawn chair. However, a neighbor called police and said the kids were unsupervised.

Cooper was arrested for child endangerment a few hours after the call was made.

“We’re here for you,” she told KPRC the arresting officer said to her.

She spent the night in jail, orange jumpsuit and all. She’s now suing the police department and her neighbor, despite the fact that the police department defends the arrest, saying it was “confident of the known actions of the officers on the scene that evening.”

Here’s the thing: Even if Cooper hadn’t been watching her kids from a lawn chair — maybe she was inside watching TV, taking a shower, cooking or reading — the kids are 6 and 9. Years old. Not months old. Unless you live next door to a child molester or crack den, shouldn’t kids that age be OK playing outside of their own house without being eyeballed every minute?

Since when is it a crime for kids to play outside unattended? And if so, we’re all probably guilty, no? Yikes.

Photo credit: iStock

More from Meredith on Strollerderby:

Read (even) more from Meredith at Babble’s Toddler Times, follow her on Twitter, and check out her weekly syndicated newspaper column at MeredithCarroll.com

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