Connecticut readers may have seen a recent video that has caused quite a stir on the Internet and in print media. The footage features a two-year-old child hurling curse words and racial slurs back and forth with adults who are just off-camera. The video went viral after a police officer’s union placed the clip on their webpage, stating that the disturbing content was indicative of the area’s problems with violence and gang activity. Soon after, state officials took the toddler into protective custody, which has sparked a great deal of debate over the rights of parents and the role of the state in determining child custody.
The video footage is difficult to watch, even though the diapered tot could have no way to understand the deplorable language and racially offensive words that he is saying. In fact, at several points in the video he is being coached by adults to repeat offensive phrases. However, there is no indication of any illegal activity in the video, and the child seems to be healthy and within a clean environment.
Regardless, local child protective services workers made the decision to investigate the family, which led to the removal of the two-year-old, his mother (who is also a minor at just 16 years of age) and two additional children from the residence. Reports indicate that the family has been under the watch of local police and CPS workers due to gang-related violence issues. However, there is no indication of whether any recent event other than the video led to the investigation.
This child custody case is likely to continue to garner the attention of the media in Connecticut and elsewhere, as several interesting issues are at play. While the state is tasked with ensuring that children are safe and free of abuse, parents have the right to raise their children in a manner that they see fit, even if their choices are not popular or lauded. In this case, it appears that allowing a two-year-old child to use profane and racially-charged language may have led to an investigation of the family, and the ultimate removal of a child from his home.