Are bathtime photos child pornography?

A couple in Arizona had their three children taken away from them for taking partially nude bathtime photos of their kids. The couple was never charged with any crime and did get their children back. They are now suing the state and the Walmart that turned their photos over to the police.

From The Arizona Republic:

“A Peoria couple is suing Walmart and the state after they were accused of sexual abuse for taking bathtime photos of their daughters, according to court papers.”

“Lisa and Anthony “A.J.” Demaree’s three young daughters were taken away by state Child Protective Services last fall when a Wal-Mart employee found partially nude pictures of the girls on a camera memory stick taken to the store for processing, the lawsuit claims.”

“Walmart turned the photos over to police and the Demarees were not allowed to see their children for several days and did not regain custody for a month while the state investigated, according to their lawyer, Richard Treon.”

Their lawyer said the images were part of 144 photos taken mostly on the family’s vacation to San Diego. He said there were seven to eight bath- and playtime photos of the girls that showed a “portion or outline or genitalia.”

At the time the girls were 5, 4 and 1 ½.

“Neither parent was charged with sexual abuse and they regained custody of their children, but the Demarees say the incident inflicted lasting harm.”

I haven’t seen these particular photos, but it seems to me that some common sense needed to be exercised by the police. I understand if Walmart found it necessary (to protect themselves) to turn over the photos. However, did the children really need to be taken away from the parents while the photos were examined? How much examination could it have needed? How traumatizing for the parents and the children to be separated! It makes you wonder what else your children could be taken away for?

What do you think: Are run-of-the-mill bathtime photos child pornography? How do you judge? What crosses the line (keep it clean people or they’ll shut us down)? Did the police do the right thing taking the children away? Could it have been examined without going to that extreme? Did Walmart do the right thing turning the photos over? Do the parents have a case against the state or against Walmart?

70 comments Add your comment

Kelly

September 21st, 2009
7:48 am

I just saw this story on the Today show and am deeply saddened that this is what our society has come to. To take someone’s kids away from them and put these parents on a sex offender list over such innocent photos is ridiculous. My mom took pictures of me and my brother in the bath; I’ve taken photos of my son in the bath – I would hate to think this could happen to me. One more reason to not shop at Walmart. And the police officer who turned this into more than it should be, should be fired for lack of common sense and decency.

deidre_NC

September 21st, 2009
7:53 am

gotta get to work but will be curious to see the posts here today when i get home…i think its gestapo time..

JJ

September 21st, 2009
7:58 am

I’m at a loss for words……..this poor family, due to some idiot at Walmart…….to have your own kids taken away from you because some idiot worker thought it was porn. Call me first, not the cops. You stuck your nose where it didn’t belong.

I’d sue Walmart too!!!

new mom

September 21st, 2009
8:02 am

Good morning!
First of all, no baby yet. :(

on to the topic–I would say generally no, they are not pornography. That being said, we are super-careful with both what pictures we take, but what we keep and what we publish on our girls’ website (password protected, only family and close friends know it even exists). For our daughter, we will take front pictures only from the waist up, and back pictures as long as it’s nothing beyond ‘buttocks’. But yes, we take pictures in the bath at times, they are some of the most hysterical ones we have–with big wet smiles and daddy-created mohawks. After looking through our pictures, if we find we accidently caught something more personal on camera, we permanently delete the picture. Not that we expect someone to take our daughter away, but just so it’s not there period. And we rarely publish photos of her unclothed in any way on the website.

Were these parents using an old fashioned camera that they couldn’t review the photos and delete any that were questionable? That might make this more understandable. I personally wouldn’t have anything questionable printed. (is anyone else thinking of the seinfeld where george ‘flirts’ with the girl at the photo shop by getting those crazy pictures made?) :)

Yes, I think someone could have made a decision about the photos without going to the extreme of taking their kids away, it’s not as if they found the photos on some nasty website or anything, but I doubt the parents will get very far in their lawsuit. Y’all have a good day!

Christina

September 21st, 2009
8:03 am

That would be horrifying as a parent! Personally, I always make a point to not capture any of my son’s boy parts when I take bathtime photos. (He is one.) But still, it’s feasible I could capture that image and not realize it at the time. To have him taken from me for any length of time for that?? Give me a break!

Laura

September 21st, 2009
8:10 am

Enter your comments here In Europe you can see children run around nude in public. I have a picture of me running around outside in my underwear at four. I think taking pictures is ok.

Justmy2cents

September 21st, 2009
8:44 am

I’ve heard of this before. I think the photo places are obligated to report stuff like that. Because although to us, as parents, it is just common sense and all in good fun, there are a lot of pervs out there and you have to protect the children. The easiest way to avoid it is to not take those types of pictures, OR if you do, print them out at home. You never know what sicko will get their jollies off while processing your photos, OR get the wrong impression (as in this case).

TG

September 21st, 2009
8:58 am

While it may not be pornography, I do think the Walmart employee did the right thing. I understand some people would want the employee to talk to them first, but if I as an employee don’t know you, how do I know you are not lying.. He could not take the risk that this was child porn and it end up posted somewhere with the Walmart brand name on it..

As for the police, I think they could’ve investigated without taking the Children away.. But as a society exercising extreme caution can’t be the wrong thing to do..

Dr. Horrible

September 21st, 2009
9:00 am

Um, I think that if you want to take photographs of your kids in the bath, you should invest in a digital camera so you don’t have to worry about some prude Walmart employee whining to the cops about it. This whole incident could have been avoided. It’s called logic…use it kids.

gaparent

September 21st, 2009
9:01 am

What are Arizona’s state laws on this? I know Georgia is Very very stringent.

gaparent

September 21st, 2009
9:01 am

Doc Horrible. .. you really can’t take them digitally either, not in GA

YUKI

September 21st, 2009
9:02 am

This is really sad. I understand they are obligated to report anything that seems suspicious and that is a good thing, but I would think it was pretty obvious that these were just fun bathtime pictures. I also would not take (or would delete if I accidentaly did) pictures of my son’s private parts, but come on! They may not have realized with 144 pictures. To take the kids away from the parents for SEVERAL DAYS? Seems quite extreme to me and I would be beyond upset.

YUKI

September 21st, 2009
9:04 am

..and they did mention memory stick in the article, so I’m pretty sure that means they did use a digital camera.

Dr. Horrible

September 21st, 2009
9:05 am

@gaparent

If you take digital pictures you don’t have to go anywhere to get them processed.ie.. you avoid the prude at Walmart even looking at the pictures……you simply copy them to the computer or just leave them on the flash drive.

Roger McCarter

September 21st, 2009
9:05 am

I just recently visited my children for the birth of my 3rd grandchild (2 boys & 1 girl) My son has a 5 yr old son and 2 yr old daughter. During the visit my daughter-in-law video taped a bath time for these two where they were cutting up dancing after their bath. The video was soo funny! They were having a blast as my son’s family are all in to music, musical insturments, and so on.

After laughing over this video I told her that she shouldn’t keep it because “today” if somone were to somehow get their hands on it they could they could really put you in a jam, or it could even end up on this garbage dump we call the internet.

It’s really too bad that we have spawned a sector of our society that are soo sick that even our memories are not safe from exploitation.

Good Luck with the law suit. Wal-Mart will just fire the poor dumb sap that did this and “re-train” there staff for the future.

gaparent

September 21st, 2009
9:07 am

doc horrible – you can also be charged for knowingly receiving.

Dr. Horrible

September 21st, 2009
9:08 am

Ok then the lesson here kids is, since it appears a memory stick was used, DON’T LET THE PRUDE AT WALMART PROCESS YOUR PICTURES!!! Simply invest in a photo-quality printer and print your own pictures. Logic still prevails!!!

JJ

September 21st, 2009
9:10 am

Buy a photo printer and print out your own photos at home…..

Roger McCarter

September 21st, 2009
9:12 am

Word to the wise – If you take these types of pix somewhere to be processed what’s to say the the person processing them isn’t one of these sicko’s that has the perfect job for collecting material not only for their own sick pleasure, but could also publish them on the internet.

Either don’t take these types of pix, or print them your self. I keep all my photos on CD’s and print ones I want to frame.

Eliminate to chances of this happening and it can help control this type of situation.

Dr. Horrible

September 21st, 2009
9:14 am

@gaparent

If the kids in question are just sitting in the bath tub taking a bath the pictures should not be considered inappropriate. This couple has a legitimate right to sue and I hope they clean house with Walmart’s ass.

If there is a lude act going on…..then there is a problem.

There is a definite line between taking a picture of your own children taking a bath and child pornography….if you can’t figure out the difference then you are stupid.

Again simple logic folks…

gaparent

September 21st, 2009
9:18 am

@doc — my point is , you have to know the laws.

Becky

September 21st, 2009
9:38 am

@Dr.Horrible, I think your last post was right on..The said part is that there really are some folks out there that are that stupid..

Nonparent

September 21st, 2009
9:38 am

Although this is a situation nobody would want to be involved in, I’m surprised at the outrage at Wal-Mart compared to what I would consider more appropriately aimed outrage at the protective services people.

How many of us would be ripping Wal-Mart apart right now if someone had ignored the photos and it was later discovered that a Wal-Mart employee *had* been trafficking child pornography (knowingly or unknowingly)? I feel like there’d be just as many “I can’t believe the employees were that ignorant” if they hadn’t reported the images. An innocent-looking photo to one person can be something totally different to some of the twisted minds that are out there. If I did have kids, I would have to feel good knowing that Wal-Mart would be reporting any inappropriate pictures of my kids that had been taken by someone else or without my permission.

That said, I think the protective services people are the ones who deserve the lawsuit. An entire month to determine that yes, those were simply fun, bathtime photos of a happy family? That’s an absolute joke and, to me, demonstrates a pretty high level of incompetence on the authorities’ end.

I’d say they deserve the vehement anger much more than the Wal-Mart guy/girl who could have just as easily been saving some poor kids from the equally as traumatizing long-term effects of being used in child pornography.

But, as the name would suggest, I’m a non-parent, so it’s possible I shouldn’t even weigh in. I’m just trying to be somewhat rational about it.

YUKI

September 21st, 2009
9:43 am

My first attempt did not post but I was just saying that I think it is unbelievable that they actually took their children AWAY for SEVERAL days? What kind of idiot cannot tell the difference between a family taking cute bath photos and child porn?? Give me a break. I’m happy that they are looking out for the children and by all means if it appeared to be something inappropriate then yes, report it. But come on, taking the kids away for some bath pictures??? I say what everyone else is saying, just don’t take them…or print them at home. I personally would not take pictures where my son’s private parts are showing….not only because it’s just weird but might be embarrassing to him later on. I could see how you might accidentally leave one on, especially if there were 144 pictures. I just cannot believe they took the kids away for this…..while there are other poor kids living with drug addicted crack heads and nothing is done about it….unreal

gorkon

September 21st, 2009
9:47 am

This is why families should NOT print photos and just save them on a hard drive and use a digital picture frame. Walmart ALSO should NEVER be held liable for this stuff as their JOB is ONLY to develop the pics and not to look at them. Walmart needs to remember that people DO take pictures of private moments and those moments are NONE of their business and NOT police business unless there is a court order. Period.

motherjanegoose

September 21st, 2009
9:59 am

Yes, we have a few bath time photos. I am with newmom on being respectful about which body parts are shown….above the waist and the butt.

You are choosing to capture something of your child and they have no choice….where does one draw the line…I do not know.

It IS a sad day when folks are so sick out there that illicit thoughts can be part of the picture.

My son worked in the photo lab and told me there were all sorts of crazy pictures being developed.

@ Dr. Horrible…logic and common sense seem to be attributes that are being not getting passed down genetically.
Here is a question I have, what if a parent did send these photos to be processed and someone viewed them and decided to distribute the pictures themselves?
Why would a parent take a risk of letting these pictures out in the open? A pudgy butt is one thing.
A full genital view is quite another, imho.

C.C. Chapman

September 21st, 2009
10:07 am

This story saddens me on every level. I would think that the line between inappropriate and innocence would be clear in a situation like this.

I just shared my thoughts on the issue at http://www.digitaldads.com/2009/09/when-protecting-the-children-goes-to-far/ and even as I wrote them it continued to anger me on multiple levels.

I’m more angry at the system that allowed this to happen. You know this went through several chains of command before it ever got to someone knocking on the door for the kids and no one stopped it? That saddens me to no end.

JS OBrien

September 21st, 2009
10:21 am

What really blows my mind about the responses here are the people who think one should avoid taking photos of a young child’s genitalia and/or buttocks. You have GOT to be kidding me. What sort of dirty-minded individual finds simple nudity in children to be sexual in nature? Sheesh. When I was a kid, we all ran around naked outside in the summer until we were about three of four or so. I have a photo album full of photos of me as a naked infant and child. It’s just nudity, people. Get a freakin’ grip!

To me, the real issue is who in the world could think simple nudity is prurient? I wonder if some of the people reviewing those photos and persecuting these parents were turned on by them. They’re the ones I really worry about.

Good grief

September 21st, 2009
10:30 am

This gets to an issue that has become increasingly prevalent, that of electronically enabled surveillance. More and more people are finding or putting themselves into a surveillance role because of the explosion of information (and access to that information) about others enabled by information technologies like the Internet, increasing digitization of services and collection of information by the devices we all own and use and the companies we all must do business with. People are increasingly putting more and more of their information out there, intentionally or not, voluntarily or not, avoidably or not.

These photos were not to have been printed, and the Wal-Mart employee(s) had no business even looking at them. To convey any electronic medium to someone where you aren’t in direct control of how it’s being used is a mistake that the Demarees will probably not make again. But many American unintentionally convey a broad range of documents, photos, financial info, statistical info, identification, even metadata (file names, dates, etc) just in getting photos printed, bringing a PC or cell phone for repair or having their cars (with GPS, OnStar and “smart” engine management systems) emissions tested.

In many cases it’s virtually impossible to prevent potential surveillance or reporting. And we see, in the Demaree’s case at least, the risk of this “grass roots” surveillance was that the arbiter of what action should be taken was a police officer untrained on what constitutes child pornography. Justice Potter Stewart’s claim of “I know it when I see it” isn’t an adequate test, especially when a police officer who could be potentially aroused by child pornography himself is making the decisions. These people need, increasingly, to be better and better qualified to evaluate the electronic data (evidence) that comes their way–skills that used to reside mostly with forensics specialists, district attorneys and trained police detectives.

Individuals need to become aware of the information they control and diligent about not conveying to others anything more than what is absolutely necessary. This extends to judging whether to do business with a company like Wal-Mart or to take an alternative action like publishing photos electronically to friends and family (an option with its own risks), buying a printer or censoring photos rigorously before conveying them. (Of course, a dedicatedly nosy photo tech can often extract even deleted photos from a memory device.) Companies like Wal-Mart need to be held to strict new privacy rules, “no snooping” rules in this case.

The caveat for all of us is can’t be emphasized too strongly: BE AWARE of what data is out there, what you’re voluntarily generating and conveying and WHO you’re conveying it to. And avoid businesses (like Wal-Mart) that don’t adhere strictly to a tough privacy policy regarding your data. It doesn’t matter if your intentions are the most innocent in the world, the mere access to data about you and your family poses a threat the minute it’s out of your hands and your control. Until new protections come into force (if they ever do), this problem will continue to grow until it rivals threats like identity theft and other more traditional threats to our security. Don’t be caught out!

Chiachky DelVekio

September 21st, 2009
10:45 am

@TG: “But as a society exercising extreme caution can’t be the wrong thing to do..”

When common sense gives way to “extreme caution” then society is spiraling the toilet bowl. “Cover your butt” should not be the modus operandi of the citizenry, rather it should be “don’t be dumb”

Christine

September 21st, 2009
10:57 am

It is sad how our society has changed. Things have been taken to the extreme. Bathtime photos are a keepsake/memory thing (to be shown to future spouses by inlaws). Women can no longer feed their infant children in public for fear of “public exposure”. I agree, that if Walmart needed to inform police to cover themsleves then fine . . . but the police should have had some common sense. While the pictures themselves were harmless to the children, the experience and trauma from being taken from their parents, and most likely questioned in the investigation will leave life long scars.

Dr. Horrible

September 21st, 2009
11:11 am

@gaparent

Regardless of “the law” if it does not take into account logic and reason than it is flawed.

Jennifer

September 21st, 2009
11:15 am

Enter your comments here

Jennifer

September 21st, 2009
11:16 am

that is the reason we print all of pictures at home! I don’t want some peeping tom or walmart uneducated perverted mind looking at pictures of my children!

Captain Hammer

September 21st, 2009
11:16 am

I think that if you cannot get your point accross in your comments on this blog in two, four, sentence paragraphs or less, I will not read your comments.

JATL

September 21st, 2009
11:20 am

What a bunch of morons at WalMart and the police force! HELLO -Walmart -if you get pix of some little girl or boy with (gag) their legs open or something where they’re obviously in a sexual pose -by all means call the cops. If you have some sisters giggling in a bathtub and they haven’t been posed; they’re not “flaunting” their genitalia for photo purposes, etc. then why would you call the cops? Granted, I’m thinking the WalMart photo processor is probably not a rocket scientist, but is there no more common sense? If it’s a WM policy to report ALL of these pictures, then they should have a disclaimer posted about developing bathtime pix or nude photos of any type including those of children.

As far as the even MORE moronic cops go -I hope that family OWNS that police force by the time it’s over! We may not expect much in the way of sound judgement from the Walmart employee, but the cops and DFACS should be able to thumb through these, ask the parents a few questions and leave it. Taking the kids, subjecting the whole family to a nightmare -they should really all be fired because they obviously don’t have the sense and judgement required for jobs involving guns, force, families, abused children, etc. Stupidity really should be painful.

I’m still p’od that I can’t take pictures of my kids and their friends at our public pool because someone thinks a perv might take a picture, so no cameras allowed. GEEEEEEZ! I agree with Chiachky that all of this “extreme caution” in SO many aspects of our and our children’s lives is just an indicator of a society circling the drain…

Malcolm Reynolds

September 21st, 2009
11:25 am

Unfortunately, you can’t cure stupid.

Okpulot Taha

September 21st, 2009
11:26 am

Theresa Giarrusso cites a news report, “…Demarees say the incident inflicted lasting harm.”

This is truth. Lisa and Anthony are traumatized for life. Those parents have suffered a type of psychological torture which is horrifying. This is an abhorrent event which will haunt those parents on a daily basis; they live in fear. There is no greater horror than having your children taken away.

Their five year old will have vague memories of this in adult life. Their four year old and baby, probably will be spared. However, this horror and fear their parents suffered will be emotionally transferred to their children. This is unavoidable. Psychological services for this family will help them to cope with this, but this damage done cannot never be erased.

My personal estimate is Walmart owes this family about five-million dollars and the city of Peoria owes this family about five-million dollars. The Walwart employee should be fired and face criminal charges. Peroria police officers involved should be fired and face criminal charges. Child Protective Agency workers involved should be fired and face criminal charges. This type of behavior by Walmart and city employees is beyond inexcusable. This behavior is criminal in nature. This is not moral indignation, this is a criminal witch hunt; laws were deliberately abused to effect a self-righteous moral agenda.

This family was tortured and is being tortured and will be tortured for life. This is criminal.

All of this points to these dangers of self-righteous people who appoint themselves judge, jury and executioner. Common sense informs us of the innocence of those photographs. Those who persecuted this family well knew those photographs were innocent, were not child pornography yet each of those many people made freewill choices to both violate the privacy rights of this family and made freewill choices to abuse our laws under color of authority. This is criminal.

This family should be compensated with millions of dollars and those who took the law into their own hands should be jailed. This is justice, true justice.

Okpulot Taha
Choctaw Nation
Puma Politics

Jason Alan

September 21st, 2009
11:33 am

I’m like a lot of other people posting here, in I don’t think the pictures are a big deal. Most of us have pictures of ourselves running around naked when we were kids. But times are much different today. My parents didn’t grow up in the age of the internet, like we do today. There are thousands of web sites promoting child pornography, and I think we do have to be more cautious in today’s world. I wouldn’t take pictures of my kids naked, not in today’s world. As for them taking their pictures to Walmart, probably not a good idea. More so for having some pedophile copy the pictures, than having the cops called. I do believe the person at Walmart was just following policy when he/she notified the police about possible child porn. I mean, a good amount of child port are parents who take pictures of their own children, and then share the pictures with other pedophiles. The pictures were frontal nudity, not some butt shots. It’s the police that have to determine intention, and that’s where this case got out of hand. They went too far when they took the children away without knowing the intentions. It looks like they were first determined guilty, and had to prove their innocence to get their children back. That’s backwards. Just plain stupid on the DA’s & polices’ part. That’s why the judge threw out the case. I don’t think the parents will win the lawsuit against Walmart, but the state should have to pay for taking their children away without merit.

HB

September 21st, 2009
11:34 am

This situation is horrible, I don’t think that the Walmart employee or the police were at fault here. I think rigid policies probably dictated the circumstances more than the judgement of the indivduals involved. Most likely, Walmart employees are trained to call the police if they find “questionable material.” Once called, police probably have strict instructions to remove the kids immediately from the home by state policy. There are a lot of horror stories out there about families being split up during investigations of abuse that probably should not have been launched in the first place, and it can be very difficult for parents to be removed from “watch lists” even after those investigations conclude no abuse occurred. The Washington Post did an excellent story earlier this year reporting the cases of several families who went through this. It’s a difficult balance for child protection agencies workers, though, between erring on the side of caution and recognizing how many cases of abuse have been missed that should have been caught and trying not to treat people unfairly because their child falls, bumps his head, and ends up in the emergency room.

I will say, it was not smart of these parents to have those pictures on a card they turned over to Walmart — not because they should have feared being reported, but because it’s too easy for a worker there to lift the files and sell them to sickos.

Okpulot Taha

September 21st, 2009
11:54 am

HB comments, “I think rigid policies probably dictated the circumstances more than the judgement of the indivduals involved.”

This returns to our American philosophy of “intent of law” versus “letter of law”. We are charged with a responsibility to effect our laws according to intent, not according to letter.

Each of us violates, literally violates at least a dozen municipal, state and federal laws on a daily basis. Almost always our violations of laws are innocent acts. Nonetheless, each of us could be charged with a dozen crimes on a daily basis if “letter of the law” is enforced.

Based upon “letter of the law” all of you readers are criminals. Each of you commit technical violations of some laws a dozen times a day. Should we subscribe to a “letter of the law” philosophy, as happened in Peroria, all of you readers are to stand trial, be convicted, pay fines and possibly serve time in jail. Under “letter of the law”, all of you are criminals.

All of our codes, regulations, laws and such have an important inclusion our laws are to be enforced according to “intent of law”. This is to safeguard us against abuse of law by authority. All who enforce our laws are advised of this, are instructed on this, know of this. Those over in Peroria who went after this family made freewill choices to abuse our laws and should face criminal prosecution.

Ours is America not some two bit Banana Republic. Our is America, not some Islamic nation.

Okpulot Taha
Choctaw Nation
Puma Politics

People of Walmart

September 21st, 2009
12:17 pm

This happened because the people of Walmart are such a wild bunch, see fo yourself: http://peopleofwalmart.com/

lakerat

September 21st, 2009
12:23 pm

I’m a pornstar….

penguinmom

September 21st, 2009
12:38 pm

Child Protective services is becoming an out-of-control menace. Because it is easier for them to find and deal with upstanding citizens who have really done nothing wrong they take those cases to the extreme. On the other hand, it is ‘too hard’ for them to keep up with the cases where the children are actually in danger because their parents are drug addicts or worse. So, they let the children who actually need intervention slip through the cracks while torturing those families who are really doing nothing wrong.

From the article it looks like these were not full on nude pictures, there was a ‘portion or outline of genitalia’. Probably just a slip-up from trying to get a better angle on the kids’ faces. You start to take the picture and everything is blocked, then you shift a little and some small part comes into view.

The police and child protective services should be held responsible for not showing common sense restraint. Where’s innocent until proven guilty in this equation? And yet, a drug-addict mom gets chance after chance after chance.

lakerat

September 21st, 2009
12:44 pm

The lakerat comment at 12:23 was made by an imposter.

Because I know all of you really do care whether or not I’m actually the one commenting or not…I’m THAT important.

Becky

September 21st, 2009
1:24 pm

@penguinmom..I’m not trying to be a smarty pants, but as my boss says, common sense isn’t so common anymore..That in itself is very sad..

As for this being WalMart policy..I have some bathtub pictures that I took of my grandchildren when they were about 9 months old and they were
developed at Walmart, no big hassle..After I got them back, I realized that one showed the boy full frontal sitting in a holder to keep him from falling in the water..

nurse&mother

September 21st, 2009
1:36 pm

What I want to know is why (when I was a school nurse) why DFACS cares about a bathtime pic but is not concerned about a child who exhibits signs of sexual abuse (but won’t tell). They will take away these children, but “can’t” do anything about young children who exhibit signs of abuse. I recall a situation several years ago when i was a school nurse. The child was 5 and would rub against adults (with his privates), would draw pictures involving genitalia and just all around act inappropriately. His older brother had been molested by someone in the family. But, because the boy wouldn’t tell (and you can’t ask-that’s leading), DFACS wouldn’t do a thing. It was completely pitiful. It broke my heart!! I was so angry and sad for this poor child. The behavior specialist said it looked like abuse too. He would draw pictures and he would use his pencil and really bear down when he drew the genitalia.

Back to topic. I think DFACS was over-zealous (to say the least). I’m not sure why they couldn’t investigate without removing the children.

I understand that Wal-mark may be obligated to report. Not really any fault there (once again, mho).

While I don’t think there was any ill intent, I personally wouldn’t take pics of my 5yo below the waist (jmho). I don’t think there is a THING wrong with taking pics of 4 and under.

Once again, I wish folks would use a little common sense. But after reading the spanking topic, I realize that it may be completely hopeless to think the majority of society possesses such a thing.

Maureen

September 21st, 2009
1:46 pm

Even an ‘innocent’ shot of children in a bathtub, not showing private parts at all, could be a ‘turn-on’ to some sad person out there on the internet (or working in the photo dept at Walmart). Some wouldn’t even care if there as any nudity at all & are just turned on by children in general.

Where do we draw the line as parents and as a society? Where do we let fear control us? And, where do we stand up & say ‘we won’t let your psychological issues stop us from living our lives as we would like to live them – including celebrating our children’s natural, innocent beauty’? When will we come up with a way to keep safe from crazy, without limiting our joy?

motherjanegoose

September 21st, 2009
2:15 pm

I, for one, do enjoy reading lakerat’s comments. I detest those who try to be cute as an imposter.

Just a thought….when folks bring in photos to be developed, how WOULD they be developed by the specialist without him/her looking at them? Do you close your eyes as they fall out of the machine? I am sure I am missing something here but some posters appear mad that the photos were viewed at all. Do we KNOW what kind of processing was done?

My kids still laugh at me when I say instamatic….that really dates me…..

Not related, my daughter laughs at me all the time since I say MAGIC MARKERS…she said they are just MARKERS. Is this what they were called when they first came out…maybe it has stuck with me?

HB

September 21st, 2009
2:25 pm

“What I want to know is why (when I was a school nurse) why DFACS cares about a bathtime pic but is not concerned about a child who exhibits signs of sexual abuse (but won’t tell).”

Nurse&mother, isn’t DFACS a state agency? The photos case happened in Arizona. I assume the case you’re describing (very, very sad) was in Georgia and you called GA DFACS. Those are different agencies with different policies and procedures. If your case occurred in AZ, who knows? AZ Child Protective Services may have removed the child from the home immediately.