This is no joke — a Texas mom was arrested for letting her kids play outside. She’s now suing both the police and the neighbor who called the cops on her.

Nosy neighbor deems kids unsupervised

Tammy Cooper was sitting on a lawn chair, watching her kids, ages 6 and 9, play in the street on their scooters. She was seriously surprised when the local police showed up and hauled her to jail for child endangerment after a neighbor called and reported that the kids were unsupervised. She was subjected to an "orange jump suit, in a cell, slammed the door, for 18 hours," she told reporters. For real?

Mom is suing

Tammy is now preparing to sue the parties involved — the police department in La Porte and the arresting officer, as well as her neighbor. She has disputed the charges, saying she was there watching them the whole time. But it raises the questions — do we, as parents, need to supervise our children playing outdoors at all times? And if we don’t, will we be arrested?

Those were the days?

Most parents can remember what it was like when they were young — playing outside for hours without a parent hovering nearby, sometimes leaving in the morning and not returning until dusk. With the childhood obesity epidemic in America and the allure of sedentary indoor activities such as video games and television, shouldn’t outdoor play be encouraged in our youth and by their parents?

“At 9 and 6, there's no reason those two kids shouldn't be completely allowed to run around outside (on a cul-de-sac, no less) with minimal supervision,” wrote a commenter on the Yahoo story. “As long as Mom is at home and the kids are mature enough to go to her if they need help.”

Tell us

What do you think? Should kids play outside unsupervised?

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Comments on "Mom gets arrested for letting kids play outdoors"

eriq sterling September 27, 2012 | 2:14 PM

I cannot believe the cops allowed this to happen in at that state is allowing them to arrest you on the charges they didn't ask you any questions they just being the to arrest you for neglect you need to sue them for every dime they have to have charges pressed against them and make sure you hire a great attorney to pursue the charges

Shelley September 21, 2012 | 11:24 AM

This is totally ridiculous!! I let my kids play outside unsupervised and check on them every so often. I do agree that they need to be respectful of neighbors and not be loud. If my kids get loud, they come in, and that's that. I don't see the need to get the cops involved though.

H September 20, 2012 | 4:37 PM

Seriously, I can't believe the police arrested her! That is so not right! As far as that neighbor, I wonder what kind of a bug she has up her behind to even think about calling the police about kids playing outside.

Heather September 20, 2012 | 3:34 PM

Wow hope they never pass by my house. My 3 girls play outdoors, mostly supervised. My 10 year old watches the 2 youngest girls on the slides while I grill outdoors, walk the dog or do whatever nearby. I also agree, 6 and 9 are old enough for sure to play near without constant supervision.

Randy September 20, 2012 | 3:26 PM

nothing wrong with letting your kids get some fresh air without having them glued to your hip at all time. i let my kids play outside all they want , and just go check on them from time to time, if there is a problem they come in and tell me.

Monica September 20, 2012 | 2:55 PM

This is just straight up crazy. What is wrong with people?!

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