Eight police officers surrounded a couple’s home and took their seven-year-old son away because of a disagreement with school officials over ADHD and mental health, the parents say.
Christian and Katie Maple lost custody of seven-year-old Camden because they disagreed with school officials’ assessment of the boys’ mental health, they told Health Impact News. He attends Bowman Primary School in Lebanon, Ohio.
They describe him as a normal American boy: He has five siblings and enjoys Star Wars, Pokemon, football and Legos. He even has tested a grade above his current grade, the website reported.
“The school thinks he is ADHD, we as parents disagree,” the couple told Health Impact News. “We believe that it stems mostly from boredom and not being challenged in the classroom. The school has tried on several occasions to get us to have him diagnosed, so that he can be medicated.
“We as parents do not have the problems the school claims to have with him, at home. We know how to deal with a rambunctious 7-year-old, but the school is content with making him believe that he is a bad child, we disagree.”
The controversy began when the parents were called to pick up Camden following an incident at school. Camden had been disruptive in class and had told a school counselor that he was upset because he felt that he was bad and he wanted to “erase himself from the earth.” The counselor asked how he would have done that, and he responded that he would have stabbed himself in the eye, Health Impact News reported.
Christian and Katie had a lengthy conversation with their son after they left school. They saw the incident different than the school saw it.
“Camden said that he did not want to hurt himself and just said that because he was upset and wanted to see what the counselor would say,” they told the website. “The school thought we should have taken him to the hospital emergency room for a mental health evaluation, but upon assessing the situation and speaking to him at home, it was clear to us that he posed no threat to himself and just said it to get a rise out of the counselor. He has never said anything about harming himself prior to this incident or after. This was one time, one day … most likely repeating something he heard somewhere.”
They added, “If we really believed that he would have really hurt himself, then we would have taken him to be assessed. They’ve blown this way out of proportion.”
The next day, school officials phoned the couple to ask if they had taken him to the hospital. They also wanted to know the details of the couple’s conversation with the boy. When the parents refused to disclose what was said, the school contacted CPS, according to the parents.
Two weeks later, Christian and Katie learned that there was a court hearing “later that day” on March 3. The judge sided with the school and CPS, and police officers were sent to the home to assist in the boy’s removal. He remains in state custody.
The parents were ordered to get a psychological evaluation and drug and alcohol tests. The psychological tests came back normal. The drug and alcohol test results were clean.
“How can this be?” Katie asked. “How can CPS get away with ripping children from loving homes without just cause? … CPS should not have this much unchecked power.”
They added, “There is nothing to stop this from happening to anyone.”
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