My Child Without Consent – May 1923

A boy of nine was brought with his parents before the magistrates for a persistent truancy. He had been admonished , punished at school and, whipped at home but nothing would deter him from playing truant once or twice every week and often enticing other boys to stay away from school to ramble together.

His mother pleaded that if the teacher would be more considerate and try to interest the child he had promised that he would try to give up his roving habits.

The judge, however, decided that the parents had failed and ordered the boy to be sent to a reformatory for a period of five years. The mother, who had shown great distress during the hearing of the case, collapsed and had to be carried out of the court.

Is it just that our laws should permit a mere man on the bench to take a child from his mother and put him in a reformatory to cure him of playing truant? If I were the mother of that child I would see to it that British law did not take my child from me without my consent.

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