O.K., I really, really don't think on the surface, this really constitutes child abuse in the true sense. Well, the Florida authorities charged Patricia Denault with child neglect, not child abuse per se. But just a little more investigating and I am sure that will be the end result.
Look, I'm 50 years old and back in my childhood, it was not all that unusual for parents to let their children try, usually, wine. I personally would not start my child at the top of the heap of spirits such as Cinnamon Fireball, but hey, if I did I would start more like at, well wine.
The real mistake, and the only reason I think that the authorities got involved in the first place is Mrs. Denault's lack of restraint and posting a photo of her letting not one, but two of her children taking a sip of the said Devil's urine on Facebook.
Of course a busy-body saw the said photo on Mrs. Denault's Facebook page and called the coppers.
So, your humble blogger did a little investigating, and this may be the photo's in question that set off the busy-body. To see the rest, one would have to ask Mrs. Denault to be her Facebook friend. I do not want to bother her but more or less defend her.
Here's something interesting. The ages of the children are never mentioned. Yet all one has to do is go over to Mrs. Denault's Facebook page and It appears that the Denault's have six children and the the oldest is 16 years old. It appears that the youngest is probably about three years old.
Now I am somewhat with Allahpundit over at HotAir and the age and amount and reason of consumption have to be taken into account.
The real crime, if there is one, is that Mrs. Denault thought it would be cool to put any photo of such things of Facebook.
Now, when I was young and stupid, I imbibed adult beverage. I remember sneaking homemade wine coolers at a nephew's birthday party. I was damn good at sneaking and drinking WAY TOOOO MANY and well, you know the rest of the story.
In high school, my best friends parents would let us consume adult beverage at their home. But we were hostages and could NOT leave until the next day no matter how much anyone consumed.
Was that a good thing to do?
Mrs. Denault said that she thought it was better that any of her children would consume any adult beverage at home in a controlled setting.
My friends parents knew the occasions that alcohol would be consumed and figured it was going to be done so do it somewhere safe. Sure, we were all under 21-the legal age even then in California. And it should be noted that this was when states determined their own minimum drinking age. But on our graduation night from high school, I'm glad we did not go out and get drunk and very possibly killed. In that case, my friends' parents were right.
So was Mrs. Denault trying to show her kids that maybe adult beverage is not all that good a thing? Or was she just maybe herself in an altered state of mind and figured, why the hell not?! HA! It's pretty funny seeing the kid's reaction. Especially to that Fireball.
Nothing indicates that Mrs. Denault has any history of child neglect and or child abuse. Nor is there any history that Mr. Denault, Patrick Denault, has any neglect or abuse on his record. This appears to be a first time happening. I'm not saying that Mrs. Denault should be hoisted up as mother of the year, but come on? At worst, it showed a lapse of parental judgement. Maybe her real crime is trying to be too much of a friend to her children rather than a parent. It really is not a crime to be not the best parent. And maybe people could just mind their own business.
See, what might have been a good idea is if the person who ratted Mrs. Denault out tried to contact her and point out that it wasn't a good idea to post photos of that nature online, it may have avoided what could be a process that may end up with serious consequences.
Is it possible that children would be taken from the Denault family? Stranger things have happened once cases are put into the system. The ready willingness of the authorities to see abuse and neglect everywhere clouds logic and often times simple cases of parental lapses of judgement become cases of the century.
Another thought is that, as I suspect but do not have knowledge of, a Facebook friend called the coppers, was there some revenge being played out over some other issues? Think about that for a moment.
When people become front line soldiers of the excesses of the Nanny State and rat out others, it does lead to the Nanny State going wild and maybe do more harm than good.
Does letting kids have a sip of alcohol at home constitute child neglect? I do not think so but it is now up to the state of Florida to decide.