A New Jersey father defended his son, Ethan, after a simple pencil-swirling incident nearly resulted in the boy’s suspension earlier this year because a classmate claimed he was spinning it like a “gun.” Following intense media scrutiny, school officials reportedly backed off and it looked like the situation would just blow over.
Then Michael Chaplin says he received a stunning letter from New Jersey’s Department of Child Protection and Permanency and Department of Children and Families. Despite the fact that the superintendent of the Vernon Township School District decided not to take any disciplinary action, the state reportedly claimed to have found “an incident of abuse or neglect.”
“I received a letter from them saying they had found an incident of abuse or neglect regarding Ethan because I refused to take him for psychological evaluation,” Chaplin told WPIX-TV.
Though he disagreed, Chaplin agreed to take his son for the evaluation. In addition to having his blood and urine being taken for testing, Ethan also spoke to a social worker.
Officials apparently found no behavioral problems with Ethan.
However, the father now claims that the state is demanding further evaluation and even threatening to terminate his parental rights and put Ethan up for adoption if he refuses to comply.
Chaplin admitted that he is “scared” because state agencies “have a habit of running away with things unchecked and that’s exactly what’s going on.”
“All I can do is keep fighting, keep telling the truth and (keep) presenting the evidence. That is all I can do and hopefully the state does the right thing,” he added.
DCPP and NJ Department of Children and Families are refusing to comment on the case.
Chaplin says he contacted the office of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, which promised to contact the agencies to investigate.
(H/T: Jim Treacher)