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Young Adolf Hitler Campbell and Sisters Taken into State Custody:

Fox News reports:

A 3-year-old boy named Adolf Hitler and his [sisters, JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell and Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie Campbell,] were removed from their New Jersey home last week and placed in state custody ....

Kate Bernyk, a spokeswoman for the [New Jersey Department of Youth and Family Services], said confidentiality laws barred her from commenting on the case or even confirming that the Campbell children were involved....

"I've dealt with the family for years and as far as the children are concerned, I have never had any reports of any abuse with the children," [police sergeant John] Harris said. "As far as I know, he's always been very good with the children."...

Speaking generally, Bernyk said the state's "decision to remove a child is based on the safety and well being of the child and the risk to that child, and that decision is made in conjunction with the courts and the county family court judge." ...

"DYFS would never remove a child simply based on that child's name," Bernyk said.

For an earlier chapter in the Adolf Hitler Campbell saga, see this post, about a bakery's refusal to produce a birthday cake with the 3-year-old's name on it. Thanks to Fred Ray for the pointer.

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. Young Adolf Hitler Campbell and Sisters Taken into State Custody:
  2. "Cake Request for 3-Year-Old Hitler Namesake Denied,"
Dan Hamilton:

"DYFS would never remove a child simply based on that child's name," Bernyk said


No but they would remove the child if they didn't like what the parents are teaching them or for any other reason they can come up with.

If the parent is a Crack addict they work like hell to keep the child in home but if the parent has the wrong religion or politics they rip them out and try like hell to keep them out.

They could do great work if they weren't libs.
1.14.2009 6:02pm
Brian G (mail) (www):
I wonder how long before we find out if these people are registered Republicans. If they are, we'll know about it pretty wuick.
1.14.2009 6:12pm
Anderson (mail):
It will be pretty bad if the basis for removal was that the parents were teaching the kids Nazi beliefs.

But given the absence of facts, best not to form too many opinions just yet.
1.14.2009 6:35pm
Hoosier:
"Dad was giving me daily Hebrew lessons. You know, like how to spot them."
1.14.2009 6:42pm
Anderson (mail):
Hadn't heard that one, Hoosier.

At least they weren't Greek lessons! Whew!
1.14.2009 6:47pm
Ex-Fed (mail) (www):
I doubt that the child welfare authorities will ever admit that the removal was a result of the parents' beliefs. But when parents have unpopular beliefs and practices, skepticism and scrutiny of claims of abuse or neglect is appropriate. We saw that in the case of the debacle in Texas over the FLDS raid, frequently discussed here.

This is being applauded in some corners despite the lack of information, to date, about the purported ground for removal -- including by people who say we should presume that authorities have a neutral and appropriate basis.
1.14.2009 6:50pm
alkali (mail):
I sort of understand why they named one daughter "Aryan Nation." (If you name one kid "Adolf Hitler," and you have another kid, well, ...) What I don't get is "JoyceLynn."
1.14.2009 7:00pm
FredR (mail):
Would it have been the same for kids named Osama, Che, Joe Stalin, or even George Bush?

Doubtful.
 
1.14.2009 7:00pm
Calderon:
I assume that there has to a procedural due process right for the parents to challenge the removal? Maybe we'll learn more about the reasons then, but at the moment it looks awfully suspicious. I'd have to think that teaching beliefs to kids, even odious ones, is protected by the First Amendment.
1.14.2009 7:01pm
Sean M.:
This is all assumption at this point. It's quite hard to offer any opinion on this until one knows the basis for removal, and DYFS is not at liberty to disclose that under pretty sensible confidentiality rules.

But that won't stop people from condemning/praising the removal anyhow.
1.14.2009 7:04pm
Hoosier:
What I don't get is "JoyceLynn."

They just thought it "sounded pretty"(?).
1.14.2009 7:08pm
alkali (mail):
Incidentally, while I am certainly willing to entertain the possibility that the removal was carried out by bureaucrats trampling on parents' rights, is it really so unthinkable that parents who name their kid "Adolf Hitler" might actually also be bad parents for other reasons? I'd wait for more facts before passing judgment.
1.14.2009 7:10pm
Oren:

This is being applauded in some corners despite the lack of information, to date, about the purported ground for removal -- including by people who say we should presume that authorities have a neutral and appropriate basis.

I don't see any reason to presume that they have an inappropriate basis either. I don't know the details and I'm quite content with not coming to a conclusion either way.
1.14.2009 7:13pm
Ex-Fed (mail) (www):
Oren, I wouldn't assume an inappropriate basis. My point was that we shouldn't assume that government officials do things for appropriate reasons.
1.14.2009 7:20pm
Dave Hardy (mail) (www):
"is it really so unthinkable that parents who name their kid "Adolf Hitler" might actually also be bad parents for other reasons?"

I suppose that is at least possible.Joint injuries from hours of goose-stepping. A gun butt upside the head if caught eating french fries.
1.14.2009 7:32pm
Pseudonymous Alanis Morissette:
Ironic!
1.14.2009 7:39pm
ba-dum-BING:
I wonder how long before we find out if these people are registered Republicans.


They're fascist Hitler-lovers. OF COURSE they're registered Republicans!
1.14.2009 7:43pm
Ex-Fed (mail) (www):
I suppose that is at least possible.Joint injuries from hours of goose-stepping. A gun butt upside the head if caught eating french fries.



"Adolf, I know you have school today at Franco Elementary. But I want you to go to school at Russian Hill Elementary too. Just do both."
1.14.2009 7:56pm
a knight (mail) (www):
Ex-Fed - But when parents have unpopular beliefs and practices, skepticism and scrutiny of claims of abuse or neglect is appropriate. We saw that in the case of the debacle in Texas over the FLDS raid, frequently discussed here.

Yeah, how dare the State of Texas intervene on behalf of adolescent girls whose parents believed thaey had a god-given right to coerce into marrying and being impregnated by adult male church members. I do not believe the state has a legitimate right to proscribe polygamous marriages, as long as they are uncoerced contracts. freely entered into by persons who are able to give lawful consent, and that no party is being forced against their will to remain in the contractual relationship. FLDS should have never taken the children who were pre-pubescent girl or any of the males, but they had a legitimate concern about some of the children.
Justice O’Neill, joined by Justice Johnson and Justice Willett, concurring in part and dissenting in part.
[. . .]
Evidence presented in the trial court indicated that the Department began its investigation of the YFZ Ranch on March 29th, when it received a report of sexual abuse of a sixteen-year-old girl on the property. On April 3rd, the Department entered the Ranch along with law-enforcement personnel and conducted nineteen interviews of girls aged seventeen or under, as well as fifteen to twenty interviews of adults. In the course of these interviews, the Department learned there were many polygamist families living on the Ranch; a number of girls under the age of eighteen living on the Ranch were pregnant or had given birth; both interviewed girls and adults considered no age too young for a girl to be "spiritually" married; and the Ranch’s religious leader, "Uncle Merrill," had the unilateral power to decide when and to whom they would be married. Additionally, in the trial court, the Department presented "Bishop’s Records" - documents seized from the Ranch - indicating the presence of several extremely young mothers or pregnant "wives"[1] on the Ranch: a sixteen-year- old "wife" with a child, a sixteen-year-old pregnant "wife," two pregnant fifteen-year-old "wives," and a thirteen-year-old who had conceived a child. The testimony of Dr. William John Walsh, the families’ expert witness, confirmed that the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints accepts the age of "physical development" (that is, first menstruation) as the age of eligibility for "marriage." Finally, child psychologist Dr. Bruce Duncan Perry testified that the pregnancy of the underage children on the Ranch was the result of sexual abuse because children of the age of fourteen, fifteen, or sixteen are not sufficiently emotionally mature to enter a healthy consensual sexual relationship or a "marriage."

Evidence presented thus indicated a pattern or practice of sexual abuse of pubescent girls, and the condoning of such sexual abuse, on the Ranch[2] - evidence sufficient to satisfy a "person of ordinary prudence and caution" that other such girls were at risk of sexual abuse as well. Id. § 262.201(b). This evidence supports the trial court’ s finding that "there was a danger to the physical health or safety" of pubescent girls on the Ranch. Id. § 262.201(b)(1); see id. § 101.009 ("‘Danger to the physical health or safety of a child’ includes exposure of the child to loss or injury that jeopardizes the physical health or safety of the child without regard to whether there has been an actual prior injury to the child."); cf. Tex. Dep’t of Human Servs. v. Boyd, 727 S.W.2d 531, 533 (Tex. 1987) (affirming the termination of parental rights for "endanger[ing] . . . the physical well-being of [a] child," and holding: "While we agree that ‘endanger’ means more than a threat of metaphysical injury or the possible ill effects of a less-than-ideal family environment, it is not necessary that the conduct be directed at the child or that the child actually suffers injury. Rather, ‘endanger’ means to expose to loss or injury; to jeopardize."). Thus, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in finding that the Department met section 262.201(b)(1)’s requirements.

Notwithstanding this evidence of a pattern or practice of sexual abuse of pubescent girls on the Ranch, the court of appeals held - and the Court agrees today - that the trial court abused its discretion in awarding temporary conservatorship to the Department because the Department failed to attempt legal steps, short of taking custody, to protect the children. Based on the language of section 262.201 of the Family Code, I disagree. Subsections (b)(2) and (b)(3) of section 262.201 require the Department to demonstrate that "reasonable efforts, consistent with the circumstances and providing for the safety of the child, were made to eliminate or prevent the child’s removal," Tex. Fam. Code § 262.201(b)(2), and that "reasonable efforts have been made to enable the child to return home," id. § 262.201(b)(3). The Court suggests, consistent with the mothers’ arguments in the court of appeals below, that the Department failed to adequately justify its failure to seek less-intrusive alternatives to taking custody of the children: namely, seeking restraining orders against alleged perpetrators under section 262.1015 of the Family Code, or other temporary orders under section 105.001 of the Family Code. Id. §§ 262.1015, 105.001.

In Re Texas DFPS (Tex. 2008), Justice Harriet O’Neill dissenting, May 29, 2008
1.14.2009 7:59pm
R Gould-Saltman (mail):
Well, what inferences can we draw about parenting skills of parents who not only name their kids "Adolph Hitler" and "Aryan Nation", but then engage in an ongoing effort to call public attention to the fact that they've done so? I'll admit it's possible that Mr. Campbell, Sr., he of the swastika tattoos and living room full of Nazi stuff, really didn't understand, as he claims, that he'd be exposing his kids to some static by doing this, (in which case he is so cognitively impaired that there's grounds for investigating his parenting right there...) but
I'm guessing that Shoprite didn't call up the local media and say "Hey, we just refused to bake a swastika cake!"

BTW, do we know what, if anything, the senior Campbells do to support themselves, along with little Adolph, Aryan, and Jolynn?
1.14.2009 8:06pm
martinned (mail) (www):
Here's at least one piece of evidence: It appears from the article quoted that DYFS was already in touch with the family for a number of years. Presumably, the parents have been Neo-Nazis all this time. So if that were really the reason for this intervention, why now? Why not sooner?
1.14.2009 8:19pm
rastajenk (mail):
When I read the linked Dec 18th post and comments, naturally I thought about the issues involved with saddling these kids with crappy names, and the cake-baking store's ethical crossroads. But when I read this one, I first thought of Joe the Plumber. Guy makes the news, overzealous bureaurcrat takes advantage of the situation, bad things result. It looks like a similar kind of bureaucratic behavior here.
1.14.2009 8:31pm
Dave Hardy (mail) (www):
"BTW, do we know what, if anything, the senior Campbells do to support themselves, along with little Adolph, Aryan, and Jolynn?"

Mostly door-to-door sales of "How To Win Friends And Influence People."
1.14.2009 8:33pm
Jerry F:
If children were similarly removed when parents were suspected of being Communists or homosexuals, I guess there would be no children in Cambridge or San Francisco. I guess it's good that this witchhunt goes only one way.
1.14.2009 8:43pm
Brett:
is it really so unthinkable that parents who name their kid "Adolf Hitler" might actually also be bad parents for other reasons?


No, it's not unthinkable that parents who'd name their kid "Adolf Hitler" might be bad parents for other reasons, such that the state would be justified in either temporarily or permanently removing their children from their care.

However, particularly given that government child services agencies are, and have long been, anything but bastions of apolitical competence, anybody with a lick of sense ought to be presuming shenanigans until there's been a satisfactory showing to the contrary. The burden should be on the bureaucrats who are removing the kids, not the parents whose kids are being taken removed.
1.14.2009 8:57pm
martinned (mail) (www):

The burden should be on the bureaucrats who are removing the kids, not the parents whose kids are being taken removed.

While I'm clearly not an expert on New Jersey family law, I'm fairly certain the burden of proof is, in fact, on the bureaucrats. That is, in family court. In the court of public opinion, the government ought to respect these people's privacy.
1.14.2009 8:59pm
Kent G. Budge (www):
Given the lack of information, we risk suspending might weights from slender threads here. But a few things seem clear to me.

1. The kids were being taught a repugnant social philosophy.

2. That's not grounds for removing them from the home.

3. We don't know if there were other grounds.

4. That an action is justified does not mean that an overreaction is justified -- in this or the FLDS case. I am quite willing to believe action was justified in both cases. I don't know if there was an overreaction in this case, and tend to think there definitely was an overreaction in the FLDS case.
1.14.2009 9:02pm
hattio1:
Martinned says;

Here's at least one piece of evidence: It appears from the article quoted that DYFS was already in touch with the family for a number of years. Presumably, the parents have been Neo-Nazis all this time. So if that were really the reason for this intervention, why now? Why not sooner?


I think that was actually from the local policeman. And all he says is that he is familiar with the family. If it's a small town, that's kind of a given, whether or not they get in trouble. As to assuming the burden of proof is on the state, it usually is. But, it's also usually that way in name only, in my (very limited) experience in this kind of law. IOW, if the State claims it's so, you better have evidence otherwise.
1.14.2009 9:05pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
hattio.
Evidence otherwise doesn't always work.
Some time back, what is known in Michigan--and possibly elsewhere--as Child Abductive Services took a kid due to suspected abuse.
Turns out she had a copper deficiency and that led to easily broken bones. The state actually knew that, but to cover their sorry asses, they refused to change their view. Eventually, the parents divorced due to strain and some goodly time after that, the daughter was returned. She was an emotional mess and the father sued for therapy expenses. Our legislators invoked sovereign immunity after somebody told them how to spell it.
"reasonable" rules of confidentiality are designed to keep the information secret even if the kid in question is dead. It's designed to last at least until the moron in question has retired.
On form, as the Brits say, lacking information, I suspect the state is wrong and require them to prove otherwise. I know there are some rotten parents, but CAS seems to miss them on the way to somebody whose kid got into [hard] lemonade at a Tigers game.
1.14.2009 9:47pm
Guest12345:
A knight, you realize that you are quoting the initial statements that turned out to be wrong?

For example:

when it received a report of sexual abuse of a sixteen-year-old girl on the property.


The "sixteen-year-old girl on the property" turned out to be a thirty-three-year-old woman in Colorado.

An appeals panel found that the seizure of the children was inappropriate:

The state of Texas should not have removed children from a polygamist sect's ranch because it didn't prove that they were in "imminent danger," an appeals court ruled Thursday.


And that after seizing all the "children" with children, some of them turned out to be eighteen, and twenty-two years old.

And then of course there is the abuse from CPS staff as reported by the mental health workers brought in to assist.
1.14.2009 9:57pm
BGates:
people who say we should presume that authorities have a neutral and appropriate basis.
Dude, questioning authority is so November 3rd.

Would it have been the same for kids named Osama, Che, Joe Stalin, or even George Bush?
Osama/Usama's not that unusual a name, Che is as popular as Obama, nobody would recognize "Joe Stalin", and they'd never break up a Kuwaiti-American family.
1.14.2009 11:19pm
Roger Schlafly (www):
"DYFS would never remove a child simply based on that child's name," Bernyk said.
Considering that this is a carefully worded denial, I suspect that the rest of the story is: DYFS removed the child because of the child's name together with the parents' refusal to change the name and attend the counseling that we demanded.
1.15.2009 1:33am
Bill McGonigle (www):
Yick is a common Chinese surname. Bernyk would be pronounced "Burn Yick" which is terribly anti-Sino and patently offensive. We should demand it be changed.
1.15.2009 2:06am
Hoosier:
Che is as popular as Obama

Because they pretty much agree on everything.
1.15.2009 7:02am
Alexia:
Children should not belong to, nor be the responsibility of, the state.
1.15.2009 8:08am
JB:

BTW, do we know what, if anything, the senior Campbells do to support themselves, along with little Adolph, Aryan, and Jolynn?


They both collect disability.
1.15.2009 9:00am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Guest
Of course he knows. Hoped we didn't.
The usual.
1.15.2009 10:00am
ohwilleke:
I'm with alkali, I suspect that the names are symptoms and not the disease.

A likely chain of events is:

1. News story.
2. Tip to social services from person with personal knowledge.
3. Home visit.
4. Social services office meeting of multiple people.
5. Conference with appropriate attorneys for social services and PR.
6. Pull kids.

FWIW, this is a case where the benefits of juvenile court confidentiality have been almost elmininated, and public costs (and costs to the kids via speculation) is great.
1.15.2009 1:42pm
R Gould-Saltman (mail):
I'm curious (as I was when the FLDS storm hit the Texas court system):

How many of the commenters (some of whom who apparently assume that the primary goal of most abuse-and-neglect investigation and adjudication systems is the persecution of parents for purposes of mis-guided P.C. social engineering by librul guvment bureaucrats) have actually sat through even a day's calendar in such a court, let alone actually practiced in their local systems?

Do investigators go on personal crusades? Sometimes. (See, e.g., McMartin.) Do legal system functionaries, be it DCS investigators, police, DA's or judges, hate being forced to say publically or semi-publically : "Yep, I thought I knew what was going on here, and I screwed up big time, and did a lot of damage?" No foolin'.

. . . but a very substantial amount of these folks'time is nevertheless spent trying to find some possible "least-horrible" alternatives for folks who for a host of reasons:


(a) mostly shouldn't ever have had kids in the first place, but did,

(b) are grievously un-equipped to deal with having done so, and so

(c) are raising their kids in a fashion which is quite often hair-raisingly awful.

I'm curious as to whether those commenters who state, flat-out, that they assume New Jersey Department of Youth and Family Services either is wrong, or is wrong and malicious, hold the same view of their local police department. . .
1.15.2009 3:10pm
Caliban Darklock (www):
ohwilleke, another likely chain of events would be:

1. News story.
2. Tip to social services from person with A PERSONAL AGENDA.
3. Arranging a visit takes time. Call a meeting first.
4. Will we get more bad publicity if we wait, or if we act too quickly? Survey says, if we wait.
5. Can we be sued if we act too quickly? Survey says, no.
6. Pull kids.

This assumes that CPS is acting entirely in good faith, which is possible, and I'd prefer to believe it's likely.

Want a worse scenario? Assume a conspiracy. Any conspiracy. It will inevitably make things worse. The larger the conspiracy, the worse things get. Of course, keep in mind that there is almost certainly NOT a conspiracy, and if there is one it will be small.
1.15.2009 3:44pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Caliban.
An agency which claims and has the privilege of taking from us our most precious possessions ought to have a standard of behavior higher than the DMV. And a due process less laborious than that provided by a Mafia loan shark.
And a provision for widely publicizing the innocence of the innocent parents even if it means acknowledging a screwup.
While I know of some miserable parents, the unfortunate fact is, many foster parents are pretty bad, too. Frying pan to fire is not an improvement.
Given the repeated pattern of CAS screwups, I am comfortable with presuming they're wrong and requiring to be convinced otherwise.
1.15.2009 4:40pm
BarrySanders20:
I predict after the facts emerge that the ones with the jackboots here will be the state workers.

Want to create fear in the people? Take kids away if 1) the adults think/speak/teach the wrong things or 2) you embarrass the state agency. Even the threat is enough deterrence to conform behavior to the accepted state ideas. And we all know what the acceptable ideas are, having lived under student speech codes and worked in diversity-obsessed work cultures.
1.15.2009 6:39pm
Michael Kochin (www):
1.16.2009 1:35am
Roger Schlafly (www):
How many of the commenters ... have actually sat through even a day's calendar ...
I have seen CPS folks in action, and I think that they are evil. No, I do not think the same of cops.

Just look at the quotes from Bernyk. She talks like a malicious meddler who does not respect any limits on her power. A lot of CPS folks talk that way. They act as if they know what is good for everyone, and as if they are accountable to no one. I don't know any cops like that. Just CPS social workers.
1.16.2009 4:43pm
Oren:

anybody with a lick of sense ought to be presuming shenanigans until there's been a satisfactory showing to the contrary

Yes, in the absence of evidence we should all jump to whatever conclusion best fits our own preconceived notions.
1.16.2009 10:12pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Oren. In the absence of evidence...? I'm looking at a pattern. CPS is free to prove me wrong.
1.17.2009 1:09pm

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