Camden Maple is a seven-year-old boy described as “energetic and intelligent” by his parents. However, officials at his public school believe Camden’s rambunctious behavior makes him mentally unstable and in need of medication for Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). His parents wholeheartedly disagree, saying he’s above grade level and gets easily bored with the school curriculum.
Following a series of disagreements between the parents and school administrators, Camden was forcibly removed from his home by Child Protective Services and local police. He spent nearly a month away from his family before being returned last night. Chris Maple, Camden’s father, joined Glenn on radio Thursday to talk about the ordeal he and his family have been through — and the battle they are still fighting.
Learn more about Camden’s situation on the family’s Go Fund Me page — and donate to help ease their legals fees should you feel inclined.
Enjoy the complimentary clip or read the transcript for details.
This is a rush transcript and may contain errors.
GLENN: You feel small and insignificant, don’t. I’ve got something that will actually — you can sink your teeth into and make a big difference.
If you’re a parent, so you know, government agencies and school, they know what’s best for your children. A lot of parents are under the illusion that they know how to handle their families and make their own decisions. But father doesn’t know best anymore. Apparently, the State knows best, at least in Ohio. In Lebanon, Ohio, a government agency ironically named Child Protective Services has removed a 7-year-old boy from his family and his home. The boy’s name is Camden Maple.
Camden is what you would expect from a 7-year-old boy. His parents, dad, Christian, stepmom, Katie, describe him as rambunctious, intelligent, and creative. The administrators at Camden school describe him differently. They say he has ADHD and requires a mental health examination.
In February, Camden was called into the principal’s office for disrupting class. According to his stepmom, Camden told the school counselor, quote, he was upset because he felt he was bad and wanted to erase himself from the earth.
The counselor asked Camden how he would do that, he said he would stab himself in the eye with a knife, end quote.
Camden’s dad, Christian, immediately came to the school. Picked Camden up. Christian and Katie did exactly what I would have done with my kid. I would have sat down with him, had a long discussion about his behavior, evaluated him myself.
If we had any doubt, we would go to a doctor. Camden said, “No, I don’t want to hurt myself. I was just upset. And, quite honestly, just trying to get a rise out of the counselor.”
They dealt with it as a family. They believed they could handle the situation. And they moved on. But the story was just getting started. The next day, the Maples got a call from the school. The school was following up on their suggestion that Camden be taken to the hospital for a mental health examination.
The Maples were like, “No, we handled it. It’s okay. We got it.” The matter was closed.
No. The school refused to let go. Thanks, likely to some protocol handed down from some genius progressive bureaucrat that knows better, they had already badgered the Maples for a very long time about getting Camden diagnosed with ADHD and get him on some medication. The parents didn’t want to do that.
Now the school wanted to know what was said during the parents’ discussion with Camden.
The Maples said, “That’s a private family matter. We dealt with it. And that’s the end of it.”
Well, the idea that a parent knows what’s best for their kid does not sit well with people in school now. That’s ludicrous.
The Maples say Camden made very good grades, finishes his classwork before most of his classroom, gets bored. And, yes, he does act out. He’s bored, just like millions of other 7-year-olds around the country.
Instead of medicating him, what do you say? Why don’t we find something else he can do?
The school didn’t like the fact that the Maples were ignoring their ADHD and mental health recommendations, and so they called CPS. They accused the family of neglect. Now CPS was involved. And they called the Maples and said they wanted to investigate, visit the home. Christian, the dad said, no, I don’t think so. And, by the way, I think I have some Fourth Amendment rights here.
Two weeks later, they received another phone call saying there’s an emergency shelter care court hearing that you have to be at. After the hearing, CPS arrived at the home with police officers and took the 7-year-old boy into custody.
The case is still unresolved, and Camden has been separated from his family for well over a month. All of this because mom and dad and the stepmom say we know our son better than the school.
We have Christian and Katie Maple on the phone with us now. Hi, guys. How are you?
VOICE: Hi. We’re great.
GLENN: Good. Christian, do I have any part of the story wrong?
CHRISTIAN: No. Not that — he was actually, on the good note, returned to us last night by the court.
GLENN: Oh. By a court?
CHRISTIAN: Yes, the court ordered him to be returned home.
PAT: Wow. That’s great.
CHRISTIAN: Yeah, it is. It’s really great. But it’s still not over. They still want to have him found dependent by the court so they can justify all of their actions that led up to this.
GLENN: Wait. What do you mean by find him dependent? What does that mean?
CHRISTIAN: Well, it’s a different category by Ohio statute that — not meaning neglect or abuse, but a dependent child, they are trying to say who lacks adequate parental care by reason of mental or physical condition of the parents, guardian, or custodian.
GLENN: So tell me — let’s go back.
Tell me when you found out that he said he was going to stab himself with the eye. Tell me, if you don’t mind, tell me about that conversation. Tell me what happened.
CHRISTIAN: Well, like I said, the school called me, notified me that he said that. He was — he never — like what they are alleging, he never came up with that plan on his own. He was prompted to say that.
GLENN: How do you mean?
CHRISTIAN: Well, the counselor that he saw them at the school was asking him leading questions. She asked him deliberately, well — when he said that he wanted to erase himself because he was bad. She said, “Well, how would you do that?” Instead of getting to the root issue of why he felt bad, she prompted him to divulge a plan, which he didn’t come up with on his own. Like he didn’t volunteer that information.
GLENN: Okay. So he didn’t — what you’re saying is he didn’t walk in and say, “I just want to stab myself in the eye.” He said, “I just want to erase myself.” And she said, “Well, if you were going to do that, how would you do that?”
“Well, I would stab myself in the eye.”
CHRISTIAN: Yes, exactly.
GLENN: So he hadn’t made a plan, which is a sign of real suicide. She was asking him of a plan.
CHRISTIAN: Yes, correct.
GLENN: Got it. Got it. Go ahead.
CHRISTIAN: So then the school called me. And to note the seriousness of the situation, before I got off the phone with the school, I was already in my car on the way to the school. I was there within five minutes. And told the school that after they made their recommendations, at first, we were going to come home and have a long conversation, me, my wife, and my son. And then based on that conversation, we would determine if more action was necessary.
Which they completely denied. And they called CPS that same day, before I even had time to respond to the situation, before they knew anything.
PAT: How is it that CPS functions this way, without due process, without having a trial, without — without giving you a chance?
GLENN: Because somebody has to do something. That’s why.
PAT: But it’s unconstitutional.
GLENN: No, I know. But somebody’s got to do something, Pat.
PAT: You can’t just take children out of homes.
GLENN: Somebody’s got to do something.
PAT: If there’s — if there’s proof of abuse, that may be the case. But there wasn’t. There just — there wasn’t abuse, right?
Were they even alleging that you guys were physically or mentally abusing him?
CHRISTIAN: No, but the school had priorly — before all this instant, they called four times alleging two cases of abuse. And the CPS didn’t even investigate because it was unfounded.
GLENN: Wait. Wait. What did they accuse on abuse, and why would they do that?
CHRISTIAN: The school? I’m not exactly sure. I just know that they called twice to report physical abuse by me done to my son.
GLENN: How did you respond to that?
CHRISTIAN: Well, I’m — obviously I was upset. But I didn’t even know about that until after this last actual investigation by CPS was open.
STU: Were you able to track down why they believed that? You know, were there — he got bruised playing and they thought it was you? Do you have any idea where that came from?
CHRISTIAN: No. I know the school called and alleged that. I don’t know why they think that.
GLENN: Okay. And CPS said, we didn’t — we just didn’t investigate.
CHRISTIAN: Yeah, they said it was unfounded. And there was no reason even to investigate.
GLENN: Okay. And were they upset at you because you wouldn’t put your son on ADD medication? And why wouldn’t you put your son on ADD medication?
CHRISTIAN: Yes, the school has been pushing for the ADD medication for a long time.
CHRISTIAN: It’s brought up every time we have a meeting with the school.
GLENN: Sure. Sure.
CHRISTIAN: No, I don’t — because that’s going to stifle his creativity. And I don’t want to medicate my son because he’s an average 7-year-old boy that is creative.
CHRISTIAN: That’s nothing wrong with my son. That’s nothing wrong with the curriculum and the school being able to handle a little boy.
GLENN: You’re exactly right on that one. I’m so glad to hear you answer that way.
We — why are we letting the system say I don’t need to change the system to adapt to different kids. Instead, I’m going to medicate kids and claim the system is okay.
It is absolute craziness what we allow.
Okay. So — go ahead.
CHRISTIAN: No, I was just agreeing with you. It completely is.
GLENN: So what do you do for a living?
CHRISTIAN: Well, I was — until recently, I was a welding supervisor. I’ve taken a long leave of absence because we just had our sixth child. And right before Christmas. And I am staying home to take care of her and our other younger daughter.
GLENN: And what does this cost you? I mean, how has this affected the family?
CHRISTIAN: Well, emotionally, what it’s cost is us I can’t even put any kind of amount on it.
GLENN: I don’t mean money-wise. What does this cost you? What’s the payment been like? I mean, are your friends staying by you? Do people look at you differently, like, oh, my gosh, there goes that family? There’s something wrong with them.
CHRISTIAN: No. For the most part, a lot of my friends are behind me. I haven’t had any of my friends change any of their attitude because they know me. And they know that this is all ridiculous and completely false.
STU: Christian, have you mixed it up with the school at all with anything else? Are they going to come out and say that you’re a troublemaker or one of these parents that are always complaining about everything? Is there any other reason that this would happen?
CHRISTIAN: I did have a dispute with the school. Because like I said, after my baby daughter was born just recently, they — I tried to get our bus stop moved because I have a kindergartener and I have to physically be out there to pick him up from the bus stop. I tried to have them move it two houses down the street so I could see from our house when the bus was there and go out. Because I did not want to wait out there with my infant.
CHRISTIAN: And they said absolutely not. And they would not change the stop. So, I mean, we had a disagreement over that. But —
GLENN: What a bad parent. What a bad parent you are. Holy cow. Don’t want to be standing out in the freezing cold in Ohio in the winter with your newborn. Holy cow. What will they think of next?
All right. So yesterday, the court ruled in your favor. And he’s back home. How is he?
CHRISTIAN: He’s really excited and happy to be home.
CHRISTIAN: He wasn’t sleeping well before. And he slept like a log last night. So — and he’s — right now, I know he’s just really, really happy.
GLENN: Do you — how are you affording the financial hit with the — with the attorneys? I got to believe you’re taking on the State. That’s not cheap. Do you have people volunteering their time? Are you paying for it? How is that working?
CHRISTIAN: Both. But mostly paying for it out of pocket. Just barely making it. I have help from my parents who have loaned us money. But it’s — yes, it’s taking its toll.
GLENN: Well, I — I wish you — I wish you the best. And we’re going to follow this. When is the next court date?
CHRISTIAN: The next court date is the education hearing on the 17th of May.
GLENN: And what’s that going to decide?
CHRISTIAN: That is CPS and the prosecutor’s office wanting him to be declared dependent so they can justify all their actions from the moment this started.
GLENN: If somebody wants to get a hold of — there’s got to be a great attorney. And I know some attorneys — who helped the Pelletiers? Remember the story out of Boston?
STU: Justina Pelletier.
GLENN: Who was that? That was a friend of ours. See if we can find out. We might — we’re going to hold on to your number. Is there a public way anybody can get a hold of you?
STU: There’s a GoFundMe page, right?
GLENN: There’s a GoFundMe page?
GLENN: What is it?
CHRISTIAN: I will — my wife set that up, so I will let her answer to that.
GLENN: All right.
CHRISTIAN: I don’t want to misspeak or say something —
GLENN: That’s all right. That’s all right.
Is it Katie? Is Katie there?
KATIE: Yeah. Hi, the link is just help us get our son home. I’m assuming you can search it.
STU: Yeah. If you actually search for — as we were talking here, search for GoFundMe and Christian Maple. You’ll get a link to it. And we’ll also tweet it out from all of our accounts and everything so people can get to it easily. @worldofStu or at Glenn Beck. We’ll get it all out there.
GLENN: How are you holding up?
KATIE: All right. It’s taken its toll. I’ve had to take a lot of days off work.
GLENN: What do you do for a living, Katie?
KATIE: I’m a mail carrier.
GLENN: A mail carrier. Six kids. A father who is staying home. Boy, the GoFundMe page might be very well needed. Katie, best of luck.
Christian, thank you very much. And we will continue to watch this.