Skip to main content

Should the government decide how you raise your child?

James Kaiser and his 9 year oldson Benjamin
James Kaiser and his 9 year oldson Benjamin
AP Release

At what point does the government's responsibility to protect the people go to far? On both sides of the proverbial aisle we've seen decades of argument on just that. Have the waters been made merky over the years from case to case? If so, then where is the line drawn? If a parent decides it better to deprive their child the mandatory insulin needed in replace with prayer, does the system have an obligation to step in? If a parent chooses to home school their child rather then place them in the public school system, should the government then be allowed to deny that parent their right to decide and demand they involve them in a public learning facility? As one case shows here in Mesa Arizona a father is on opposite ends of the spectrum from the state government. His name is Jim Kaiser and he's been charged with "custodial interference". After a lengthy custody battle with the courts and his ex-wife over his right to chose to not medicate his son with Adderall, Jim made a decision that would change his and his son Ben's lives drastically.

Benjamin Kaiser is what many who know him refer to as "your typical 9 year old boy". His struggles to stay focused in school where anything but alarming to his father Jim. Ben's behavior is what his father refers to as "9 year old syndrome". According to court transcripts, the judge ruling in the family court case between Jim and his ex-wife was adamant that Ben take an amphetamine based drug known as Adderall. Adderall is an extremely popular drug to prescribe to children who appear to be suffering from ADD or ADHD which is "attention deficit disorder" or "attention deficit hyperactivity disorder". Against what Jim felt was in the better interest of his son, the courts and Ben's mother insisted that Ben take the amphetamine based drug.

For two years Jim Kaiser exhausted what in his opinion was every avenue available of the legal system. After repeated threats of contempt from the courts forcing Jim to keep his son in the public school system rather then use the home school methods approved by the state of Arizona, and threats of being excommunicated from his son if he refused to give him the drug Adderall, Jim decided to leave the state with his son without the knowledge or approval of the state or the child's mother.

It was Jims decision to leave Arizona with his son Ben and head for Florida. "I'm a beach person, I have to be on a beach somewhere." Jim said. "We had key West in mind as our final destination. So we decided that we'd just take the Gulf Coast down and if we found something that we just fell in love with on the way we'd stop there, but if not the destination was Key West. We got as far as Fort Lauderdale." It was in Fort Lauderdale that Jim responded to an add on Craig's List for a handyman. The job included room and board for him and his son Ben.

While staying in Fort Lauderdale, Jim continued to home school Ben to what he described as "a curriculum built around his needs." For 3 1/2 months Jim denied his son the medication prescribed to him back in Arizona. Instead feeding on Ben's unique learning capabilities which Jim attributes to a large part of why his son was diagnosed with ADHD.

According to Jim, while living in Florida for 3 1/2 months he proved beyond a reasonable doubt that his son is not mentally dependent on Adderall nor learning handicapped. He sites several Supreme Court cases similar to his own Family Court case in which the ruling of the courts was in favor of the parents rights to choose what they believe is in the best interest of the child, so long as the child's well being not be at risk. Clouding the water on parent's vs.. The state yet again.

Jim has already lost all contact with his son after losing the Family Court case and is currently fighting the Criminal Court case against him. He's expected back in court on Nov. 13th in the Mesa Superior Court House. He is also planning a civil suit against the state of Arizona.


  • welch126. 5 years ago

    I really enjoyed reading this article I myself do not think in this case that the government is in the right.If the child is in harm's way yes the government should step in but in this case the father was only doing what he thought was right for his child after he had already exhausted every aspect of the courts that he could.

  • Wonky1 5 years ago

    Great article. I think Jim did the right thing. There are so many alternatives to helping children with ADHD than pumping them full of drugs. We as a society need to stop and think about what we do to our youth when we allow this to happen. The government should NOT be allowed to tell someone that they MUST give their child medication unless it is a life or death situation. Thanks for bringing this to our attention and I will continue to follow the case closely and pray that it all works out for this man and his son.

  • sueinmn 5 years ago

    Great article and thanks for inviting me to your website! I think sometimes we drug our kids too much! We have turned into a society of fast foods, sugar diets and "cure" pills. Possibly ADD could be controlled or would not exist if we ate decent and exercized normally. Goodluck!

  • Jim Kaiser 5 years ago

    Great article Aaron - thanks for keeping the story alive.

    If you want any more information on this case, I've just recently started a blog at

  • Jim Kaiser 5 years ago


    Not sure if you can edit comments here, but the correct url below should be

  • BoopTBoo 5 years ago

    This is such a sad case. I can't believe that the courts wouldn't let the father home school his child according to their own approved curriculum. Crazy! I realize that you do whatever you have to do to protect your children and I can only hope that Jim and Ben can lead a normal life again someday soon.

  • The Jam 5 years ago

    I've raised children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, and this is the craziest thing I've ever heard of in my life! Since when does the government/court know your child better than you do or take the time to find out what type of treatment the child responds to best? Thanks for the article. Hang in there, Jim.

  • Toni Blood LV NV 5 years ago

    Wow! This story seems crazy, but there are alot of them out there. This one is being brought to our attention for alot of reasons. People need to stop and think about all the things the gov pushes and says is good. We do have rights to our kids as well as to our selves. The drug companies have grown so much in the past 5 yrs and they continue to come up with drugs for every ailment a person could have! But, they all come with side affects way worse then the problem! People need to wake up and stop being like a robot and believing everything they are told! There are natural alternatives to everything!! Thats what it sounds like this man was trying to do. And was succesful , where he went wrong was not going far enough away!! Stay positive and know that you and your son will be back together again.

  • Darell 5 years ago

    Nice work.
    Keep in touch.

    Darell Tapp (Maricopa County Libertarian Examiner)

  • A. Bouchard 5 years ago

    The government should get out of everyones lives.

  • Anonymous 5 years ago

    I would like to start out by saying, "there are two sides to every story." First off, whoever wrote this article should check his/her sources. Not to be nit picky but these folks were never married. The author says they were. The article also says that Mr. Kaiser wanted to use "home school methods approved by the state of Arizona." Mr. Kaiser is very vocal regarding his opinions of the state. It would not be his nature to go through a state approved learning curriculum, which means his son would grow up with no accredited or recognized education. Case and point: Mr. Kaiser, by his own admission, told Ft. Lauderdale police (pulled over for expired tags) that he had no driver's license or registration because he was Libertarian. I would also bet he doesn't pay taxes. Like it or not, there are rules to living in a civilized society. Yes, the government can go too far if we let them but Mr. Kaiser is at the other end of the spectrum and believes there should be NO state.

  • Mother of Many 5 years ago

    I am a mother raising children of adoption, 2 of which their bio mother kidnapped them because of "their best interest." Those 2 children still have nightmares of being on the road, being scared, not feeling safe and secure. If Mr. Kaiser had his son's best interest in mind, he would have not ran with him. Second, I do have children that are on meds for ADHD and mood disorder. They are happy, in control of their bodies and minds which gives them a bright future. I do believe that ADHD meds are over used in our society but to take a child off of them when they need them or to take them off them immediatly when they have been on them is very harmful for an individual. He could have done some major damage to the child mentally. Plus, to say that they are not helpful at all is just ignorant. Mr Kaiser has forgot that he is a father to a child because if he was he would want to protect him and just let him be safe and happy. His son has now became a pawn that he just wants possession over.

  • Anonymous 5 years ago

    This seems to be a diversion to the real crime here - a non-custodial parent kidnapped thier child. A parental rights agruement is a legitimate idealistic cause - one that should have been fought this hard without being at the expense of an innocent child.

  • Nellie 5 years ago

    Response to The Jam:

    The Jam wrote:

    "Since when does the government/court know your child better than you do or take the time to find out what type of treatment the child responds to best?"

    Dear Mr. The Jam,

    I have two words for you, sir/madam: Balloon Boy. There are certain people on this planet who do not operate with a full deck of cards, but yet, insist on reproducing. These are the folks who NEED a third party to step in on behalf of the child in order for that child to grow up and become a productive and healthy member of society. People are required to have licenses to drive. I think the same should apply to reproduction. The stakes are so much higher.