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.