New Jersey threatens to take child who ‘twirled pencil like a gun’ away from father

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VERNON, N.J. — A New Jersey father claims the state is threatening to take his 13-year-old child away from him.

Ethan Chaplin got in trouble with his school after a classmate claimed he was spinning his pencil like a gun. School officials threatened to suspend him over the incident.

Officials eventually backed off and decided no disciplinary action would be taken.

The incident was old news until Ethan’s father received startling communication from New Jersey’s Department of Child Protection and Permanency and Department of Children and Families.

“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 said.

So Chaplin agreed to take his son for an evaluation.

Ethan was seen by a social worker, and had his blood drawn and urine taken. In the end, no behavioral problem was ever found.

PIX11 reports that the state is now demanding further evaluation and threatening that if Chaplin doesn’t comply, they will terminate his parental rights and free Ethan up for adoption.

He has even reached out to Governor Chris Christie’s office, who replied they would contact the Dept. of Children and Families to investigate.

Source: PIX11


  • San

    How in h3ll does that resemble a gun? To twirl a revolver the finger has to be inside the trigger guard, if it is a rifle then it is like a baton. this looks more like a radar assembly than a gun. Hire a lawyer, have his fees paid by the school and state.

    • Cal

      How do you figure? I am liberal, I am a firm supporter of the second ammendment, and I think what is happening to this kid and father is appaling. So tell me what in the hell a political party has to do with this. Cause apparently all us “idiot” liberal are the cause of everyones problems… typical conservative statement, blame all our problems on someone else.

      • Shaft Johnson

        Cal, Its unfortunate that you cant understand the intent of Zachs statement. You as a liberal who supports 2nd amendment etc is a rare thing and not knowing who these people are we can all safely assume that this is not conservative behavior- can we agree that this is most typically the behavior of self identified liberals? Does that make sense? You are probably a fine gentleman but if you had to bet a life, or house on the political persuasion of the people involved it is clearly statistically usually the domain of the left that suspend children for gun shaped pastry treats, pointing fingers like guns in gym class or drawing a gun etc…. If you feel I am wrong please visit google

      • Beez

        You may be an “old-school” liberal, but I’m hard pressed to find any of today’s “neo-libs” who support the 2nd amendment – and there are quite a few who support what is happening to this family. (Or do you really think there are ANY people of a conservative bent who are taking these sorts of hysterical anti-gun actions in schools and social services departments?)

  • Monica Rega

    I’m confused here. The kid supposedly twirled it like a “gun” – a PENCIL. then the school backed off and no “disciplinary action was taken” but then Social Services got involved and the boy is finally cleared of “behavioral problems” and yet they are still threatening the dad with taking that kid away? Um don’t you all have better things to do like check in on all your current cases and get the kids you’ve placed in abusive homes back out. Wow this is going a bit A LOT way too far now. SMH in disgust


    What ever happened to “just cause”? If no behavioral problems were found and no other medical issues found in blood and urine analysis, then why more evaluations needed? And if dad doesn’t comply, the DSS is threatening to end parental rights and put child up for adoption? REALLY? @NewJersey’s Department of Child Protection and Permanency and Department of Children and Families…. REALLY? *SMH*

  • RP

    So take the child out of his home and put him the system that is known to fail. Yeah I see that turning out really well. I think I would just freaking move out of that backasswards state

  • FaithC

    Here is a child who has a good home and is doing fine and this is the child family services is focusing on? It seems like they do things like this to feel like they are doing their job, but when it comes to children who are truly in danger they do nothing. The whole system needs to be redone.

  • Tberryjack

    These Teachers and School Boards that promote this idoticy are the ones that should have the psychological evaluation. Twirlling a pencil, making the shape of a gun with a Pop Tart, an L shaped piece of paper, pointing your finger like a gun, acting like you’re shooting a bow and arrow and all the rest of the STUPID things that make these Teachers get scared to death that someone is going to ues them to kill someone. If it’s NOT the Teachers that it’s the school board. This only goes to show you that THEY are the ones that need to be tested for Mental Problems. What we’re seeing is a generation that will want to use guns more than any other has EVER wanted to. You tell a kid that they CAN’T Have something or CAN’T do something then THAT’S EXACTLY what they want to do, and NOT JUST KIDS Either. You just watch and see if one day these kids (In this generation) WILL find or make a GUN and use it, or worse yet make somethng that they found on the Internet that will take out more than a gun would, and we can be able to trace it back to making EVERYTHING that resembles a gun illegal and punishing kids AND PARENTS for such STUPID reasons. But of course they’ll NEVER admit it was their fault, no it will STILL be blamed on the parents or the children. This is the picture of Obama’s World & he’ll never let us get out from under it if he and the Democrats can help it. That’s what you get when you vote for the color ONLY
    and NOT for the person.

  • Nathan Ernest Tidwell

    you send people to college then give them a career but education doesn’t make you smart people are way out of control…stupidity is what makes people snap…kids are kids total lack of common sense these days

  • Carolyn Wagner

    This is crazy! It seems that the school & the Dept. of Social Services has a lot of time on their hands!! What in the world are they thinking? The School Board & the employees of Social Services need to take a psychological evaluation not the student!!! Why would people put a 13 year old boy though this for twirling a pencil?????? Just unheard of…..These people really have issues!!! This is what’s wrong with the world today……people like this & taking prayer out of schools!!!!

  • tsilver

    My child (a grown up now) was taught at a very early age how to twirl a drumstick through his fingers. I am his Mom and I was taught this, as well. So this child does the same thing with a pencil, showing off the skill. ???? And Social Services gets involved? I can understand if he was alledgely trying to show off his gun slinging skills, thank goodness he didn’t use the pencil to kill childen. Stay on course School System and spend your time on the possible bad guys that actually do infiltrate and kill, OK?

  • MF

    That’s it. Ban the pencils in the schools! Only “authorized” pencils are to be given to students by the teacher and then threatened to be taken away when used improperly!

  • MF

    This is probably a good part of the “puzzle” that causes kids to ultimately snap and bring actual guns to school…

  • Devra

    Clearly someone in this situation is in urgent need of a thorough psychological evaluation, psychiatric medication and/or disciplinary action — and it’s not the boy or his father. Just how many bureaucratic nitwits are involved in this ridiculous little charade??

  • Timothy Ratcliff

    The entire government needs to step down. CPS is a joke and causes more problems for many kids then they would experience at home. Moving from home to home is not healthy for any child, they need stability in order to develop properly.

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