Page 20 - CSANews 84

Basic HTML Version

20
Opinion
E
arlier this year, I interviewed Jessie Sansone on my Sun
News TV show – the name of the man may not register
with most of you, but how about The Crayon Dad?
This was the 26-year-old man who, earlier at the beginning
of 2012 in Kitchener, Ontario, was handcuffed, arrested and
strip-searched by the police and whose three children were
removed by the Children’s Aid Society, all because his four-
year-old daughter had drawn a picture at school that a teacher
considered worrying.
It’s more than a simple case of an isolated injustice and should
be of enormous concern to anyone who cares about individual
freedom, respect for families, standing up for the little guy
and protecting individual Canadians against the authority of
the state. You don’t have to be some extreme libertarian to be
disturbed by what happened to Sansone and I have to say that,
in more than two decades of journalism in this country, I’ve en-
countered many similar cases of quite extraordinary bullying.
“I didn’t even know why I was being arrested for a long time,”
this disarmingly gentle, rather innocent man explained. “I went
to pick up my daughter from school and the police were wait-
ing for me. I was handcuffed and put in the back of the cruiser,
with children from my daughter’s school looking in. When I
asked the police why they were doing this, they advisedme not
to say anything.”The charge was, it turned out, the possession
of a hidden firearm.
After several months of procrastination and perhaps even ob-
struction, the police issued a rather perfunctory apology, not
for arresting and humiliating him, but for the strip search. “It
doesn’t seem enough,” he said. “I believe I deserve something
more. Nobody has ever seen the picture, as it was rubbed off
the board. They say it was of me shooting monsters. But so
what?” So what indeed, and surely a good cop would have
been able to read the situation immediately and acted like a
guardian of the people, not an agent of the state.
The teacher who made the complaint apparently thought that
the alleged picture drawn by a four-year-old of daddy fighting
monsters merited calling the Children’s Aid Society and the
police…that’s when Jessie and his wife’s horror began. They
have been sweethearts since they were teenagers; they are
happily married, law-abiding people. Good folks, the sort of
people who make Canada what it is. “At no time did anybody
actually call me and ask me anything,” Jessie explained, a little
nervous and clearly still stunned by the whole thing. “I mean,
the school had offered me a job not long before, and the
principal knew me. He later called to apologize, said he knew
nothing about it, which I find difficult to believe.”
Frankly, it’s more than difficult to believe, as is the entire story.
Jessie’s children have had to move to another school of course,
after the ritual humiliation and traumatization. Pathetically, his
daughter thought that she had hurt daddy. And his reputation
was hardly improved by the number of cops and social work-
ers getting involved. Yet at no time was there any evidence of
any wrongdoing or any gun. When the school authorities were
asked about the appalling case, a pompous blowhard at the
school board explained that they “co-parented”with the moth-
ers and fathers of the children whom they educated. The au-
dacity and arrogance are breathtaking! Those who work at the
school itself have said very little, and the panicked teacher has
not shown any contrition or, as far as we know, been penalized
or suspended.
The police who, according to Sansone, misled him and gave
himno chance to explain, built a bluewall around those officers
and their superiors who thought this to be civilized behaviour
in a free society. As for the social workers, they of course have
escaped consequences because social workers almost always
do. Jessie would like a genuine apology and, while he is not
asking for it, he surely deserves compensation. If he were an
Islamic terrorist, a career thug or a professional criminal, there
would be lawyers all over him. Alas, he’s a simple, working-class
guy living an ordinary life, and those people apparently don’t
matter very much in modern Canada any more.
The whole incident makes me very angry. Thing is, Jessie
doesn’t seem to be. Just sad. It says a great deal about his char-
acter and confirms once again howwrong the teachers,
social workers and police were.
Michael Coren
on the set of his
nightly television show.
with
Michael Coren