YMCA of Greater Springfield are threatening to report parents who smell like marijuana to the Department of Children and Families
A letter from the YMCA of Greater Springfield states parents that smell like marijuana will be reported through a 51A Report to DCF
The 51A Report is used to report situations of child abuse and/or neglect
Recreational marijuana is legal in Massachusetts
An image of a “Notice on Marijuana” from a YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts is gaining some traction online. The letter— signed by Executive Director Uriah Rodriguez — states that anyone who smells like cannabis will be reported to the Department of Children and Families for neglect.
Rodriguez states that even though recreational cannabis is now legal in Massachusetts, “caring for children while under the influence can be considered neglect especially when operating a motor vehicle.”
The letter goes on to say that YMCA employees are mandated reporters, so any concerns stemming from parents smelling like marijuana will result in the filing of a “51A” report against anybody suspected of being under the influence. A 51A report is a form used by mandated reporters to report child abuse or neglect.
Please be advised there have been several complaints about parents, guardians and other adults smelling of marijuana entering and leaving our YMCA facilities (the downtown facility as well as afterschool locations).
Staff at the YMCA Greater Springfield have smelled some of you our and have been instructed to document instances of anyone suspected of being under the influence.
While marijuana is now legal in Massachusetts, caring for children while under the influence can be considered neglect especially when operating a motor vehicle.
What you do on your own leisure time is none of our concern. However, when your habit follows you into our facility it raises concerns about you being under the influence.
ALL YMCA employees are mandated reporters and as such, any concerns regarding the safety of children will result in us filing a “51a” against any person suspected to be under the influence with the Department of Children and Families (DCF) and notify the police.
Before you drop your child and/or children off “Smell Check”. If you come into our facilities and you or your child smell like marijuana or any other illegal substance, we will notify DCF, and the local police.
Sincerely, Uriah Rodriguez
The picture was uploaded to Facebook by Pharaoh Bacon on Thursday. In the caption, Uriah asks if there is anybody available to come on his radio show and speak on the notice. The Daily Haze reached out to Rodriguez, but have not received a response at this time.
YMCA of Greater Springfield CAN SOMEONE PLEASE CONTACT ME ABOUT COMING ON MY RADIO SHOW TO FURTHER GO INTO DETAIL ABOUT THIS. FROM WHAT THIS SAY YOU GOING TO PUT PEOPLE INTO A SITUATION DUE TO A SMELL AND SOMEONE ELSE OPINION OF WHAT THEY SMELL