Georgia state child services says parents who have sex offenders around their children may lose custody
Are the kids all right?
Following reports last week that June Shannon, matriarch of TLC’s once-hit show Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, is dating Mark Anthony McDaniel, a man who allegedly served time for molesting her eldest daughter Anna Cardwell, TLC swiftly pulled the plug on the family’s show.
Now, a spokesperson for child services in the family’s home state of Georgia says that in a case like Shannon’s, TV fame may not be the only thing she stands to lose.
“Generally speaking, when we receive a report that children are living around a sex offender … it would certainly rise to the level of concern of us looking into it,” Susan Boatwright of Georgia’s Division of Family and Child Services tells PEOPLE.
Shannon is mother and primary caregiver to the show’s star Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson as well as Lauryn “Pumpkin” Shannon and Jessica “Chubbs” Shannon, all minors. Her eldest, Anna, now 20, is married with a child of her own.
Because of privacy laws, Boatwright is unable to confirm any ongoing investigations into the allegations against Shannon, but says, “From our point of view, when there are young children who are not able to protect themselves that are in daily contact or living with a sex offender, someone would go out and assess the situation and decide whether the children can stay there or not. If we thought a child was in harm’s way in any way, shape or form, we would develop a safety plan and make sure the children are not around an offender.”
On Sunday, TMZ posted photos allegedly taken last month showing Shannon and McDaniel with Alana on a staircase together.
Shannon continues to claim that she and McDaniel are not romantically involved.
“It isn’t true, I promise,” she wrote on her Facebook page following the initial reports.
But her daughter Anna says she doesn’t know what to believe.
“I’m confused,” she told PEOPLE in an exclusive interview Saturday. “I’m hearing one story from Mama and another from somebody else.”
But as for the safety of her own child, 2-year-old Kaitlyn, she’s not taking any chances.
“I would not let [Mama] see Kaitlyn unless Mark is out of the picture … I don’t want him nowhere near my child.”
• With reporting by EMILY STROHM