Some men in central Pennsylvania are protesting a text message they received from a county agency urging them to celebrate Father's Day by paying child support.
"Looking for the ideal Father's Day gift? Make a child suport payment!!!!'" Wednesday's message from the York County Domestic Relations agency read, according to The York Dispatch.
One recipient, Ricardo Reyes, told the paper that he was offended by the implication that all dads are deadbeat dads. He said he is up to date on payments and a member of the Daddy Project of York, a group aimed at helping men be positive role models.
"Do they send that text out to mothers on Mother's Day?'' he said. "That's offensive. I know that I'm not a deadbeat. I know I'm involved in my child's life in whatever way possible.''
Jesse Mauss, 33, of Dover Township, said he's also current on payments, and the text upset him by implying that fathers are only good for money and no other parental responsibilities.
"I know there's some deadbeat dads out there, but others are working hard,'' he said.
"Agency director Theresa Gross said the message wasn't meant to offend anyone, and a similar one would be sent on Mother's Day.
"We continue to look for innovative ways to get people to pay their child support,'' she said. "It's just using the latest technology to get the message out.''
She said the message was sent to both men and women whose payments were behind, though she acknowledged that some parents might have received them despite believing they were up to date on child support.
Gross said the system is also used to nudge clients to get jobs, such as a recent message about upcoming job fairs sent to those with no employer on file.