This is an old story, but unfortunately I can see it somehow being replayed these days, with a different outcome.
From the The Washington Herald, August 8, 1915, on page 3:
RUNNING BAREFOOTED UPHELD BY TRIBUNAL
Judge Quotes Whittier to Father Who
Opposes Practice Permitted by Wife.
Blessings on thee, little man.
Barefoot boy, with checks of tan.
Los Angeles. Aug 7.–If Judge J. P. Wood, in divorce court, were allowed to give his judgment in poetry, Whittier’s “The Barefoot Boy” would have been his expression of a judgment he rendered in the case of Frank Lomonaco. who asked the court to change the custody of his children from his wife, Lena Lomonaco, to himself, be cause she allowed the two children to run barefoot in the Santa Monica Mountains. The couple were divorced two years aso. and Mrs. Lomonaco awarded the custody of the children. But to see Eileen Jane Lomonaco, seven, and Francis Aurella Lomonaco, five, running around barefoot, did not meet with the father’s approval.
Judge Wood denied the father his request.
“I was once a barefoot boy,” he said, “and the happiest days of my life were the days I spent as a barefoot boy.
“The boy or girl who has not had the privilege of running barefoot has been denied a heritage of youth for which nothing that comes later can compensate. The mother in this case is, according to the evidence, to be praised rather than condemned for allowing the children to run in bare feet.”
And then Judge Wood had recollections of Whittier’s poem:
’Ah, that thou couldst know the joy
Ere it passes, barefoot boy!’”