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saraha
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http://local12.com/news/nation-world/five-children-found-unaccompanied-at-walgreens-mother-arrested

 

The mother left 5 kids home alone, oldest 12 and youngest 1.  The kids decided to walk down to the Walgreens at 11 at night and were found playing in the toy aisle.  The mother has been arrested. 

What do you think about her being arrested?  I think it was a decision I probably wouldn't have made, but I have left my kids home alone when they were those ages.  Not for 8 hours and I hadn't gone far and they could call me on my cell phone or their grandparents right down the street. But arrested seems a little much, unless there is more to the story.

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A quick google search tells me that TX does not have a minimum age a child can be left home alone so I don't know how she can be charged with abandonment (but I am not legal scholar by any stretch). But it seems like a bad judgement call on the mother's part to leave them home, if the older kids couldn't be trusted to keep everyone home.  

 

I also was babysitting at age 12.  

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That is kindof what I was thinking.  I hope there is more to the story, because if not, that seems awfully unfair to arrest her.

It says she fed them, and when asked where she was, they answered probably shopping, but that is what my kids would say because they would not want to tell strangers they were by themselves and would hint that I am in the vicinity.

Edited by saraha
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I was babysitting by 12yo, too, 2-3 children at a time ages 0-4.

 

I think our world is way out of wack.  If the roads are too busy, we need to make pedestrian areas safer.  If children are out wandering at 11pm, they need to be taken to task over their responsibilities.

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I don't know that arresting her is appropriate, but it's certainly not a good situation. If the older kids don't see anything wrong with taking a one year old and a four year old a mile down the road at night to Walgreens to play with toys, they probably shouldn't be babysitting quite yet. And the mom really shouldn't have left them completely unable to contact her. I think getting her some help with her parenting would be a much better idea than jail, though.

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I babysat alone at 11 or 12. There was a 12,11,& 10 year old present so I'm surprised she was arrested. What is the law in Texas? Seems like the kids weren't great decision makers to be out at 11pm but maybe that's normal for them? I wonder if there is more to the story?

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Well, obviously those children weren't capable of making good choices without adult supervision, and so shouldn't have been trusted to be home alone. That's a judgement error on the mom's part, that perhaps borders on endangerment.

 

I think a 12 year old, with proper training/coaching, is certainly able to stay home and watch younger siblings. Coaching that would include things like "don't leave the house."

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I have come to know more and more families that stay up very late at night and go shopping, out to eat, play outside at hours I want to have long been in bed.  

 

Obviously it is not a good decision for those kids to go out at that hour but if their family normally keeps those kind of hours I can see a 12 yo not realizing the significance of the time.  

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The article says this: 

"When officers made contact with Williams, she was on her way to the store. She was immediately arrested for driving with an invalid license. A friend of Williams also arrived on scene. She said Williams was at her house for a birthday BBQ. She said Williams arrived at 3 p.m. and didn't leave until the police called."

 

So, the mom was arrested due to driving with an invalid license. 

 

And if she got to the party at 3 pm, did she feed her children burgers for supper at 2:30 pm? 

 

And what sort of mom stays at a birthday party for 8 hours (birthday parties are totally optional) when her kids were at home alone? 

 

She is also facing other charges. (from the newspaper article) "Williams is facing a charge for Abandoning or Endangering a Child."

 

Do you think she was driving those kids around with an invalid driving license? 'Cause I think she probably has been. So, I think there is more to this story than the newspaper reports.

Edited by Bambam
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I don't know that arresting her is appropriate, but it's certainly not a good situation. If the older kids don't see anything wrong with taking a one year old and a four year old a mile down the road at night to Walgreens to play with toys, they probably shouldn't be babysitting quite yet. And the mom really shouldn't have left them completely unable to contact her. I think getting her some help with her parenting would be a much better idea than jail, though.

 

 

Well, obviously those children weren't capable of making good choices without adult supervision, and so shouldn't have been trusted to be home alone. That's a judgement error on the mom's part, that perhaps borders on endangerment.

 

I think a 12 year old, with proper training/coaching, is certainly able to stay home and watch younger siblings. Coaching that would include things like "don't leave the house."

 

I agree that the 12 year old should not have let everyone go out (wonder whose idea it was), but I don't think 12 is too old to babysit the others. My brother is 5 years younger and I was babysitting him when I was 9, while our mother worked nights. While we sometimes stayed up past our bedtime because, "Hey! How will Mom know?*), I knew better than to try and go out at night. 

 

I too wonder if there's more to the story but without more info I don't see what she did as something for which they should bring charges. I wonder if they had a phone at home in case of emergency, but I think the authorities overreacted.

 

*She would know based on how tired we were the next day, especially if it was a school day. It took a while for me to figure out how she knew. :D

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A quick google search tells me that TX does not have a minimum age a child can be left home alone so I don't know how she can be charged with abandonment (but I am not legal scholar by any stretch). But it seems like a bad judgement call on the mother's part to leave them home, if the older kids couldn't be trusted to keep everyone home.  

 

I also was babysitting at age 12.  

 

New Jersey doesn't have a minimum age either.  What that ends up meaning in practical terms is if you leave children home alone and they do something that shows they are not ready to stay home alone, you're screwed because that means they were too young to be home alone.

 

A 12 year old walking all those younger kids across busy streets for a mile at 11 pm doesn't seem to be showing proper judgement. 

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There is clearly more here than just five children playing in a store without a parent.  Reading the story and how far these kids had to travel across busy roads makes me think that this was not the first time the kids stretched their wings when mom was not around.  

 

I feel bad for the 12 year old who likely has had to grow up too soon to care for their siblings.  :(   

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I don't know that arresting her is appropriate, but it's certainly not a good situation. If the older kids don't see anything wrong with taking a one year old and a four year old a mile down the road at night to Walgreens to play with toys, they probably shouldn't be babysitting quite yet. And the mom really shouldn't have left them completely unable to contact her. I think getting her some help with her parenting would be a much better idea than jail, though.

I agree.  I babysat this young.  My kids babysat this young. 

 

One of our primary and unbreakable rules is that you DO NOT LEAVE the house, period, except in the emergency situation where you go directly next door to the neighbor, who will take you in and help you. 

 

I'd be very concerned about a 12 year old who thought this was a good idea.  Not ready for babysitting, for sure. 

No, the mom doesn't belong in jail and she should have had and left a way of contact. 

 

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Okay, so we can divide my thoughts into two sections:

 

1. In this situation, Mom should not have left kids alone. If her kids believe that this is an acceptable thing to do at midnight, then they're clearly not mature enough for this responsibility, and I doubt this is the first time they've shown that.

 

2. However, I don't think "nearly a mile" is some huge distance to walk. I walked further than that to get to school at that age. And if there are streets that are super scary to cross, the solution is not to penalize pedestrians but to improve street conditions. Children should be able to walk a mile or two in their own neighborhoods to get places. (But not at midnight, for other reasons.)

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I'm also thinking...

Where is dad? (or dads)

Each of these kids has two parents. Why is all the responsibility for properly caring for them on mom?

 

Mom goes to a barbecue for a few hours and gets charged. Dad--possibly abandons the kids completely for years and gets...nothing?

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...  Reading the story and how far these kids had to travel across busy roads makes me think that this was not the first time the kids stretched their wings when mom was not around.  

...

 

I was assuming that the kids were of the urban free range variety (probably without the fancy label and philosophy), and that the local Walgreens was part of the kid's normal roaming area.  It was only a 17-minute walk, which is not far at all for kids who are used to walking in their neighborhood - who regularly walk on their own to school, to the park, and to the store for their mom.

 

 

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from the linked article - ""was immediately arrested for driving with an invalid license"". . . iow: NOT for 'abandoning the kids". (from the article - "facing a charge for neglect", does not mean she was arrested for abandonment.)  someone was able to make contact with her that her children were  at the store, because she left the party she was at to go there.

 

mom said she fed the kids at 3pm - before she left. (so, the 12 was in charge for eight hours, during which there is no information if the kids ate anything else or not. ).  my kids will eat at 3pm - then want to eat again a few hours later, most definitely before they will be able/willing to go to sleep.  was there prepared food available that a 12yo could feed the other kids?  no information given

when I've had 12yo's babysit, (very rarely, and 2-3hrs MAX) or my 12yo dds babysat (same time allotments) - it was near a phone they could call me or their own parent in an emergency.  this 12 had no such option.  and I expected littles to be IN BED by 9pm at the latest.

 

the 12 showed poor decision making in regards to responsibility for the younger kids.   that could be an age thing, or copying what the mom does, or mom never taught about decision making thing, or something else.

 

support for the mom learning about responsible parenting so she can teach her kids would be a good step.

 

eta: I would also call and check in.  and always left instructions of what time kids should be in bed.  even my 10 yo would have been in bed if my 13 yo was babysitting.

Edited by gardenmom5
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Okay, so we can divide my thoughts into two sections:

 

1. In this situation, Mom should not have left kids alone. If her kids believe that this is an acceptable thing to do at midnight, then they're clearly not mature enough for this responsibility, and I doubt this is the first time they've shown that.

 

2. However, I don't think "nearly a mile" is some huge distance to walk. I walked further than that to get to school at that age. And if there are streets that are super scary to cross, the solution is not to penalize pedestrians but to improve street conditions. Children should be able to walk a mile or two in their own neighborhoods to get places. (But not at midnight, for other reasons.)

 

 

when you were one?   or four? (the ages of the two smallest children.) how did they do?  or across multiple busy roads?  (which presumably are safe enough for responsible and capable pedestrians.)

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Like others, I don't think 12 years old is too young to be babysitting. 

 

I also don't think it is that big of a deal that the kids were out walking at 11 at night.  In the summer when it is warm, my kids have been out roaming our neighborhood playing "ghost in the graveyard" with other neighborhood kids when they were that age.

 

Since the mom was only charged with driving with a invalid license, I doubt that she was drinking (or drinking in excess) at the BBQ.  The invalid license could simply be that she forgot to renew her license. 

 

If this is all there is to the story, it seems like overkill by the police to me.

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The article says the arrest was for driving with an invalid license.

 

I don't believe the kids were in any danger walking to Walgreens, but the older kids should know to put the younger ones to bed at a decent hour.

And who decides what a "decent hour" is"? Plenty of families keep nontraditional schedules. Heck, entire cultures do so. So what you think of as a "decent hour" might just be their normal schedule.

 

I agree that the 12 year old should not have let everyone go out (wonder whose idea it was), 

I quoted Lady Florida, but other posters touched on this too. At 12, I was babysitting (like many others). I certainly did not stay home with the kids all the time. We went to neighbors to play, to the park, for walks, etc...I always left a note for the parents and am certain that the parents all knew these things might happen ahead of time. And this was the age before cell phones, so parents couldn't just call.

 

Is this not normal?

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I'm also thinking...

Where is dad? (or dads)

Each of these kids has two parents. Why is all the responsibility for properly caring for them on mom?

 

Mom goes to a barbecue for a few hours and gets charged. Dad--possibly abandons the kids completely for years and gets...nothing?

I also was wondering about the dad. But I don't consider 8 hours at a party a few hours, especially when the children had no way of contacting her. And who knows how much longer she would have been gone had the police not called her. But I agree with the post above that parenting help is more appropriate than any criminal charges.

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I don't think it was great to leave them alone because four kids is a lot for a 12yo to be responsible for. I was responsible for my 3 younger siblings at 11 when my mother went back to work and it was hard. We were on a cattle ranch in the middle of nowhere. When my dad had work for us we worked with him, otherwise he would be at my grandfather's farm doing work there and it was 11 miles away. My mother was working 30 miles away, we had no close neighbors and at one point they were working on the phone line in the summer and we didn't have a phone for a few days. That was a horrible summer. My mom alienated me quite a bit then. I have never trusted her since. I had too much responsibility. Our nearest neighbors were awful people, so no going to them for help and the next closest neighbors were very elderly, also, no help. I was super aware that if anything went wrong I had no help. 

 

The mom in the OP was not okay. It was too long for too many kids for a 12yo to watch. Now... I am prejudiced on this matter. But I also don't think she should have been arrested. That just gives her a record, making her less able to take care of the kids. It's super counter productive. Also, arresting someone for an expired DL???? I've never heard of that unless someone had an outstanding warrant already. Makes no sense to me. 

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when you were one?   or four? (the ages of the two smallest children.) how did they do?  or across multiple busy roads?  (which presumably are safe enough for responsible and capable pedestrians.)

 

Honestly, 4yos can be little balls of energy.  I took mine on a 3 mile hike to see dinosaur tracks when he was 4.  At 6 he completed an 11 mile circuit through Disney.  I don't think much of a 4yo walking less than 20 minutes (which is the time it took for them to get there) - and even less if the olders were giving piggy back rides.

The 1yo was probably in a stroller.

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Honestly, 4yos can be little balls of energy.  I took mine on a 3 mile hike to see dinosaur tracks when he was 4.  At 6 he completed an 11 mile circuit through Disney.  I don't think much of a 4yo walking less than 20 minutes (which is the time it took for them to get there) - and even less if the olders were giving piggy back rides.

The 1yo was probably in a stroller.

 

I have five kids -i know exactly how much energy a four year old has.  and how good a one year old is at walking (two were walking by 10months).  I also know just how fast they can disappear on you.  (i had one . . . two seconds flat - and he was G.O.N.E.)   plus - none of mine were willing handholders at that age.

 

how long did yours take to complete that 11 mile circut?  how many rest stops? how many drinks?  was it daylight?  were there five lane roads with cars?  they're not comparable.  how about a one year old?

 

it's less the distance, or the time walking - it's *where* they were walking, and the road conditions.  (re: dark, multiple five lane roads)

 

I would not feel comfortable with a 12 yo taking a four year old across multiple very busy streets in the dark, when it is harder for motorists to see adult pedestrians - let alone very small child pedestrians.  and more motorists are likely to have been drinking.  (even one drink can have an effect - even if not legally drunk.)  

 

I've had too many experiences that just because you're in a sidewalk or a crosswalk - doesn't mean traffic will stop (or are even looking.  I had one woman *barely* miss - I could touch her car without moving AFTER I pulled my dds back - myself and my  teenage daughters because she didn't care she was driving across a SIDEWALK in front of a major shopping area where there are pedistrians - in daylight - only if there were cars coming to keep her from getting onto the street.   that's how most drivers behave - and why my dh was HIT by a car while on a sidewalk.  becasue the driver didn't care about anything except merging into traffic.

 

eta; spelling.

Edited by gardenmom5
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Like others, I don't think 12 years old is too young to be babysitting. 

 

I also don't think it is that big of a deal that the kids were out walking at 11 at night.  In the summer when it is warm, my kids have been out roaming our neighborhood playing "ghost in the graveyard" with other neighborhood kids when they were that age.

 

 

 

At 1 year old?  That's my biggest concern. I think a 12 year old can babysit, but at 8 hours at a stretch with the youngest only a year old...that's a stretch. Especially if they didn't know where mom was or how to contact her. Yeah, when I was 12 my mom didn't have a cell phone, but if she left me to babysit then she would write down the phone number of where she was going to be, and leave it by the phone. (house of the party she was going to, or the name and number of the restaurant, or whatever). She would also leave the name and number of a neighbor to call if there was a problem. 

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2. However, I don't think "nearly a mile" is some huge distance to walk. I walked further than that to get to school at that age. And if there are streets that are super scary to cross, the solution is not to penalize pedestrians but to improve street conditions. Children should be able to walk a mile or two in their own neighborhoods to get places. (But not at midnight, for other reasons.)

 

I don't think it's that far to walk either. But at night, in the dark, with a baby and a four year old, no adults present or aware that they're going, and no way to contact mom if something happened? For me, that's a completely different thing than the kids going on a walk during the day when mom knows approximately where they are.

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Like others, I don't think 12 years old is too young to be babysitting. 

 

I also don't think it is that big of a deal that the kids were out walking at 11 at night.  In the summer when it is warm, my kids have been out roaming our neighborhood playing "ghost in the graveyard" with other neighborhood kids when they were that age.

 

Since the mom was only charged with driving with a invalid license, I doubt that she was drinking (or drinking in excess) at the BBQ.  The invalid license could simply be that she forgot to renew her license. 

 

If this is all there is to the story, it seems like overkill by the police to me.

 

Yes, but I'm guessing you (or another adult) were aware they were doing it, and they had a way to contact you or another adult if something happened, either by calling or just running home to get you. And they probably weren't trying to babysit a baby and a preschooler at the same time.

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I'm also thinking...

Where is dad? (or dads)

Each of these kids has two parents. Why is all the responsibility for properly caring for them on mom?

 

Mom goes to a barbecue for a few hours and gets charged. Dad--possibly abandons the kids completely for years and gets...nothing?

Or he could only have custody at limited times.

Could be dead.

Could be in jail.

 

Not sure we can accuse him of abandonment solely because mom has the kids.

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Well, there wasn't just the 12-year-old.   There was also an 11-year-old and 10-year-old.   So, there was plenty of older hands to help with crossing the street.   

 

She also isn't allowed unsupervised visitation with her kids because of this.  So, yeah, there is more to the story, overreacting police.  

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Well, there wasn't just the 12-year-old. There was also an 11-year-old and 10-year-old. So, there was plenty of older hands to help with crossing the street.

 

She also isn't allowed unsupervised visitation with her kids because of this. So, yeah, there is more to the story, overreacting police.

Of course there is more to the story and it most probably is not overreacting police. It is very possible that there is already a history of child neglect. This may have been just the latest in a chain of events.

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At the risk of flames, and a decision which does worry me a bit, but which I think is correct, I started leaving my 10,7 ETA year olds and 14 month old alone for about 20 minutes during the baby's Nap to go pick up some milk from a farmer who delivers only at a certain time and place during baby's nap. The last time I went, I called home, found that all was well, and went to the grocery store (in a small town, no line) to get a couple of things. So I was gone maybe 35 minutes total. I set the house alarm, and told them to not go outside, etc., and all the usual safety rules. My parents would have a fit if they knew, I think. I was afraid to some extent that social services would be in the driveway when I came home (irrational). I really can't fathom idea of my daughter deciding to take all the kids to the drugstore (which wouldn't be possible anyway as we are rural). I imagine that the mother in this story is struggling financially or emotionally in some way. Jail isn't going to help, but it sounds like she was arrested for other problems.

Edited by MotherGoose
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when you were one?   or four? (the ages of the two smallest children.) how did they do?  or across multiple busy roads?  (which presumably are safe enough for responsible and capable pedestrians.)

 

I don't know how far I walked at one. But when I was four, I walked about a mile to the school bus stop. When the girls were four, we routinely walked the mile long distance from our home to the SI Ferry, and then walked another mile to the northern end of Battery Park City, because I like that playground. (Teardrop Park. No safety features whatsoever.) Then we would walk home. It's not a "hike". It's a short walk - even for a preschooler. (Though, to be fair, if they made the walk in 17 minutes, my guess is that one or both of the youngest children were in strollers. This makes "they might run off" irrelevant.)

 

I don't think it's that far to walk either. But at night, in the dark, with a baby and a four year old, no adults present or aware that they're going, and no way to contact mom if something happened?

 

Which is why I was careful to say that they shouldn't be making that walk at midnight, and that clearly the eldest is not responsible enough for nighttime babysitting of an infant yet.

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I have five kids -i know exactly how much energy a four year old has.  and how good a one year old is at walking (two were walking by 10months).  I also know just how fast they can disappear on you.  (i had one . . . two seconds flat - and he was G.O.N.E.)   plus - none of mine were willing handholders at that age.

 

how long did yours take to complete that 11 mile circut?  how many rest stops? how many drinks?  was it daylight?  were there five lane roads with cars?  they're not comparable.  how about a one year old?

 

it's less the distance, or the time walking - it's *where* they were walking, and the road conditions.  (re: dark, multiple five lane roads)

 

I would not feel comfortable with a 12 yo taking a four year old across multiple very busy streets in the dark, when it is harder for motorists to see adult pedestrians - let alone very small child pedestrians.  and more motorists are likely to have been drinking.  (even one drink can have an effect - even if not legally drunk.)  

 

I've had too many experiences that just because you're in a sidewalk or a crosswalk - doesn't mean traffic will stop (or are even looking.  I had one woman *barely* miss - I could touch her car without moving AFTER I pulled my dds back - myself and my  teenage daughters because she didn't care she was driving across a SIDEWALK in front of a major shopping area where there are pedistrians - in daylight - only if there were cars coming to keep her from getting onto the street.   that's how most drivers behave - and why my dh was HIT by a car while on a sidewalk.  becasue the driver didn't care about anything except merging into traffic.

 

eta; spelling.

 

I wouldn't feel comfortable with taking a child on a walk across multiple lanes of road, either (though we did it at Disney, in the light). 

 

I am simply saying it's not out of the ordinary for a 4yo to walk that far.  My sister walked nearly 2 miles at about the same age in a busy city by herself - she wanted to go to the park.  My then-4yo did a good hike of 3 miles in about an hour and a half, but we were on neglected trails.

 

I don't see the insistence of the one year old. I hardly doubt the child was walking.

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Everyone we have ever know who got arrested for driving with an invalid license had already had their license taken away as a consequence for some kind of crime or points on their license or something.

 

So maybe she just didn't renew it, or didn't pay some innocuous parking tickets and just didn't have money to pay the tickets bc she was paying for priorities for her kids. It could be that.

 

But it could be she got her license taken away for speeding again and again, or for a drunk driving charge.

 

That has been the case when I have known people before.

 

I have heard of people not being able to pay fines for minor stuff, but that has not been anyone I have known first or second hand. (Really people my husband has known from work -- who have money to pay fines if they get them.). (Also some jobs require a valid drivers license and his doesn't, so some people have limited job options bc of it but can work where my husband works.)

Edited by Lecka
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After working in social services for many  years, and hearing such stories as these when I did (and that was 16 years ago, before cell phone) I am willing to be that this family is known to social services and the cops knew (or someone on call knew) exactly what was going on. 

 

And arresting her meant that they had grounds to put the kids into foster care immediately, or at least place then with another family member. It also gives LE and DSS time to figure out what the heck is going on.  Now, if nothing is going on and this was just one of those crazy stories then DSS gets out of the situation and that's that. She has to get her license issue fixed and it's all over.

 

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I am just going to add, personally when I have known someone getting points on their license it was for things that were really reckless and unsafe.

 

So I am sure there are exceptions but I do tend to think there was reckless driving and then ---- if you get your license taken away you aren't supposed to drive!!!!!

 

I have known people to get more spurious tickets for things that were not reckless or unsafe, but they didn't get points on their license.

 

I can see this being different in other places, it is just my experience.

 

I have a much more visceral reaction like "so why were you driving with a revoked license????"

 

And if it is over unpaid fines for minor things then I hope she can have help paying them off from her friends at the party and I think it is too bad probably.

 

But in my mind that is less likely.

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Everyone we have ever know who got arrested for driving with an invalid license had already had their license taken away as a consequence for some kind of crime or points on their license or something.

 

So maybe she just didn't renew it, or didn't pay some innocuous parking tickets and just didn't have money to pay the tickets bc she was paying for priorities for her kids. It could be that.

 

But it could be she got her license taken away for speeding again and again, or for a drunk driving charge.

 

That has been the case when I have known people before.

 

I have heard of people not being able to pay fines for minor stuff, but that has not been anyone I have known first or second hand. (Really people my husband has known from work -- who have money to pay fines if they get them.). (Also some jobs require a valid drivers license and his doesn't, so some people have limited job options bc of it but can work where my husband works.)

 

Where I live, driving on an expired license, or with expired tags is a ticket.  Driving with a suspended license is an offense that can get you arrested, so I'm inclined to think that it was the latter.  

 

I am always a little skeptical about these situations when they're in the news, because the professionals need to protect the children's privacy, leading to partial information.  We don't know what DSS knows.  

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I am just going to add, okay, I have a thing against people who drive with a suspended license.

 

I really do.

 

And then -- if somebody drives with a suspended license, and they get stopped, I think it is normal

and expected to be arrested.

 

In my mind it is usually somebody who has 3 drunk driving convictions and then kept driving, maybe to get to work and stuff....

But to me -- I think they should think of that before they druve drink again.

 

I do know this could be over unfair fees or forgetting to renew a license, but I am much more aware of it happening after major speeding or drunk driving incidents.

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I can have sympathy for a person driving to work or the grocery store on a suspended license (they can suspend it just for not paying a fine....BTDT when I moved across the state, forgot about it,  and didn't get the notice in the mail). But risking arrest to drive to a party?

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Where I live, driving on an expired license, or with expired tags is a ticket.  Driving with a suspended license is an offense that can get you arrested, so I'm inclined to think that it was the latter.  

 

I am always a little skeptical about these situations when they're in the news, because the professionals need to protect the children's privacy, leading to partial information.  We don't know what DSS knows.  

 

 

this.

 

I don't know how many here remember kalanamak.  I got to meet her once irl. she worked at a state hospital -which would make the news when bad things happened, and for which they would get much flak for doing things wrong.  It frustrated her greatly - because the full story did NOT come out, and would have totally changed the public perception.  but legally - they couldn't say anything because of patient privacy.

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It's really hard to know much in these situations. While the kids were clearly not in the best situation, whether it rose to a criminal level is unclear. Some officers do err on the side of caution, some far on the side. It's well meaning, but often because they don't realize that they may be making a bad situation worse. Dh responded to a call one time where 3 kids were left in an extended stay motel for an hour our two. Ages 2,4, &6 or so. It had snowed, which was unusual for the area, so none of the kids had costs and boots. Single father walked to work to get his pay, then stopped to pick up groceries. Neighbor heard him go and could hear that the kids were home. When the police showed up, they were watching tv and only opened the door when the police showed proof that they were police. Dh was disgusted thathis supervisor decided the man had to go to jail. How does that help anyone? One of his fellow officers tried to convince dh that the kids were in danger by showing him there was a pair of nail clippers in reach of the kids.

None of that is relevant to this case, probably, but we've seen some very sad situations recently, which is coloring my view.

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I don't know that arresting her is appropriate, but it's certainly not a good situation. If the older kids don't see anything wrong with taking a one year old and a four year old a mile down the road at night to Walgreens to play with toys, they probably shouldn't be babysitting quite yet. And the mom really shouldn't have left them completely unable to contact her. I think getting her some help with her parenting would be a much better idea than jail, though.

This. Poor judgment due to the 12 year omd not being mature enough. Jail is a total overreaction. A parenting class and a few visits with a social worker to help hone her parenting skilla if far more appropriate and leas traumatic. Plenty dangerous people to fill the jail.

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This. Poor judgment due to the 12 year omd not being mature enough. Jail is a total overreaction. A parenting class and a few visits with a social worker to help hone her parenting skilla if far more appropriate and leas traumatic. Plenty dangerous people to fill the jail.

 

We just don't know all the details.  I've been involved in CPS cases, where I called because I saw bruises.  The kind of bruises you leave on a very young child when you hit them over and over with a buckle of a belt, in many stages of healing.  But the people in the school community who complained that the kids had been unfairly removed didn't know that.  Because CPS calls are confidential.

 

It's possible that this mom had been to parenting classes, without change.  It's possible that she had been specifically told not to leave the kids alone because of prior incidents.  It's possible that when the police came to her house, they found something that indicated that it was an unsafe situation for the kids (unlocked loaded guns, drugs in reach of the 1 year old, whatever).  It's possible that the kids had significant bruising.  We simply don't know

 

Of course, it's also possible that CPS overreacted.  That absolutely happens in this country too.

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We just don't know all the details.  I've been involved in CPS cases, where I called because I saw bruises.  The kind of bruises you leave on a very young child when you hit them over and over with a buckle of a belt, in many stages of healing.  But the people in the school community who complained that the kids had been unfairly removed didn't know that.  Because CPS calls are confidential.

 

It's possible that this mom had been to parenting classes, without change.  It's possible that she had been specifically told not to leave the kids alone because of prior incidents.  It's possible that when the police came to her house, they found something that indicated that it was an unsafe situation for the kids (unlocked loaded guns, drugs in reach of the 1 year old, whatever).  It's possible that the kids had significant bruising.  We simply don't know

 

Of course, it's also possible that CPS overreacted.  That absolutely happens in this country too.

 

the article itself stated she was arrested due to driving without a license.  not the kids.  that aspect was turned over to cps.

she drove to get them - it wasn't at her house.  someone was able to contact her about the whereabouts of her kids.

 

we don't know any prior history.  we have inadequate information to judge if this was reasonable or an over reaction. just because something looks over-the-top on it's face doesn't mean it is.

 

 

last month, I walked into a store less than a minute ahead of someone I presume the store has a "history".  the manager saw  him coming - walked over to the doors, blocked his path, and wouldn't allow him into the store.  he kept repeating the guy wasn't welcome there, and would have to leave.  (intimations if he didn't leave voluntarily, the police would be called.)  guy keeps going on about he he hasn't done anything wrong and just wants to shop. I don't know how it resolved.  I figured having an audience would just increase the drama -so I shopped. (two previous experiences with drama queens in stores - with utterly NO connection  to me - directing attention towards me to increase their drama.)

 

without allowing there was prior history - on the surface - most people would jump on the "it was racism/discrimination bandwagon" (except - there was a store full of  people of different races and ethnicities shopping without incident.)

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