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Monday, May 27, 2019

Criminalizing Parenthood

     In March of 2011, Kim Brooks intentionally left her 4-year-old son, Felix, in a car...On the day that Brooks left her son, it was cool enough for jackets, the windows were open and the car was locked and alarmed. Brooks was rushing to catch a flight with her two young kids; she let Felix stay in the car with his iPad while she ran into Target on an errand. She was gone for a few minutes, and in that time Felix was noticed by a bystander, who recorded a video of him alone in the back seat and gave it to the authorities...

     In exchange for agreeing to perform community service and take parenting classes, the prosecution dropped the charge--"contributing to the delinquency of a minor"--against her. [Had the mother pled not guilty and lost at trial, she could have lost custody of her children.]...

    What exactly was the crime?..

     Why are American parents so fearful? Is leaving a child in a car considered riskier than driving him because the boogeyman you can't see is scarier than the dangers you face every day?..

Libby Copeland


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