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Mom arrested for leaving toddler in car

momarrestedtoddlercar.jpgIf convicted, she might spend a year in jail. Her crime: endangering her own child. But does she really deserve it?
Treffly Coyne of Illinois is charged of child endangerment and obstruction of justice charges. She left her sleeping two-year old daughter in the car while she and her two older daughters dropped donations at the Salvation Army collection pot. The car was locked, with the alarm system on, and at 10 yards, always within her sight. Does that make her a negligent mother?

I am not familiar with the laws regarding child endangerment but oh, how I feel for her and her family. I can only think of how this incident is affecting her family and her kids.

? Her 2 older daughters had their mom being arrested and handcuffed right before their eyes. Did they understand what happened?
? Her sleeping 2-year old probably woke up in the car without her mom. Did somebody bother to explain to her what`s going on?
? If convicted, she might have to spend a year in jail. How do you explain this to her toddler? ?Mommy was put away because she didn`t want to wake you up??
? Will the kids grow up with a corrupted view of the justice system? Will they associate donating to the Salvation Army or any other charity organization with crime?

I am a mom, too, and my twin boys love to sleep in the car ? they still do. As babies and toddlers, I would sometimes briefly leave them in the car to drop off a letter in a letter box, open the garage or house door, ring a friend`s doorbell, etc. There would be times when I had to stop the car to get something out of the trunk ? diapers, a change of clothes, etc ? and during these moments, the kids were really out of my sight while I searched though the bags. Was I committing a crime when I did all these? Was I a negligent mom?

I do agree that we shouldn`t take risks when it comes to the safety of our kids. My family and I used to live in Germany and now in Switzerland, countries which have relatively lower crime rates compared to some other parts of the world. Still, crime against children does happen even here. It`s just the sad state of our society nowadays are forcing moms (and law enforcers) to paranoia when it comes to the well-being of our children. Will our children ever be safe again?

Source:

MSNBC, 12 March 2008
Update: The charges against Treffly Coyne were dropped on Thursday, 13 March 2008. After 97 days of ordeal, the family can now sigh in relief and carry on. I just hope we (parents and law enforcers alike) have all learned something from this incident.


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