Mom Faces Reckless Endangerment Charges For Letting Teen Daughter Babysit

Applying these standards decades ago would result in most of our parents being criminals. Utter insanity.

A single Georgia mother, Melissa Henderson, wanted to continue feeding her kids, so went back to work in May.

She left the kids at home in the care of her 14-year-old daughter.

Schools and daycares were closed. reports:

“...she asked her 14-year-old daughter, Linley, to babysit the four younger siblings. Linley was engaged in remote learning when her youngest brother, four-year-old Thaddeus, spied his friend outside and went over to play with him. It was about 10 or 15 minutes before Linley realized he was missing. She guessed that he must be at his friend's house, and went to fetch him.
In the meantime, the friend's mom had called the police.
Now Henderson, a single mom in Blairsville, Georgia, is facing criminal reckless conduct charges for letting her 14-year-old babysit. The charges carry a maximum penalty of one year in prison and fine of $1,000. The arresting officer, Deputy Sheriff Marc Pilote, wrote in his report that anything terrible could have happened to Thaddeus, including being kidnapped, run over, or "bitten by a venomous snake." (When Henderson protested that the kid was only gone a few minutes, Pilote responded that a few minutes was all the time a venomous snake needed.)”

Henderson tells Fox News, "they handcuffed me, drove me to jail, booked me, had me put in a cell. It was awful. It was embarrassing. It makes me feel hopeless, just now feeling like you can get back to providing, get back to normal. They took away every option that I even have." 

David DeLugas, the founder of ParentsUSA who is representing Henderson pro bono and raising money for the case on GoFundMe, said his client hasn't returned to work since the arrest last May. 

He tells Fox, “it has such a chilling effect where now Melissa is afraid she can never leave her children home alone, even for a short period of time, even with the now 15-year-old daughter in charge of the other kids, because she could get arrested again. It has a chilling impact on everybody in the state who hears about this type of thing."

DeLugas now hopes the judge in the case will drop the charge at a July 1 court date, pointing to a 1997 Georgia Supreme Court ruling in which reckless conduct charges were dropped against a parent in a somewhat similar situation. 

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