Once again a mom has been arrested for allegedly leaving her kids in a car while she ran into a store to shop. In this case, the kids were 5 and 2 and asleep in the car.
“Zecole Wilkerson Thomas, 29, if Milton, was charged with two counts of reckless conduct and booked into Fulton County jail, where she spent the night before posting $2,000 bond Wednesday, booking records showed.
Passersby called police after seeing the two children in the SUV, which was parked at a Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Store on North Point Drive, according to Alpharetta police. The vehicle’s engine was not running, police said.
Following their mother’s arrest, the two children were released to their father, according to police.
In an interview with Channel 2 Action News, Thomas said her children, ages 5 and 2, were sleeping when she arrived at the store. She said she decided to go inside the store for about 10 minutes to buy sewing supplies.
“I would never do anything to harm my children,” an emotional Thomas told Channel 2. “I was not trying to suffocate my children. The windows were open.”
Temperatures were in the 90s while the children were locked inside the SUV, according to police. The children were sweaty, but otherwise in good health, according to police.”
What’s funny is many, many 30- and 40-year-olds will tell you that their parents left them in the car all the time.
I’m not advocating for parents to leave kids in cars, but I just find it odd that so many people say that parents should act more like their parents did (let the kids roam, don’t be a helicopter) but then so many people are bashing this lady on the AJC Facebook page.
Let me play Devil’s Advocate (again I am not saying leaving your kids in the car!!!):
Why was it OK in the 1970s but not OK now? Why it OK to let kids roam up the street alone but leaving them in the car is not? (I’m not talking about a hot car where they could die.)
“Lately, there has been a rash of women arrested for leaving their kids in their cars while they go shopping.
The AJC reports: A mother of 4-month-old twins was arrested on charges of child cruelty on Saturday night after another shopper heard the babies’ cries through the cracked windows at about 10 p.m..
“Firefighters forced their way into Janesia Williams’ Toyota Scion and rescued the babies, according to a Clayton County Police report. Paramedics were checking out the children when Williams walked out of the Ellenwood store.”
“Paramedics said the babies were in good health, but still transported them to Southern Regional Medical Center for observation.”
“Williams told police she was only in the store for five minutes, according to a police report. However, Darlene Marshall, who was parked next to Scion, told police the twins were unattended for at least 20 minutes.”
Earlier this month, the AJC reported “a woman left two children, ages 1 and 3, alone in an unlocked car while she went into a Marietta Wal-Mart and shoplifted items for herself, according to Cobb arrest warrants.”
“Lashaundra Chantee Cooper, 23, was arrested at 12:30 a.m. Saturday when an officer located her vehicle with the two children inside.”
“The 1-year-old was screaming and walking on the front seat, according to the warrant. The keys were in the ignition. There was one car seat in the vehicle, but neither child was in it, according to the warrant.”
“Cooper, of Marietta, faces a felony child cruelty charge, according to a warrant. Additionally, she faces a shoplifting charge for allegedly concealing $24.75 worth of merchandise in her handbag and exiting the store.”
I think it seems pretty clear that it’s not OK to leave your kids in a car to go into Wal-Mart or a big store of the like, but is it always so clear cut?
Is it OK to leave your kids in the car to:
Go inside the Starbucks to get a coffee if you can see your car and the kids through a glass window?
Drop a video in the drop box – do you have to be parked directly in front of the box?
Park in front of the vet’s office and standing in the doorway hand-off your dog or pay a bill? Do you have to keep one leg or half your body out of the door?
Leave them parked in the car to run to the ATM?
Or to run into your elementary school to check out a child if parked in front of the school?”
Is it ever OK to leave your kids in the car for any length of time? If so what are the standards?
Why is the car scenario worse than the letting them roam around the neighborhood? Why was it OK in the 1970s?