Single Mother Faces Prison For Letting Her 14-year-old Babysit

Parenting comes with numerous challenges, as raising a child is often very demanding and hard to balance.

Things get more complicated when one is a single parent, though. Meeting the expectations of the career while keeping everything in check at home is hard most of the time.

This happened to one single mom from Georgia, near the beginning of the pandemic.

Namely, the mom of five left her 14-year-old daughter to babysit as her younger son’s daycare was closed.

Unfortunately, the boy wandered off for 15 minutes, and now, she is facing criminal charges and possible jail time.

Wait, let us all think about it all before we become judgmental.

If you have younger siblings, your parents have surely left you in charge of them when you were younger, and they had to leave the house.

In most households, it is a common practice to leave the older children to babysit the younger ones.

Everyone who has a child who is old enough and mature enough to take care of their siblings has done it.  

This has its advantages, as it is a way to show your kids that you trust in them, and at the same time, you teach them responsibility.

Well, Melissa Henderson thought the same in May of 2020, when she asked her 14-year-old daughter Linley to watch her younger siblings.

Due to the pandemic, the daycare of her 4-year-old son was closed, and she had to go to work.

Moreover, this was not the first time her daughter Linley had babysat her younger siblings.

 At the time, Linley was in an online school. So, when she was in class, Thaddeus noticed one of his friends outside and went out to play with him, but he didn’t ask his sister.

The boy wandered down the street to his friends’ house.

Shortly afterward, Linley realized her brother was gone and found him 10 to 15 minutes later at his friend’s house.

However, his friend’s mom had already called the police by the time she got there.

Soon, the police called Melissa to the scene, and they took down her information.

Two weeks later, completely unannounced, five squad cars turned up out front of her house.

 The police arrested the mother outside of her home in front of her children and took her to the station.

Next, her ex-husband had to bail her out of jail, but she now faces charges of a $1000 fine and up to a year in prison.

Melissa said:

 “I almost don’t have words for how low it made me feel. To truly feel in the bottom of my heart that if I’m anything, it’s a good mother and everything you do is for your kids. To be stripped of that to the point where you are handcuffed in front of them.” 

The arresting manager wrote in the report that In his report that a variety of terrible things could have happened to Thaddeus after he left their home, like being kidnapped, hit by a car, or even bitten by a poisonous snake.

Moreover, they claim that this is not the first time the boy has wandered off while under the care of his older sister.

For the last two years, criminal proceedings have been ongoing, with Melissa’s attorney, David DeLugas working pro-bono to help her.

DeLugas has been arguing that the charge is unconstitutional and should be dismissed.

According to Georgia law, kids aged 13 and above are legally old enough to babysit their younger siblings if they have parental permission.

DeLugas said:

 “They claim that the same thing happened a year earlier. So you’re saying a year earlier, she left her children in charge of her then 13-year-old, almost 14-year-old, and somehow two rights make a wrong. It wasn’t wrong then, and it’s not wrong now.”

However, it has been stated that Linley is more than qualified to look after her siblings for a few hours.

Yet, the court claims that she has some measure of learning disability, making her unfit to babysit, but Melissa explains that her daughter has been diagnosed with ADHD.

She adds that the young lady also has a 4.45 GPA, is vice president of the 4H club at her school, and has broken records in varsity track.

Plus, she is certified in CPR and has completed the Red Cross Childcare program.

Does anyone of you see a problem here?

 Nowadays, Melissa is afraid to leave her children alone and has not returned to work since the arrest, which has surely been more than difficult, regarding the fact that she is a single parent of five.

Therefore, as she has been unable to return to work, her attorney set up a GoFundMe to help the family cover legal costs and other expenses.

Source:

https://www.joe.co.uk.