Sunday, July 19, 2015

Yet another lame intervention by law enforcement...

This morning, I read about a young mom of two who had taken her kids to a food court at a mall in Houston, Texas so she could attend a job interview.  Mom fed the kids McDonald's and kept them within sight as she interviewed for her job, which she was ultimately offered.  When she went back to her kids, she was arrested for "abandoning" them.

Laura Browder has a six year old daughter and two year old son.  She is a single mom and a college student who didn't have time to arrange for appropriate child care before the interview.  So she did what she could in order to make the situation work.  When she was arrested, the kids were no doubt taken by CPS, which probably upset and confused them.  A judge determined that Browder had done nothing wrong and released her and the kids.  CPS is still investigating, of course.

It's not that I think it's ideal for moms to take their kids to job interviews.  It's not that I think it's the best thing to let kids wait for their caregivers in public places like food courts.  We have a serious problem with availability, affordability, and accessibility to decent child care, though.  This mom was trying to improve her situation and not end up on the public dole.  What does she get for that?  Being arrested by the cops.  The arrest does nothing for Browder's ability to take care of her kids.

One thing to note about the news story is that Browder is quoted as saying the kids were within 30 yards of her.  The news story says 30 feet.  There's a difference between 30 yards and 30 feet, though they were apparently always within her sight.  Evidently, she didn't see the cops before they arrested her, though, which makes me wonder how well should could see them.

The other day, I happened to see this video on Upworthy.  Upworthy usually annoys me with its feel good videos, but sometimes they post stuff that really is worth sharing.

This woman makes some very good points about the many double standards and double messages women get today.

Laura Browder has two kids.  For some reason, she is a single mom.  She needs a job and was trying to get one when the police intervened.  Now she has to deal with law enforcement and CPS breathing down her neck.  I don't know what the law is in Houston.  Maybe the cops had to run her in.  It would be good if people were able to explain themselves and police could use discernment, though, before they end up in a jail cell.  This kind of stuff is a real drain on the system.

I swear... the more I read about these types of overreactions, the gladder I am to be childless.


  1. Of course cPS trumps a judge? What does a mere judge know? it would seem that the job of CPS would be to investigate, turn its findings over to the proper authorities -- either the D..A.'s office or the family court judge, and walk away unless directed by the courts to do otherwise.

    This business of CPS acting as its own entity, answerable to no one but itself, is troubling to me.. Under precisely what branch of government does cPS fall? No one heading CPS is an elected official. cps as an organization should be investigating rreports of suspected child abuse and neglect as reported to them - not going around looking under rocks and behind bushes, trying to drum up business. Furthermore, from what I hear from cPS caseworkers, they're already so overloaded that they do not have time to adequately manage the cases legitimately referred to them. Why do they need to look for more work. the head of the local agency, unless directed by the judge, which he or she apparently was not, had no business invloving himself or herself in this case unless a
    separate report of abuse or neglect independent of the one reported upon had been made.

    In my neck of the woods, it's far more likely for cPS to refuse to even investigate when a situation clearly merits it than for them to be overly zealous.

    All of that being said, while I feel for the young mom, i wouldn't waant my two-year-old out of reach in a public place even if he or she were within my view. A typical six-year-old could be trusted to eat french fries and sip soda iwhile being viewed from a distance, but two-year-olds are so damned impulsive that I think it was risky to leave one further than an arm's reach away. I'm not saying the mther should have been arrested, as i don't think she should have, and i'm glad the judge tossed the case. still, two-year-olds are dangerously impulsive.

    A good resource to have available for women would be very short-term j drop-in child care with virtually no notice required as long as there is a way to verify, even after the factm that it was for a job interview.

    1. Well, I agree it wasn't ideal for mom to leave her kids like that. However, she needed a job and there was no childcare. Had it been me, I might have brought the kids with me to the interview itself.

  2. I probably would have done so as well, but at least she didn't leave them home alone or out in the car.


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