Should parents who leave kids in hot car be charged?

Should parents who leave kids in hot car be charged?

  • Yes

    Votes: 5 83.3%
  • No

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Undecided

    Votes: 1 16.7%

  • Total voters
    6

Lämmchen

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Should parents who leave kids in hot car be charged?
 

tango

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Should parents who leave kids in hot car be charged?
This sort of question tends to ignite lots of passionately polarised comments but it raises more questions than answers. A lot would depend on what counts as "a hot car", how long the kids are left, and any other circumstances. If a parent leaves their child in the car with the windows open for the 3 minutes it takes to run into the newsagent to grab a newspaper and get back to the car, probably not. If they leave their child in the car parked in the full glare of the sun with the windows closed, child locks active, and they are gone for a couple of hours, chances are that's going to count as child abuse.

Ultimately I think it has to depend on whether the kids come to identifiable harm.
 

psalms 91

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I say it depends
 

vince284

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This has been interesting to me especially this year that we’ve had some record heat in my area. I’ve gone back and forth, but my latest thought is that if someone leaves their child alone for any moment in a car, that would be extremely bad. They know what they are doing, they know they have a life they are responsible for and should consider it sacred. However, yesterday I heard a news story of a hospital employee that left his twins in a locked car for his entire shift. 8+ hours, and even text’d his wife to remember to pick up the kids at the daycare. They died, he’s charged with manslaughter. It was an accident from my viewpoint (I don’t have every detail). Yes, he should be charged. What a devastating thing to happen to anyone and any family.
 

Webster

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As much as we know about what happens to living creatures inside a hot car.....yes, they should be charged.
 

tango

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I think we also need to consider the implications of the current trend of online shaming, and how it could do more harm than good.

I remember seeing a picture on social media of a child abandoned in a booth at a restaurant, with parents nowhere to be seen. Except things weren't as they seemed - the parents were at the buffet and the child was never out of their sight. The person who decided to be judge and jury simply saw something, took a picture, and recommended people share it to shame the "irresponsible parents". Never mind checking the facts, never mind finding out if the child needs help or if the parents are nearby, just take a picture with your phone and shame someone online. Sadly once that sort of thing gets out it's impossible to take back.

Likewise after the issue with the Covington Catholic schoolboys and the Native American in DC there were people "naming and shaming" the boy concerned, trying to make sure he would never have a job in his life, wanting him expelled from the school, and so on. Even if the boy did everything he was accused of doing and then some, having his entire life ruined seems like a huge overreaction - it's as if people think they themselves are perfect in every way. And then came the people sharing and reposting pictures that named him, except many of them got the name wrong. Good job guys, now a perfectly innocent boy who may not even have been in DC has his name all over social media as he gets branded a racist, with little opportunity to defend himself. What happens if some genius finds out more and posts his home address online?

If a child comes to harm because they were left in a hot car the chances are there are existing laws about child abuse to cover the situation. If we ask for more laws we should be careful what we wish for, lest we find that a well-meaning law is enforced unwaveringly and becomes the equivalent of getting a ticket for rolling through a stop sign when you can clearly see there's nothing else moving within half a mile in all directions. Except instead of a moving violation ticket, now you're branded a child abuser for life even if the child came to no harm.
 
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