Saturday, April 09, 2011

Mom charged for leaving teen alone

A suburban New York city newspaper reports:
A village woman is accused of taking the "Home Alone" scenario to a new extreme, leaving her 13-year-old daughter behind during her weeklong trip to Taiwan.

Police charged the single mom, Winifred Chaffee, with misdemeanor child endangerment, despite her claim that she left her girl with plenty of cash, credit cards and prepared meals.

"If you want to leave your 13-year-old home for like an hour or two to go to dinner or shop, that's acceptable, depending on how mature the kid is," Croton police Sgt. John Nikotopoulos said. "We obviously felt this was not right and made the arrest." ...

The sergeant said he knows of no "hard standard" for when, and how long, it is OK to leave a child home alone, but he said this would fail to meet practically any standard.

Chaffee's defense lawyer, Casey Raskob, said she had been out of work and received a business contract that sent her to Taiwan. He said she contacted the girl's school, asking for permission to take the child with her on the trip, but that "the school said no."

"She's a single mom," he said. "This poor lady doesn't deserve exposure for this."

The girl did attend school while her mother was away, and the two are back home together now.
How is this a crime? The mom did not violate any standards, and no danger or harm resulted. The girl even attended school. The Home Alone boy was only about 8 years old. There is a big difference between 8 and 13.

The mom should be asking the dad for permission, not the school. The school just wants the attendance money.

One comment said:
This is why we need governmental spot checks in every home on a weekly basis, especially with homes with children. There are criminals everywhere, we are not safe. A child should NEVER be left alone for an hour, let alone a week, this is why we all need to keep a close eye on our neighbors and report them to the authorities. When you see something, you NEED to say something.
This is ridiculous. The typical 13-year-old has a cell phone, and is safer than ever.


Anonymous said...

a thirteen year old is more than old enough to be left alone for a week.

Anonymous said...

I'm more terrified that I live in a country with someone who believe in "governmental spot checks". Also, part of the reason a plan to homeschool is so that I don't have to get the school's "permission" to take my child somewhere. Crazy.

Anonymous said...

The woman should have said "screw you" to the school and taken the kid to Taiwan anyway. Why did she even ask for permission?

Anonymous said...

schools lose money every day a child is absent so there's lots of economic incentive to keep them there. You didn't think the reason was because they don't want your child to miss a day of important education, now would you? ;-) Also why that's a major reason (not the only, also ideological indoctrination, for lack of a better word) for schools to resist home teaching.

George said...

She had already been intimidated enough by govt authorities to ask permission for the trip. The criminal prosecution is so everyone else in town will be further intimidated. She should have been allowed to use her own judgment.

Anonymous said...

Have you seen this story? and