South Carolina’s News Channel 6 in North Augusta reported recently on the case of Debra Harrell, a working mother jailed for leaving her 9-year-old daughter at the park while she went to work at McDonald’s.

The little girl is fine, but some say an area the mother thought was safe could have turned dangerous. It’s an afternoon of fun in the water at Summerfield Park in North Augusta, but investigators say it wasn’t enjoyable for one little girl,” said News Channel 6′s reporter.


Others say, however, that the issue isn’t with Harrell but a system that makes her choose between going to work or supervising her child. Even New York magazine’s  Jonathan Chait weighed in on the case in a recent article, writing in part:

“America has decided to punish Harrell if she fails to acquire full-time employment; her employment does not provide her with adequate child care; and the community punishes her for failing to live up to unobtainable middle-class child-care standards. There are many perpetrators in this story. Debra Harrell was not one of them.”

What do you think? Should Harrell be in jail?

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7 thoughts on “Working Mom Arrested For Leaving Daughter At Park

  1. Laura on said:

    Not that long ago this would be a non-issue. Kids were out and about all day with no adult supervision. During the summer I’d leave the house at 10.00 (because my mom thought no one should be disturbed any earlier) and come home when the street lights came on. All before cell phones and helicopter parentig. There was no harm done, nothing happened. For this woman to be jailed, fired and her daughter to be in custody is outrageous.
    I can’t believe those here condemning her. She did nothing wrong.

  2. I take it everyone bashing this mom has never been in a desperate situation before. You ask the question “why on earth would a mom leave her child in a park”? Obviously this woman FELT as if she had no choice. Please people, before you condemn this woman, the child’s father or their family, know that everyone in this country is not afforded the same opportunities. There are places in this country where desperation is a daily feeling. This situation just brings light to those situations. Please bring the judgment down a notch.

    • seriously on said:

      There is no need for desperate choices when you work a minimum wage job…You have to practical and having a baby that you cannot afford in 2014..There is no excuse. I believe having a child born into poverty in this day and age equals child abuse. There is birth control and condoms, you make bad choices, you will certainly get a bad consequences. Your method of excuses for not only bad behavior and bad parentings…Helps who…This is a teachable moment for single moms with little to no education about having babies you cannot afford…Because you will be clawing your way through life, you and your child. That is a fact, not a judgement.

  3. seriously on said:

    Birth Control…It is better than clawing through life to take care of a kid you cannot afford, that is to long for a child to be in a public place alone. Why not keep the child at your house? These women/girls have no business having babies…Why eff up an innocent kids lives as well,

  4. Mac Ben on said:

    The system did not mandate that this idiot bitch have a child nor did it make her decide on leaving the child at the park or with a responsible care provider…; where is this child’s daddy? Oh…right, I know…

  5. The Truth on said:

    Ditto jus-sayn! If some pervert grabbed that baby and did unspeakable acts to the child it would be no ones fault but the parents. Parents it is our responsibility to PROTECT our children, not push them out into the streets as if to say “here she is Mr. Pervert, have your way with my child, because I got to work.”

  6. jus-sayn on said:

    it was irresponsible and no one should blame the system. System is not providing enough for you, get off it. Job doesnt pay enough to cover daycare, don’t work there. Its not THAT easy I know, but it is irresponsible to abandon your child just to work somewhere that’s not going to fully support your needs. If anything, she put employers needs before her child’s and for what?

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