Friday, June 01, 2007

Should it be a Crime to Take a Nap while Babysitting?

I saw this story about an 18-year- old-babysitter who might be held responsible for the deaths of two toddlers:

A teenage girl could face criminal charges after the two toddlers she was baby-sitting drowned in a nearby pond in a rural Pennsylvania town.

The coroner says the deaths were accidental. But the 18-year-old, who is related to one of the girls, could be held responsible if she is found to have been negligent or reckless.

The baby sitter told state police she put the girls down for a nap Wednesday and took a nap herself. When she woke up, she said the two girls were missing from the house.


So, if taking a nap while babysitting turns out to be a crime, what would napping while parenting be called? And if cases like this are prosecuted--isn't it too dangerous to babysit for anyone, relatives included?

184 Comments:

Blogger erin is nice said...

the fact is, if you want to take a nap/shower/etc with toddlers in the house, you lock the doors-- and to be really safe, keep the kids confined to one room. this goes for both parents and sitters, and anything less is negligent. and this is not some kid babysitter either, she was old enough to know better.

3:37 PM, June 01, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do we know that the door wasn't locked? My brother had to install flip locks at the very top of all exterior doors to keep his wandering tot in the house. Unfortunately, too often parents don't discover that their toddler has the propensity for going on outdoor adventures, much less the talent for operating the deadbolt, until the occasion of their first escape.

I was blessed that mine weren't inclined to leave the house, but I did have one climber that stopped my heart on a few occasions. s

The teenager may have been negligent. I suppose it's the job of the police to look into it. But it's equally likely that the babysitter was just naive about the kinds of things a toddler can get into.

What a tragedy.

4:17 PM, June 01, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just went to a funeral on Tuesday for a 20 month-old who drowned in a swimming pool. The mother, who works with my girlfriend, was watching several children, and her daughter disappeared for a few minutes. And that's all it took.

I'm all for protecting kids, but I think we have to be careful how far we go in criminalizing negligence or people are going to stop having them. The liability will just be too high. It almost is already for me.

Rizzo

4:26 PM, June 01, 2007  
Blogger Troy said...

This is outrageous -- given the limited facts we have here. Nap time for the kids is nap time for Mommy or Daddy usually. Doors should be locked, etc., but this criminalizing of napping is ridiculous and serves neither public policy nor justice. This is Progressive idiocy -- we can legislate or prosecute all bad things off the face of the earth. Geez! Bad things sometimes happen -- awful cruel tragic things. This girl has learned a cruel lesson -- a lesson prison or a record will not enhance.

4:38 PM, June 01, 2007  
Anonymous Sebastian said...

I think we're increasingly living in a society where tragic accidents just don't happen. It has to be someone's fault.

4:40 PM, June 01, 2007  
Blogger Myrtle Hocklemeier said...

In at least two locations management of the apartments we lived in refused to grant our request to put locks at the top of the door at our expense! As a result I went on several hunting expeditions for my three year old since he could just unlock the regular door locks.

I was glad to move into my own home where I had an expensive alarm system installed for the sole purpose of alerting me to this child leaving the house. (Ny other two never wandered out) I was alerted a couple of times while asleep and once while in the shower.

"There by the grace of god..."

I also remember being four years old and intentionally waiting for my mother to nap so that I could take my infant brother for a walk in his stroller. She wasn't happy when she found me several blocks away with a six week old. Anything could have happened but I distinctly remember being very opportunistic about my own getaway.

4:40 PM, June 01, 2007  
Blogger Donut said...

I don't know about everyone else, but me and all of my parent-peers in our circles have had many "oh my god I almost killed my kid" moments. Having them go outside way before you think they are capable, having them climb stuff in and out of the house, reaching for knives and razors when you thought they were out of range...

This case is tragic, but I think that we over-tragedize kids deaths, since they are so rare now. This leads to nerfed play (like no more tag or monkey bars), and criminal prosecutions over simple mistakes.

Ah, well.

4:44 PM, June 01, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I was 4 my Mom laid down next to me to encourage me to take a nap, as soon as she fell asleep, I slipped out and headed 7 houses down to my best friend's house. I can't recall now if my friend's Mom called my Mom or vice versa, but needless to say my Mom was in a panic on awakening.

One simply cannot be in total control of a kid at all times. Would it have been negligent on the part of my Mom if something happened to me? No, I don't think so. What if I woke up at 1AM and slipped away, would that be different than if it happened in the afternoon? No again.

As I recall, after that she stopped trying to make me take a nap, I had never taken one up till then and indeed have never taken a nap in more than 1/2 a century, plenty of time for napping when I'm dead.

5:30 PM, June 01, 2007  
Anonymous Bugs said...

Is speculating on the worst possible thing that could happen to this girl really a news story? Yeah, she "could" be prosecuted for negligent homicide. On the other hand, she "could" get a medal for trying to save the toddlers lives. Come to think of it, she "could" be crushed beneath a falling piano while grilling hot dogs on her patio. Anything "could" happen. I'm more interested in what did happen.

I think this should be a short, sad little story but some newsie hopes it will drag out into a long, interesting one. Wonder if they'll give this kid a pass or turn on the feeding frenzy?

5:37 PM, June 01, 2007  
Blogger Helen said...

Bugs,

The problem with reporting the news as a "crime" story is that other parents, babysitters and caretakers will be even more afraid to watch children, especially other people's kids.

5:42 PM, June 01, 2007  
Blogger Richard Fagin said...

It's too dangerous to take care of even your own children in the current political climate. Adults are charged with responsibility for well being of children to a degree that was unthinkable a generation or two ago. My parents left me and my sister alone at home while they made an out of town trip over an entire weekend. I was 11 and my sister 8 at the time. Doing that for even a few hours these days will result in child endangerment charges if there is any injury to the children involved.

Add to that what is now considered child abuse, and no wonder people just don't want ot be bothered with children any more.

5:55 PM, June 01, 2007  
Blogger Oligonicella said...

This is one of the problems I've noticed. The idea that people should be "perfect". Every little mistake or simple oversight is taken as some moral and possibly legal failure. I hope like hell the problem comes home to roost on the heads of those who constantly sound the alarm at others "failures", because if you look at anyone in the damned world, they're failures if your friggin' standard is perfection.

6:13 PM, June 01, 2007  
Blogger Joe said...

As soon as my second son could walk, he had the propensity to vanish when you blinked. The weirdest part is that being alone and "lost" never bothered him in the slightest. Twice we found him blocks from home just walking along enjoying himself.

(However, what scares me the most is driving with my nineteen-year-old daughter.)

9:17 PM, June 01, 2007  
Anonymous Bugs said...

o. - absolutely right.

It's kind of a dilemma, though. Expecting perfection is unrealistic, but accepting imperfection seems like a cop-out.

Idealists, or people whose self-esteem depends on their being seen by others to be idealistic, have a harder time dealing with this than...well, the others.

Anybody who expects an 18-year-old never to make a mistake is seriously mistaken.

9:18 PM, June 01, 2007  
Anonymous William R. Hamblen said...

The gate to the fence around the pool should have been locked. If there wasn't a lock, there should have been. If there wasn't a fence, there should have been. Who knows who might wander by? Each year There are about 300 accidental drownings of small children in swimming pools.

10:54 PM, June 01, 2007  
Blogger Cham said...

Perhaps the US government should issue chaperons for everyone. The chaperon could confirm that we are all behaving perfectly all the time and would eliminate guesswork.

Taking care of small children is tiring, I can see why a person would want a nap.

12:36 AM, June 02, 2007  
Blogger jw said...

I think the concept of 'due dilegence' should be imported from labor law to negligence cases. If the babysitter did everything a reasonable person would do, then there is no negligence. If she did not, then there is.

Due diligence is an important concept and one worth spreadign through our legal system.

4:03 AM, June 02, 2007  
Blogger Frieda said...

I hate to see this kind of news be reported. I see everyone as a potential criminal now!!

why can't they wait and to see if an issue because a "trend" then they can report it and warn people. But they should not report every tragic accident like this one.

6:54 AM, June 02, 2007  
Anonymous Bugs said...

The real story here is obvious to anyone with eyes to see:

George Bush's cronies in Big Babysitting are working behind the scenes to block legislation protecting innocent toddlers from their evil, greedy, Republican "caretakers."

Somebody should speak out.

10:08 AM, June 02, 2007  
Blogger Oligonicella said...

bugs -- I think accepting imperfection is pragmatic, since perfection is only an abstraction and people are real.

10:26 AM, June 02, 2007  
Blogger David said...

"if cases like this are prosecuted--isn't it too dangerous to babysit for anyone..?....this points out one problem of making public policy through the court system: by the very nature of the process, second-order effects rarely get considered.

11:39 AM, June 02, 2007  
Blogger Chris said...

I feel this was tragic but I don't think it is criminal. These babysitters are often just out of being kids themselves. They are hired without regulation, training, or anything and thrown into the situation to use their "best judgement".

For all the adults ready to burn this girl at the torch, genuinely think back to when YOU were 18. What were you doing then and what kind of mindset did you have?

Again, very tragic.

Chris
My Blog

12:57 PM, June 02, 2007  
Anonymous Bugs said...

Based on the story, I'm not sure many adults are ready to burn her at the stake. The reporter's mouth, however, is definitely watering at the idea.

1:25 PM, June 02, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hard call to make: how close was the pond? How did the kids get there? I'm going to assume that she didn't have an "awake for term" stipulation in her 'contract' for employment with the parents.

I work in not-for-profit human services where this sort of thing is grounds for dismissal and possible grounds for criminal charges (but not with all orgs in my state).

3:55 PM, June 02, 2007  
Blogger gs said...

Per chris@12:57 PM and others, my first impression is that this is tragic but not criminal. (anonymous@3:55 PM, if a caring professional had lapsed this way, that would be different.)

I assumed that the authorities were performing a due-diligence investigation, until I read:

As part of the investigation, a police helicopter on Friday flew over the home where the drownings occurred, Erie County District Attorney Brad Foulk said. He added that troopers continued to interview and reinterview people as they try to piece together what happened.

Somehow, use of the helicopter just doesn't feel right.

More here.

4:54 PM, June 02, 2007  
Blogger Jeremy said...

I don't think we really know enough. For instance, how did she put the toddlers to bed? Did she put them in a crib or something, or did she just leave them on a couch or on the front lawn or something weird. How far away is the pond, is another question. If it's right by, then yeah, you need to be a lot more worried about taking a nap than if it's half a mile down the road.

8:17 PM, June 02, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, everyone's a Chicken Little these days. Helen is no exception.

"So, if taking a nap while babysitting turns out to be a crime, what would napping while parenting be called?"

Uh, nothing in the story to suggest that's in the works. WTF?

What, you have a problem with the police asking some questions here? You don't think there could be some information that might suggest this was a crime? You don't think it could be relevant if you found out that the babysitter laid down for a nap at noon and woke up again at 8pm?

It's called an investigation. The police tend to do that when a baby dies. It doesn't mean there will be a prosecution.

Yes, details, jeremy. That would be nice. But apparently helen doesn't like to talk about details, when broad assertions are so much easier to make.

8:45 PM, June 02, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The people suggesting various kinds of locks on the doors should be aware that unusual locks, or locking children in a bedroom for a nap, might result in their deaths in a fire.

8:54 PM, June 02, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 8:45 PM

Are you clueless? The media should let the police do their job and stay out of the inference business. Helen is pointing out what the media is doing, so what's your little boner to pick?

9:12 PM, June 02, 2007  
Blogger Brendan said...

Great discussion. The best comment is by Anonymous @ 8:54 PM. That's always how it is with these people demanding perfection (my dad calls them Gnostics; cue Jonah Goldberg, and Eric Voegelin before him). Practically everything in life is on a continuum, and straying in either direction will result in some risk. But because life is unpredictable, it's impossible to ever know precisely where you are on the continuum, so it's impossible to place yourself squarely in the "perfect" middle, where there's no risk. Stray to one side, you trap your kids in the hosue. Stray to the other, you make it possible for them to leave. The happy medium cannot be determined in advance, and thus is meaningless, making perfection impossible. So whenever anything goes wrong, it's always possible to blame someone for making the wrong decision... even though the alternative decision could also have led to an unpredictable tragedy. And what's truly galling is, the very same people will/would condemn the "guilty" parties in both situations.

Sometimes, a tragedy is just a tragedy, not a crime.

9:40 PM, June 02, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Helen is pointing out what the media is doing, so what's your little boner to pick?

Nothing in Helen's post indicated that she was complaining about the media's behavior, as opposed to criticizing possible charges against the babysitter for napping while babysitting. Please read more carefully next time.

Taking your point, though, what evidence is there of media interference? Should the media decline to report on possible criminal activity until prosecutors have decided whether to press charges in a particular case? That's insipid.

What's amazing to me is the broad assumptions people are making based on six short paragraphs of an AP story. I think the prosecutor is dead on -- the length of the sitter's nap is indeed "pretty important" to whether or not the behavior was criminal.

9:47 PM, June 02, 2007  
Blogger Wacky Hermit said...

Forget napping, being upstairs nursing the baby is a potential crime now. One day my then 6 year old son asked if he could take my then 2 year old down to the end of the street to watch the train go by on the nearby tracks. I told him no and went upstairs to nurse the then newborn baby, who is very sensitive to noise and had to be nursed away from all distractions. While I was nursing the baby, the two older boys slipped out the door without me hearing, went down to the end of the street to watch the train go by, and came back in. I heard them come back in and chewed them out for disobedience.

Five minutes later there was a policeman knocking at my door. Some neighbor (I still don't know which one) called the cops because my kids walked half a block to the end of the street and watched a train go by without proper supervision.

I wasn't even asleep, I was awake the whole time, just in a different room.

10:04 PM, June 02, 2007  
Anonymous Stan Morris said...

When I was ten, my younger brother was a 3 yr. old explorer. We had a fenced in back yard that sat on a bluff overlooking the Tippicanoe river. My brother quickly learned to open the gate. There was a soon a lock on the gate. My brother mastered that as well and then learned to climb the fence.

The cause of all this industry was that at the bottom of the river bluff was a swamp which had turtles and fish and muck and snakes of all varieties, including copperheads and cottonmouths. After several searchs for him by me, our mother and my older brother, It was quickly determined that our young explorer went for the swamp most of the time.

I was usually detailed to go retrieve him from the muck and such. What result today if he,(or I)had been snake bit or drowned in the muck? My mother a housewife and my fathe a young M.D. just back from Europe in WWII

10:10 PM, June 02, 2007  
Blogger jdkchem said...

I remember being a youngster and deciding I would follow the water flowing in the gutter along the street. Before you could say tidy bowl man I was lost. A policeman found me and took me home. This was back when cops actually walked in the neighborhood they patrolled. If this had happened now my Mom would be in jail.

10:14 PM, June 02, 2007  
Blogger TM Lutas said...

Just to introduce a bit of data. Following somebody else's link, the pond was 100 yards away. It was a manmade fishing pond. Also as she was live-in family, it's a bit of a different situation than a paid professional, I would think.

If the prosecutor wants to make an example, he'll prosecute. But I think it would be a very poor example.

10:35 PM, June 02, 2007  
Anonymous Ryan Waxx said...

> It's called an investigation. The police tend to do that when a baby dies. It doesn't mean there will be a prosecution.

So, how many routine investigations into accidental deaths involve helicopter flights over the 'crime scene', that you know of?

Oops! Did we fail to read?

11:48 PM, June 02, 2007  
Anonymous colagirl said...

A couple of friends of mine got Child Protective Services called on them and quite literally almost lost their son because they were reported taking him outdoors in winter without a jacket. I'm entirely serious. It was eventually ruled they could keep their son, but they had to attend parenting classes, the parent who had taken him outdoors was not allowed to be alone with him until the board had certified was sane, and everyone who babysat for them until they had finished their parenting class had to be vetted.

I don't have words for how disgusting, sickening and outrageous I found CPS's treatment of them to be. And let me tell you, it's made me think long and hard about having kids of my own.

12:00 AM, June 03, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ryan waxx:

I'm sorry? I've read the link over and over. I see no mention of a helicopter flight over the crime scene. What?

12:06 AM, June 03, 2007  
Anonymous Ryan Waxx said...

Read the comments. You know, the discussion that's happening?

12:22 AM, June 03, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't each and every one of us have, between family and friends, recall many incidents that we share that could have ended in tragedy like this?

I mean, off the top starting with my grandfather as a boy, onto my parents, onto my siblings and I, onto my own children there are so many situations that could have easily ended this way -- and we are all good responsible people still living and repeating these stories at dinner table at Thanksgiving etc.

My grandmother recently told me how my grandfather's brother who work for HER father died by falling down the elevator at his business warehouse in the late 30's (no OSHA back then!) - I asked if it caused problems within the 2 families and she looked at me as if I were from Mars - she asked, "caused problems? for what? good heavens no, it was an accident"

I like progress and advancement, but I long for the good old days when people didn't NEED to place blame and common sense prevailed.

12:28 AM, June 03, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"And if cases like this are prosecuted--isn't it too dangerous to babysit for anyone, relatives included?"

Only if you think your family is litigious, and would sue/blame after a family baby's death, or two. I doubt some/many family bonds are easily broken by a lawyer, but perhaps some of our families are in the minority here.

Know much about babysitter convictions -- non family -- for shaken baby syndrome, where a sickly infant/child dies in custody of someone being paid to care? That's some scary science. Never trust an expert witness too much at trial. It's too unscientific it's turning out.

3:48 AM, June 03, 2007  
Blogger Natalie said...

When my son was three and a half, our family went to Disneyland Paris. The hotel room had two double beds. He shared one with his six year old sister, me and my husband shared the other. At three o'clock in the morning we had a phone call from another family who had travelled with us and had a room along the corridor. They had heard a child crying outside their room - they didn't know who it was, but being responsible people had gone out to look and found our son. His sister was in the same bed and we were all four in the same (small) room, and we hadn't heard a thing! All our thoughts about security had been directed towards making sure the door was locked against intruders; it simply hadn't occurred to us - or whoever made the locks at Euro-Disney - that the problem would be him getting out, as nothing like it had ever happened before.

Whenever I tell this story, someone caps it.

4:01 AM, June 03, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

She should not have been napping when being paid to watch.

But one could turn this back against the parents....did they explicitly warn about the children wandering and of the nearby pond? Knowing of the pond, had they taken preventive action against the toddlers opening doors and wandering outside?

Tragic accidents happen. All will be suffering for a very long time.

Considering events since the mid '80's beginning with the hysteria surrounding child abuse prosecutions based on false charges, I would never, ever take responsibility for anyones children.

7:55 AM, June 03, 2007  
Blogger Oligonicella said...

And if cases like this are prosecuted--isn't it too dangerous to babysit for anyone, relatives included?

Anon 3:48 AM

"Only if you think your family is litigious, and would sue/blame after a family baby's death, or two. I doubt some/many family bonds are easily broken by a lawyer, but perhaps some of our families are in the minority here."

Really? Mike Nifong. You act like the only danger is the relatives.

Naive or dishonest. Which?

8:19 AM, June 03, 2007  
Blogger MarkW said...

I turned around once to find my two year old son had climbed up the extension ladder and was standing behind me on the roof. That same year, I think, he disappeared during a family party at a house on a lake. The whole group stopped everything and hunted everywhere for him for half an hour, getting increasingly fearful -- ultimately, it turned out he had crawled behind a chair in the house and fallen sound asleep.

9:05 AM, June 03, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

O"ne simply cannot be in total control of a kid at all times. Would it have been negligent on the part of my Mom if something happened to me? No, I don't think so. What if I woke up at 1AM and slipped away, would that be different than if it happened in the afternoon? No again."

My ADHD 10 year old still gets up occasionally at 3 a.m. and does "experiments" in the kitchen of varying levels of danger. Most of the methods of deterring her, however, are worse than the problem, so we just pray she outgrows it and doesn't kill herself in the meantime.

10:09 AM, June 03, 2007  
Anonymous willbdone said...

We just had the lock smith over last week because of our little escape atist.

This tragic story aside, when neighbors choose to do as Wacky Hermit above describes,

"Some neighbor (I still don't know which one) called the cops "

rather than approach their own neighbor out of concern, there is a glitch in the process.

10:22 AM, June 03, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And if cases like this are prosecuted--isn't it too dangerous to babysit for anyone, relatives included?

Anon 3:48 AM

"Only if you think your family is litigious, and would sue/blame after a family baby's death, or two. I doubt some/many family bonds are easily broken by a lawyer, but perhaps some of our families are in the minority here."

Really? Mike Nifong. You act like the only danger is the relatives.

Naive or dishonest. Which?


Good at playing word games, but a failure at common sense/practical results... or just an asswipe? You make the call!

Seriously, I was responding to the last clause about relatives choosing not to care for children. Not going to happen in most healthy families. Prosecutors in most places tend not to prosecute when there's no one clamoring to find blame just because you have a victum, or two. Do you know healthy families like I mean? I did acknowledge they may be more a minority in our growing interconnected secular culture, but they're there nonetheless, just like some kids still play in the woods on Saturdays* but know to sit still in class and get their homework in on time. If you're lucky, you can homeschool, otherwise you make due respecting the teacher and having patience. School isn't forever.

Not sure what the lacrosse boys rape case has to do with the price of butter, but your type tends to respond in snark, and shies away when the other gets too realistic, or shows ya up in a better more common sense world, Olgy. (may I call you Olgy? :) Kinda an affectionate mix of Ole and Opie...
---------

*and there's no real danger of losing access to hunting rifles either, despite the hype. It's a place where deer can bound even tall fences, but you can buy something simple and legal as a repellant rather than finding occassion to "massage" the rules in hunting out of season... special needs and all. Good place, in fact, if you know where to find it. Simple joys in families trusting and growing together. Lawyers are kinda overrated you know. They're often short term, take their cut and go, not really problem solvers, sometimes creators you might even say...

11:34 AM, June 03, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or maybe despite your hardware, (pause), you're just one of those who fears a lot, Olgy? Seeing politically motivated prosectutions EVERYwhere, I mean.

11:37 AM, June 03, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said, willbdone

I "found" three tiny children in the street in front of my house a few years ago. They were quite obviously cared for (clean, combed, etc.) and all holding hands as they zig zagged across the road picking dandilions. I thought that they *could* be grandchildren from the house across the street, so didn't approach them. I did call to them that it wasn't safe to be in the street, and when they entered the yard across from me and started to walk behind the house, I figured they were going to their parents. But something led me to stay in my yard where I could see them, so I stayed out a few minutes and pulled weeds while I watched them. It wasn't too many minutes before the most frantic man I ever saw came running around the corner, obviously looking for something. I silently pointed across the street where I could see them playing from my vantage point. Happy ending, and one of those situations where kids had been in the fenced back yard with dad and went back into the house. Dad thought they were joining mom, mom thought dad had them in the yard, but the little meanies decided to go for a stroll.

It didn't occur to me to call the police. I would first have first talked to the children, from a non threatening distance, to try to find out where their mommy was and judged the situation AFTER I met mom, or if she couldn't be found.

12:42 PM, June 03, 2007  
Blogger Natalie said...

Anonymous of 12.42 pm, your comment reminds me of an absolutely tragic incident here in Britain which is loosely linked to the theme of this thread (i.e. the effects of a litigious or criminalizing culture on childcare). What happened was that a toddler wandered out of a playgroup. She was actually seen wandering the main road by a lorry driver. He thought about stopping but, besides the awkwardness of actually having to stop his lorry on the verge, was worried that he would be accused of abducting the child. So he convinced himself that she would be found in a minute -or that her parent was just out of sight, or something - and went on. And the little girl was killed, I can't remember whether by being hit by a car or possibly by drowning in a pond.

Obviously afterwards he didn't need to be told that he should have stopped regardless. I recall that he was very upset about it at the inquest. But in real life tragedies about to happen don't have ominous background music to tell us that something dire is about to occur - and 99% of the time no tragedy does occur. I think the excessive readiness to prosecute for negligence and the current paranoia about abductions are linked.

1:33 PM, June 03, 2007  
Blogger br549 said...

The anonymous drudgery drags on. You get mixed up with who you are reading - except "Rosie" who is easy to spot, being anon 8:45 PM, 9:47PM and 12:06AM, with just a quick glance.

If there were only one anon, it would be nice. Get creative and pick something other than anonymous. It would clarify a few things, save a bit of unnecessary anger, and make the transfer of ideas and banter much easier for everyone, except Rosie. Some of the anons have great things to say, again, except Rosie.
But it is too much trouble to keep you all separated, again, except Rosie. If you can take the time to type in anonymous, isn't a shorter name, like, say - Rosie - easier and quicker?

Just my two cents worth. It would make a visit here more Rosie, though.

1:44 PM, June 03, 2007  
Anonymous Bugs said...

Helicopters don't mean anything remotely threatening. I think the cops are just dong what cops do: if they find dead bodies somewhere, they photograph the scene. If the pond was, in fact, 100 yards away from the house, they have a really big scene to photograph. That calls for aerial photography.

It's probably important to visualize the entire scene - where the house was relative to the pond, how far and over what kind of terrain the children would have had to travel, etc. This might help them compare the amount of time the girl said she slept with the time it would have taken the children to get out of the house and reach the pond. An overhead view could help them do this.

I'd have to agree, though, that nothing the law enforcement officials said in this article (one crappy little half-a-quote?) gives the impression they're going to throw the book at this girl. That impression is all due to the reporters speculations. (Inference, not "interference" as somebody mis-read above).

I haven't read any other articles about this incident. Definitely, more information is required to understand what happened to the kids AND how the police are really handling the case. Until it comes out - judgment deferred.

1:57 PM, June 03, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jesus, thank you Bugs.

Why is deferring judgment so damned hard for these people? The police are conducting an investigation. It's what their f'ing supposed to do. If they failed to do so, these people would be bickering about that too, I reckon.

2:06 PM, June 03, 2007  
Blogger Ben said...

People are afraid. That's the problem here.

There's a new "control" movement in society. Nothing will ever go wrong if you control it. If something goes wrong, "someone" is to blame. That "someone" needs to be controlled. So nothing ever goes wrong. It is a response to the overall unreal standard of perfection that some increasingly irrational people believe in.

Folk are afraid of getting in the way of the controllers. Because to be controlled is to be harmed. And the controllers never, ever stop.

Before perfection became the standard and reality took a back seat, innocent people mostly only had to fear evil people who acted out of malice. Now we have to fear a much worse threat: prideful people who think they're good and smart and important.

They're good, so there's no need to question their right to control things. They're smart, so they always know what should be done (or should have been done) to prevent anything bad from happening. They are important, so we should all listen to them. And if we're not one of them or one of their supporters, they have no sympathy -- we might as well not be people at all.

Innocent people are right to fear.

3:07 PM, June 03, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is no more of a crime than if an anesthesiologist fell asleep while the unconscious patient's blood gases went into the fatal range. Or if a pilot took a nap while navigating through a mountain range, resulting in a crash. Or if an air traffic controller dozed off on duty. I mean, sure, some nannies might say, "They were supposed to be awake and making sure their job got done and nobody came to harm," but really, are we going to criminalize napping? It's unreasonable to expect people to stay awake for hours in a row, even when they're being paid to do so and it's necessary to avoid other people getting killed. Well, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to take a little nap. I've been on duty at my 911 dispatcher job for two full hours and I'm ready for my siesta.

3:23 PM, June 03, 2007  
Blogger Oligonicella said...

No Anonymous Coward, use Olig. Just as easy to type.

The responses of the AC's here back my point up. Perfection is the goal and it's unachievable.

AC 3:48 -- Even if you were only responding to the last two words, it would be naive to presume it requires a litigous family for a Mike Nifong type seeking self-aggrandizement to file charges -- even if you were babysitting a family member.

3:51 PM, June 03, 2007  
Anonymous anony-mouse said...

anon@3:23pm -- that long littany of red herrings disappears into a thin puff of smoke when we consider the actual facts of this case, which did not involve a contractually hired childcare professional.

5:06 PM, June 03, 2007  
Blogger Natalie said...

On the off-chance that you really don't get it, Anonymous of 3.23pm, let me explain to you the difference.

The professions of anaesthetists, pilots, 9/11 despatchers and so on all involve (a) very high likelihood of death or injury if concentration is lost for a minute and (b) many instances per day (almost continuous instances in the case of a pilot) in which things can go drastically wrong. That's why they are professions and paid as such.

Childcare is equally important but it simply is not failure-critical to that extent. No disrespect to parents and carers, but that's why it's unskilled labour (in the bureaucrat's sense of the phrase) and practically anyone's allowed to do it.

You drop off while flying a jet, you and your passengers probably die within minutes. You drop off voluntarily or involuntarily while looking after a kid and 99.9999% of the time you shake yourself awake five minutes later to hear the kid singing "The Wheels of the Bus Go Round and Round."

You mentioned siestas - your one approach good point. In many cultures it is normal for both adults and children to take a nap in the day. Do you think that any Spanish parents or carers who follow the custom of their country are as culpable as an air traffic controller who takes a nap?

5:44 PM, June 03, 2007  
Blogger Natalie said...

That should have been "approach to a good point."

Mr Preview is your friend.

5:47 PM, June 03, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fear not Olgy.

What whacky scenario are you picturing, where a prosecutor is politically motivated to find and prosecute a "crime" in what family members treat as a true tragedy -- the death of a child, or two. ?

Happens all the time in Florida. Happened to Jack Nicklaus' grandson. Kids drown at home, sadly.

No prosecutor in his/her right mind prosecutes for what the victim's family deems an accidental death. It's when you have a "victim", or deceased victim's family pushing for "justice" that you see politically motivated prosecution. There was an alleged "victim" in the lacrosse boys' alleged rape case, remember? Nifong didn't make up criminal charges out of thin air -- there was an alleged "victim", right?

In a healthy family, if a death like this occurs, you don't tag the kids as "victims" needing to place blame. You accept there truly are "accidents" and work on healing that ailing family member no doubt blaming herself.

I imagine this occurs much more often in traffic deaths of children, where some family members live but others die. Human nature over litigation any day, and perhaps who things happens too matters much more than what happened. In paid situations, especially non family, you are more likely to try to exact revenge through the criminal or civil justice system, rather than accepting the loss. Which families heal better after experiencing such a loss would be an interesting study -- my guess is the non litigious, who understand from the get go that no amount of court justice can bring the child back to life, and no amount of "punishment" for not neglect but accident, will bring about healing.

I think sometimes, using the same logic, death penalty proponents promise much more than they can deliver in the long run, in terms of providing relief once the killers are dead. Better to look within, let the criminal justice system do its job, but not expect it to deliver more than it is suited for.

6:17 PM, June 03, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In short, I really doubt that such stories will affect family members babysitting, if the fears/doubts weren't already there before...

Nice excuse if you were already looking not to get stuck babysitting though :)

6:21 PM, June 03, 2007  
Blogger knoxwhirled said...

Yes, everyone's a Chicken Little these days

If you think this is an irrelevant "chicken little" post, then move on and don't comment. It's patently stupid to write an essay about why you think a story isn't worth writing about. Get a life.

6:52 PM, June 03, 2007  
Anonymous Bugs said...

anon@2:06 - Let's not start taking long showers together just yet.

I'm still blaming the person who wrote the original story. Newsie takes "police are investigating a tragic drowning" and frames it as "police are maybe considering possibly filing charges against an evil, negligent teen-aged babysitter." And then MSN sticks it in the "Crime and Punishment" section of their website. Not presumption of guilt - just insinuation of guilt.

I think people's reactions here are understandable. It's not this specific case they're outraged about - it's the social/legal trend it represents. Everything must be somebody's fault. Somebody has to be punished. The tone and placement of the MSN article seems to confirm that this attitude exists, and that the media - among others - are responsible for keeping it alive.

No malice in the article's framing - just deadline pressure, lack of facts, and writing on autopilot.

7:06 PM, June 03, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lol.
Yes knoxwhirled, think of the intelligent discussions you could have if you only allow those with concurring views to participate.

Can you imagine if one tried to run an energy policy or a political war like that?

Why not just take your advice and ignore the comments you don't like or fear instead of writing a non-substantive comment here?

Personally, I like to practice my typing skills...

7:08 PM, June 03, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you can take the time to type in anonymous, isn't a shorter name, like, say - Rosie - easier and quicker?

Helen chooses to allow anonymous comments. You just click the button, no need to sign in.

Just respond to anonymous+time when addressing their comment? Don't focus so much on the "who" as on the what they've said.

Incidentally, the police investigated when Jack Nicklaus' grandson died at home in nanny care too. It's standard procedure. Again, charges are rarely brought in such accidents, but it depends often on the psychological state of whose child is dead, and perhaps if the lawyers get to them making promises of money or justice.

7:19 PM, June 03, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I was 4, I showed my 2 year old cousin how to use a push broom to open the eye-hook at the top of the screen door on their lake house. My aunt was not happy, but she didn't press charges....

My wife was raised 15 miles south of the area in question in the original article. The whole area is rural, with lots of ponds. In 2 minutes, they probably could have wondered into several different ponds. And nothing attracts youngsters like a pond.

9:42 PM, June 03, 2007  
Anonymous Bugs said...

Ponds, busy streets, shooting galleries, minefields, radioactive wastelands inhabited only by mutant zombies - the little tykes will get into everything if you don't watch 'em every second.

10:28 PM, June 03, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

knoxwhirled wrote:

"If you think this is an irrelevant "chicken little" post, then move on and don't comment. It's patently stupid to write an essay about why you think a story isn't worth writing about. Get a life."

Wait. Isn't Helen's original post an "essay about why [she] thinks [this] story [wasn't] worth writing about"?

Oh, the irony.

11:48 PM, June 03, 2007  
Anonymous Jenny said...

How many times have mothers been told to "sleep when the baby sleeps?"

12:24 PM, June 04, 2007  
Anonymous Bugs said...

Well, if there are children anywhere around, just don't ever go to sleep.

Do I have to think of everything?

1:34 PM, June 04, 2007  
Anonymous Blue Hen said...

"Sometimes, a tragedy is just a tragedy, not a crime"

A: Yup, and sometime's it's both. That's why we have laws and police forces. To sort them out.

People who dare disagree are referred to as "seeking perfection".

A: we're not talking about my EHarmony quest; the subject was what, if anything, a babysitter should be responsible for. From the thread, the answer is taking an inventory of the fridge and the pillows.

And we're assured that no crime has been committed, and that all those involved, at least those still alive, have a mindest that is 100% in agreement with the majority of the posters who wish to 'move on past this tragedy'.

A: Do we know as fact that EVERYONE with knowledge and involvment here agrees? If not, then what we see above is a WAG (Wild Ass Guess) or a groundless assertion that serves to support someone's preferred outcome.

I'm intrigued by the number of persons who believe that the deaths of two children who were under someone's care (parent, babysitter, bum down the street) should go unquestioned. And if you believe that police should not be involved, that's what it means. You imply that we should take the word of the sole surivor of that scene at face value. Wow, that's certainly trusting.

Alternate scenario:

Babysitter: Hi Mr and Mrs Smith. I finished all the soda, and both of the kids are dead. This is a tragedy.

Mr & Mrs Smith: We'll take your word for it.

Mr & Mrs Smith: Hello? Funeral parlor?

Police: Uh, excuse me, but we need to check this out.

Host of posters: Dare ye not!

Police: Most states have a law that REQUIRES some sort of investigation when someone dies and no doctor is present. Most usually require an autopsy as well.

Host of posters: What's your point?

What's ironic is that this site has an ad for a documentary that places the blame for mulitple murders not on the murderers, but on a variety of officials who supposedly failed to act, or to act to the degree the site owner has decided was sufficient. And yet, in this case, we're told that the kids should go from the pond to the funeral parlor, no questions asked. And anyone who disagrees is 'criminalizing' a tragedy.

Ah, tragedy. the favorite word of pundits and defense lawyers.

1:51 PM, June 04, 2007  
Blogger Helen said...

Blue Hen,

Take a look at the head line used in the story: "Babysitter could be charged after kids die" in the "Crime and Punishment" section of MSN. I don't object to the police looking into the deaths--just to the rush to the presumption of guilt implied in the headline--after the deaths had been ruled accidental by the coroner. Are you putting this babysitter in the same category as six teens who visciously and willingly put 17 bullets into an innocent family including two children? Is so, your logic skills preclude a discussion here.

2:39 PM, June 04, 2007  
Anonymous Blue Hen said...

I'm not "putting anyone in any category". I'm agreeing with you. This should be investigated. If, as a result of that investigation, we as a society believe that a crime occurred, then it should be prosecuted. Some have intimated that there is a diference between amateurs, part-timers and 'professionals'. Are the children any less dead? Can anyone prove that negligence or malice by definition cannot exist if the person involved is a casual employee, as opposed to a 'professional'? If the answer to either of the above is no, then this whole diatribe regarding criminalization is futile.
As for the " rush to the presumption of guilt implied in the headline" I don't give a tinker's damn about the media. Most of the commenters didn't either. They were making 'there but for the grace of (your deity here) go me' tales.

And your post wasn't confined to the media. "So, if taking a nap while babysitting turns out to be a crime". That's far different than bemoaning the bloodlust of the media.
I again point to the documentary that you're hawking. I doubt that any one of the officals to whom you referred in the collective sense was found guilty in a court. Nevertheless, you chose to blame the actions of those 'vicious and willing' teens on " simple mistakes by schools, mental health, and the criminal justice system can allow terrible results".

Are the actions different? Yes. Was the result the same? Yes. In one case, lives were taken. In this case, we believe that the lives were lost. But neither you or I know that.

There's another subtle difference that's being lost. The dead children should have an advocate that is interested in viewing this disspassionately. Failiure to do that would be another institutional failure, and it appears that you take a dim view of such things. It's easy to say, this school or that agency should have done more, or that mental health care is inadequate. They're facless, and the preceived remedy, More money, more care, more whatever, can be argued. Blaming faceless institutions is easy, and risk free, unless the IRS is involved.Determining whether an 18 year old screwed up and caused the deaths of two children is somewhat harder. It's easier to forget the kids, and declare that you 'don't object' to questions, so long as the results and consequences from the questioning are inconsequential. At that point, it's not questioning; it's a skit.


Perhaps the most perverse example of 'logic' to be found in this thread is the so-called 'chilling effect'. The fear is that fewer people would want to be babysitters if laws are actually enforced. So the lesson to be learned here is not that children require care and attention, but that we should lower expectations, so as not to stampede the baby sitter!?!

3:43 PM, June 04, 2007  
Anonymous Bugs said...

What's your point?

4:10 PM, June 04, 2007  
Anonymous 1charlie2 said...

I'm not 'intimating' anything -- I'm flat-out stating that there are very real differences between paid professionals and amateurs. Guess what: The law agrees.

I was a paramedic. Ever hear of "good Samaritan" laws ? Amateurs are often (though not always) shielded from what in a professional is negligence. The original analogy -- to a pilot taking a nap, remember, was highly flawed.

Yeas, the children are dead. I think the whole point was that this, in itself, does not mean a crime has occurred.

As for "blaming institutions," they usually are 'paid professionals.' Paid for with my (and your) money and they should be held to 'a higher standard of care,' as the law puts it.

As for the 'chilling effect,' it's very real (though not clear in this particular instance). Have you even worked in DSS/DFY/DCF ? Notice how many men are involved ? Think it's cuz' we don't care ? It's far easier for a teenage female crack-addict to get a male worker investigated it is to have a female under scrutiny. We care, what we aren't is stupid. We tend to avoid sticking our fingers into light-sockets. Again, I'm not to sure how chilling this one event is -- the teen has not been charged yet. But don't disregard the effect -- check out the gender of early-childhood-ed teachers as well.

As for the "laws" you want enforced : Which ones are your speaking of ? Negligent homicide ? Last time I checked, that required a blatant disregard or a pattern of behavior in most jurisdictions. I see nothing in this case that rises to the level of that sort of a crime, which is what I think Helen's point was.

Certainly, there might be, in some strange manner, but that sensationalistic headline, 'could be charged', is rather ridiculous.

4:32 PM, June 04, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I see nothing in this case that rises to the level of that sort of a crime, which is what I think Helen's point was."

You don't see anything because you have absolutely no facts. You have no idea how long the sitter was asleep. Could be 5 minutes, could be 5 hours.

Let me guess. You don't need stinkin' facts, right?

5:41 PM, June 04, 2007  
Blogger serket said...

I realize an investigation has to occur because of the deaths, but if this was just a tragic accident I sincerely hope the parents are understanding towards the related babysitter.

William R. Hamblen,
It's possible that we are related. A similar spelling to your surname appears in my family.

5:46 PM, June 04, 2007  
Anonymous Blue Hen said...

1. Yes there are some differences. Guess what? parents are considered to be amateurs too. the law agrees. But that doesn't stop parents from being investigated when their children are left in hot cars, go without food, are left near dogs known to be vicious, contract lice, or are not inoculated. it doesn't stop municipalities from mandating smoke alarms, seat belts, child restraints fences around pools or OTHER BODIES OF WATER and prevent children from being enrolled at school unless they pass physical exams.

2. I'm glad to see that you understand that the kids are dead. 3. it's a pity that you continue the proud trend of stating that this may not be a crime. no kidding. Again. That's why we have police who investigate these things, and why the reports of coroners and paramedics are consulted. That's the obverse of that 'higher standard of care' that you hear so much about.

I should note that the majority of the posters have oddly done the reverse of the media. They have also pre-judged the incident, but have reached a conclusion quicker than the police. They've also extrapolated from this the notion that any investigation is to be avoided, or hobbled so that nothing can come from it. That isn't for you, Dr. Helen, me or the babysitter to decide. All of us peasants decided this issue a while back when the laws were written. That law means that a neutral third party decides this. Not a pundit or peanut gallery.

4. It's odd that you try to differentiate between amateurs( which she wasn't; she was a casual employee)and professionals. You then invoke the 'chilling effect' with a vengence, using as an example.... professionals. Let's try staying within the realm, eh? If 18 year olds determine that napping when they are supposed to be watching two kids is an automatic trip to the gallows, then we may very well have fewer babysitters. We may (note my choice of words here) also have fewer naps with lethal consequences. This is a bad thing? If these displaced babysitters were forced to stoop to cutting lawns, the only potential victims would be sprinklers and flowers. Such an effect might be the only good that comes from this. Just because the employment is casual doesn't mean that the responsibility is casual. Society tries to impose norms through laws. Those laws generally require the investigation of deaths resulting from accidents, and weighing whether the deaths were the result of indifference or negligence. Such findings are possible even when the deaths are accidental, a fact that seems lost on most here. The suggested alternative is to repeat the word tragedy and fret that government encroachment will force us to be accountable for the kids we decided to have. External pressure to behave responsibly. What other new concepts will we encounter?

5:52 PM, June 04, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

blue hen:
The kids were asleep. She fell asleep. She's 18. That should work in her favor. She was doing the job probably to the best of her ability, put the kids for a nap maybe and fell asleep herself.

The commenters here aren't glossing over anything. If after the standard police investigation/autopsies, it turns out the kids were drowned, victims of foul play, or the babysitter left them alone or was partying up when they left the house, you might have negligence. Napping while the kids were? No. No matter how much she was being paid.

Did you have a child die in someone else's custody? Really think that this situation is like forgetting your kids in a hot car (personally, I don't even think those parents should be charged to make examples of them. How much more can you punish them? How often do you think a crazed parent thinks -- "I want to kill my kid. I'll leave him in the car, then deliberately act like it was accidental, I forgot them." There are better ways to teach others in society, imo.

Things tend to spiral out of control because of an incessant need for blame, for needing to punish others and make examples. What happened to compassion, blue hen? Commenters here, who could put themselves in the dead children's, the parents, and the babysitter's shoes, seem to have it. Remember, the Nicklaus nanny wasn't charged; she made "mistakes" too.

You assuming someone meant to kill children is what's sad. Telling everyone here they don't care about a dead child, or two (very common in drownings), is sad. But we should not listen to folks like you if we want to live in healthy risk-taking societies. Imagine the costs to children left alone because parents find no one is willing to babysit, relative even!, and how your attempt to "help" actually hurts society.

You have to accept loss, and you have to accept risk. That's life.

6:27 PM, June 04, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ps.

There's a limit to what laws can accomplish.

6:28 PM, June 04, 2007  
Anonymous jomarch said...

This was boring until blue hen came along. She presents a new perspective and points out something interesting about Helen's documentatry that I hadn't thought of before. Helen's usual complaint is the libertarian "leave us alone," and yet with "Six," she complains that the leaving-alone is partially responsible for those murders. She had the same point about Cho's murders, too.

Why rail against blue hen just because she's thinking something a bit different? Nothing wrong with pointing out inconsistencies.

Anonymous 6:27, show me where blue hen assumes that the babysitter did anything wrong.

10:45 PM, June 04, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, people aren't going to be wiling to babysit anymore because they can't nap while doing it?

Um, yeah. I'm pretty sure that when I was hired to babysit, I was generally expected to be "awake" for that job. As with most jobs. I would think it would go without saying. Probably it'd be safe? Yeah, but that's not the freaking point.

If you don't think it's relevant to know how long she was asleep or how long the chidren were out of the house, then you're just being wilfully stupid.

8:06 AM, June 05, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's odd that you try to differentiate between amateurs( which she wasn't; she was a casual employee)and professionals. You then invoke the 'chilling effect' with a vengence, using as an example.... professionals. Let's try staying within the realm, eh? If 18 year olds determine that napping when they are supposed to be watching two kids is an automatic trip to the gallows, then we may very well have fewer babysitters. We may (note my choice of words here) also have fewer naps with lethal consequences.

Sure sounds like she/he's assuming a bunch here...

If the babysitter did nothing wrong in napping when her charges did -- something everyone agrees happens every day -- then why would making an example of her, and trying to drive others out of the babysitting business matter?


The logic only makes sense if you think there was negligence, or if you assume the sitter acted wrongly. She didn't. It wasn't her nap that put those two in the pond, no matter how you spin it.

Read the "but for the grace of God" comments above to learn of others who might have been in the same situation. They don't want to be made examples of either, if something horribly tragic had occured in combo with the kids getting out -- again, something that happens every day, even in the best families.

I suspect you're just trying to provoke discussion. But clearly, common sense has ruled on this comments board, and you appear to be the blaming/litigious type who would foist policies upon all because of your need to find blame/an easy fix. Sorry, we're not all like that. Luckily. And to reiterate, in healthy familes, this "fearful to watch the kids because of blame" just doesn't happen.

8:09 AM, June 05, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure that when I was hired to babysit, I was generally expected to be "awake" for that job.

Something tells me, you didn't babysit much, or for children you knew well... The caregiver has to sleep sometime if the babysitting is over an extended period of time; talk to relatives who babysit for more than the teenager standard 2-hr. shift. As you can see above, when you're watching children, this isn't such an uncommon occurence.

Tell me: when did we determine these 2 deaths were caused by the sitter sleeping? They weren't. See the Nicklaus baby drowning where a tragic accident occured with the sitter awake and caring for another sibling in the hours.

Face it folks. Bad things happen. Suck it up and stop looking for someone to blame. That will only bring you years and years and years of misery, and a desire to lash out at someone who acted innocently and did not cause the death of your children. Sorry. Sad but true. Maybe pray instead of sue to get you through??

8:14 AM, June 05, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you want to crusade, you should crusade not against sleeping babysitters, but against fencing all ponds, and teaching children, even very young children, to respect water.

You can do this by bringing children to a body of water -- the shoreline or a pool -- and negatively reinforcing them getting close to it. Make a big deal of putting the life preserver/PFDs on them when they are at the side of the pool, and pull them away/holler/spank if you allow that when they try to walk close to the water to see.

Like training a dog not to run in the street, if you can do this properly, they will know to walk in the opposite direction from open water when not accompanied by adults or wearing their PFD (personal floation device).

So now it's on the parents of the kids -- if to use the cynical attitude some are displaying here, to see if they care enough about their young children and live in areas with open water, to train them in such a way. Yes, it can be done. Just like some people's dogs run in the street and get killed, some people's kids will go exploring and tumble into a pond. Tragic, but quick no doubt.

It's always the second drowning death -- imagining that one -- that gets me. Teach your children well -- YOU can protect them much much better than society and all the babysitter regulations in the world, despite what well-meaning hens tell you. (I suspect they'd call child abuse authorities when they see you whopping the kid on the padded bottom, to get the "NO" point across. Bet their dogs run loose in the street too...)

8:23 AM, June 05, 2007  
Anonymous Bugs said...

So has anyone read any actual, up-to-date news about this case? I've been basing all my comments on the AP/MSN piece Helen linked to and on other people's comments.

Some facts would be nice.

11:40 AM, June 05, 2007  
Blogger serket said...

blue hen said: They were making 'there but for the grace of (your deity here) go me' tales.

Is there any diety for which the term god does not apply?

1:19 PM, June 05, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Tell me: when did we determine these 2 deaths were caused by the sitter sleeping? They weren't."

The rational people haven't. It's you irrational people who are assuming without any facts that it didn't. The rational people are merely saying it's good and appropriate for the police to be investigating to find out what did happen.

If the children left the house while the sitter was in the midst of a 5 hours nap, then I certainly think that points to criminal negligence. But maybe that's not what happened. We don't know; and we'd NEVER know if the police did not conduct an investigation. I can't imagine that you people would think it was simply a tragic accident beyond anyone's control if your toddler drowned while your sitter was in the midst of a 5 hour nap.

1:22 PM, June 05, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, I'm one of the rational.

I understand the cursory police investigation, and autopsies.

My prediction is: no charges, no negligence.

Wait and see what happens before you go making accusations, that's what most are saying. Rarely is anyone charged, nor should they be, in deaths like this...

One question: why is length of nap so important? Think it through. You're real beef is her falling asleep. Once that happens, absent an alarm clock, you're blaming a "heavy" sleeper who didn't her them getting out, more than one who quickly woke up.

Can you prove she "planned" to nap for longer than the children? Isn't that what's at issue here? Not that she fell asleep, but that she wasn't awake at the very instant the kids got out and wandered to the pond.

Judging on the length of the 18-year-olds naptime is absurd, if she didn't plan for them to awaken while she slept.

1:53 PM, June 05, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there any diety for which the term god does not apply?

Lol. For God's sake, it's a common phrase. Stop being so PC and live a lil?

1:54 PM, June 05, 2007  
Anonymous Bugs said...

Is there any diety for which the term god does not apply?

Um...Al Gore?

I mean, he controls the weather and stuff.

3:04 PM, June 05, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ooops. Looks like she was drinking all night and into the morning.

She was charged with 2 counts of involuntary manslaughter today.

http://www.postgazette.com/pg/07156/791665-100.stm

Steelheader

4:33 PM, June 05, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon 1:53

D'oh!!

Uh, yeah. Specific intent is not required for criminal negligence. Or involuntary manslaughter. No, I'm sure she didn't plan any of this. But you shouldn't show up for a job like this if you are not rested enough (or it seems sober enough) to provide the supervision you are being paid for.

If you stayed up for 5 days straight and then fell asleep at the wheel, you would be subject to similar charges. And rightly so.

4:53 PM, June 05, 2007  
Blogger Dewave said...

So should parents whose kids leave the house and die while the parents are asleep be criminally prosecuted?

At some point, our nanny state needs to wake up and realize that not every tragedy is a crime.

And maybe we'll realize we're demanding absurd restrictions to be put in place "for the children" that would have been laughable 50 years ago.

5:08 PM, June 05, 2007  
Blogger Dewave said...

Some neighbor (I still don't know which one) called the cops because my kids walked half a block to the end of the street and watched a train go by without proper supervision.

A couple of friends of mine got Child Protective Services called on them and quite literally almost lost their son because they were reported taking him outdoors in winter without a jacket.

People like this are menaces to society and should be ridiculed and ostracized and every opportunity. They are malicious busy bodies.

When I was small I went outdoors in the winer without a jacket all the time, because I loathed jackets and hated the time it took to put one on, despite my parents telling me to wear one.

The idea that the parents are responsible for their childrens actions is just absurd.

5:24 PM, June 05, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If a parent falls asleep in the middle of the day because they are strung out on drugs or alcohol? Yes. When a child gets up in the middle of the night and there is no other proof to suggest anything but responsible parents? Of course not.

And your acting like there is no difference essentially suggests that you think the only way a parent can be charged with a crime with regard to the care of their child is if they affirmatively, knowingly, with intent murder their child. And that's just hogwash.

5:28 PM, June 05, 2007  
Blogger Dewave said...

This should be investigated. If, as a result of that investigation, we as a society believe that a crime occurred, then it should be prosecuted.

Do you not understand that it is the very concept that falling asleep while you have children in the house is a 'crime' that has people riled up?

The investigation is not the problem. The problem is with the "This babysitter fell asleep while the children were asleep, and thus could face criminal charges" storyline.

The reason given should not be leading to criminal charges. However, an investigation is still in order to determine if, maybe, the babysitter purposefully drowned the children instead of being asleep as she claimed.

5:32 PM, June 05, 2007  
Blogger Dewave said...

If a parent falls asleep in the middle of the day

Really? You think an exhausted mother taking a mid day nap (as has happened in millions of households for hundreds of years) after putting her children down should face criminal charges?

I'm so glad you think the governemnt can mandate when we're allowed to sleep. Hopefully soon they'll introduce legislation controlling when parents are allowed to take a shower or use the restroom.

5:35 PM, June 05, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"the babysitter purposefully drowned the children instead of being asleep as she claimed."

Ahhh. So I was right.

And I guess vehicular assault should not be a crime either. I mean, all I meant to do was drink, which is my legal right, like napping. I didn't mean to get drunk or kill anybody.

6:09 PM, June 05, 2007  
Anonymous Bugs said...

Steelheader

And there you go - facts. Thanks for the info.

Now we have actual circumstances to think about rather than hypothetical ones. I got some thoughts:

This girl's got a drinking problem. Probably not the person I'd choose to watch the kids.

19 is not really the age I think of when someone says "teen-age babysitter." 19 is college aged, almost an adult.

19 is definitely old enough to know better.

The original AP story was still misleading.

6:19 PM, June 05, 2007  
Blogger Helen said...

Steelheader,

Thanks for the update.

6:25 PM, June 05, 2007  
Anonymous Cousin Dave said...

So I read the article that Steelheader linked to, and although I still don't think it's an open-and-shut case, it certainly doesn't look good. (There's a devil-in-the-details aspect of it: she wasn't drinking while she watched the kids. She drank the night before. How much, and how late? Did the police do a blood alcohol test on her?)

However, despite how this particular case appears to be shaping up, I still think it's a topic worth discussing. After all, Helen has another thread up about the increasing nanny-statism of society today, and the breathless speculation that the reporter engaged in is clearly right in line with that. (I can't help but wonder if the person who wrote the original report actually knew of some reason why reasonable grounds for suspicion might exist, or just wanted to see someone punished for not living up to their ideal of Utopia.)

Correct me if I'm wrong, blue hen, but you seem to be making the statemant that any time a child dies, no matter what the reason, a moral wrong has been commited at a minimum. Further, you seem to be contending that it is the moral obligation of parents to shield their children from all things that might potentially harm them under any combination of circumstances whatsoever.

The problem with that, and I haven't seen the point raised on this thread, is that to remove children from all risk infantalizes them. This is bad in the long run, but it doesn't get the same attention that accidental child deaths get, because it isn't good for splashy headlines or stem-winding political speeches. Long-terms risks that arise gradually tend not to get the same attention that sudden, tragic events get. That's human nature, but the media exaggerates the effect.

So today's parenting standards demand that children be protected from all harm. We've now raised one generation in this manner, and we are seeing the effects among college students and in youth politics. To put it bluntly, we've raised a generation who are immature, helpless, hedonistic, egotistical, incapable of supporting themselves, incapable of sustaining relationships, and generally incapable of improving themselves in any way. The number of children over 25 living with their parents is way up. The number of the 18-30 group holding steady employment is way down. Youth political groups make absolutely impossible demands on our political systems, expecting the government to provide them with all of the services that their parents provided for them when they were young. They simply can't cope with ordinary life.

Now let's look at some facts and figures. To read today's headlines, one might believe that there is a national tidal wave of children dying from causes related to negligent parenting. One would be wrong in that assumption. I did some Googling and came up with this Web page from the National Institutes of Health:

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001915.htm

According to the NIH:

* Deaths in the first year of life far outnumber death in the next 13 years combined.
* The top three causes of death in the 0-1 age group are: genetic disorders, SIDS, and conditions related to premature birth. None of which parents can do a thing about.
* Yes, accidents are the top cause of death among children in the 1-13 age group. However, the total death rate for this group is lower than for any other age grouping.
* The top causes of death for teenagers are auto accidents, suicide, and homicide. In the bulk of the fatal accidents involving teenagers, a teenage driver was at fault. Of these three, I think only the auto accidents one is something that parents can really address. The suicide one, maybe, although I know of plenty of cases where the parents were very diligent with a suicide-prone teen and the child succeeded in committing suicide anyway. It's a time of life in which risk-taking and defiant behavior is not only common, but developmentally necessary.

6:26 PM, June 05, 2007  
Blogger Dewave said...

An AP news story incorrect and/or misleading? Perish the thought!!

They have fact checkers and experience.

Anyway, if this person was drunk while watching the kids, that's bad enough in and of itself, and that is what she should be charged with, not 'sleeping'.

6:26 PM, June 05, 2007  
Anonymous Cousin Dave said...

anon 6:09: We were all going on the original report, which was all the data we had, and the discussion proceeded from there. It's true that murderers of children will often try to make it look like an accident, so it's always prudent for police to investigate whenever a young child dies under accidental circumstances.

6:29 PM, June 05, 2007  
Blogger Dewave said...

If you stayed up for 5 days straight and then fell asleep at the wheel, you would be subject to similar charges.

I've decided to ignore the actual merits of this case and instead ruthlessly crush idiotic comparisons when they arise.

You are not allowed to fall asleep at the wheel ever. On the other hand, you are allowed, nay, encouraged, to spend 1/3 of the time you are raising children sleeping.

Comparisons between these two are thus foolish.


I guess vehicular assault should not be a crime either

In the one case, we have the charged party killing people through direct action on his part. On the other hand, we have people killing themselves while the charged party isn't even aware of what is happening.

These aren't even in the same league. Comparisons between these two are thus foolish.

That's like saying the uninvolved parents of the Columbine killers would be just as criminally guilty as the killers who pulled the triggers.

The problem with that, and I haven't seen the point raised on this thread, is that to remove children from all risk infantalizes them

Yes. It retards their develoment and keeps them from reaching their full potential. *and* it stands in the way of evolutionary progress and natural selection!

6:33 PM, June 05, 2007  
Blogger Dewave said...

Cousin Dave: pay no heed to anon 6:09. He was not right. The children were not deliberately drowned by the babysitter.

6:36 PM, June 05, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyway, if this person was drunk while watching the kids, that's bad enough in and of itself, and that is what she should be charged with, not 'sleeping'.

Lmao thinking about all the children right now being watched over by drunken parents or others. Folks... it happens. Get real.

I suspect the parents are pushing for prosecution here. Again, if they accept it's an accident then there's no "victim" and no need to find blame.

I hope she gets off. Falling asleep is not the same as putting two babies in the pond. She should be fired. That's it. Drinking the night before work... guess what folks? That's pretty common too. Doesn't mean she was drunk, just tired. Just like lots of sober moms are tired and fall asleep putting the kids down for naps.

I'd love to be defending this one. But I'd make sure some of these commenters -- like the blue hens and other nannystaters or superparents -- weren't on the jury. It was a basic tragic accident -- a young adult with questionable judgment watching 2 kids. Sorry, but I don't want to pay to fix/punish/whatever that kind of behavior. The parents can civilly sue; criminal prosecution isn't going to stop any teen babysitter from drinking the night before and being tired. Sorry. There's no fix; the kids are still dead. Why charge the young lady except to build a civil suit, and she probably doesn't have all that much $$$ anyway. Damn lawyers.

7:05 PM, June 05, 2007  
Anonymous Chuck Pelto said...

TO: anonymous, et al.
RE: What To Do?

I've not enough information on this to sit as judge and/or jury. Although I've sat as judge, jury and executioner under the UCMJ.However, there seem to be some serious holes in the information surrounding this matter.

How did the kids get outside? For one thing. One would think that the reasonably prudent individual would have secured the doors and other forms of egress. BEFORE dozing off themselves. Don't you think?

Is there an item in the criminal code of that state that deals with negligence resulting in death? Or wrongful death?

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[You mean well, Watson. Shall I demonstrate your own ignorance? -- Sherlock Holmes]

7:14 PM, June 05, 2007  
Blogger gs said...

I agree there's not enough information and I agree that the original stories were misleading.

From steelheader's link: Police said Ms. Steward had been drinking the night before and into the morning of the day she was to watch the girls. (Boldface mine.) Various speculations come to mind, but I'll presume innocence and wait for facts.

8:09 PM, June 05, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dr. Helen: you're welcome. I enjoy both you and your spouse's blogs.

Your original point was correct. As the current Mayor of NYC is demonstrating, nannyism is all the rage.

When City Councils debate the merits of foie gras being served in restaurants, they have lost sight of their mission.

Steelheader

8:13 PM, June 05, 2007  
Anonymous Bugs said...

I was wondering the same thing - terminology. Is third degree manslaughter the same as negligent homicide? Just different states call it different things?

My understanding is that "homicide" is when somebody dies because of something somebody else did. Covers everything from babysitters falling asleep to premeditated murder.

I'm not sure what "manslaughter" means. My fuzzy understanding is "somebody killed somebody else but it wasn't murder."

"Murder" is very naughty indeed.

Watching CSI hasn't helped.

8:19 PM, June 05, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One would think that the reasonably prudent individual would have secured the doors and other forms of egress. BEFORE dozing off themselves. Don't you think?

Did you read any of the comments in the thread? You really should. Those kids can be tricky lil dickens when your backs are turned...

Drinking into the morning?? Lawdy-Be! You mean a 19-year-old might have been out past midnight sneaking the illegal stuff?? Say, she wasn't at that party at the karate instructor's house was she???

8:23 PM, June 05, 2007  
Anonymous vor said...

Helen said, "So, if taking a nap while babysitting turns out to be a crime, what would napping while parenting be called? And if cases like this are prosecuted--isn't it too dangerous to babysit for anyone, relatives included?"

Cousin Dave said, "we've raised a generation who are immature, helpless, hedonistic, egotistical, incapable of supporting themselves, incapable of sustaining relationships, and generally incapable of improving themselves in any way."

Breathless speculation indeed.

10:03 PM, June 05, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I give up. You guys must be right. Those kids deserved to die.

10:15 PM, June 05, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a dangerous world out there anonymous. Buy the book.

10:42 PM, June 05, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Cousin Dave: pay no heed to anon 6:09. He was not right. The children were not deliberately drowned by the babysitter."

Um, dewave, you retarded twit. I was quoting YOU. I had stated that your arguments suggested that the only way the sitter should be charged is if she intentionally caused their deaths. Which just ain't that law. You either subsequently (or at the same time of my posting) used those quoted lines which proved my suspicion.

"On the other hand, you are allowed, nay, encouraged, to spend 1/3 of the time you are raising children sleeping."

And I know you really hate stuff like "facts" and "information", but check this out. This defendant was not "raising" these children.

11:07 PM, June 05, 2007  
Blogger Oligonicella said...

AC 6:17 :

"What whacky scenario are you picturing, where a prosecutor is politically motivated to find and prosecute a "crime" in what family members treat as a true tragedy -- the death of a child, or two. ?"

Since these kinds of things do happen, it's not whacky. Thankfuly, as far as young women go, it isn't common by any means. Check out the false conviction rates on men though. Political motivation is in the eye of the PA.

I just pointed out that people who don't believe it can happen are naive.

"Nifong didn't make up criminal charges out of thin air -- there was an alleged "victim", right?"

Good thing you quoted victim there. The "victim" made conflicting reports immediately. The other woman at the party denied anything happened. Nifong also suppressed the DNA evidence. What more do you need? Prosecutors can be persecutors if the need is seen, even if that need is transparently phoney to most everyone else.

In this particular case, it's looking like the girl and her mother weren't exercising good judgment as the girl had been drinking the night before, mom knew it and let her sit anyway.

Criminal negligence? Not necessarily. Enough for a PA to run with? Certainly, in the right climate, which was my point.

8:36 AM, June 06, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What more do you need?

Don't go accusing me of believing anything, dawg.

The point is, do you think anyone at that party would have been charged if there was no alleged "victim", no one bringing a complaint?

The parents are ticked here. They hired a very young adult to care for their kids. Family labor. A stepsister. They used poor judgment in caring for their kids, and they got it. Now they want to find blame.

This is not related to the DA bringing charges against the boys at Duke. You're spinning and trying to tap others in your web. No.

If the parents had accepted the tragic accident for what it is, you would not see these charges. I'm sure it's happening with the parents' consent. That's the point olgy. No need to stop babysitting in healthy families then because of fear of prosecution. My point all along...

9:42 AM, June 06, 2007  
Blogger Dewave said...

How did the kids get outside? For one thing. One would think that the reasonably prudent individual would have secured the doors and other forms of egress. BEFORE dozing off themselves. Don't you think?

A reasonably prudent person would have put the kids in strait jackets and chained them to their cribs too!

Anything else is malicious negligence! If there is *any chance* your child could come to harm, you are deserve to be prosecuted!!

Um, dewave, you retarded twit. I was quoting YOU.

I know you swamp addled half brained dung sucker. You read poorly, leapt to an incorrect conclusion, quoted incompletely, and thus confused Cousin Dave. I am simply pointing out to him that you are a cripplingly obtuse moron and not to be listened to.

10:57 AM, June 06, 2007  
Blogger Dewave said...

And I know you really hate stuff like "facts" and "information", but check this out. This defendant was not "raising" these children.


...

Are you really this incapable of keeping track of what is being discussed?

Or maybe it's just your already demonstrated poor grasp of comparisons rearing its head again?

It is not illegal, nor should it be, for parents to sleep while they are raising, watching or caring for their kids.

Sleeping while being responsible for children is not a crime.

Sleeping while being responsible for driving a car *is* a crime.

It is thus absurd to compare the two? Get it yet?

And I guess somewhere in your dim brain there lurks the idea that, well, since the baby sitter is only 'part time' caring for the children in stead of full time, it should be illegal for baby sitters to fall asleep.

This is also nonsense. Imagine you hire a baby sitter to watch the kids for a weekend while you are gone. Obviously sleep will be required.

Imagine the babysitter is watching small kids who exhaust you and take afternoon naps, but may be up in the night hours. Napping will be a wise plan.

So in your opinion, how long does a baby sitter need to watch the kids for before she is allowed to rest?

11:12 AM, June 06, 2007  
Blogger Korla said...

What the heck is wrong with most of you people? Do you all really think it's okay to take on a serious responsibility like watching toddlers, and then just abandoning them to their own devices? Or are you just cutting this neglectful drunk a break because she must already "feel bad."

If you are the person responsible for a child, then they totally, absolutely rely on YOU to protect them, mostly from themselves. Horrible neglect like this, which killed two tiny children as clearly as if she had left them on a subway platform, is not the equivalent of putting a baby in a crib and taking the opportunity to nap in the next room.

If you think it's okay to allow little ones to wander off to their deaths because you're too busy nursing a hangover, then I would like to get you on record. Just in case you are involved in a future custody battle.

11:26 AM, June 06, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dewave:

Right. I point out that you're too stupid to recognize your own words, and now I'M the dimwit? Sure, pal.

Sleeping while being responsible for children can most certainly be a crime. It's called criminal negligence and it it similar to sleeping while driving. It's just most states have a particular statute for that called vehicular homicide.

How long is it ok to nap? Well, that will be for a jury to decide. It will depend on the cricumstances (ages and habits of the children, the time of day, etc) But I would say anything more than a couple of hours is a problem. But for you to act like it doesn't matter shows how either stupid or ridiculously invested in your original opinion you are.

Obviously, if you hired somebody for a weekend, they will be expected to sleep at night, when the children do. That is not at all what we have here. But, again- facts. I know you hate to see 'em.

I don't think anybody here is saying for sure this girl committed a crime, for which she needs to be criminally punished.

But it's just patently stupid to act like there's no version of facts that could result in criminal charges when a person who is supposed to be responsible for the care of a child sleeps and harm happens to that child.

11:54 AM, June 06, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you think it's okay to allow little ones to wander off to their deaths because you're too busy nursing a hangover

It's not ok, it's tragic.

Why would a parent hire a 19 year old to park their car, much less care for their kids in that state. She should be fired for not doing her job.

But she did not put them in the pond. She fell asleep. They are dead and can't be blamed for their actions. But if the parents are blaming her here, then we should take a look at who leaves their children with such a childcare non-professional. Oh? That's right. We don't want a nannystate.

The parents should grieve in peace and not go looking to blame. The 19 year old does not belong criminally charged -- save the prosecutions for the criminals. She fell asleep, didn't kill them.

Read upthread about teaching your own children about open water, in case you take better care in choosing a responsible babysitter. These things happen, like the Nicklaus drowning shows.

11:58 AM, June 06, 2007  
Blogger Korla said...

> So should parents whose kids leave the house and die while the parents are asleep be criminally prosecuted? At some point, our nanny state needs to wake up and realize that not every tragedy is a crime.

It's this attitude that gives the nanny-staters their power. If it becomes clear that parents are not to be trusted with their children's well being, then it becomes very easy for the "Village" to raise your child.

Pesonal responsibility: if you can't fulfill it, then don't sign on to begin with.

Nobody's demanding 100% perfection. There will always be children who end up dead when their caregiver turns their head for literally five seconds. But there is a wide margin between egregious neglect and simple human limitations.

This drunk crossed that line, and two kids are dead. And a lot of you people think that's just "one of those things; la dee da."

12:03 PM, June 06, 2007  
Anonymous Caledonia said...

I can hardly believe some of these responses. If I left my child (16 mo) with someone to watch, and he died while they were not only not watching him but not even conscious or anywhere near him, I would most certainly seek legal redress.

Look. I know accidents happen. Very young children are self-destruction machines, which is EXACTLY why they need to be watched carefully. It's disingenuous to say "accidents happen" -- of course they do. Let me explain the difference, for those who can't see it.

Scenario 1: You're waiting at a crosswalk for the light to change. Your 20-month-old, distracted by something across the street, suddenly tears her hand out of yours and dashes into speeding traffic and is killed. That is a tragedy, and no one would suggest otherwise.

Scenario 2: You are sleeping off a drunk at home. Your 20-month-old wanders around the house, unsupervised, until she discovers the front door is unlocked and wanders into the street where she is hit by traffic and killed. You will be investigated, and you damn well should be. Especially if you lie when questioned by the police.

See the difference? No? Another example. Firing a gun = not illegal. Firing a gun, resulting in someone's death = possible crime, resulting in an investigation.

Similarly: Taking a nap = not illegal. Taking a nap, resulting in two deaths = criminal investigation.

If you don't get the difference by now, I don't think you know what nanny-statism really is. The state has an obligation to investigate deaths of children that may have resulted from neglect, especially when the caregiver lies about crucial information. I think that's a far cry from Mayor Bloomberg banning trans-fats, but, hey, have it your way. I just hope I never unwittingly hire any of you to babysit my child.

And no, I have NEVER napped without being in the same room with him secured in his crib and the door locked with a latch 5 ft off the ground. Period. I may kill myself with caffeine, but I never have slept and never will sleep while my kid is unsupervised, no matter what it takes.

12:48 PM, June 06, 2007  
Blogger Oligonicella said...

AC 9:42

Let me put it another way. In no way are the parents required for a case to be initiated. A social worker, a cop or the PA could file the charges. The parents are not required.

My reference to the nefarious one was to point out that some PA's (and children's services and cops) have no problem ignoring and breaking the law themselves when it serves their personal interests.

This is particularly so when certain climates of public opinion prevail.

1:08 PM, June 06, 2007  
Blogger Dewave said...

Right. I point out that you're too stupid to recognize your own words, and now I'M the dimwit? Sure, pal.

How can you be this dense? Allow me to recap:

Dewave: It would be bad if she murdered the kids purposefully

Retardo: "she murdered the kids purposefully." So I was right!"

Innocently confused stranger: Wow she murdered the kids purposefully? I didn't know that.

And then when I pointed out to Cousin Dave that you were in fact, incorrect and that the children were *not* murdered purposefully, you got all huffy. Learn to read, comprehend, and select quotes better in the future and you will do better.

Do you all really think it's okay to take on a serious responsibility like watching toddlers, and then just abandoning them to their own devices?

So parents should *never ever* leave their toddlers to their own devices?

Hell that's not even what happened here. Person put the kids down to sleep. Slept herself. Kids woke up and ran off and did their own thing.

Blaming her for sleeping here is definitely absurd.

How long is it ok to nap? Well, that will be for a jury to decide.

No, no, I want to hear your personal opinion. How long does a babysitter have to watch kids before sleep can be involved without folks tossing out the 'criminal negligence' cries?

Obviously, if you hired somebody for a weekend, they will be expected to sleep at night, when the children do.

What if the children are young, don't sleep throughout the whole night, and instead take a nap during the day? Oooooh wait.

I don't think anybody here is saying for sure this girl committed a crime, for which she needs to be criminally punished.

Pay attention. This entire discussion is based on the fact people are saying that this girl could be criminally charged for sleeping while watching children, starting with that article and continuing on through the comments section.

But it's just patently stupid to act like there's no version of facts that could result in criminal charges when a person who is supposed to be responsible for the care of a child sleeps and harm happens to that child.

Oh there are. But there are *none that result from the watcher sleeping while the child slept*.

No parent who puts his kid down to sleep, goes to sleep himself, and then the *kid* gets up and goes off and does his own thing and gets killed should be criminally responsible for having slept. Period.

1:11 PM, June 06, 2007  
Blogger Dewave said...

If I left my child (16 mo) with someone to watch, and he died while they were not only not watching him but not even conscious or anywhere near him, I would most certainly seek legal redress

But you wouldn't if the child died right next to the person while she/he was watching the child?

Similarly: Taking a nap = not illegal. Taking a nap, resulting in two deaths = criminal investigation.

No, no, you've still got it wrong. People are hung up on the 'taking a nap' part as though that is somehow *wrong* when it's not.

If a kid dies on your watch, there should be an investigation, at the very least, to see if the killing was accidental or deliberate. There is no magic trigger where the invesgation should only come in when they suspect someone was sleeping.

People here don't have a problem with the investigation, they have a problem with the concept over "babysitter should face criminal charges for sleeping".

It's not the sleeping that's the problem here. If it was, the cops would investigate deaths like this

Cop: "So, Ma'am, I see two little dead bodies floating in that pond"
Baby sitter: "That's right officer"
Cop: "Were you asleep at the time?"
Baby sitter: "No"
Cop: "Oh well that's all right then. We'll be moving along then. Sorry to trouble you!"

To sum up: I see nothing wrong with a person putting the kids to bed, and then sleeping herself. If the kids then subsequently get up and manage to harm themselves, I do not blame the person for sleeping when she did. Nor do I automatically assume that there was some criminal negligence, because unlike a lot of people here, I realize that sometimes a tragedy is just a tragedy, and not a crime.

1:24 PM, June 06, 2007  
Anonymous met said...

Very tragic. The babysitter should have locked the doors. I pray for the parents and the babysitter.

1:45 PM, June 06, 2007  
Anonymous caledonia said...

I said,
"If I left my child (16 mo) with someone to watch, and he died while they were not only not watching him but not even conscious or anywhere near him, I would most certainly seek legal redress."

dewave said,
"But you wouldn't if the child died right next to the person while she/he was watching the child?"

That is correct. Because in the first case it would have been utterly inappropriate and unreasonable neglect -- a 16-month-old cannot be left unsupervised. I'd consider it to be something that could have and should have been easily prevented. In the second case, I'd assume that the sitter did everything in their power to stop the death from occurring, but as most of us know, little kids are very fast and have very poor judgement and sometimes accidents just happen.

The rest of your arguments are just too disingenuous for me to bother with, sorry. No one is trying to prosecute this woman for napping. The same thing would be happening had she been shagging her boyfriend when this happened, or watching TV, or knitting -- especially if she lied when questioned, as this woman did. It's about neglect, not about specifically what she was doing when the neglect occurred. We don't know all the charges, but one of them is involuntary manslaughter. I don't think "napping" will be included.

Gee whiz, even Instapundit, Mr. Dr. Helen, wrote today: "So it's not so much napping here, despite what the initial reports said."

But hey, you just keep implying that the Feds are going to be breaking down doors looking for criminals committing the new crime of "napping." You're on a roll now, so don't let me cramp your style.

And let me conclude by just responding to Dr. Helen's post title. I don't think anyone said that taking a nap while babysitting should be a crime. I think some people, I among them, think that babies drowning on someone's watch is a potential case of neglect that needs to be investigated. The whole "napping is now a crime" thing is a straw man argument, and I'm sorry so many people here don't understand exactly what it is that's being investigated.

1:49 PM, June 06, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

More details- it looks even worse now.

http://www.postgazette.com/pg/07157/791873-100.stm

Steelheader

1:51 PM, June 06, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the stupidest argument I've ever listened to. Helen must be proud to make this possible. Just wait. She'll put up another post about the world coming to an end--or about the liberals taking over the world (same thing, right?)--and we'll be off to the races again with our hair on fire. But those hits keep rolling in, don't they?

1:54 PM, June 06, 2007  
Anonymous caledonia said...

anonymous, I fear you're right. We've all been played for hit-whores. At least that explains some of the bizarre comments... not to mention the bizarre first post by Dr. Helen, who I normally really enjoy reading and who I thought was too smart for this kind of disingenuous alarmism.

2:19 PM, June 06, 2007  
Blogger Korla said...

There have also been cases where a parent left their preschool kids alone to wander the mall while they went shopping. Cases where parents went into a movie theater or bar or restaurant, leaving their kids in the car. Parents leaving their toddler alone with a big dog, or with a legal, licensed gun.

Going shopping or out to eat or the movies isn't illegal. Neglect is.

Having a licensed dog or gun isn't illegal. Endangering the welfare of a child is.

I get the sick feeling in my gut that some of the people defending this drunkard's "right to nap" have done something similar, and are still unable to accept responsibility for it in their own mind, so there's a lot of defensive projection going on.

2:37 PM, June 06, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it becomes clear that parents are not to be trusted with their children's well being,

We're not saying that at all. Read the comments. We're saying an awful lot of parents and sitters F* up, some repeatedly. But we don't want the powers of the State judging that they are not to be truted with their children's well being. This is not abuse. This is not neglect. It's an accident that happened caused by an error in judgment.

Think of it this way: same details, except the kids don't fall in the pond and drown.

Do you want to charge those babysitters with neglect because she was sleeping and the kids get out for the exact same length of time, and the sitter was out drinking the night before?

If not, then how can you say it's neglect just because here the kids are dead. It's not la-di-dah, it's tragic. The kids, sitter and parents are all to "blame". How should the state respond to that -- lock them all up for not living up to standards of perfection and something bad happened on their watch? Again, that's not realistic parenting. Life is risky. Buy the book. It's tragic, still not criminal.

Ticket her for underage drinking though. That is. That's all though.

2:43 PM, June 06, 2007  
Blogger Korla said...

>Do you want to charge those babysitters with neglect because she was sleeping and the kids get out for the exact same length of time, and the sitter was out drinking the night before?

>If not, then how can you say it's neglect just because here the kids are dead.

Ah, but the answer is "Yes." Even if they don't die the first time, it is still criminal neglect. If you don't understand this simple concept, then please don't have children.

2:48 PM, June 06, 2007  
Anonymous Bugs said...

"Hit whores?" I like that.

Is there also a "hit pimp" who beats you up if you stop arguing pointlessly?

I've squeezed about all the fun I can out of these waterlogged infants and their bibulous caretaker. Time to move on.

3:01 PM, June 06, 2007  
Blogger Korla said...

Are we "doing the hit pole"?

3:02 PM, June 06, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, but the answer is "Yes." Even if they don't die the first time, it is still criminal neglect.

Ah but the majority of us don't want to live in your NannyState. Thanks for summing up the thread!

In healthier families, you mourn grieve grow a little and go on. In your NannyState, everyone is infantilized a bit because of the incessant need to find "blame" and ferret out the "bad" parents.

But the children of such "bad" parents who understand it's a danger world, risks must be taken, and yes tragedies occur -- grow up to be the kind of adults we need.

Too bad these two are gone, parent away in your own style, but keep yer mitts off me and mine. You swing that 'criminal neglect' sword so freely, you might hit someone with it. Can't have that!


An etymology correction: Helen would be the hit whore, not the commenters. They would be the johns -- buying what's for sale. Others of us are more voyeurs to the many exhibitionists online. If you're freaky about dead babies say, you might have a fetish. HtH!

3:59 PM, June 06, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ps.

Who's going to pay for prosecuting all these "criminal" neglect cases and the punishment entailed? You might want to take up a collection.

Or worry more about your own problems and not so much about others. Say a prayer when you hear about tragic accidents like these, but don't go trying to change the world.

*waving my blue fingers around*

4:02 PM, June 06, 2007  
Anonymous Chuck Pelto said...

TO: anonymous
RE: Collection Time

"Who's going to pay for prosecuting all these "criminal" neglect cases and the punishment entailed? You might want to take up a collection." -- anonymous

We already do. It's called 'taxes'.

Hope that helps.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[Of all debts, men are least willing to pay the taxes. What a satire is this on government! -- Ralph Waldo Emerson]

4:26 PM, June 06, 2007  
Anonymous caledonia said...

"In healthier families, you mourn grieve grow a little and go on. In your NannyState, everyone is infantilized a bit because of the incessant need to find "blame" and ferret out the "bad" parents."

Ugh. So this is what "libertarianism" has come to:

"I demand full and exclusive responsibility over my own life! I am responsible for myself and my family! ...But if anything bad happens on my watch, remember: don't hold me responsible!"

Tsk. And to think I voted for Harry Browne. Twice!

Sadly, the "Hey, if a kid dies on my watch, he should've watched where he was crawling" folks are the very ones who invite the nanny state in with nods of approval from those who are justly appalled by the abdication of parental responsibility. And I say this regretfully, as one who thinks the state should keep its nose out of families.

Oh, and Chuck -- LOL!

4:46 PM, June 06, 2007  
Blogger Korla said...

Clueless guy sez:

>Ah but the majority of us don't want to live in your NannyState. Thanks for summing up the thread!

It's not my nannystate pal. You seem to be the one who thinks a child's welfare rests not with the parents.

It is those who think it's okay to let their infants and toddlers die from neglect and abuse who give the nanny state its excuse to intrude into our lives, along with all its mission creep.

Speaking of creep, how many toddlers have died under your watch. Oh, I forgot. You did have to catch 40 winks, which is much more important than the death of 2 children and the utter devastation of two families, all because of one selfish jerk's need to sleep off an all-night drinking binge.

No, we shouldn't push such nanny-state concepts as "personal responsibility."

Oh wait! That's the direct opposite of the nanny state! How silly of me... or rather, you.

4:52 PM, June 06, 2007  
Blogger Korla said...

It's people like you who allowed Hedda Nussbaum to go free, after allowing the much more insane Joel Steinberg to kill the little girl they "adopted" with severe beatings over a period of months. It was not even a legal adoption, but she got off scott free because of the attitude you seem to endorse in this case. She could have stopped it at any time. She wasn't held at gunpoint.

Oh yeah, she suffered enough having to see Lisa get killed. Poor thing. Sort of like the plea from the parent-killer's lawyer: "But your honor, the defendant is an orphan!"

Well, we can't let the nanny state get their nose in people's affairs. After all, it wasn't a crime; it was a tragedy. Best to just "mourn, grieve, grow a little and go on."

Which is something those kids never got the chance to do, thanks to stupid drunks like the selfish sod you defend.

5:39 PM, June 06, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Who's going to pay for prosecuting all these "criminal" neglect cases and the punishment entailed? You might want to take up a collection." -- anonymous

We already do. It's called 'taxes'.


Some days it is hard being so much ahead of you.

Yes, we do pay taxes. My point is: who is going to pay the additional taxes that will be necessary to prosecute for criminal negligence, even when nothing bad occurs. Read the examples listed above. Think of your own family, if you've got lil adventurers. If the kids gets outside, even if no crime occurs, the Nanny Staters want us to prosecute and presumably punish all these people. Get real. Imagine the costs! Taxpayers don't want to pay so everyone can become a superparent. You raise yours; I'll raise mine. Don't criminalize everything.

7:28 PM, June 06, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But if anything bad happens on my watch, remember: don't hold me responsible!"

Geez. Their two kids are dead.
Punishment enough for most. You are a sicko.

7:29 PM, June 06, 2007  
Anonymous Mike S. said...

anonymous, the person being held responsible is the babysitter, not the parents. Also, there were two different sets of parents, each of which lost one child. Try to pay attention!

7:35 PM, June 06, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sadly, the "Hey, if a kid dies on my watch, he should've watched where he was crawling" folks are the very ones who invite the nanny state in with nods of approval from those who are justly appalled by the abdication of parental responsibility.

Sadly, the ones who think that the state prosecuting is going to save even one child's life is silly. The parents have the power to help their kids, not the state. You just want someone to punish, to blame.

If parents take responsibility, and accept that accidents can happen even in the best of homes, you're going to do more good than the State can ever do. But then, it's not really about helping the kids to you, is it? The Nanny State rarely does. It just brings everyone else's children down to your safety-don't take your eyes off then until their 25- level.

No thanks.
Not for me or mine. Or plenty others, I suspect. Teach your children well, just like you train your dog. It works. In places that are too vast to rely on "the State" for protection, you are better off taking steps to protect your own. And accepting that life is risky, accidents happen, sometimes you just have to accept that. If you can't, you tend to start imposing your NannyState rules on other people's kids. Again, no thanks. Next thing you know, you'll have to buy books on how to play outside and build things. Heh. Not for everyone.

7:37 PM, June 06, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike S.

Try to keep up with the thread?

Korla wrote this: "Sadly, the "Hey, if a kid dies on my watch, he should've watched where he was crawling" folks are the very ones who invite the nanny state in with nods of approval from those who are justly appalled by the abdication of parental responsibility."

First it's the babysitter.

Next it's claims of "abdication of parental responsibility."

See how these things operate? That finger of blame -- because nobody dies before they're 78, of course! I read it in a book. -- get around once you start going down this road.

See above I asked, if nothing had happened to these kids, what then? Some bright light bulb still wanted to bring criminal neglect charges. Because something COULD HAVE HAPPENED to those kids. Lol.

That's when your stupidity, that won't affect how my family lives, starts affecting my pocketbook. In terms of taxes, as we had to spell out. No thanks. Life is dangerous. Kids get out. Childhood deaths happen. You'd have to build a lot of big big prisons for all the parents who aren't living up to SuperNanny standards. Or for relatives babysitting too.

I wish more of you went to church. You'd have a big community to help you get through these moments in life, instead of crusading for criminal charges against even what MIGHT have happened. No wonder your kids turn out like that. Sure they're alive, but do they really live?

7:43 PM, June 06, 2007  
Anonymous Chuck Pelto said...

TO: [Ignorant] anonymous
RE: The State's Action

"Sadly, the ones who think that the state prosecuting is going to save even one child's life is silly. The parents have the power to help their kids, not the state. You just want someone to punish, to blame." -- anonymous

Sorry, buckie, but if this 'baby-sitter' is found guilty of negligent homicide, she'll not be 'baby-sitting' for quite some time. And therefore, less likely to get some other kids killed.

Furthermore, if convicted and sentenced, she'll likely have learned a lesson that will save her own children....if anyone is stupid enough to sire some on her.

RE: The Parent Problem

"If parents take responsibility, and accept that accidents can happen even in the best of homes, you're going to do more good than the State can ever do." -- [Ignorant] anonymous

And, if this article gets enough traction, maybe some parents will be a tad more conscientious about the selection of baby-sitters for their own children. However, on the other hand, maybe they'll hire these sorts of dweebs.....

Regards,

Chuck(le)
P.S. God help YOUR children....either way. They sound like they'll need His help.

7:46 PM, June 06, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of creep, how many toddlers have died under your watch. Oh, I forgot. You did have to catch 40 winks, which is much more important than the death of 2 children and the utter devastation of two families, all because of one selfish jerk's need to sleep off an all-night drinking binge.

and It's people like you who allowed Hedda Nussbaum to go free, after allowing the much more insane Joel Steinberg to kill the little girl they "adopted" with severe beatings over a period of months.

No. No. No.
A teenager falling asleep after being out drinking all night is not unheard of. She didn't put those kids in the pond. She failed at her job duties. At 19. Whoever hired her for the job made a big mistake, in retrospect.

Is she worthy of state resources because she fell asleep while the kids were napping? I say no. Some say yes, even if nothing had happened. That's a big division. If the parents could accept their deaths better, they would see nothing is to be gained in charging this teen stepsister. Nothing. It's a family/community matter for healing. State resources for what? Punishment? Teaching other teens? Again, if the parents had a place to heal, and were less encouraged to blame by lawyers and nannystater's, they'd get through this better.

Making allegations of beating child abuse, or alleging that anyone who recognizes there is no role for the State here is an abuser, shows how weak your position of criminal negligence here is. You have to rachet up what really happened. What, but for the grace of god, could have happened to other healthy risk-taking families too. Ask the Nicklaus's. Apparently if you don't find criminal negligence, you must be a child abuser who just wanted the child, or children, to die anyway.

This is what happens when you can't heal on your own without State help, and respond emotionally to personal tragic accidents. Personal responsibilities don't fall to the state if you make a bad hiring decision, and something bad happens. You grieve with your community, grow, and move on. That's personal responsibility you can learn from. Without costing taxpayers a dime. Either way, the two children are dead. Sad but true. Grow up and accept it. That's life sometimes. It can be a dangerous place.

7:54 PM, June 06, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, buckie, but if this 'baby-sitter' is found guilty of negligent homicide, she'll not be 'baby-sitting' for quite some time. And therefore, less likely to get some other kids killed.

Well, if you want to pony up and pay for that, if you think she hasn't learned anything already and needs to be locked up or prevented from having kids, I fear for YOUR kids. Of course, they don't drink at 19; you've never fallen asleep when putting them down for a nap; and they've never been wily enough to "escape" when your back was turned.

You mean well, you really do. But I highly doubt even one soul who is paying a 19-year-old family member to babysit will change their arrangements one iota. Because the kids got out and drowned when she fell asleep?

If she put them in the pond, charge her. She didn't. It was a tragic set of circumstances.

Trying to blame the parents for hiring her, or her for not thinking ahead on drinking night ("better turn this one down. the kids might get out tomorrow and drown in the pond.") is silly. Paying to prosecute here is stupid. How much better could those resources be spent on true criminals?

And, if this article gets enough traction, maybe some parents will be a tad more conscientious about the selection of baby-sitters for their own children.

I love it! Step aside, we're saving the world here. Like the Dangerous Book. If you have to buy it and read about how to raise your kids, your kids are going to need a lot more that the Rock Solid Christian Club can teach them about life. Good luck though! Happy reading. heh

8:02 PM, June 06, 2007  
Blogger Korla said...

No more feeding the troll from me. You had me there for a while.

8:12 PM, June 06, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder how many of you have taken a Red Cross safety class on educating even the youngest children around open bodies of water?

If you live in vast areas, it might be worthwhile. Because they can be trained, like dogs as someone noted above, even at an early age. And God forbid, if they do get out to wandering, your best bet is to have prepared them beforehand instead of expecting the World to build a safety fence around everything dangerous.

Boy, I sure do hate little kids, don't I? What a Hedda Nussbaum I must be sympathizing with that babysitter who exercised poor judgment at 19. And the parents who hired her. And the poor kids you wish would have turned back. I always say, it's the second drowning death that's the most emotionally horrible. But no charges will ever bring them back, and it's not an efficient way to heal.

8:13 PM, June 06, 2007  
Anonymous Chuck Pelto said...

TO: anonymous
RE: Paying the Price

"Well, if you want to pony up and pay for that..." -- anonymous

I'm ALREADY 'paying for it'.

If you'll notice an earlier post, it's called 'taxes'. And YOU'RE 'paying for it' too, buckie.

RE: Changing Arrangements

"You mean well, you really do. But I highly doubt even one soul who is paying a 19-year-old family member to babysit will change their arrangements one iota." -- anonymous

Not MY problem. Rather it is THEIRS. Don't you think? [Note: Personally, based on what you've stated here, I don't think so.]

RE: Saving the World...One Bozo at a Time

"I love it! Step aside, we're saving the world here.' -- anonymouse

Not my problem. Rather, it is yours.


Regards,

Chuck(le)
[I'm not here to educate people who refuse to learn.]

8:14 PM, June 06, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes korla.
You've been soundly beat on this one. Now slink away and think about what you've written here, and how embarrassing your charges have become.

Hedda Nussbaum and Joel Steinberg, indeed.

Jesus, how low can you go? You're taking resources away from helping truly abused kids who are still alive and can be helped by making this accident into something it is not. Sadly, kids die, but it doesn't mean every dead child was abused or neglected. Ask the Nicklaus family.

8:18 PM, June 06, 2007  
Anonymous Chuck Pelto said...

TO: anonymouse
RE: Departures

"You've been soundly beat on this one. Now slink away and think about what you've written here, and how embarrassing your charges have become." -- anonymouse

Actually....I think he has more brains than you do. And better sense, for that matter.

As for invoking the name of the Lord, in such a fashion as you did, I think that's a key indicator of where YOU stand on this subject...or any other, for that matter.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[Know your enemy and know yourself and you shall never be defeated. -- Sun Tzu, The Art of War; required reading at Benning School for Boys]

8:24 PM, June 06, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh I'm not the one waving little blue fingers in the air in the name of saving the world, chucko.

Trust me -- if you're going to prosecute every parent whose child gets out whether or not something happens to them or not -- you're going to be paying a hell of a lot more in taxes than you do now.

Your Nanny State comes at a cost.
And I don't just mean the price your children are paying either.

8:26 PM, June 06, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As for invoking the name of the Lord, in such a fashion as you did,

Lol. I think that's between me and my God. Once you folks start with the judging, there's just no let up, eh?

NannyStateRule#241219:
You shall not take the Lord's name in front of the children. Charges and fines will result if you do. That is BAD parenting and bad things may result if children hear such words.

That's cute btw: did you wear lil beanies at your Boys School? Was your father and grandfather not around, so they put you there? I find most kids who go to schools like that are being compensated for what's missing at home. Formalizing manhood, so to speak. Not that there's anything wrong with that unless you let those NannyStateRules leak in.

If you had to wear a "uniform" to play outside, really your family paid too much.

8:32 PM, June 06, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What if it wasn't "napping", but rather passed out from partying all night? Is that any different in your mind? Or should we let Paris Hilton out of jail and stop discriminating against all girls who just wanna have fun? At what age does responsibility begin HELEN?

8:33 PM, June 06, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually....I think he has more brains than you do.

Hedda Nussbaum David Steinberg 2 dead kids in a pool.

Sorry, I'm just missing the connection here.

Betcha those two had bigger brains that either you or kords though and look how it turned out for their kid, eh?

8:35 PM, June 06, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Go take a nap. Your kids need the chance to escape from you.

8:39 PM, June 06, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And don't forget to drink yourself silly before you drop off to sleep.

9:08 PM, June 06, 2007  
Anonymous Chuck Pelto said...

TO: Anonymouse
RE: You and YOUR god

"Lol. I think that's between me and my God." -- anonymouse

Whatever your god is, you might be correct. However, where the tread meets the pavement, it's actually between you and God. And you have little choice in the matter of Who is 'God'.

Regards,

Chuck(le)

10:07 PM, June 06, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First you start dictating national bedtimes. Then it's waving the dead babies blue fingers in the air.

Now you want to preach to me about religion. Lol, you are a chuckhead.

Bet you don't get much ass though. Not your part of the NannyState. And you're prolly a fat boy too. (is that you Glenn?)

10:20 PM, June 06, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ps.
Maybe you can find a friendly librarian to rcommend you some books on the topic? Danger Ass Getting for NannyStaters. heh

Just don't die from it, eh? Nobody wants to raise your orphan.

10:22 PM, June 06, 2007  
Blogger Korla said...

Gee, how terrible this nanny state we're in:

---------------------

SEATTLE — The firefighters who tried to save 3-year-old Ashley McLellan, unconscious after being pulled from a pool on a winter night in 2003, noticed something strange about her stepfather: He was calm, mostly dry and never once asked them if she would live.

She didn't, and Joel Zellmer was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of killing her in an attempt to collect on a $200,000 insurance policy — just one accusation in a string of accidents that investigators say Zellmer concocted to befall the young children of the women he dated.

Investigators say Zellmer has a history of dating single mothers, urging them to take out insurance policies and harming their children, including burning the hands of one and giving another a hot cup that blistered her lips.

Attorney Joe Hampton, who is representing Zellmer in a wrongful death lawsuit brought by Ashley's mother and father, said he would not be representing Zellmer on the criminal charges and had no comment. It was unclear whether Zellmer had another lawyer.

The King County Sheriff's Department has said it is not pursuing charges in the other cases because they happened as far back as 1990.

-----------------------

Thank god we didn't, dare I say it, "investigate" these incidents as far back as 17 years. After all, we don't like intrusion from the big bad government. We just want to grieve and move on.

3:54 PM, June 08, 2007  
Anonymous Chuck Pelto said...

TO: anonymous
RE: Not Getting 'Around' Much, Anymore?

"Bet you don't get much ass though. Not your part of the NannyState. And you're prolly a fat boy too. (is that you Glenn?)" -- anonymouse

Are you talking to me[Chuck(le)]?

If you're talking to me, as I don't see anyone else around here, between my post and yours....

...I suspect you're 'projecting'. Firstly about 'getting any' and secondly about 'fat boy'.

And...for you're information, Glenn has problems of his own with me. So don't bother dragging HIM in on this.

For clarification, I recommend you visit a couple of other threads on this blog. You might [actually] learn a think or two.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
P.S. I not sure of this, but I don't think Glenn has had what it takes to jump out of an airplane in flight.

Also, based on your sophomoric attacks, I suspect I was jumping C130s before your father learned how to jump a prom date.....

6:37 PM, June 09, 2007  
Anonymous Chuck Pelto said...

P.P.S. Speaking of 'friendly librarians'....

"Maybe you can find a friendly librarian to rcommend you some books on the topic?" -- anonymouse

...funny you should mention that. The distaff here, i.e., my wife, holds a masters degree in Library Science.

Furthermore, just to raise you ire, she is a superb combination of the latter part of Proverbs 31, the Song of Solomon and the female lead in Life Force.

Eat your heart out....buckie....

6:48 PM, June 09, 2007  
Blogger laura said...

interesting how little few facts there are here. im from this small rural PA town. did you know the 18 year old was a regular partier and came to the house not only hungover but also still very drunk. And when she put the toddlers to sleep she did so she passed out for hours, as well as not locking the doors. Now, most people, way before the age of 18, know that generally kids do not sleep long during naps, and once awake they are not going to be happy just sitting in their cribs. The teenager left the door unlocked and was irresponsible to come to the house after partying until 7:30AM with no sleep and still drunk. Yes, shes young, and possibly a foolish mistake. But her mistake cost two babies lives! How isnt that negligent

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