Outrage of the Week: Don’t You DARE Throw This Woman in Jail!

Readers — I am SO SICK of our finger-pointing culture ever-ready to criminalize a normal, if tragic, parenting moment. In this case, a woman named Felicia Tucker is being charged in the drowning death of her toddler nephew Joshua because he got out of house and she didn’t realize it quickly enough. He drowned in a nearby lake. According to an article in The Courier Post Online:

Tormenting Tucker on Friday was whether Joshua had suddenly learned to open the front door or whether it had not been latched. Tucker said she and her sister had taken “every precaution” in recent weeks — such as emptying out a backyard pool and ensuring the doors to the home were latched — after a co-worker’s toddler son drowned in a Monroe pool in June.

Note to police, prosecutors, judges: This is hardly a woman who is negligent! What happened is HUMAN, NOT CRIMINAL! Quit pretending it isn’t, just to feel smug or safe or superior. You could be a wonderful, even saintly parent, and it could happen to you. How would sending this woman — a mom herself — to ten years in prison make anyone safer or rectify anything?

That’s easy — it won’t. It’ll just teach us all a lesson: Unless we are absolutely perfect, we have absolutely no business parenting. (Or even being allowed to set foot in the community.) — L.

Controversy of the Day: Pool or Pond?

Hi Readers — Today’s New York Times has a really great piece about a town in New Jersey whose sand-bottomed, spring-water filled swimming hole has been the joy of local kids since 1929. Until, of course, today.

Now half the residents want to fill the pond in and replace it with a standard concrete pool, making it easier to watch their children. The other half say this is helicopter parenting taken to extremes. The pro-pool people cite the death of a 14-year-old last year — the third drowning in 80 years — as proof that the swmming hole is unsafe. Personally, I’m terrified of drowning and feel terrible for this boy and his family, but are 3 deaths in 80 years proof that something is unsafe…or proof that something is actually quite safe: One death every generation?

Anyway, I figured this was something we’d like to discuss. And if you’re off at a Labor Day picnic, splashing in some sweet body of water somewhere, all I can say is: I’m jealous. (And stay safe!)  — Lenore