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Toddler Left Alone In Car: At What Point Should People Be Banned from Parenting?

Should a father who leaves a 3-year-old alone in a car ever be allowed to get his child back? Tell us what you think.

What do you think?
What do you think?
Too often — once is too often — you've heard or read about a parent who has left a child in a car. The consequences are often tragic.

Fortunately, when a 3-year-old boy was recently discovered unattended in a car at a Virginia mall, the child was fine.

His father, though, Ryan Rodriguez Chambers, 32, was charged with felony child neglect, felony child endangerment, possession of marijuana and intoxication in public. He had arrived back at the car after officers arrived to help the boy.

Granted, people make mistakes. But this? It leads to a question: At what point are "parenting" skills so lacking that someone should be forbidden from keeping their children? Tell us in the comments below.
gvogin March 16, 2014 at 05:45 PM
At most he should be reprimanded. Not charged with a felony. I'm a parent of a toddler. Sometimes you make mistakes.
kaj4 March 16, 2014 at 06:41 PM
--These comments harken back to the Patch January 2014 comments about the mother with 5 kids who left one of them in a hot car I July 2013. To "gvogin" - are you kidding, only a reprimand??? --As suggested multiple times above, parenting classes are definitely in order. --Yet, a larger question. How does society change the values and habits of someone who, in the discussed event, clearly put his own needs above those of a child, his child? That takes far more transformation than parenting classes could effect. --It is unfortunate that across the US, the majority of adults who leave kids in hot or freezing temperatures in cars are usually "get off" scot free. --The fact that Mr. Chambers was supposedly drunk and had "a bag of marijuana" makes it more likely that charges against him for those offenses will stick. --It is an open secret that US courts often use exemption law in their practice. E.g., The Supreme Court of the State of Virginia ruled in 1930 that a person, who incidentally murders another person, even if he or she can be accused of negligence, shall not be considered a criminal if his or her negligence is not the consequence of complete disdain for human life.
Wildermann March 16, 2014 at 06:55 PM
Our nation has consistently maintained that parents possess a fundamental right to raise their children as they see fit. This belief has been upheld by our judiciary in numerous Supreme Court cases that reflect the American people's longstanding commitment to parental rights. Many believe that it is critical that we place the current Supreme Court doctrine on parental rights into the explicit text of the United States Constitution in order to preserve the vital child-parent relationship.
Wildermann March 16, 2014 at 07:06 PM
The law's concept of the family rests on a presumption that parents possess what a child lacks in maturity, experience, and capacity for judgment required for making life's difficult decisions. More important, historically it has recognized that natural bonds of affection lead parents to act in the best interests of their children. The statist notion that governmental power should supersede parental authority in all cases because some parents abuse and neglect children is repugnant to American tradition. Simply because the decision of a parent is not agreeable to a child or because it involves risks does not automatically transfer the power to make that decision from the parents to some agency or officer of the state. - Parham v. J. R., 442 U.S. 584 (1979) The fundamental liberty interest of natural parents in the care, custody, and management of their child does not evaporate simply because they have not been model parents or have lost temporary custody of their child to the State. Even when blood relationships are strained, parents retain a vital interest in preventing the irretrievable destruction of their family life. Until the State proves parental unfitness, the child and his parents share a vital interest in preventing erroneous termination of their natural relationship. - Santosky v. Kramer, 455 U.S. 745 (1982) The liberty interest at issue in this case-the interest of parents in the care, custody, and control of their children-is perhaps the oldest of the fundamental liberty interests recognized by this Court. In light of this extensive precedent, it cannot now be doubted that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment protects the fundamental right of parents to make decisions concerning the care, custody, and control of their children. The problem here is not that the Washington Superior Court intervened, but that when it did so, it gave no special weight at all to Granville's determination of her daughters' best interests. More importantly, it appears that the Superior Court applied exactly the opposite presumption. The Due Process Clause does not permit a State to infringe on the fundamental right of parents to make childrearing decisions simply because a state judge believes a 'better' decision could be made. - Troxel v. Granville, 530 U.S. 57 (2000)
Cynthia Montgomery March 17, 2014 at 10:10 AM
UNATTENDED - NOT CARED FOR - DESERTED - ALONE! Is there a LAW against leaving a child/toddler alone in their home ( so daddy can go out high and get drunk)? Is there a law against leaving a child/toddler alone in a store and leaving leaving them so you can go get high and drunk? Is there a law about leaving a child/toddler alone in a movie theater and leaving to go get high and drunk? Is there a law about leaving a child/toddler alone in a public park, airport, library, hospital, restaurant, sporting arena, Wal Mart, church, or on a street to go get high and drunk? NO? then let the guy go.... BUT..... if we think it is wrong to leave a child/toddler alone in any of the above places to go get drunk and get high and basically use the carseat as a babysitter then WE HAVE A PROBLEM! THIS was child abandoned, pure and simple. This child has already learned to not trust others. This child all ready knows the reality of not being loved. This child already has experienced what it means to be clateral baggage and he will never be the same. When we meet a person and wonder why they are so messed up now you know where it started. God help him.

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