South Carolina’s News Channel 6 in North Augusta reported recently on the case of Debra Harrell, a working mother jailed for leaving her 9-year-old daughter at the park while she went to work at McDonald’s.
“The little girl is fine, but some say an area the mother thought was safe could have turned dangerous. It’s an afternoon of fun in the water at Summerfield Park in North Augusta, but investigators say it wasn’t enjoyable for one little girl,” said News Channel 6’s reporter.
Others say, however, that the issue isn’t with Harrell but a system that makes her choose between going to work or supervising her child. Even New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait weighed in on the case in a recent article, writing in part:
“America has decided to punish Harrell if she fails to acquire full-time employment; her employment does not provide her with adequate child care; and the community punishes her for failing to live up to unobtainable middle-class child-care standards. There are many perpetrators in this story. Debra Harrell was not one of them.”
What do you think? Should Harrell be in jail?