Mom left two girls, 12, in charge of three younger ones at mall

by Walter Olson on July 14, 2009

And soon Bridget Kevane, a professor of Latin American and Latino literature at Montana State in Bozeman, found herself fighting a child endangerment rap. [Free Range Kids via Amy Alkon; Judith Warner, NYT]

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July 21 roundup
07.21.09 at 12:05 am

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1 Soronel Haetir 07.14.09 at 11:12 am

Sorry, after reading the FRK article these charges appear entirely reasonable. Subtract the 3 year old and it might be different, but that makes a big difference.

2 Hans 07.14.09 at 11:18 am

Ideological blinders are AMAZING.

Unfortunately, what happened here — overkill by prosecutors and law enforcement — could happen to a hapless parent of EITHER gender. A father would not get a break anymore than a mother.

But Judith Warner, the self-parodying New York Times liberal feminist, thinks this happened only because the parent in question was a well-educated woman, and that her problems with law enforcement and the prosecutor all were the product of a reactionary backlash against such women.

Wrong, Ms. Warner. Parents of both genders get treated even worse than this every day.

In my home county, Arlington County, the county warns parents not to allow elementary school children to play outside IN THEIR OWN YARD without parental supervision. I guess they’d rather kids stay inside getting obese and contracting diabetes than playing outside on their own.

That’s far more ridiculous and intrusive to parents than what happened to Bridget Kevane.

But what would I know? Unlike Ms. Warner, I’ve actually read thousands of court decisions.

3 Robert 07.14.09 at 12:13 pm

She should have watched those videos about “not saying anything to police, ever” by law professor James Duane (google it if you haven’t ever seen it!) The poor reporting and factual errors on the police report would help her more if the police didn’t have the “evidence” she volunteered.

4 Tom T. 07.14.09 at 2:17 pm

Well, she left the two twelve-year-olds in charge, and they screwed up. Mall security only got involved when the two twelve-year-olds left the younger kids alone in a different part of Macy’s while they went off to the dressing rooms. The case is really about the eight-, seven- and three-year-olds being unsupervised.

Of course, people may still reasonably disagree as to whether criminal liability is appropriate even in that light, but I think those additional facts do make for a more difficult case.

5 Dennis 07.14.09 at 6:09 pm

The twelve year olds definitely deserve a whoopin, or whatever you’re allowed to do these days. They were derelict in their duty.

As far as the mother, we’ve gone way too far in the nanny state direction. Holding the kids and summoning the mother was appropriate, as they were obviously ill supervised. Charging the mother is excessive, IMO, but it seems the norm in today’s sick society.

It’s a shame she couldn’t get a whoopin, too.

6 BP 07.14.09 at 7:15 pm

This is neither “entirely reasonable” nor a “close case.” It’s complete crap.

Under the statute under which Ms. Kevane was charged, the prosecutor would have to show that Ms. Kevane “knowingly” “neglect[ed]” the kids. This isn’t a crime of negligence. We’re not asking if her actions felt reasonable, and she certainly couldn’t be convicted unless there was both an undue risk of harm to the children, and she appreciated this risk.

I can’t possibly see how allowing two 12 year olds who have passed some hospital-offered babysitting class which included first aid and cpr training to supervise younger children, while equipped will cell phones in case of emergency, with explicit instructions as to their behavior and schedule, and after consultation with at least two other adults who approved the plan, is knowing neglect.

It simply can’t be. Why would a local hospital even offer this babysitting class to 12-year-olds if leaving your kid with a 12-year-old would be knowing neglect of that child? Should we charge the hospital with conspiracy to endanger children?

And if anything, the kids are safer at the mall than being babysat at home as demonstrated by the very fact that the younger children were noticed and protected by the store employees. I can’t think of a safer place for children not under direct adult supervision than in a well-lit, public area, containing lots of other people, with its own security force, and businesses scared to death of liability or negative publicity for injury to or kidnapping of a child.

The prosecutor treated this case like it was a negligence case, and as if the duty of childcare was non-delegable. We delegate the duty of looking after our children all the time. Even to 12-year-old girls. If this is knowing neglect then everybody save nutjob “helicopter parents” is guilty of child endangerment.

7 3DOGMAN 07.14.09 at 11:35 pm

BP,
Why should the mall staff and their store employees be required to provide free babysitting services to any parent?

This woman would have been charged if one of the children had shoplifted an item or was injured on mall property.

Why could she not have told the children to refrain from making noise at home and still got her rest?

To suggest that the local mall is a great place to leave young children(even with a cell phone) proves to me and other readers that maybe you need to take a parenting class and be shown the dangers of what kind of criminals are found in most every mall in America. At least go to and ask this question to your local police and let them tell you. Does pictures of missing children on milk cartons and pictures on bulletin boards ring a bell in the space between your ears or not?

The babysitter classes covered how to care for a child and do CPR. I am sure it did not include how to protect yourself from being a victim of rape or kidnapping.

The article also doesnt state why this woman needed to relax? Was it a hangover from partying too much that clouded her judgement?

If you cant or wont take care of them then why did she have them in the first place? Liberals love to scream when they are caught about their mistreatment, when in fact she should have the children removed from her care and never returned.

Thank God you were not my parent! My widowed mother did not believe that a village should raise her children, she did it herself every day of the week. We still allowed her to take a nap whenever she wanted to without any problems.(Hint-if we were quiet we got to go to the mall later with her,not without her.

This woman was caught fair and square and now she wont own up to her mistakes, but she wont because she thinks her level of education means that her crap doesnt stink.

Hers crap does stink and so does YOURS!

8 BP 07.14.09 at 11:59 pm

Please try to refrain from personal attacks.

“Does pictures of missing children on milk cartons and pictures on bulletin boards ring a bell in the space between your ears or not?”

Yes. Those children are overwhelmingly (a) runaways (b) abducted by non-custodial parents. Read the descriptions some time. Nothing in the story indicates that any of the children was at risk of running away from home, or that they had an andry non-custodial parent. The chances of any of the kids ending up on a milk carton or bulletin board was approximately nil.

Your statements about criminals at malls are unfounded/irrelevant. If criminals are at malls, they are there to shoplift. They are not there to assault or kidnap random children. That’s just an exceedingly rare occurrence, and I don’t think that a public place crawling with security cameras such as a mall is the preferred venue for assaulting or kidnapping one of a group of children. “What if?” all you like, but it just doesn’t really happen.

Nobody’s requiring mall staff or employees to provide free babysitting services. I don’t think anybody is arguing for that. Security doesn’t have to fix the kids a snack or read them a bedtime story. But yes, store personnel and mall security do generally look out for the safety of shoppers in the mall, regardless of the shopper’s age.

9 Dennis 07.15.09 at 12:03 am

BP:

Should we charge the hospital with conspiracy to endanger children?

I think she should sue the hospital. And subpoena that DA as a witness. Ought to be fun.

3DOGMAN:
The article also doesnt state why this woman needed to relax? Was it a hangover from partying too much that clouded her judgement?

Ah, the ad hominem attack on a person you know nothing about. You’ve just declared the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of your entire post.

10 BP 07.15.09 at 12:05 am

Mr. 3DOG,

Oh and incidentally, the prosecutor in the case agreed to a deferred prosecution agreement. The prosecutor’s been roundly critized for pursuing the case at all.

You on the other hand think that Ms. Kevane “should have the children removed from her care and never returned.” I trust you can figure out how far on the fringe of this issue that puts you.

11 Patw 07.15.09 at 9:14 am

BP, it sounds like you are the one on the fringe. You state that it is perfectly fine to abandon your child in a public place as long as “responsible 12-year-olds” are minding the shop. Say that out loud. “Responsible 12-year-olds”. “Public place”. It’s the public place aspect that differentiates this case IMO. Had this woman left the 12-year-olds in charge at the house, then left to go to a spa to relax, then perhaps I would not feel as though she neglected the children. But dropping them off at a public place? You say a mall is perfectly safe, how about a truck-pull? A public park? Community swimming pool? Shall we draw up a list of public places that are, in your mind, safe for “responsible 12-year-olds” to “supervise” toddlers?

12 gitarcarver 07.15.09 at 9:54 am

BP,

There are merits to what you say.

In that the 12 year olds left the younger kids, in essence you had a three year old, a seven year old, and an eight year old in a store with no supervision and no way of contacting anyone should something go wrong.

Kids are kidnapped from malls, stores and retail parking lots all too often. While in most cases this is done by a non-custodial parent as you noted, there are also too many cases out there where the child is kidnapped, their clothes changed in a restroom, and their hair color altered to prevent people from recognizing the child when they walk out of the store.

I am with you in saying that charging the mother with child neglect or child endangerment is way over the top.

I would not have an issue with the police scooping up the kids, putting a “scare” into the 12 year olds for not following through with their agreement with the mother. Calling the mother to come get the kids and letting her know that the world is not as safe of a place as it may once have been wouldn’t be a bad thing as well.

One other thing struck me in the article though. The mother writes, “There are no signs posted at the mall saying that children cannot be left unattended.”

Is she saying that if there was such a sign, she would not have dropped the kids off there? If that is the case, isn’t that a tacit admission that the kids were unattended in the mall?

Of course, in the spirit of this blog, if (God forbid) that some harm had come to one of the kids, would she have sued the mall for failing to warn her not to leave the kids unattended? Would she have sued the mall for not protecting her kids?

Thankfully we’ll never know the answer to that question in this case.

It sounds like to me that the mall and store personnel did their job quite well in taking care of the kids.

The prosecutor overreached and should be slapped down for it.

The mother needs to learn that the dangers in the world don’t care if there is a sign on a wall or not.

13 3DOGMAN 07.16.09 at 12:29 am

BP,

Please take the time to Google “mall crime” and you will see 1,370,000 hits on this subject.

If these children was as safe as you say then I should only get a few hits returned to me for this subject.

Research the estimated number of serial killers from FBI statistics that are running loose in our country today. You will not like what you see.

How about that 19 year old that just killed 8 people at a mall because he had lost his job and his girlfriend at the same time. Did the people in your village raise this killer?

Would you allow your 12 year old daughter in this mall alone after this event happened?

How about the lady that was robbed while in the restroom and told to strip naked and her clothes taken by their attacker who put a “out of order” sign on the door that resulted in the victim waiting 2-3 hours before being discovered and police called.

Please change your views on this subject. You are dead wrong. Not everything bad that happens at a mall ever gets reported to police or to the press because it would be bad for business by scaring away shoppers or the victim is too embarassed to report the incident.

Do you really want Nancy Grace from CNN interviewing your family and friends discussing your actions or lack there of before an audience of millions in America every night of the week until they cant bleed another dime out of your story?

It would easier to get on “The Jerry Springer” show if you want that kind of attention.

14 Bill 07.16.09 at 2:26 am

3dog

Gimme a break… you’re suggesting it would have been better for the mother to have gotten gunned down along with her kids… think before you write… Serial killers stike everywhere even places other than malls… even with parents right there… if you want… google how often kids are taken from a house or yard with there parent there…

The argument is not about what could happen… what “could happen” could happen anywhere regardless of parental attention…

The argument boils down to are 12 year olds responsible enough to look after younger kids or not.

And the answer of course is… it depends on the kid… My daughter was very responsible at 12 and I left her younger brother with her all the time… (I will digress and say she starts her Masters in Law at Columbia the end of next month…) My boys… forget it…

Like everything, responsibility is a learned skill. The mother was doing things right, the kids were trained in the proper course, she did her due diligence from that perspective. The kids screwed up. They deserve a good scare, the mother needs to know they need more supervision before being left in charge.

Someday those 12 year olds will be parents. They have to be taught and people being what we are, learn better from mistakes.

Everyone screws up when learning a new skill. Sometimes the end result is minor and sometimes somebody slips a box knife through airport security.

There is no such thing as zero risk. Inspite of the US courts and regulators trying to legislate it.

15 3DOGMAN 07.16.09 at 8:30 am

Mr Bill,

I feel you have missed my point.

The days are long gone that you can leave many children alone to fend for themselves. To leave children in the safety of their homes behind locked doors is one thing. To allow them to wonder in a mall with without parents or responsible adults with them is quite another.

Truck stops in the old days were a good place to get a good meal and the place to get the best off the beaten path directions. Now they are filled with all types of riff raft and perverts that most of us would not let in our house if they knocked on our front door.

Please, dont take my word for it. Pick out any truck stop and go into the restroom and read the writings on the restroom walls. You may even get a offer from a lot lizard(prostitute) before you get out of the parking lot if you are lucky. Better yet get a citizens band radio and sit in the parking lot and listen to what is going on right under your nose.

The same used to said of our nations highways rest stops off the interstates. Travel in Florida shows one even the rest areas off of the interstates now have Florida State Troopers in them from sundown till the sun comes up. Who would rape a person in a rest area with all those people around. If there wasnt a problem the troopers would be elsewhere wouldnt they?

If a network news crew can entice child molesters into traveling across most states at the drop of a hat to have sex with an underage female using a computer that they know can show law enforcement every move they made, it doesnt require a big jump for your thinking they are elsewhere too.

Myself and other parents do not want our kids at the mall alone. If what you say is true then the officer should have just released the children back to the parents and end of story. He didnt let them go, did he?

Maybe, this officer has seen this behavior before and has had to deal with someone whose child has been taken. I can assure you that the cop did not enjoy what he had to go through during that incident either.

A young immigrant man (21 yrs old)in my state was just convicted for raping a 13 year old girl and guess what reason he give the judge for doing it? He said ” in my country most 13 year olds are already married and I thought she wanted it ”

Learn to be “street smart” and dont become a victim by not giving them the opportunity to do it in the first place or suffer the pain of losing a child. I know you dont want that. I dont want to hear about on the evening news either, sorry,I have to turn the station and cannot watch it.

Anyone who can sit and watch CNN covering a missing child night after night has convinced me that they suffer from some sort of mental illness and need professional help.

16 gitarcarver 07.16.09 at 9:55 am

3DogMan,

I fear that you are missing the point as well.

First, one needs to be careful when using the “sword of Google.” While a search for “mall crimes” does indeed yield some 1.65 million pages, a similar search for “home crimes” yields 34.7 millions hits. Trying to use Google as some sort of statistical basis for making a decision is dicey at best. If you wish to do so, in this case and using Google as the basis to decide the riskier behaviour, it is clear that it is 21 times more likely that a crime will happen in a home rather than a mall.

In fact, there are 88 million pages on “school crimes.” According to your logic, that means that it is 4 times more dangerous to take a kid to school than to leave them at home and 53 times more dangerous to take them to school than to take them to the mall.

Using your methodolgy, of going to the mall, going to school or staying at home, going to the mall is clearly the safest place.

Myself and other parents do not want our kids at the mall alone.

Fine. That is your choice and may be correct for where you live. Have you lived in Bozeman, Montana? If not, then how do you know the safety of the area, the people of the area, the mall, and the risks involved?

If what you say is true then the officer should have just released the children back to the parents and end of story. He didnt let them go, did he?

Unless I am reading you wrong, are you really trying to say that a cop can never make a mistake in judgement? In essence, you are using the cop’s actions as justification for his actions. That is certainly circular logic.

Maybe, this officer has seen this behavior before and has had to deal with someone whose child has been taken.

Perhaps you did not read the linked article?
Quote: “No child has ever been kidnapped or molested at the mall. “

Learn to be “street smart” and dont become a victim by not giving them the opportunity to do it in the first place or suffer the pain of losing a child.

I am not sure what this means or even how it applies to the situation at hand. Using the standard of “not giving them the opportunity in the first place” would mean never going out on the streets at all, as that is the only way to totally prevent something from happening. Similar “logic” would be “don’t drive” because “not driving is assuring that no accidents can happen in the first place.”

“Don’t eat,” because not eating is the only way to make sure that there is no “opportunity for food posioning in the first place.”

In this case you had a mother who viewed that her emergency trained twelve year olds were able to go to a mall where no child had ever been kidnapped or molested with their siblings.

The mother, based on her knowledge of the kids, the area, the time of day, the crimes in the area, the people and mall itself judged this to be a safe activity for the children.

These were not children left to play out on the freeway. These were not children locked in a car in 100 degree heat. These were not kids that were underfed and malnourished while their parent ate bonbons on the sofa. These were not kids who were dirty and wearing clothes that hadn’t been cleaned in 5 weeks.

This is a case where a mother made a judgement call. You may disagree with her decision based upon your experience, but your experience doesn’t translate to her situation.

As an example, when I was learning to drive in Maryland, we learned how to drive in snow – including going to parking lots where there was snow so we could feel the car skid and slid, and learn how to recover. Funny thing is that now that I reside in Florida, they don’t teach how to drive in the snow here.

Situations, settings, people, communities, kids, maturity levels, etc, are all variables and not constants. To apply one standard across the board when there are so many variables is ridiculous.

The mother made an informed choice based on her knowledge and experience of the kids, the mall, and the area.

For some cop or prosecutor to come along and say that her choice “willfully endangered the children” is not an example of crime prevention, but rather an example of hubris on the part of the cop and the DA.

17 wfjag 07.16.09 at 4:54 pm

@ gitarcarver :
“For some cop or prosecutor to come along and say that her choice “willfully endangered the children” is not an example of crime prevention, but rather an example of hubris on the part of the cop and the DA.”

That sounds like circular reasoning. Would your conclusion be different if harm had come to one or more of the children? See, e.g.,

“No probation for man who handed gun to suicidal wife”
By Jason Riley, from Louisville Courier-Journal (Wed. July 15, 2009), begins
“A Louisville man convicted of reckless homicide after handing his intoxicated wife a handgun that she used to kill herself in 2007 was denied probation Wednesday and sentenced to six years in prison.”

The article also explains that the man is also facing federal weapons charges. There apparently is no dispute this his wife was drunk, depressed and committed suicide. However, he knew that and handed her the gun she killed herself with.

http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20090715/NEWS01/907150387/1008/NEWS01/No+probation+for+man+who+handed+gun+to+suicidal+wife

I don’t have any problems with the Kentucky case or in the one which is the subject of this blog. There is no reason to include death or grievous bodily harm to another as part of a reckless endangerment charge. Fortunately, but fortuitously, the children were unharmed. The outcome was different in Kentucky, so the charge was reckless homicide.

18 gitarcarver 07.16.09 at 6:18 pm

That sounds like circular reasoning. Would your conclusion be different if harm had come to one or more of the children?

I am not sure how you see circular reasoning in my post as I never say that the outcome supported the mother’s decision.

But to answer your question…….

Nope.

Let’s compare the two cases:

In KY, the husband had an interest in seeing his wife commit suicide.
In MO, the woman had a desire to make sure her kids are safe.

In KY, it is forseeable that a drunk, despondant suicidal woman would use the gun.
In MO, it is not forseeable that the kids who were in a mall that had never had a molestation of a child much less the abduction of a child that some harm would come to any of the children.

In KY, the guy handed his wife a gun – the type of weapon that people use to kill themselves all the time.
In MO, the mother handed her kids a reward for being good kids and completing a course on how to handle emergencies.

In KY, the woman was drunk and suicidal.
In MO, the kids were excited and happy.

I can see why you would want to use the KY as a comparrision because the cases are so similar. (ummm….. no.)

This is a case of the cop and the prosecutor substitution their judgement for that of the mother. This is a case where the cop and the prosecutor feel they know more about raising this parent’s children than the mother does.

By the way, Bozeman, MO is also where applicants for city jobs had to list usernames and passwords for their social-networking sites.

http://tinyurl.com/kptpmh

The city has since dropped that requirement but it is clear that there is an attitude in the city that people such as the DA and the cop know what is best for you.

19 3DOGMAN 07.16.09 at 7:35 pm

Gitarcarver,

I encourage you to visit the official website of Bozeman, Montana and see for yourself that it appears more then a few (but not all) parents are ” taking a nap” and not properly supervising their children too.

I agree the city has many good things for the children to do, more than most cities of the same size. They also have some children that are not supervised and they have posted on the Internet for the whole world to see.

Go to the “Vandalism and Graffiti Task Force Binder” and view the pictures of the damage for yourself that shows the city does in fact have citizens that setting fires to public toilets, burning outdoor theaters, destroyed water fountains and spray painting confusing statements about raping and then not raping someone on buildings within city limits.

Your next arguement that “how do I know if the children of Bozeman are doing this wont fly either. In all of my many years on this earth I have never heard of or read about a Grandpa or Grandma getting caught for spray painting profanity on a building wall. You can be assured that children or gang members are doing this and attempting to be just like the entertainment available today in America that tells over and over “Its cool to be a fool”!!!

It appears to me that the city is not as safe as some of the posters have thought it to be. Do you want your children exposed to this?

Police officers are only there to observe a violation of the law. They takes their facts of the case to the district attorney who then takes all of it before a judge and a decision is made. A case for their bad judgement does not hold any water with me because 3 different elected officers of the have looked at the facts and rendered a decision.

As far as their arrongance in telling the citizens what to do, isnt this what the “takes a village to raise a child” crowd want us to do for them . If you wont supervise you own children at all hours of the day and night, the city will step in and do it for you. If the parents are not doing their job then the city does need to step in and do the job the parents wont or will not do.

Your arguement for the city checking the contents of your social networking sites is lame and not a part of this discussion. Since you brought it up I will tell that I want my city officials checked out for head to toe if they might point a gun at me(police)in the future or represent the city at a meeting with the smell of alcohol on their breath. Do you support hiring felons,drunks and perverts to take your tax dollars and not do their jobs?

If you wont take care of your children, then why did you have them?

If the parent cannot fiqure this out themselves, dont expect any special treatment when the police awake you from a dead sleep and start asking you questions about the location of your children. You wont get any!

20 gitarcarver 07.16.09 at 9:18 pm

They also have some children that are not supervised and they have posted on the Internet for the whole world to see.

And your point? Are you saying that these 5 kids did any type of vandalism?

Your next arguement that “how do I know if the children of Bozeman are doing this wont fly either.

I never made such an argument, so I have no idea what you are talking about.

It appears to me that the city is not as safe as some of the posters have thought it to be.

I just want to get this straight…… are you saying that because some people spray paint or create grafitti, that means that all kids in Bozeman do so? Is that your argument? Or are you saying that the 5 kids in this story were running around spray painting the town?

You have gone far astray from the facts of this story.

Do you want your children exposed to this?

Exposed to what? The graffiti? Do you have any way that can prevent kids from seeing graffiti?

Police officers are only there to observe a violation of the law.

So much for “protect and serve,” eh?

They takes their facts of the case to the district attorney who then takes all of it before a judge and a decision is made.

So when the mother was arrested in front of her kids, the DA had been contacted? Once again, you are arguing things that are not factual.

A case for their bad judgement does not hold any water with me because 3 different elected officers of the have looked at the facts and rendered a decision.

Where are you getting this from? A cop arrested the woman. A DA prosecuted her despite her obvious bias in the case. A judge ruled against the woman in such a horrific manner that he imposed a gag order on the case. Why would that be other than the fact that the case would so outrage the community and be so contrary to the law?

If you wont supervise you own children at all hours of the day and night, the city will step in and do it for you.

Of course, this mother was doing what she was supposed to do, so once again, your argument has no merit.

If the parents are not doing their job then the city does need to step in and do the job the parents wont or will not do.

Just who decides what that “job” is? In this case, it is clear that the people of Bozeman were astounded by this case. So the city “stepped in” in secrecy. Is that what you want? Governmental officials telling people what they can or cannot do raising their kids and if they disagree with the parents, take the parents to some secret trial?

You have jumped the shark here. Your first argument in this case was that the police were “protecting” the kids from some danger. That has been shown to be false, so now you are attacking the kids by saying they were running around tagging places.

Your arguement for the city checking the contents of your social networking sites is lame and not a part of this discussion.

I am sorry that you find that the tendancy of the Bozeman government to overreach into people’s lives has no bearing on a discussion of another incident where the government overreached into the lives of their citizens. Yet somehow graffiti (which the kids were not accused of) seems germaine to you.

Since you brought it up I will tell that I want my city officials checked out for head to toe if they might point a gun at me(police)in the future or represent the city at a meeting with the smell of alcohol on their breath.

Of course, that wasn’t what demanding account names, passwords, and any comments you may have posted on any site was designed to do, but once again, don’t let the facts get in the way of what you are trying to say.

Do you support hiring felons,drunks and perverts to take your tax dollars and not do their jobs?

Of course, whether someone is a felon, drunk, or pervert is not going to be asnwered by a password to a social networking site, but once again, don’t let the facts get in the way of your point. In case you didn’t know, questions about felony convictions, DUI’s, etc are standard on employment applications. It is therefore clear that asking for passwords, usernames, and sites that one posts upon has a different purpose that you believe.

If you wont take care of your children, then why did you have them?

If we were talking about a parent who wasn’t taking care of their kids, you might have a point. As the parent in question was taking care of the kids, there is no need to respond to this.

If the parent cannot fiqure this out themselves, dont expect any special treatment when the police awake you from a dead sleep and start asking you questions about the location of your children. You wont get any!

And when the government continues to tell you how to raise your kids, what you must teach them, what you must believe, where you can go, what you can do with the kids, what you can write on a private website, or the beliefs you must install into your children, don’t ask the rest of us for help. You won’t get any!

21 Walter Olson 07.16.09 at 9:58 pm

I appreciate that this topic arouses strong emotions, but this thread has led to some attacks and intemperate language, along with speculations of an intimately personal nature about individuals not present. I think the light shed on policy issues is also fast approaching the point of diminishing returns, so I would encourage participants either to let things drop here, or at least restrain themselves to short points not previously made.

22 3DOGMAN 07.17.09 at 12:37 am

I encourage everyone to go to the website “HomeSurfer.com” and see for themselves the Crime Rate Report for Bozeman, Montana for the year 2004. This information comes from the FBI Uniform Crime Rate Database.

The city has a crime rating of 2.6 out a possible 5. Higher ratings indicate that your area is safer. This number compares crime in that city to crimes on a state level and in the entire nation.

Forcible Rape,Burglary and Motor Vehicle Theft are all “higher” than the state average.

Murder,Aggravated Assault, Overall Robbery Rate, Larceny Theft and Arson are all “lower” are all lower than the state average.

Please note that the Forcible Rape,Property Crime Total,Larceny Theft and Arson rates are “higher” than the national average.

What has happened in the five years since these statistics have been published? Does a weakening economy and fewer people working ever decrease crime?

The property Crime Total for Bozeman is 4777.4, the Montana state level is 5285.1 and the national average is 4295.6. Why is the city rate higher than the national average?

With 51.5 Forcible Rapes in Bozeman and the state average being 32.1 and the national rate is 37.2 is the mall telling its customers the truth when it comes to crime on their property? Malls are notorious for being centers of crime even if they dont tell you about it.

With one Forcible Rape happening on the average every week in the city of Bozeman do any of you really think it is that safe to allow 5 pre teen children to go to the mall on their own?

Say what you want about me, but the crime statistics tell me the city has a serious problems with Forcible Rape,Total Property Crime(as calculated) and Arsons.

The employees at this mall did this women a favor by calling the police even if you dont agree with it or not ?

23 gitarcarver 07.17.09 at 9:57 am

3DogMan,

I know that you want to keep beating this horse, but once again you have strayed from the topic.

First, as far as crime in Bozeman, please remember that Bozeman is the home of the University of Montana – Bozeman and as such, the crime stats for the college are included in those for the city.

Here is a summary for the crime stats for UM-Bozeman:

http://www.montana.edu/wwwmsupd/current.shtml

Please notice the numbers for forced sexual assaults. It is clear that the vast majority of sexual assaults / rapes you cited happened at UM-Bozeman. (14 of 16) If you look at the location of the assaults, you’ll find that they all happened on University property – either on campus, or off campus, but none happened in public areas such as a mall.

Secondly, your statistic that Bozeman has a rape a week is a mistake in your reading of the very statistics you cited. The stats given on the page are not direct numbers, but weighted numbers.

Third, you ask the question of “why is the city rate higher than the national average?” Once you remove the college from the stats, the rate is well below the national average. It is also somewhat deceptive that while you ask about the property rate, you do not ask as to why, even combining the college stats in with the city, the violent crime (which includes the rape statistic) is less than half than that of the country.

Lastly, whether the employees of the mall were correct or not in calling the police is not the issue here. Please stop saying it is.

The issue is whether a mother should be charged for letting her kids have an afternoon at a mall where there was no indication of violence, molestation, or kidnapping.

The cop, the DA and the judge “overlawyered” this case.

24 nita 07.20.09 at 12:11 pm

I used to babysit when I was 12. Thank God nothing bad happened because at that age…I didn’t have a clue. My daughter is 12 and I know a lot of other 12 year olds and there is no way in hell I would every entrust them to watch over younger children or even themselves in a public place like a mall. That mother is a complete moron and should have known better. Does she not watch the news and hear about children being abducted constantly? Why on earth would you put your children at risk like that? Is it to much to ask that we watch over our children until they are grown? Those people who bring up stories of their youth must realize that we live in a different world today. People are stupid enough to complain about others telling them that their children shouldn’t play in the front yard by themselves…..there IS a reason behind it. Time and time again, children have been snatched out of their front yards by sicko’s. It’s a sad world we live in but it is reality. I’m not going to smother my kids or be overly protection but I am going to be smart and protect them for as long as I can…..leaving a bunch of small KIDS in a public place with hundreds of strangers is a very STUPID thing to do.

25 BP 07.22.09 at 3:56 am

nita,

You ask,

Does she not watch the news and hear about children being abducted constantly?

We’ll say it again, no child had ever been molested or kidnapped at that mall. Kids just don’t really get kidnapped from malls by strangers. If it ever does happen, it’ll be all over the news, and you’ll feel like it happens more often that it does. But it just doesn’t really happen.

I am getting a feeling that maybe we’d all be well-served if people were required to read up on cognitive biases before weighing in on issues like this.

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