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  • HOME ALONE

    Filed at 8:32 am under by dcobranchi

    Anne, in the “Half Full” thread, asked when it’s acceptable (i.e., legal) to leave a child alone. Good question. It seems to vary state-by-state. In DE, I was told by DFS that they do not prosecute anyone who leaves a 13-year-old alone. Below that age prosecution was handled on on a case-by-case basis. The girl who was locked in her room was 10, so the parents would likely face charges here, too. And locking the door would definitely compound the problem. (What if there had been a fire?)

    5 Responses to “HOME ALONE”


    Comment by
    Tim Haas
    February 23rd, 2005
    at 10:19 am

    Here’s the answer — it’s fine until something bad happens. You’re never going to pin down the state further than that, so just use common sense.


    Comment by
    Andrea
    February 23rd, 2005
    at 10:38 am

    I stayed home alone very young (3) and stayed home alone with my infant sister when I was five for short periods.

    That was probably too young although nothing horrible happened.

    My six year old could handle about an hour at home alone easily. But I won’t leave her because we have nosy neighbors.


    Comment by
    Mike Peach
    February 23rd, 2005
    at 1:22 pm

    Daryl,

    Whether the child is underweight, who tipped off the authorities or when it is safe to leave a child alone is immaterial in this case.

    They locked their daughter in a room and left her. This is child abuse plain and simple and there is no justification for it.

    It really pisses me off to read comments deflecting the argument. They got caught and they should be punished and made to apologise to their daughter, and to other home educators whose cause they have so damaged. (In camera if necessary)

    Further comment here


    Comment by
    Daryl Cobranchi
    February 23rd, 2005
    at 1:42 pm

    MP,

    I’m not defending them. The problem here is that the media are playing this up as a home ed issue. The underweight thing ties directly into a couple of starvation/child abuse cases over the last couple of years. My point was that the girl was not physically abused or starved. Yeah- the parents are idiots. But would it have made a difference if they had locked her in the house (instead of her room)? How ’bout if they merely told her not to open the door? Weh my 13-year-old babysits his younger siblings, we lock the door behinds us with those very instructions. Of course, they can get out in an emergency.


    Comment by
    Mike Peach
    February 23rd, 2005
    at 3:18 pm

    Daryl,

    It doesn’t work.

    Just take the punishment for fear of sounding like an apologist.

    Home educators should be vilifying these people.

    Mike