Social Question

jca's avatar

Mom leaves a 2 year old and a baby locked in a hot car while she goes on a job interview. She's under arrest and now says she had no choice. Your thoughts?

Asked by jca (29281 points ) April 18th, 2014

http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/scottsdale/2014/04/16/county-attorney-says-will-prosecute-shanesha-taylor-felonies/7799987/

Mom goes on a job interview, leaves her 2 year old and baby locked in a car with the window open 1 inch. Authorities said the temperature inside the car was around 100 degrees (this occurred in Arizona). Now her lawyer says she had no choice and she is a victim of her economic circumstances.

What are your thoughts?

I will withhold my opinion until later, so as not to be accused of slanting things right off the bat.

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80 Answers

Smitha's avatar

She could have found someone to watch the kids or may be she should have brought the kids too along with her. Though there are chances that she might not get the job, but still there would be understanding people who would have been willing to help watch them. To be more precise: We must not leave children in the car by themselves!

JLeslie's avatar

In some cases when children are left in cars like this I have empathy. There have been cases where the parent forgot the baby was in the back, that sort of thing. But, when children are left in a hot car on purpose? This woman is trying to do the right thing and get a job to support herself and her family, but to leave her kids alone in a car is just inexcusable. What sucks is if she had brought the children in with her for the interview they probably wouldn’t hire her.

Mimishu1995's avatar

What? There is a car with 100 degrees of temperature? Wonder where she got that car, and how those kids survived, even water couldn’t bear that kind of temperature…

jca's avatar

We’re talking two kids – a 2 year old and a 6 month old (toddler and a baby).

ragingloli's avatar

Well, I hope the babies were properly seasoned before she cooked them.

Mimishu1995's avatar

@jca OK so I’ve edited my post. But I just wonder where the hell such a hot car came from.

jca's avatar

@Mimishu1995- Arizona. It’s very hot there. It’s mostly dessert climate. In a parked car, with closed windows (or windows mostly closed) the temperature inside the car will heat up because the car is essentially baking in the sun.

canidmajor's avatar

@Mimishu1995 , the car was at 100 degrees Farenheit not Celsius. That is survivable.

Mimishu1995's avatar

Yeah @canidmajor. That’s what I’m getting at. It’s a little joke for @jca since she didn’t make it clear whether it is 100 degrees Farenheit or Celsius. Too bad she didn’t see it :p

ragingloli's avatar

Colonials just want to be ‘special’. That is why they invent their own nonsensical systems of measurements and “sports”.

flip86's avatar

@ragingloli Fahrenheit makes more sense than Celsius. It has a better scale.

Mimishu1995's avatar

@flip86 But some countries refuse to use Fahrenheit.

elbanditoroso's avatar

She’s guilty and should lose the child. She is not a fit mother. And she’s an idiot.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

Toss her in jail and give me the job position.

ragingloli's avatar

@flip86
Fahrenheit does not make any sense at all.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

^ You just adore the Metric system because Hitler used it.

ragingloli's avatar

@SecondHandStoke
That is one thing that Hitler did right.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

Not the creation of Volkswagen AG or the invention of the Olympic torch relay?

GloPro's avatar

What was her plan if she got the job? Install a cage on the luggage rack?

stanleybmanly's avatar

From the information given, I think it’s a good thing that she was both arrested and hopefully scared and humiliated. Beyond that, I see no positive good in prosecuting this woman. To begin with, what sort of job is she likely to find once she has a felony conviction on her record? Come to think of it, with all of the publicity, the job offers will probably come flooding in. But the case is instructive, if for no other reason, it illustrates how quickly your life and future can be snatched from you when you’re down and out. Her bad judgement will probably earn her a charge of “reckless endangerment” or such, but the reality is that if you’re both dumb AND broke in America, you’re all but certain to wind up snared and labeled defective by the criminal justice system.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Personally I think she should have taken the kids inside with her, she could have left them with reception or just told the interviewer she had no choice and took them into the interview with her, and again I have to say I sure am glad Mrs Squeeky and I chose not to have any kids.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@flip86 Fahrenheit makes more sense????
Really? 32F is freezing and 212 is boiling, that makes more sense than 0c is freezing and 100c is boiling I think Celsius makes more sense and is a lot easier to understand.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@SQUEEKY2 Yes squeek there really is no sound argument against embracing the entire metric system. It was a MAJOR mistake in the 60s when the U.S. was on the verge and very nearly made the transformation. We could afford the transformation then. Now we are saddled with a system of measurement that steepens our slide toward economic irrelevance, while the rest of the world passes us by.

Coloma's avatar

@jca Where is this mysterious “dessert” climate? Is it cloudy with a chance of cheesecake.” lol

I think it is very sad, completely wrong and of dangerment to the children.
OTOH what is a person to do if they need to look for work and have no childcare resources?
The whole situation is just pathetic.
If the woman has no family of friends to help her, would it have been better to tie the children to a lamp post in the shade like a dog?

Women used to drug their children and infants during the depression years so they could go to work all day. I do not agree with what was done but I can understand how desperation might lead to less than optimum choices.

Seek's avatar

Wasn’t she homeless?

I haven’t read the article, just going off what I heard. Honestly, if you’re homeless, have no family, no economic prospects, and no help, what the hell are you supposed to do? I’m not saying it was a great idea, but better than taking the kid and jumping off a bridge to end their troubles.

Seek's avatar

And honestly, when we have people getting away with murder because they’re too rich for prison, putting a woman in jail for trying to get a job seems… asinine.

johnpowell's avatar

She was homeless and unfortunately in Maricopa County while being brown. They are going to throw the book at her. They love their prisons down there.

Lets be realistic. There would be no chance of her getting the job if she dragged the kids in.

Coloma's avatar

@Seek Agreed. It’s really easy to point fingers when one s not in such a dire circumstance.

Seek's avatar

“Y’all better just pull yourself up by your bootstrap—- HEY! THROW THAT WOMAN IN JAIL!”

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

I am sorry she didn’t have the necessary resources to attend the job interview safely. Every one is focused on the temperature, but look at it in reality, real time, real world. People take cars, people take kids. It is insanity to leave one’s children inside a car while they have a job interview. It is deadly serious stuff no matter what is the temp.
She should have taken the children with her on the job interview.
Homeless is hard, REAL HARD, and sad, but it still is no reason to put your children’s lives at risk.

johnpowell's avatar

This reminds me of when we were in Guadalajara. My mom parked and told me and my sister to wait in the van while she walked to find a bank to exchange dollars to Pesos. What she thought would be 5 minutes turned into 10 hours. She immediately got lost and eventually had to go the the Embassy for them to help her find the van. The sun sent down by the time she found us. We were pissing in bottles. Luckily we had a good amount of water.

Seek's avatar

She should have taken the children with her on the job interview.

Hi! Here’s my resume, and my cover letter, and my two hungry Dickensian street urchins. Please can I have a job?

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

Communities should take such stories to heart, and take a new look at what can be done to help single parents, homeless parents, financially traumatised parents. They should work fast and keep at it until there are no more stories like this.
It’s lots better to tell an employer you are poor, than tell your cellmates or neighbors you let your baby die. I’m sorry @Seek, I love you, and respect your input and opinions, but I cannot agree with you this time. Life first, job second.

Seek's avatar

Again, I’m not saying it was a great idea. But you have to understand the thought process.

I am destitute.
My children are hungry.
We have nowhere to go.
I finally managed to get a job interview despite the fact that I have no home address (a friggin’ miracle)
I have to do everything I can to get this job.
Can’t mess it up.
I have to get hired.

Bringing her kids into the interview would be an immediate “Don’t call us, we’ll call you”. Would you hire someone who didn’t have their shit together enough to get a babysitter? It doesn’t put forth a great impression.

The woman was stuck between a rock and a hard place. With several hard places surrounding, and a pile of rocks hanging over her head.

But, you know, that rich guy who raped his three year old daughter? He doesn’t need to be in jail.

johnpowell's avatar

Or maybe we could set-up some sort of child care centers where welfare recipients can care for children while others are out looking for jobs or going on interviews. Maybe give 1.5 times what they get for welfare for pay. Shit, at least they could bring their kids to work.

Seek's avatar

I worked for a voucher-program daycare. People who worked there and brought their kids had to pay full rate. The kids you bring with you take spaces in the teacher-student ratio, which is strictly enforced by the state.

Also, you have to be qualified to be a daycare teacher. In my area it’s a mandatory 40 hour class (you can’t bring your kids, no they don’t provide childcare) that you have to pay for up front, pass or fail. And you have to take something like 20 hours of continuing education classes every year.

johnpowell's avatar

I’m thinking more along the lines of daycare at Adventure Zone. It doesn’t have to be great. Just better than getting locked in a car.

Response moderated (Obscene)
fluthernutter's avatar

Really poor decision-making—with what could have been heart-breaking results. But jail isn’t the answer. It wouldn’t help the children, the lady or society.

Those places that offer homeless people a suit to go on interviews should have resources for childcare as well.

Seek's avatar

@johnpowell It doesn’t matter. Laws for childcare are already established. Oddly enough, the only exception I know of to the 40 hours rule is for (haha) religious childcare centers, which are trusted to keep the babies safe through their own “private training programs.”

Cue @ragingloli joke

Response moderated
johnpowell's avatar

Well, then the government can foot the bill for the training. At least that way people can walk out with some certification. It is certainly cheaper than tossing this lady is jail.

Response moderated
Seek's avatar

I’d love a government-sponsored job training plan. One that includes childcare for its students.

Good luck selling it to the republicans getting the kickbacks from the for-profit prison system.

fluthernutter's avatar

Should have just put up a sign that read:
Will work for childcare.

Seek's avatar

^ Duh. She’s white.

johnpowell's avatar

For fucks sake.

Symbeline's avatar

@Seek Yeah, I thought of mentioning that we shouldn’t fool ourselves in thinking that the justice system is fair and equal, but the link speaks for itself, really.

flutherother's avatar

Anyone whose priorities are so skewed they put a job interview before the welfare of their own child doesn’t deserve to have a job an interview or a child.

johnpowell's avatar

They were homeless. The kids would have probably been in the car anyway.

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

My thoughts were more along the lines of state run foster care going through a big shift. These people get accepted, and lots of stuff falls through the cracks. Suppose there were state or county daycares with people who want to be foster parents working there. State employees are in charge, prospective foster parents work there. When they have spent XX number of hours there, they can go forward with the process to place children with them. It should be the last part of the process to accept them.
If they are working in a daycare, it is easier to observe their behavior with children. Rather than home visits, which is time consuming and costly, they could be observed in groups of half a dozen or so at a time.

johnpowell's avatar

Why not just keep them with the original parents if they are actually trying to better their circumstances?

Seek's avatar

Because poor people shouldn’t be allowed to breed, @johnpowell

snowberry's avatar

I wonder what would have happened to me when I accidentally left one of my newborn twins in her carseat by a dumpster?

The back story is that I had three older children-a nine-year-old, a hyperactive seven-year-old, and a two-year-old, as well as the other twin. I had been visiting a friend. When it was time to leave I changed the twins’ diapers and buckled them in their car seats. I carried the two diaper bags and our picnic basket out to the car, and rolled down all the windows. I came back to get one of the twins but then I realized after I got out there, how hot it still was in the car. So I put her car seat on the ground in the shade of a dumpster near where I was parked. I called the two oldest kids over to me and put them in the car. And I returned for the two-year-old and put her in the car.

Then I noticed the seven-year-old was gone, so I found him and took him down off of the top of the dumpster. I put him back in the car and re-buckled the the two-year-old who was smart enough to unbuckle herself. Then I went for the other baby, and put her in the car. By this time the seven-year-old had gotten out and disappeared around the back of the house. I left the kids in the car and went to retrieve him again.

Eventually after having buckled everybody in multiple times, I left for home. A half-mile from the house I realized I only had one baby in the car, so I quickly made a U-turn and roared back to get the other baby who was still asleep in her car seat beside the dumpster. When I found her, the nearby high school was letting out and students were walking everywhere. Thank God nobody noticed her, and double thanks that the garbage truck didn’t show up, or I might have gone to jail myself!

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

What I don’t understand is why she didn’t contact the person she was interviewing with to explain the situation and ask that the appt. be rescheduled. As a former hiring manager, I would have agreed to reschedule it. Hiring managers know that life is messy and emergencies arise.

johnpowell's avatar

Because you don’t want to look like you will constantly calling in flaky babysitter? Getting a job is hard enough when you are homeless. There were probably multiple applicants that don’t have childcare problems.

SpatzieLover's avatar

This was a discussion on several tv morning talk shows weeks ago when this happened. According to those discussions, the woman and her children were living in the car at the time, so she felt leaving them wouldn’t be dangerous since they would most likely sleep while she was interviewing.

Where is a mom with no money, no home and no childcare supposed to leave her kids for an interview? How many homeless moms will get hired if they drag their kids in with them on an interview?

People are out of touch with the realities of being poor.

Coloma's avatar

@SpatzieLover Yes, they are. easy to be an armchair preacher when one is not facing the same situations so many are.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@johnpowell All she had to say was, “There has been a family emergency. Would it be possible to reschedule?”

Symbeline's avatar

Another problem about poverty is the approach and mindset that people have towards it.

People are poor because they’re lazy, because they don’t want to work, all sorts of nonsense. Might be true for some, but nowhere near true enough for most to say that such thoughts should even be justified. And anyone who has, or is, truly poor knows this isn’t true. Unfortunately, we live in a society where such reasons are accepted without further thinking.

johnpowell's avatar

@SpatzieLover :: Even if you are lucky enough to get the job and you are in your car you are still fucked. You have to deal with being clean for work, you probably only have one good outfit and you can’t wear the same thing everyday.

@Pied_Pfeffer :: It isn’t 1999. Jobs are hard to get. You can’t really have your first impression be blowing off the interview. When was your last interview?

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@johnpowell The first impression comes with the application. If I’m going to schedule time for a personal interview (and this is after having talked to the applicant), then it is worth rescheduling. Plus, a phone call requesting this isn’t “blowing it off”. Obviously, the person is interested in the job if they make a request.

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

@johnpowell, Were you responding to my suggestion of a state run daycare tied in with foster care? I said daycare, not removal of the children. I first suggested communities look at their resources, and the needs of their community. I then suggested foster applicants to work at a daycre as part of their acceptance in the foster care program. I didn’t suggest removal of anyone’s children.
I’m talking a state run, state funded daycare program offered for extreme family cases so parents can interview, work, attend school, etc. The people working there would be foster care applicants who have passed the rest of the application process, before they actually take any foster children to live with them.
The daycare could have a drop in policy which allows for emergencies such as; a parent has a medical emergency, job interviews, needing some time at a library to study or research jobs, etc.
There should be scheduled care available for parents who have a job, but haven’t had enough paydays yet to start standard daycare.
Also, lots of times children are taken by police when offices are closed, and there is nowher (In many communities) for the child(ren) to be for a while, even overnight sometimes. Those daycare facilities with foster care state workers already in place would be the ideal temporary drop point for those children.
I take issue with the title, “Daycare”. I think childcare should be availlable round the clock.

johnpowell's avatar

@Jonesn4burgers :: Gotcha. My bad. Sorry for the confusion. I get where you are coming from now. I thought you meant something totally different.

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

No, I’m glad you made your comment, and let me know I hadn’t made myself clear. Sometimes I have a full blown idea in mind, with many details, but I get in such a hurry to get them written, I forget what didn’t get included. I just wanted to know if that was the case this time. You see, it has been a thing I’ve wanted to see happen a very long time, but haven’t found a willing ear. Safe child care is a huge issue, but an issue no-one seems to feel motivated to pursue. I guess I’ve stated myself on the subject so many times, I’ve taken to lopping off important details.
Thanks for pointing that out to me. :-)

Seek's avatar

Reschedule? Reschedule to what? A day when she won’t be living in her car?

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@Seek First, we don’t know if she was living in her vehicle. From the article, it states that Taylor told police she was jobless, without child care that day, and had occasionally been homeless. Even if currently was, what do you think she was planning to do with the children should she start work?

The ..without childcare that day….” implies that she normally does or can at times. I have yet to live in a city in the USA where there isn’t some sort of support system for helping people get back on their feet and into a job, should they want it. Clearly this woman does.

All I am saying is that it wouldn’t have hurt to ask if the interview could be rescheduled.

flip86's avatar

@SQUEEKY2 Why does freezing need to be zero and boiling point need to be 100? It’s all arbitrary. Fahrenheit is better in my opinion. You don’t have to spend the majority of winter below zero. Also, there aren’t extreme changes in just a few degrees. It is more laid back.

Canadians still use imperial for construction. I wonder why that is?

jca's avatar

I just returned after over 12 hours. WTF? Why all the moderated posts when this is in Social? That’s why I put it in Social. So people could have a discussion.

jca's avatar

http://www.kpho.com/story/25254715/az-mom-who-left-kids-in-car-not-unemployed-or-homeless

Update: I just googled to see if she lived in a shelter (which I would think would be likely) or lived in her car, and according to the recent article, she had a home address (which the article is using to say she had a home) and the article states she had a part time job. She was a no-show for a press conference, and she will be the recipient of over $100,000 from an online petition asking for support (which was also reported on the Today Show, which was what originally got me to ask this question). 100k – not too shabby.

Coloma's avatar

I think it’s great, poor woman, why shouldn’t she be the recipient of caring benefactors? I hope she has a wonderful time getting herself set up and regaining her dignity. I would never begrudge someone a stroke of good fortune, she deserves a break, everyone does.

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

Does nobody see this woman endangered her kids for a not life threatening situation? People throw babies out of upstairs windows because the house is on fire, but not because the stairs are too clutterted to go down them.

Symbeline's avatar

I think most of us agree that what she did was stupid, the issue is because she got such a harsh punishment out of it. At least I was thinking about the equality thing here. That other girl I posted a link about did something much worse and gets off, but not her. Because she’s poor, and black?
It should be the same for everyone.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@jca Thanks for posting a link to the update.

@Symbeline The mother from your link, Catalina Clouser, was sentenced with 16 years of probation. Shanesha’s case has not been tried yet. In both cases, the women were arrested and have/will go to court. Until there is a ruling in the latter case, it is too early to judge that there is inconsistency.

As we all (should) know, even cases with similar top-line stories, “Mother endangers child’s’ life”, the details are going to be different. Once in court, the cases are at the mercy of the lawyers, judge and jury. It may even be that laws have chanced since Catalina was sentenced. It’s too early to consider that the two women aren’t being tried equally.

Symbeline's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer It’s true. But it sure isn’t looking good. And there are tons of stories like this that have shown that consistency is not a priority. There was a big thing where I live where a doctor murdered his two children, and after two years of prison, he is released on grounds of mental illness, and having conquered it.
I can’t possibly be the only one who sees a problem with that. This one story is not related to this, but you can see why I don’t have much faith in the justice system.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@Symbeline Faith in the justice system is a whole other topic, isn’t it? I just worry about the racial injustice card being brought up when all of the facts are out yet.

Symbeline's avatar

It isn’t another topic if racial injustice does happen when the trial is over and everything is decided. Again I stress; it don’t look so good. It might seem that it would, because of that petition and all that, but if everything was fair there would be no need for such things in the first place.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

Wanna piss off the judge right good?

Bring the brats with you to court.

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