Mom Charged with Felony for Letting Seven-Year-Old Go to Park Alone

Remember the joke about how grandparents would have to walk ten miles to school uphill in the snow? Well, the joke for American children today should be that their parents were able to walk three blocks to the park alone without Grandma and Grandpa getting arrested — because apparently, if a parent lets their kid do something alone today, they’re headed for jail and a visit from DCF.


Last Saturday, Nicole Gainey, of Port St. Lucie, Fla., let her seven-year-old son walk ten minutes to the local park on his own. He returned in the front seat of a police cruiser – and she left in the back seat.

Gainey was arrested and is being charged with felony child neglect for allowing her son to go to the park alone. She was released on $4,000 bond. Gainey tells WPTV, which broke the story, that her son is sufficiently mature to go to the park on his own, and he carries a cell phone she uses to check on him.

According to WPTV, St. Lucie County has no laws regulating these types of situations. Each is handled on a case-by-case basis.

Gainey’s arrest resembles recent situations elsewhere. In Florida, Debra Harrell was charged with a felony for leaving her nine-year-old daughter at a park while she worked at a nearby McDonald’s. Harrell’s child was temporarily removed from her custody. Meanwhile, in Connecticut, Christina Williams was arrested after leaving her eleven-year-old daughter in a car while she went into a store; she was charged with a misdemeanor.

We have literally lost any semblance of common sense in this country. While seven may be a bit young to walk to a park alone in today’s age of nosy helicopter parenting, arresting a mother for doing what would have been completely normal in her childhood is a complete overreach by authorities who should know better.

Also see: 20 Basic Truths You Can’t Talk About in America Anymore

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