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Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016

Responsiblity part of all parents duty

Sunday, August 10, 2003

So here's the background. You meet a 15-year-old runaway homeless girl roaming the streets of St. Louis and decide to befriend her. Before long, you entrust the young girl with the care of your 2-year-old daughter on a shopping trip. The girl kidnaps your daughter and is eventually found in Detroit. Your baby is alive.

How should the courts treat the parents in this case who allowed a homeless stranger to take their child for a day-long shopping trip? Well that's the question before a St. Louis court in the case of little Denisha Hair.

The girl's father admitted he didn't know the runaway very well before the day he allowed her to take his daughter shopping. The question is why then in the world did he allow this to happen?

The court will decide the eventual custody dispute and the 2-year-old remains in foster care as of now. But the courts must address the larger question on parental responsibility and the welfare of the child.

It simply boggles my mind that any parent would allow this situation to occur. What must they have been thinking?

I have long argued that the issue of parental responsibility is the largest question puzzling society. Day after day you read headlines about some parent who simply ignored those parental responsibilities. This case ended happily but you and I both know it could just have easily ended in tragedy.

We hope the courts send a clear message to parents everywhere. The care and custody of a child is far too important to place in the hands of a homeless stranger regardless of the circumstances. To argue otherwise is simply absurd.

No one wants - except in extreme circumstances - to remove a child from a home. But in this case the parents abandoned their rights when they allowed the stranger access to their child. The punishment should send a clear signal to parents everywhere. And the punishment should leave no doubt on the role of parents and the importance of parental responsibility.

To accept anything less is an affront to the child and society.

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