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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

To Those Demonizing the Antioch Parents for Their Daughter's Death in the Back Seat: Read This and Reflect

Posted By on Wed, Apr 21, 2010 at 1:50 PM

click to enlarge carseat.jpg
A day after newspapers reported the death Sophia Wisher, a seven-month-old who was mistakenly left in the back seat of a car for 14 hours, the following comment from "carrynation" appeared on SFgate:

I vote for strapping Ms. Wisher and Mr. Wisher each in a seat in a

sealed, locked box, alone, in the dark, in total isolation and

helplessness, without food, water, attention, clean underpants, or

anything, for 625 hours each. That comes to 26 days...THAT is the magnitude of this

abuse of that baby girl...How anyone can call this

magnitude of abuse an "accident" is beyond me.

Numerous other comments accused the Wishers of being intoxicated or simply neglectful parents, even though the story mentions that the police determined it was not a case of neglect. Here's another example from "surfsup":

Unreal. I make sure i know where my daughter is at all times, so I don't want to hear any excuses
Hate to break it to you surfsup, but this could happen to you or anybody else. If you don't believe me, and you are feeling the urge to post some vitriolic comment about how responsible you are and how irresponsible everyone else is, I ask that you read something first.

Washington Post writer Gene Weingarten recently won a Pulitzer prize for his examination of this topic. Here's a telling passage from the story about who forgets babies. In short, it's all of us.

The wealthy do, it turns out. And the poor, and the middle class. Parents of all ages and ethnicities do it. Mothers are just as likely to do it as fathers. It happens to the chronically absent-minded and to the fanatically organized, to the college-educated and to the marginally literate. In the last 10 years, it has happened to a dentist. A postal clerk. A social worker. A police officer. An accountant. A soldier. A paralegal. An electrician. A Protestant clergyman. A rabbinical student. A nurse. A construction worker. An assistant principal. It happened to a mental health counselor, a college professor and a pizza chef. It happened to a pediatrician. It happened to a rocket scientist.

Last year it happened three times in one day, the worst day so far in the worst year so far in a phenomenon that gives no sign of abating.

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Ashley Harrell

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