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6:48 p.m. - 2014-04-01
This morning C's preschool teacher took me aside and told me that last week, when A dropped the kids off at school, she left the car running with Mar in it, a parent reported this to the school, and if it happens again the preschool will have to make a report to the Deparmtent of Children and Families.

"Most people don't know it's illegal," she said. "But you can't do that. You can't leave her alone in the car if she's under 12."

I said, "OK, thank you" and entered a state of panic that I've been in all day.
I actually had checked the law on this before. It says:

"Any parent guardian or person having custody or control or providing supervision of any child under the age of 12 years who knowingly leaves a child unsupervised in a public accomodation or motor vehicle for a period of time that presents a substantial risk to the child's health or safety shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor."

My interpretation of that is that it's not illegal to leave Mar, who is 7, alone in the car in front of the preschool while I walk her brother in, which generally takes less than 60 seconds and never takes more than 5 minutes.

When I got home I checked the law and then called the police department to ask how our local cops interpret "substantial risk." The dispatcher or cop I spoke refused to get specific on how long it would take for a child to run a "substantial risk of bodily harm," but said leaving Mar in the car while I walk Cashy into day care doesn't qualify.

Rest to be resolved, however, the issue of the running car. I would NEVER leave my kids in a running car alone. Who would? That's just plain dumb -- and dangerous.

I don't know if A did or not -- I don't think she would so I think the teacher may have gotten that part wrong, but if she did ... that's seriously lacking in common sense. It makes me question her judgement.

I'm also just stressed out/upset at the words DCF. They can take your kids away. They CAN. This is how nightmares start, isn't it?



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