Earlier this week, The Inquisitr posted about the alarming plight of single mom Debra Harrell, whose daughter was taken by local social services workers because the girl was playing unsupervised in the park — and now, Harrell has at least some chance of getting her kid back.
In our earlier report, we noted that Harrell, 46, appeared to be exercising the least worst option when deciding to allow her child to play in the park near her workplace, a McDonald’s. The small family had scraped together to purchase a laptop to keep the 9-year-old girl entertained, but after a break-in, that summer vacation option was no longer available.
When the child asked to spend the time when her mom was at work at an adjacent park, Harrell equipped the girl with a cell phone. But an uninvolved parent questioned the girl about her parents’ whereabouts, and cops were called.
Harrell was arrested and charged with “unlawful conduct towards a child,” and the little girl was taken by social services and placed in foster care custody — which to many on the internet reading at home seemed like a terrible outcome for both the child and her well-intentioned mom.
In fact, someone was moved enough to create an online fundraiser to help Harrell get her little girl back. And it seems that this case indeed made waves — enough that $12,410 has been raised so far to assist the mom and daughter in their legal efforts to be reunited.
The signal was undoubtedly boosted by Lenore Skenazy, an advocate against parental hysteria and the criminalization of formerly normal childhood activities. (Skenazy spearheaded an effort to take children to the park and leave them there, as was once common before “stranger danger” became an oversized boogeyman.)
Thanks to the efforts of people like Skenazy, support has swelled for Harrell as the story spreads. A woman named Clair Ryan, who has no personal connection to either woman, organized the fundraiser to an overwhelming response — she writes:
“I’m a total stranger with little in common with Debra. I don’t have any kids and I’ve never had to rely on a low wage job to make ends meet. I have a full-time job with benefits. I work hard, but I’ve never struggled, and I know how incredibly lucky and privileged I am for that. And I don’t believe it makes me a better or more worthy person than anyone else, whether they’re unemployed or working for minimum wage, trying to feed a family.”
“I was moved by Debra’s story and by the response from both very liberal and conservative people that arresting Debra and taking her daughter away was not the right solution.”
If you wish to assist Ryan’s effort to help Debra Haskell get her daughter back, you can donate here.