Cherish Peterson, the Arizona mother who says she accidentally left her two-month-old son in a shopping cart earlier this week, is gaining emotional support from an unlikely source — a social media campaign known as #IStandWithCherish.
Peterson, the 27-year-old mother of four small children, told AZFamily that she’s a “good mom” who “made a horrible mistake” regarding the incident where the baby was left outside the grocery store in the shopping cart. Peterson’s baby was noticed by an off-duty officer, who stepped into a nearby Supercuts to see if the infant belonged to anyone.
Peterson says she realized after she got home and one of her older children asked where the baby was what a terrible error she had made. It took Cherish about forty minutes to make the roundtrip journey and come back for the baby and by the time she arrived, officers say she was very distraught with what had happened.
Initially, Cherish Peterson faced harsh criticism from others, much like the parents who leave their children in their cars, but then, over the weekend, a strange thing happened. Cherish Peterson found herself trending on both Facebook and Twitter because other parents who had watched her television interview were reaching out to show support for the young mom.
(To see the complete Cherish Peterson interview, click here.)
While many parents shared with Peterson the tales of their own parenting fails, adults who were accidentally left behind by their own parents even came out to tell Cherish that everything would be okay. Many just issued statements of support for Peterson.
Cherish Peterson is a wonderful mom and person. She needs love and support, not criminal charges. #istandwithcherish pic.twitter.com/7a9YfhPTXY
— Tara Miller Law (@taramillerlaw) August 29, 2015
— Nicole (@NikkiDee14) August 30, 2015
While Cherish Peterson undoubtedly appreciates the supportive statements, there was still plenty of backlash. Some people equated the support for Peterson to a divide in racial equality, questioning if Cherish were black if others would rally around her. Others weren’t so concerned with black and white so much as the fact that they felt there should be no room for a grey area when it came to parenting.
why is #istandwithcherish srsly trending? i’ve forgotten juice, milk, cereal etc in my cart.. but my son? not a chance. yall are insane
— Kiara (@kschottt) August 30, 2015
The #IStandWithCherish movement is asking supporters to contact the local prosecutor’s office in an effort to get child endangerment charges dropped against Peterson, stating Cherish is a good mom who was overwhelmed at the time.
What do you think? Should Cherish Peterson be prosecuted or has she already been tried enough in the court of public opinion?
[Image courtesy of KPHO Phoenix]