Mother Faces Jail Time for Forcing Son to Walk 5 Miles to School

February 20, 2012  |  

Remember the guilt trips grandparents used to try to give when they talked about walking X number of miles through the snow and over the hill to get to school? Well if that happened today, their parents might get locked up, as an Arkansas mother is facing up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine for making her 10-year-old son walk nearly five miles to school.

Normally Valerie Borders’ son, Nequavion, takes the bus to school but when his bad behavior forced him to lose his riding privileges for the fifth time, the mother chose to teach her son a lesson by making him walk to school. But one morning Nequavion happened to be spotted by a security guard while crossing a bank parking lot and when the police were called, they took the boy to school, then contacted the mother and charged her with endangering the welfare of a child. According to Jonesboro Police spokesman Sgt. Lyle Waterworth, Valerie’s punishment crossed the line.

“You ask yourself the question, ‘is that safe for the child?’ And if you wouldn’t want your child doing it, we probably don’t need somebody else’s child doing it,” he said.

‘There were a number of things that could have happened to the child. The child could have been injured or abducted.”

I’m assuming this spotting must have occurred in a mostly deserted area, otherwise there was no reason for the security guard to stop the boy and assume anything suspicious in the first place. It seems like the police are sticking their nose in where it doesn’t belong and that could have huge consequences for the mother. If Valerie didn’t discipline her child and he got into worse trouble, I bet the officers wouldn’t be so concerned about his well-being then.

What do you think about this case? Was the mother’s punishment out of line? Should she get jail time?

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Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.

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