North Augusta mom's arrest sparks child care debate

Debra Lynn Harrell (WRDW-TV)
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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (AP) — The arrest of a single mother who let her 9-year-old play alone in a South Carolina park during her shift at McDonald's has people debating about how working parents can find child care when school is out.

Forty-six-year-old Debra Harrell faces 10 years in prison if convicted of felony child neglect after police picked up her daughter. State law says it's criminal to leave a child at "unreasonable risk of harm" but doesn't define when a child can be left without supervision.

Neighbors tell The Associated Press that Harrell shouldn't be vilified, because children come to the park without their parents all the time.

Now that her case is getting attention, they say other kids are staying inside and alone.

(Copyright 2014. The Associated Press.)

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