Local moms supporting mother arrested after son misses curfew

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News 12 First at Five / Monday, June 1, 2015

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- A local mom's arrest is banding the community together to support her.

Toni Folsom was arrested when her son called deputies after being locked out. Folsom says she gave her son a curfew and when he didn't obey it, she locked the doors.

Now, several mothers, including Toni's sister, are saying she did the right thing.

It's an interesting debate. When is tough love too tough?

"When you have one that's out of control and you're trying to keep him from getting in trouble with the law or going out and committing a crime or either getting killed, you do everything you can to go out of your way to keep them safe," sister Gena Archer said.

Antonia Folsom is a single mother of four. She was arrested last week after locking the doors on her 13 year old who missed his curfew.

Supporter Monique Braswell says locking her son out is not abuse.

"Absolutely not. She told her son to behome at 9 o'clock, then that's the time he should have been home," she said. "Letting the child sleep on the outside was the child's choice."

Judging from the hundreds of comments of support on Facebook, other mothers agree.

Charlene Anderson has lived across the street for years.

"It's like twice a week I know that the police are being called because he's being disobedient. He's a runaway, and all this is in the system, but she still gets locked up," Anderson said.

Because her son is a juvenile, we couldn't get copies of the reports, but the Sheriff's Office confirms they've answered a number of calls to her home regarding a runaway juvenile.

News 12 also learned the teen has had trouble in school. One report cites bullying, fighting, and cursing at adults.

The family says it's not for lack of trying, but now they're feeling helpless.

"I went to the police department, I went to the courthouse, I've been to the YDC, which they all tell me the same thing. There's nothing they can do for a 13 year old unless he gets in trouble," Archer said. "I mean, what's a parent to do?"

Monique Braswell had never met Toni Folsom before her arrest, but she supports this mother so strongly, she's taking the conversation to legislators. She already caught the ear of State Representative Ernest Smith who commented on Facebook, "Actually I applaud her actions. We are painfully over-regulated in matters of rearing a family."

"I'd rather see my 13 year old layin gon the back patio on a concrete slab with a blanket and a pillow than she being called and he's laying on concrete because somebody done killed him," Archer said.

Folsom was charged with midemeanor deprivation of a child. Neighbors and friends say that charge doesn't reflect her at all.

They say she is a fantastic mother to all her kids, including the teen who was locked out and her youngest who is a special needs child.