Texas Mother Charged with “Abandoning” Her Kids Who Were 30 Yards Away

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Every year we hear stories about parents getting in trouble for leaving their children in places unsupervised, whether it’s at home, in a store, or in a car. In most incidents the parents were nowhere near where they had left their children, but for a recent story coming out of Houston, Texas, that was simply not the case.

Laura Browder, single mother of a 6-year-old girl and 2-year-old boy, was arrested and charged with “abandoning” her children who were no more than 30 yards away from her. She went to Houston’s Memorial City Mall for a job interview but because it was last minute, Browder did not have enough time to find a babysitter. She brought her kids in the mall with her and sat them down in the food court near a McDonalds then went to her interview. According to Browder the interview was not for a job in the mall, but the food court was a meeting ground for the company’s employer and herself. Shortly after being offered the job and returning to her children, she was handcuffed. Browder claims the children were always in her line of sight, but the police officer on the scene arrested her. She is unsure of how this arrest will affect the new position.

Browder stated,

This was very unfortunate this happened. I had a interview with a very great company with lots of career growth. I am a college student and mother of two. I would never put my name, background or children in harms way intentionally. I have a promising future ahead of me regardless of what the media tries to portray me as. A judge released my children to me knowing that I was a good mother who just made a not so smart decision. My children weren’t even 30 yards away from me, I fed them and sat there with them until it was time to meet with my interviewer. This too will pass and I am not concerned with outsiders have to say or what they think.

Child Protective Services officials say they are still in the early stages of the investigation, but have stated that they can offer services to help Browder find suitable childcare. It’s hard to understand the argument for charging her. Although she purposely left her kids there, she was unaware that it would be considered abandonment even with them in her sight, and she appeared to have been doing the best she could.

This is bullshit ! I guess it would’ve been better had she left them in the hot car like most scum bag parents smh

— Marnica (@TeammakeMoney) July 19, 2015

Many people have commented via Twitter or other forms of social media that she should not be punished because the children were in her eyesight and not in a car or somewhere that she could not easily get to them. Browder is trying to do the best that she can with her circumstances. She is a single mother and her kids need her in the picture. Accepting the childcare help that child protective services can offer could make things a lot easier for her. But most pressingly, it’s important to make sure laws are applied in common sense ways to best help mothers who are struggling to seek care for their children.

Taelor Bentley
Taelor is a member of the Hampton University Class of 2017 and was a Law Street Media Fellow for the Summer of 2015. Contact Taelor at



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