Suburban Mom Jailed for Making Child Walk Home
(NewsSpace.com) – Heather Wallace lives in a quiet suburban neighborhood in Waco, Texas, with her husband and three sons. When her oldest, 8-year-old Aiden, had a tantrum in the car on the way home from karate practice, the mom did what she always does: disengaged. She asked the boy to get out and walk the short distance home, and he complied. Not long after, cops showed up and upended the family’s lives.
Heather Wallace's son, 8. was driving his brothers crazy in the car. Wallace asked him to walk the rest of the way home—half a mile in a Texas suburb—so that he could calm down.
For this she was arrested, handcuffed, and thrown in jail.
— Lenore Skenazy (@FreeRangeKids) November 16, 2022
The 37-year-old mom told The Independent that after a neighbor called the police, two squad cars came to her home, one with young Aiden in the back. She spoke with them at length about the situation and told the outlet her son was upset that the authorities “treated him like a baby.” Wallace says the walk was in a familiar area with sidewalks where he often rides his bike unsupervised.
Wallace says one officer explained the dangers of human trafficking in downtown Waco, which is nowhere near her neighborhood, and asked personal questions about why her house was a mess. After asking Wallace if she’d continue allowing her children to walk alone with her newfound knowledge of human trafficking, he placed her under arrest. A case worker from Child Protective Services then questioned her further while she was handcuffed in the back of the cruiser.
Wallace pleaded guilty to child endangerment and agreed to community service to avoid a possible jail sentence, but the cost was high. She had to resign from her job as a teacher and child sleep therapist, sending the family into financial ruin. Forced to sell the family home, they now live in a rented duplex.
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