Stupidity and recklessness…

Some things I read or hear about cause me to want to grab foolish people, shake them, and smack some sense into them.  Such is the case with the woman who drove intoxicated with her three young children in the car. Jeanna Marie Fineday, age 29, was charged with three counts of child endangerment and two counts of driving while intoxicated in Becker County District Court.  The charges stemmed from an incident on October 6, 2013 when Fineday went into a ditch with her children ages 5, 2, and 10 months in the car. Her breath test indicated a blood-alcohol level of 0.157, which is almost double the legal limit.

A relative came and picked up the children at the scene.  One of the children came out the car seat during the accident and struck their head before falling out of the vehicle.  Medical personnel on the scene examined the children and determined that they were not badly hurt.  Thank God for that.  Children should not have to suffer for their mother’s stupidity and recklessness.

Fineday is now sitting in the Becker County Jail.  Bail has been set and her next court appearance is October 28th.  Fineday was previously convicted of a DWI (2008).

I hope the court will think long and hard about the danger Fineday put those children in.  They really should be removed from her care until she can show that she is able to make smarter choices for herself and her children.  I would say a couple of years of sober and upstanding behavior should be required before she is allowed to have custody of them again.  She could have killed herself and her children on October 6th.

There is no excuse for a parent to put their children at risk like this.  It goes beyond the issues of criminal culpability and crosses over into unconscionable behavior for a parent.  And while I recognize she may be afflicted with an addiction that she cannot control, I do not believe that any leniency can be shown in this situation when it comes to protecting those children.

I cannot grab Fineday, shake her, or smack some sense into her (as much as I would like to), but the court can.  The court will ensure that Fineday’s children are protected and that she won’t have another chance to endanger their lives like that.  Perhaps having her children removed from her care will bring her to her senses.  I hope so – for her sake and the sake of her children.

Day one thousand one hundred and two of the new forty – obla di obla da

Ms. C

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About Ms. C

I teach at NDSU...but I remain a student of life with all the enthusiasm that entails. My favorite saying is, "Sometimes you have to take the leap and build your wings on the way down." In the new forty that is what I am doing...building my wings.
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3 Responses to Stupidity and recklessness…

  1. tim haering says:

    Her prior conviction suggests she drives drunk with some regularity. Removing kids from their mother will hurt them, because moms are moms no matter how drunk. But will the offsetting safety of removing them be a net gain of good? Depends on the quality of the custodial guardians. May be worth a dice roll. Poor kids. Stuck in the middle again. Always innocent, powerless victims of adult decisions. You couldn’t pay me enough to be a kid again.

    • B-dubya says:

      You are so right, Tim. The entire business of “the child’s best interests” is a conundrum. Several years ago, I visited (at a social event) with a Child Welfare worker who had been dealing with a heart-wrenching case:
      A mother who had mental health issues had willingly given up custody of her two children several times. Each time, the grandparents and other relatives had pushed the mother into taking the children back because the situation was an “embarrassment” to them. When meeting with those relatives, the caseworker had stressed that in giving the children’s care to other people, the mother was being “the best mother she could be under the circumstances”. The caseworker had wanted to stay with the case so that she could maintain contact with the children and help them to understand that in her own way their mother had been a very good mother because she cared enough to give them a better life than what she could provide. She had hoped to arrange supervised visitation for the Mom and kids so they could maintain a relationship.
      At the time of our visit, the caseworker had been taken off the case because she had become “too emotionally involved”. How does one NOT put their heart into a job like that—and still do it well?

  2. B-dubya says:

    I also agree that in the instance of the drinking and driving-with-children case, the physical safety of those children MUST be the first concern. Leaving them in the custody of their mother is equivalent to leaving them in a burning building.

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