Life can be difficult when you are a single parent trying to take care of all of your children. Melissa Shields Henderson is somebody who understands this, as she has five children and is a divorced single mother.

At the beginning of the pandemic, the schools were shut down and there was no daycare so her children were all left at home. Henderson still had to make ends meet, so she left to work at a health spa about 23 miles away from her home.

It was a difficult decision, but she knew that her 14-year-old daughter, Linley, was up to the challenge. She would care for the four younger siblings, and it shouldn’t have been a problem because you can babysit in the state of Georgia if you are at least 13 years old.

Unfortunately, things didn’t go smoothly. While Henderson was at work and Linsey was busy with remote schooling, the youngest child disappeared. Thaddeus was only four years old when he saw his friends playing outside, so he went out to play with them.

Within about 10 or 15 minutes, Linley realized that her brother was missing, so she went out and brought him home. Nobody got hurt but the police showed up, and they were there to greet the mother when she got home from work.

They told her that her son had gotten outside, and she thought it was over, but they came back in two weeks and handcuffed her. She said: “They handcuffed me, drove me to jail, booked me, had me put in a cell. It was awful. It was embarrassing.” She added, “It makes me feel hopeless, just now feeling like you can get back to providing, get back to normal. They took away every option that I even have.”

She did get bailed out by her ex-husband, but they told her that they would possibly take her children away from her and she could spend a year in prison. When she did eventually go to court, they were able to resolve the issue, and the judge decided in her favor.

You can see more about the issue with this video:

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