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Whoa, Momma!

Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Tracey Henry and Suzannah DiMarzio

Child fights off abductor at Walmart

11

February

You probably have seen the video of 7-year-old Brittney Baxter fighting off a would-be kidnapper in the toy aisle of the Bremen, Ga., Walmart. What's also shocking is all the judgey people coming out of the woodwork questioning why the mother would let her kids play in the toy aisle while she shopped.

Once again, the Free Range Kids blog has the best answer to the hysteria around this case. This little girl did exactly what she was supposed to do – kick and scream. The message from this should not be that it’s never safe to leave your child unattended, but that you should focus on teaching your kids how to stand up for themselves. Here's Lenore Skanazy's take on it:

What is not so good is the fact that Brittney’s attempted abduction is going to be the file many parents call up when they think about whether their kids are ever safe apart from them. As Brittney’s mom said in an interview, she doesn’t want to take her eyes off her daughter ever again.  That’s understandable — what a horrible thing the whole family just lived through! The other thing they just lived through, however, is proof that their little girl can handle herself in a terrible situation that is, thank goodness, rare.

I have an instant dislike of people who judge crime victims as somehow bringing misfortune on themselves. Instead of hysteria that someone tried to abduct a kid (someone obviously not too smart to try it in a busy store with security cameras all around), the headline should be "Child Not Abducted at WalMart"

--Sharon Kennedy Wynne

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[Last modified: Saturday, February 11, 2012 2:45am]

    

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