The story of three-year-old Sherin Mathews made headlines in North Texas last fall when she was found dead near her home in Richardson. Her adoptive parents were arrested on charges ranging from injury to a child, to abandoning or endangering a child.
Since then, Reena Zaidi has made it her mission to see that state lawmakers pass a bill that would make it a felony for children under a certain age to be left at home alone.
“It is absurd that these laws do not exist and about 90 percent of the people we’ve talked to thought that these kinds of laws did exist,” claims Zaidi. “The fact that only three states have any type of law like this is just so bizarre.”
Zaidi has a son in second-grade at Coppell Classical Academy, a ResponsiveEd school, and she is the the co-founder of Love and Justice for Humanity, an organization created in response to the lack of child abuse and neglect laws in America. She’s been interviewing parents, talking to state representatives and making headlines of her own during her quest to see that Sherin’s Law is passed in Texas.
The GoFundMe page for, Love and Justice for Humanity, says one of the main challenges of defining Sherin’s Law is determining the age at which it would be illegal for parents to leave a child home alone. So Zaidi has set out to talk to as many people as possible about their opinion on the matter.
“State Representative Linda Koop asked us to do a video blog and talk to different groups of people about what is the best age for a child to be home alone,” says Zaidi. “We’ve talked to parents and now want to do a Q&A with teachers to find out what they believe to be the best age, because some children are with teachers a lot longer than they are in their home with their own parents.”
Zaidi has plans to set up video interviews with teachers at her son’s school and possibly others in the metroplex.
“Most people I’ve talked to have thoughtful insight but there are some that think that four-year-old kids walking home from school is okay. That’s not okay and I’m going to fight till the end to see that this law passed,” proclaims Zaidi.
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