The Short of It
A mom left her 8-year-old, special needs son at a hospital with nothing but a note pinned to his back because she said he was acting out and she felt overwhelmed.
Kathy Sherrer, 36, was fed up with her son's misbehavior, so she left him at the Jordan Valley Medical Center in Utah with a note pinned to his back that read: "This kid is rude and ungovernable! I do not want him in my house at all!"
Sherrer later defended her actions, saying she thought what she was doing fell under Utah's Safe Haven law, which actually only allows parents to anonymously drop off a baby up to 3 days old in a hospital with no questions asked. She says all four of her children, ages 4, 8, 12 and 13, are special needs kids, and she believed health authorities would understand she "was overwhelmed."
"I thought that it was OK that we could drop him off and it was a Safe Haven place," she told KSL News. "He was calling me names; he was calling me the B word; he was pulling his pants down in public."
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According to the Daily Mail, Scherrer's son walked up to the hospital's reception desk with the note and told the staff his mom had hit him on the arm with a spoon, which Sherrer denies. Hospital authorities then contacted police, and the boy was taken into protective custody. Sherrer has been charged with child abandonment and child abuse.
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Look, we all get frustrated with our children's behavior from time to time. But you can't just pin a note to your kid's back and randomly drop them off somewhere just because you need a break.
"You don't get to arbitrarily drop children off at certain institutions," said Salt Lake City District Attorney Sim Gill. "Whether you physically abuse a child or you abandon a child, it can have physical scarring or emotional scarring, so those are all great concerns for vulnerable children who are not in a position to protect themselves."
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But Sherrer maintains that she was simply confused about the Safe Haven law. "I really did not know any other way to go about it," she said. "I don't think I'm necessarily a bad mother. I got more like overwhelmed."
Do you believe her?