District Attorney: Parents Legally Responsible for Keeping Child - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

District Attorney: Parents Legally Responsible for Keeping Children Safe

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After multiple children were found unattended in different areas of Tulsa this week, the district attorney's office reminded parents that the responsibility falls on them to keep their kids supervised.

According to a press release from District Attorney Tim Harris' office, two toddlers were found unattended in the streets of Tulsa. The release also states there have been three other recent cases of children- aged two, four and five- left alone in an apartment.

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“Any time a parent fails to properly supervise a child and/or fails to arrange proper supervision, they are potentially committing the crime of child neglect,” Harris stated.

Tulsa's Channel 8's community newspaper partner, the Jenks Journal, reported that the law in Oklahoma does not have specific age requirements for babysitters, but does require "proper supervision."

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“We have requested and will review the facts and evidence of each incident on a case by case basis and determine whether criminal charges are warranted, or a juvenile deprived child petition is potentially appropriate," Harris went on to say in his statement.

Additionally, Oklahoma law requires “every person having reason to believe that a child under the age of 18 years is a victim of abuse or neglect shall report the matter promptly to the Department of Human Services…”

“We want to be sure parents know and understand that they have a legal duty to protect and supervise their children."

The Department of Human Services Child Abuse hotline can be reached at 800-522-3511

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