If I robbed a bank…

If I was the getaway driver, and my partners-in-crime went into the bank and someone got killed in the process, I AM CULPABLE. I mean, I knew we were there to rob a bank. I knew my partners had guns. I knew there was a risk that someone would get hurt. I knew it! I’m culpable.

Well, often when a child is put into a potentially dangerous situation, there’s a “getaway driver”. Someone knew they were leaving the child with a person that has hurt the child before. Someone knew they were taking the child into a crack house or meth lab. Someone knew a child needed medical care but was too focused on their own need to smoke some pot or have another beer. Someone knew the driver of the car is intoxicated or high, yet they allowed their child to ride in the car anyway.

There is often a getaway driver when it comes to a child being abuse or neglect by a person other than themselves. When that child suffers because of that abuse or neglect; when that child is hurt or killed, shouldn’t they be held accountable?

There is a Bill currently in our legislative session that needs your attention. Senate Bill 160. You can read it here.

Senate Bill #160 provides an act creating the offense of criminal child endangerment if a person purposely, knowingly, or negligently causes substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury to a child under 14 years of age.

I just testified at the Hearing today in support of this important Bill, and I hope you’ll join us by calling or emailing our legislators.

Many good questions were asked by the Committee, helping to clarify situations that may come into play in cases of child endangerment,. Situations such as a mother at risk of bodily harm herself in a domestic dispute, causing her to leave her child in the care of a dangerous person (husband or boyfriend, for example). A question was brought up about a religious choice not to seek medical care for a child. In answering both of these questions (and others regarding the specifics of the Bill), Attorney Parker — who helped author the Bill — provided satisfactory answers, assuring that an injustice would not occur in those situations, and that existing law provides protection in those types of situations.

This is a good Bill, and will go further in protecting our children. Please call or email your legislators and encourage them to support this Bill #160. The Committee members are as follows, and you can email each one of them by clicking here.

Kerns, Krayton (R – Ch)
Bennett, Jerry (R – V Ch)
MacDonald, Margie (D – V Ch)
Blasdel, Mark (R)
Court, Virginia (D)
Doane, Alan (R)
Eck, Jenny (D)
Fiscus, Clayton (R)
Gursky, Jenifer (D)
Halvorson, David (R)
Hill, Ellie Boldman (D)
Laszloffy, Sarah (R)
Lenz, Dennis (R)
Lynch, Ryan (D)
O’Neil, Jerry (R)
Pease-Lopez, Carolyn (D)
Regier, Keith (R)
Smith, Bridget (D)
Wagoner, Kirk (R)
Warburton, Wendy (R

Your message may simply be something like this:

Dear (Senator/Representative) ______________, I’m writing/calling you today because I care about our children. We need to dissuade people from endangering young children, and we need to hold those people accountable that do endanger our children. Please support Senate Bill No. 160. Show us that you care about our children as much as we do.

Thank you for your selfless and hard work in making Montana a better place to live.



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