Proposed Texas law inspired by toddler's death

Proposed Texas law inspired by toddler's death

SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - The recent death of a toddler has prompted two North Texas women to push for better laws to protect children, but an East Texas attorney said Wednesday that it could be difficult to pass.

Reena Bana and Shanna Poteet Rivera are proposing "Sherin's Law" named after 3-year-old Sherin Mathews, who was found dead in Richardson in October 2017.

The proposed law would require parents to call police within an hour of the time they realize their child is missing. It would also be a crime to leave a child home alone.

Christina Hollwarth, a family attorney from Longview, said there is a fine line when it comes to enforcing laws about parenting.

"So, I think a lot of parents would not use the age that is stated," Hollwarth said. "My fear would be the parents who say 'OK, we hit the age I can leave you home alone now,' without any regards if their child is emotionally capable."

Proposed penalties include a third-degree felony for parents who fail to report a missing child and a misdemeanor for leaving a child unsupervised.
Bana and Rivera are still in the beginning stages of this proposition and at the moment they are meeting with state representatives to support it.

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