Debra Harrell, the South Carolina mother who was jailed for letting her 9-year-old daughter play, unsupervised, at a crowded park, is now out of a job. Harrell’s lawyer, Robert Phillips, told Think Progress that his client was fired from her position at McDonald’s, even though she was released on bond the day after she was arrested. A spokesperson for the fast-food chain declined to explain exactly why Harrell was let go.
In a situation already packed with absurd overreactions to Harrell’s perfectly reasonable — if not ideal — decision, this development seems particularly unfair, since she only left her kid alone (with a cell phone) because there was no one to care for her while she went to work. Meanwhile, Harrell and her daughter have been reunited, but the Department of Social Services is still required to investigate the case. An online fund-raiser started by some nice strangers has already raised over $26,000 for Harrell. Hopefully, the funds will be enough to tide her over until she can find a new employer.