Monday, December 5, 2011

Mom Jailed Because Son Weighs Too Much

A mother was sent to jail and charged with neglect because her son is obese.  Jerri Gray says that her son Alexander Draper ballooned to a whopping 555 pounds because she was away at work trying to provide for her family.

 “This is not a case of a mother force-feeding a child,” said Gray’s lawyer, Grant Varner. “If she had been holding him down and force-feeding him, sure, I can understand. But she doesn’t have the means to do it. She doesn’t have the money to buy the food to do it.”

Police are saying that the child’s mother should have intervened when she saw that his weight was getting out of control.  She was released this week on $50,000 bond.  The boy is in custody of the Department of Social Services, who argues that “health care professionals believe a child is at risk of harm.”

On The Early Show, Gray and her attorney explained the situation. 

 “Well, a lot of times it had to do with lifestyle. A lot of times I had to work full-time second shift, or full-time, third shift — and I wasn’t home a lot,” she said.

Gray said that she tried to watch what her son was eating, but that it was difficult to keep up because she worked so much.

 “When I had a second shift job, I would’ve rather been home, so that I could’ve spent more time focusing on preparing more low-fat type meals.”

Gray says that whatever program the state has for her son should include the both of them.  Gray’s attorney believes that charging his client could open the door for other parents of obese children to be charged.  Whether the state has a case or not is unclear, but what is clear is that someone needs to help this family. 


WizardG said...

Who's going to jail when they find out that Social Services is not equipped to deliver this child from his eating psychosis. Who's going to jail if the child dies because of Social Services neglect? If they are so bold as to attack the mother they had better be ready to attack everyone involved who have taken over responsibility and who've attacked and blamed the mother. They had better be prepared to spend money working on the boy's mental and physical problems or they can consider themselves guilty!

Taunya Baker Curry said...

I feel that instead of jailing the mom that maybe they should try to incorporate the child into some kind of fitness program.

Carolyn Moon said...

The trauma of putting a child in the foster care system and we all know how broken that is...defies reason.
Offer services in the home and have a home health and nutritional interventionist monitoring him in there. I shudder to think of the mental and emotional abuse he will suffer in a foster home with people who don't love him and may use aversive (unproductive) means of dieting. This is a no win situation and very sad..indeed!

Anonymous said...

Jail for mom is not going to solve the problem and it doesn't appear she is able to afford the amount of food to create the weight gain. Please do a physical to rule out other problems like thyroid, etc. that can also cause obesity. Is he on any medications that cause weight gain?

Anonymous said...

I know it's hard on a parent working and odd shift, I've work 3rd shift for 12 years. My oldest is incarcerated but not by my fault. He has a mother at home and he chose the life that led him to jail. Just as this boy chose to be fat. She should have put a lock on the fridge and limit the kinds of food and supply of food he had to eat. Sit with him and deal with his mental problems that led to over eating. I tried hard with my son, but at that age they do have a mind of their own and if we beat them then we are going to jail.

Anonymous said...

How old is this kid?

Anonymous said...

That is some serious denial that Mother lives in. Are we to believe that she worked so much that she never saw her son and his weight gain? It took at least 4 to 5 years for him to gain such a massive amount of weight. At about 100 pounds a year from the age of 9 or 10. I'm sorry but he should be taken away from her, imo.

Open Fist said...

Jailing a parent for having a fat kid? Have we lost our minds? Apparently so. I was a fat kid, and I do not blame Momma for that, my fat-ass picked up the damned Twinkies! Someone please give the child a physical----as in BLOODWORK-----and if they want to put him somewhere, how about Social Services volunteer to take him to the gym three days a week? Yeah, that's right Social Services, give up some resources to get the boy moving? That sounds more productive than destroying a family by jailing a woman who works two jobs. Idiots!!!!

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