Somer Thompson's death gives one mom a wake-up call.
115 children are kidnapped by strangers each year, according to federal statistics. There are 73.7 million children in the U.S. YES, I realize that the odds are slim that the worst could happen. But tell that to Diena Thompson, Somer's mom. The odds were just as slim for her, and it happened.
It happened. And now her child is dead.
The New York Times article said that only 13 percent of kids walk or bike to school these days because parents are so anxious that something awful could happen. I'm definitely one of those paranoid parents, and Somer's heartbreaking case only makes me more vigilant.
Yes, I know my kids are much more likely to get into a car wreck on the way to school than be abducted while walking home. I get it. But Somer didn't die in a car crash. She died after being abducted, while walking home from school. And, as a parent, that is something I believe you could never get over -- never in a million years.
The child killer who did this to Somer didn't just kill that little girl ... he killed her whole family. Her mother. Her twin brother. Her other siblings. Her wheelchair-bound dad. Those people who loved Somer most will never be the same. This animal on the loose took away their innocence and life as they know it. He took away their Somer -- snuffed out her bright young life and threw her in a landfill like yesterday's trash.
So when you ask me why I won't let my kids walk to school ... THIS is why. Somer is why.
Call me paranoid all you want. But letting my kids walk alone is just not a risk I'm willing to take.