After being publicly hailed as an example of bad parenting, New Jersey decided not to prosecute Tan Mom for allegedly violating state child endangerment laws. Patricia Krentcil received pubic scrutiny in April 2012 for allegedly permitting her 5 year old daughter to use a tanning bed. The public outcry is one of the reasons her case was presented before a grand jury. Ms. Kretchil stated that “what this world did in the past year made a mockery of me…Yeah I like to tan, I don’t think that’s a crime and I’m still going to tan.” One alleged act branded her as a bad mother.
A parent or guardian may be indicted under New Jersey’s child endangerment law if he or she exposes the child to physical strains that injure the child’s health or permits an act that injures the child’s moral well-being. New Jersey prohibits any child under the age of 14 from using a tan booth. By virtue of this prohibition, it may be argued that a 5 year old tanning unlawfully is a strain on her health and sense of moral responsibility to adhere to state laws.
While New Jersey’s grand jury refused to indict her based on the limited evidence, it is interesting that the public was quick to label her and demand justice. So should the standard of parenting be raised or should the public and media use caution in passing judgment? On celebrity wife swap, Kate Gosselin and Kendra Wilkonson traded households. Kate focuses on being a parent to her eight children by instilling discipline and structure, while Kendra focuses on being a friend by permitting her son to make his own decisions. Would the public be wrong in judging either parent in their approach?