According to TMZ, Lohan has completed a paltry 9-1/2 hours of the required 125 and must squeeze in the roughly 115 remaining hours of community service before her May 28 deadline — or face time in jail.
Duffield Children's Center in Brooklyn is reportedly where Lohan will be spending her days. A lot of her days, apparently, since she'll have to keep an aggressive seven-hours-per-day pace to meet her impending deadline.
And while Duffield authorities told TMZ that Lohan's scope of work will be limited to arts and craft and administrative work, this news still gives me major concern.
While I'm all for second chances (or, in Lohan's case, like 47th) and rehabilitation, and I want to give her the benefit of the doubt, I can't imagine I would be comfortable if it was my own children's day care the troubled starlet was spending her time at.
I'm not alone, either.
When we took the question to social media, mothers from every walk of life weighed in with shock and displeasure at the notion of Lohan popping up at their family child-care center.
Some moms summed it up succinctly. Leslie Newton offered up a quick, "Hell no." Similarly, Ann Rush interjected a tidy but definitive, "No!"
Other mothers tendered equally impassioned (yet considerably longer) arguments about Lohan's current state of mind and whether she even has the mental and emotional faculties to be around children.
Said fellow writer and mother of two, Caroline Goddard, "She has a criminal record. I would not want anyone with a criminal record to take care of my children. She's also an addict barely clinging to her sobriety, which I think is really my biggest issue. If she was successful in her recovery for a long period of time — several years — I would not be as nervous about it, but frankly, this is Lindsay Lohan we're talking about."
Mom of three, Chasity Avinger, a lawyer and guardian ad litem, also found the development alarming.
"I have a serious issue with this. The court will consistently deny visitation rights to parents who have extensive criminal histories, legal issues and substance abuse problems," she explained. "It is unfathomable to imagine that the court would allow a stranger with those same issues to have access to children. In addition, you would need releases from every parent to avoid potential liability and litigation issues in that situation."
Many mothers bristled at the notion ethics, legal procedure and, yes, children's safety are being compromised in the name of celebrity.
"No one should be able to serve community service at a day care," said editor, Whitney Coy, mother of two. "Not crazy celebs, not the guy down the street. Why would they place people who are obviously criminals in a place where they are tasked with caring for children? I had to go through a background check and fingerprints just to volunteer at my daughter's school!"
Echoed Jennifer Myers, also a mother of two, "Is this common community service? How did this even become a reality? Considering that she can't be responsible enough to complete her community service on time, why would anyone think she is responsible enough to care for and mold young minds?"
There are also logistics to consider, points out mom of two, Christine Rice. "I would be concerned about the unnecessary exposure the center would be receiving. Is the center equipped, prepared and/or staffed properly to handle that sort of publicity? What about security measures?" she posed.
Others still questioned just how genuine Lohan's intentions are. After all, isn't the purpose of community service for someone to contribute to their society in a tangible way that also helps to reform their ways?
Can that possibly happen in Lohan's case, when she's clearly using this as a last-ditch effort to jam in her community service requirements to avoid jail?
"Her priorities aren't straight if this is a last-minute thing," said Kelly Allison, mother of one. "I am all about a clean slate and forgiveness, but this has been going on for years and she has yet to show interest in changing her character."
The bottom line in regards to Lohan's unique set of circumstances is that — although there's nothing wrong with second chances — there should be no allowance for taking chances with children. It's hard enough for parents to entrust their children to the care of others while they work. We don't need the added anxiety of knowing our children are being used as tools of rehabilitation for criminals.
Jacque Haun, a director at Gateway Academy child-care center in Charleston, South Carolina, finds plenty of fault with the situation.
"Has the system lost their mind?" she vented. "Children are exposed to enough nonsense. Their preschool should be one of their safe havens."
And this mama of two preschool-aged kids agrees wholeheartedly.
While I wish Lohan nothing but the best and truly do hope she finds a renewed sense of purpose in her life, I'd much rather know that reform comes by way of picking up roadside debris or volunteering at an animal shelter than exposing a class full of impressionable young lives to any unwarranted drama.
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