COVID-19: Texas Teacher Arrested After Locking Son in Car Trunk

By Jonathan Walker | January 9, 2022
Jonathan loves talking politics, economics and philosophy. He carries unique perspectives on everything making him a rather odd mix of liberal-conservative with a streak of independent Austrian thought.
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A woman was arrested for putting her COVID-19 infected son in the trunk of her car in an apparent attempt to avoid being infected. (Image: pixabay / CC0 1.0)

A teacher from Texas was arrested after it came to light that she had locked her son in the trunk of her car in a bid to prevent herself from being infected with COVID-19. According to the arrest warrant, the woman has been charged with child endangerment.

On Jan. 3, the 41-year-old high school English teacher named Sarah Beam drove into a COVID-19 testing station in Houston. She informed people that her son, who had earlier tested positive for COVID-19, was in the trunk to prevent her from being infected and that she wanted him to do additional testing. The staffer at the site asked to see the boy.

When the woman opened the trunk, the staffer saw the 13-year-old kid lying inside. The staffer insisted that no testing will be conducted as long as the woman’s son remains inside the car trunk. After the boy was placed in the backseat of the car, the staffer immediately called 911.

“CFPD was alerted that a child was in the trunk of a car at a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site earlier this week. Law enforcement conducted a full investigation, resulting in a warrant for arrest. Thankfully, the child was not harmed,” the Cypress Fairbanks ISD Police Department (CFPD) said in a statement.

Beam, who has worked in the District since 2011 and was most recently employed at the Cypress Falls High School, has been placed on administrative leave. She was taken into custody on Saturday but was released soon the same day on a $1,500 bond.

The incident has sparked outrage, with one local parent calling Beam’s treatment of her son “terrible” and “sick.” He also suggested that he would “rip her licenses from her in five minutes” given the chance to do so. 

“I don’t sympathize with that at all… I wouldn’t jeopardize my health for my children. I would have all my children right in front of my car. If I got it, I got it. If I didn’t, I didn’t. My kids come first,” Claud Green, a parent from Houston, told WDSU.

Back in Sept. 2018, a man from Chicago was charged with misdemeanor child endangerment after he had put his two-year-old son in the car trunk as part of a social experiment to see whether citizens would help out the child. Three women who saw the kid inside the trunk called the police. 

Putting people inside a car trunk, let alone a child, is dangerous. If another car hits the trunk from the back at a high speed, the person inside can suffer serious physical damage. Unlike the interior of a car, the trunk does not have an airbag or a seat belt, which puts the person inside in incredible danger during an accident. Plus, the trunk is located directly atop the gas tank, which is a dangerous situation to be in. An exhaust leak can end up killing the person.

Fortunately, the chances of dying due to a lack of air in the trunk are almost non-existent. “With the exception of very few specifically designed vehicles, no car is truly ‘closed’ in the sense of being airtight. Pretty much every commercially available vehicle allowed enough air exchange for you to breathe. If you’re trapped in a car that’s not underwater, suffocation won’t kill you,” according to SUV Radar. As per U.S. laws, the trunk of a vehicle is one of the places where it is unlawful to allow people to ride.