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Virginia Mom Punished for Allowing Daughter to Use Sidewalk Chalk

A 4-year-old Virginia girl's chalk drawings on rocks at a park near her Richmond, Virginia home have earned her mother a ticket for vandalism and a punishment of 50 hours of community service, news sources are reporting.  The Belle Isle city park had reportedly recently been vandalized with graffiti, which prompted police to give 29-year-old Susan Mortensen a ticket for her daughter's drawings. From NBC 12, the Richmond station:

Outside the courthouse, people support Susan Mortensen with their own chalk on the sidewalk. However, in court, the officer who reprimanded her back in March says she responded with an attitude and curse words.

"I don't think I should comment on that," said Mortensen after the trial. I agree that the outcome is something I would agree with and I thought it would help as far as doing community service."

Mortensen has since then apologized. She's agreed to complete 50 hours of community service through the James River Park System.

Mortensen will have to paint about 200 boundary posts west and east of the Boulevard Bridge. Before she even starts, she'll have to scrape off the old paint and remove surrounding weeds. It's vital to finish the project before the weather gets too cold for the paint to stick.

The parks manager says he'd like to set a date before Thanksgiving. Mortensen's supporters say they're still upset she was charged for letting her daughter draw on the rocks. Police and park leaders say chalk is the same as graffiti.

Image: Sidewalk chalk, via Shutterstock.