Thursday, August 19, 2010

Flight Attendant Becomes Mid-Air Child Protective Services Unit

A couple nights ago my wife was telling me about the news story where a Southwest Airlines flight attendant took a one-year-old baby from a mother after witnessing the mother slap the child.

Here was my initial reaction...to which my wife told me to stop trying to argue it with her, she was just relaying the story...

Wife: (Relayed News Story)
Me: What the hell?  She took the child?
Wife: Right.
Me:  That's kidnapping.  She's not a police officer.  You can't just take a child from someone.
Wife: They were on a plane.  She wasn't going anywhere.
Me:  I don't care if it's a box in the air, she still kidnapped a child from someone.
Wife:  She was protecting the child.  The mother SLAPPED it.  She intervened.
Me: Intervened?  What, now a glorified waitress who can demonstrate step by step seat belt operation is a qualified officer of the courts?  Did she demonstrate what the slap looked like?
Wife: What are you talking about?
Me: The slap, did she show what it looked like on the news or anything?
Wife: No.
Me:  Well, you know those whack jobs who are anti-discipline who think you bruise a child's soul if you tell them no?  Those type of people would take our child away in a heart beat if they saw me pop her on the butt or you flick her cheek when she would bite you while breast feeding (officially stopped just before 14 months, my wife is not nursing a toddler).
Wife: No, but I don't think it's like that.  There were passengers complaining.
Me: What complaining the child was crying and then the upset stewardess saw her strike the child?
Wife: Alright, quit trying to argue this, I don't know.  I'm just telling you the story.
Me: Well, you don't just take a child away from someone.  This isn't an object you can snatch.  It's a person's child!  And who the hell did the flight attendant think she is?  If anything, you call the Air Marshall over to handle the situation.
Wife: I don't know if there was one.
Me: Doesn't matter.  You take my child away, and they'd sure as hell need one cause I'd go ballistic! I would KILL a person who takes my kid.  It's just not the way you handle things.
Wife: Fine, I was just telling you about it.  I'm tired of this.  Just calm down.

OK, so maybe I got a little heated.  Maybe I missed the bigger picture and the stewardess is a hero or something.  I did read this article this morning from USA Today's Website.  I don't know, after reading the flight attendant didn't actually remove the child from the mother's hands made me feel 100% more comfortable with the situation.  Her offering to help by rocking the baby, was entirely reasonable.  All the passengers were relieved.  I'm sure it was as bad as it seemed, and not a case where it's a bunch of namby pambies freaking out over nothing.

Still, you try to take a child from someone...with the best of intentions...I guarantee there will be a fight to the death that would have been VERY bad for all parties including the infant.

What do you think?  Aside from my getting over heated with the messenger.  Would you let a stranger take your child from you....even if you'd obviously lost your freaking mind?  Would you recommend more people take this kind of action in public?  i.e. If you see a parent in a grocery store strike their child, would you intervene?  Where is the line drawn between discipline and abuse?

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