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8 Kids, 1 Library, 0 Parents

I reported on a story yesterday about a South Bend mom who left her 8 kids at the main library branch downtown.

The kids were ages 2,3,4,7,7,8,9 and 10.

The story is creating a buzz around Michiana as I knew it was going to as I was putting it together. I tracked down the mom because I was determined to find out why she thought it was okay to leave so many of her kids unattended in a public place.

While some 98% of you agreed on our ABC 57 Facebook poll that this is neglect. I’m surprised with the 2% and some of the listeners on 95.3 MNC this morning who see nothing wrong with this. In fact one person wrote that I failed in my reporting on a non issue. I personally think this is a huge issue! Eight kids at that age in my opinion shouldn't be left anywhere unattended. Is the mom a bad mom? I don’t know. Is the mom responsible on a daily basis? I don’t know. But what I do know is that it was not safe for those kids to be left alone in that library—at any time someone could have run off with one of the kids, they could have left the library on their own and into busy traffic. One witness told me yesterday that he saw the group of kids across the street at JC Penny and thought for sure it was them.

How would that mom have felt if she came back to the library, two hours later and her kids not been there? Or one had been missing?

Here is a link to the story in case you missed it.

I think we need to wake up! I’m not judging this mom, she could be a great mom who simply made a bad decision. She was clearly upset with me when I put her on the spot for some answers-and I wish she had just been honest with me. I wanted to know the answers to two questions, why? And where did she go? It frustrated me that she wouldn’t answer.

Emotional stories always bring with them emotional responses. I’m not upset with the way that this mother reacted to me, or even that she threatened to ruin my camera—which I just so happen to love that camera. I’m upset with the fact that she made a decision, she felt validated in her decision according to a friend there with her yesterday and yet hid behind the door of her van than face the issue.

I disagree with those who say this story shouldn’t have been reported and that we wasted our time. I think that his mom needs to be held accountable for this decision and that others need to realize that library’s are a great resource for learning and not a place to leave your kids to be watched. Life is short, bad things can happen quickly and I think these kids were in a position that was unfair to them.

I wish the mom the best, I hope she is able to see why others are upset. I also, of course, wish nothing but the best for the eight kids that were involved. I hope that 10-year-old is as responsible as he was made out to be yesterday to keep track of his seven siblings—that just seems like a lot of responsibility to me.

I encourage your comments below as we continue this discussion!

A follow-up to this story is already in the works, I’ll keep you posted.

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