Saturday, January 19, 2013

You Be The Judge

Here's a good subject for the reality show, What Would You Do?. 

Imagine you and your spouse are eating at a restaurant.  A few tables over a family with two small girls sits down.  Everything is going well when you notice the family's two year old slip off her chair, unhook her overalls, pull down her panties and sit on a training potty the mother pulls out.

This is a true story I heard on one of the many court shows now airing on morning TV.  Now you're thinking either the parents are suing the restaurant for throwing them out or another couple is suing the parents for bringing a toilet into the dining area.  Wrong.  Here's a twist as curvy as corkscrew pasta: The parents were suing another patron for taking pictures of their daughter doing her "business" and posting them on the Internet via her blog.  They claimed the woman not only showed their child's face, she included her name and the family's address, prompting scores of harassing e-mails, phone calls and rude remarks in public.  The father feared that they would be forced to move to end the harassment.

The patron was counter-suing saying it was her right to free speech, that the picture was taken in a public place.

If you were the judge, who would you side with.  The parents who claimed they brought the potty to avoid an accident on the way to the restroom or the woman who took the child's picture and plastered it all over the Internet.

Here's what the wise judge said , in this day and age of high tech gadgets and loose values, the parents should not have put their child in that vulnerable position.  The patron who took the picture was with-in her right to take the picture being it was out in a public place.  Now here's the corkscrew the judge threw in, the judge sided with the parents because the woman not only used poor judgement in not blurring the child's face, but added her name and address.  It was also revealed that this woman got many additional hits on her blog after posting the picture earning her more money.  It was because the woman made money from exploiting a child, and posting a picture of a child without the parents permission that the judge sided with them.  I think if the patron with the smart phone had not made money off the picture  or had protected the child's identity, the judge would have sided against the parents for exposing their child in this very public way. 

The one issue that was skimmed over was the health risk.  Bathrooms are placed away from the dining area and kitchens in most restaurants with double doors to prevent the spread of germs.  These parents not only put their young child in a compromising position, they placed themselves and all the diners at risk also.  Now that I think about it, I don't remember any mention of how the child wiped herself or on what.  And what do you do with toilet paper at table side.

So, who did you side with? 

Until next time, always be on your best behavior, you never know when a smart phone aimed by a smart _ss is going to take your picture.

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