THOSE KIDS WHO WERE LEFT AT THE MALL
Note: Comments of readers are their own and do not reflect the feelings of Bob Lonsberry or lonsberry.com.
# 1. 3/28/17 7:34 AM by Anon
My mom had to work nights so she could be home during the day. My dad left when I was 12, leaving me as the oldest to watch three younger siblings - one of them in diapers. As you said, not ideal, but this is how it had to be. Nobody ever got hurt, nobody starved, diapers were changed and homework was done.
Social media has turned us all into judgmental monsters.
# 2. 3/28/17 7:53 AM
My father used to be a milkman. He was technically an independent contractor so he had some leeway when it came to taking my brother or me to work with him. On days off from school, he would take one of us with him when he did his milk route. On summer vacations we went with him a lot. And we helped out by getting the orders ready when he made his stops. And we got free ice cream Dixie Cups and Fudgesicles, chocolate milk, and orangeade too! Looking back, it was kind of dangerous as we had no seat belts back then and my father stood up to drive the truck. And the doors wee wide open lots of times and we COULD fall out! My father got up early every day to do his routes. And he had generous and grateful customers who appreciated him putting the milk in the fridge and reordering if they wer low. And they were kind of "carriage trade". In Brighton and Pittsford, but my dad had routes all over. They actually trusted him with the keys to their homes. Besides his milk route, he had four other part time jobs. Mostly as bartender and janitor at bank branches. He didn't have us help him tend bar but my brother and I went with him on alternating days to clean the bank branches. Prior to taking us with him he got the OK from the guy who was his manager. While my dad mopped and vacuumed, my brother or myself emptied the trash baskets from the teller stations and the other desks. We enjoyed helping him. He did what he had to do to provide very well for us. The sad part of your story today is that the folks had no leeway. Especially from "progressive" judges and overedificated social workers. Without the little "help" we gave him, life would be boring. Being the original "latch key" kid, I might have gotten involved with drugs or gangs or worse. America has gotten way off track lately. Which is why I support President Trump in "Making America Great Again". And notwithstanding the progressives and liberals and snowflakes is already well on its way back!
# 3. 3/28/17 8:17 AM by Sean mccann - Chittenango ny
Yes , I agree 100%,Some people have no help and no family members in the area,, they did what they had to do while putting there children, in my opinion, at VERY LITTLE RISK!, They should definitely get a break for TRYING to do the right thing and support there family. It was a mistake,but a mistake that could've been handled very easily at the "security" level in the mall!, Police shouldn't have been called on this one!
# 4. 3/28/17 8:18 AM by Marlene - Rochester NY
My heart breaks for this couple. Here is a mother working a month after having a baby. Why wasn't she entitled to maternity leave? I hope someone will start a go-fund-me account for them to help with their legal expenses.
# 5. 3/28/17 8:18 AM
At a nearby fast food restaurant that used to have an indoor playground (whose name I will not mention but it starts with a "Mc") in a western Monroe County town (whose name I also will not mention but it starts with a "G" and the second letter is vowel and it has 5 letters) they had to shut down their indoor "playground" for "legal liability" reasons. One day a "minority" child was injured there and employees were trying to find out which restaurant patron was the mother. The child said that "mom" was not there at the restaurant, to the shock and dismay of the manager and the other employees. It was just after 10 AM and the child said "mom" will be back in the afternoon about 1 PM to pick the child up. The manager asked the child where the "mom" was. Child responded "she be shopping at the Mall". They asked the child which one, and the child did not know. When the "mom" returned about 1:30 PM she "explained" that it was her day to shop at the Mall. The police were there, child protective services was there, and the manager was there. "Mom" could not understand all the fuss despite the fact that the child was injured and attended to by the ambulance paramedics. The social worker and the police chided her severely. The words of the mother were that "everybody she knows does that when they want to go to the Mall without their kids". And that she herself did just that about once a week. Upon investigation, the owner/managers of the restaurant found that SEVERAL parents routinely did the very same thing. Due to the legal ramifications the play area was discontinued and removed and addition tables and chairs were placed. The difference I see between this case and the case mentioned in your column today is that the folks had to work to earn income and for the "mom" it was a "convenience". But the children in both cases were at extreme risk. malls are notorious for gangs and drugs and shoplifting.
# 6. 3/28/17 8:23 AM by Mark - Rochester, NY
You got one thing wrong though
Their minivans are closer to 40 thousands and up
# 7. 3/28/17 8:24 AM by Ron - Syracuse, Utah
Agree, Bob. Many times my siblings and I were by ourselves waiting for Mom or Dad to come home after work. Summers, we were on our own most days. I would think in the current atmosphere that there would be dozens of people stepping up to help this family. Where were the supporters of refugees when they needed a sitter? Where are they now when they need legal help? Good people need help, where are the good people to help?
# 8. 3/28/17 8:32 AM by Judy - Fairport , NY
Well said!!!! I agree completely!!! There are so many distressed families battling addiction, who neglect their children. This was a working couple...who are trying to find the"American Dream!" They did what they felt was best to keep their children safe, and keep their jobs. They must be terrified with this arrest! God bless them! I have never agreed with you more, on a topic!
# 9. 3/28/17 8:41 AM by Carl - West Wayne
Poll not sure. I never left young kids like that.
# 10. 3/28/17 8:52 AM
The fact that the mall is on the eastside is irrelevant to the conversation. When you were a child times were much different than they are today. It was much safer for young children to be left alone back then.
# 11. 3/28/17 9:00 AM
Thank you for writing this. My thoughts exactly. They were in a desperate situation which required desperate measures. Its not like they left them there to go gamble at Fingerlakes. They probably checked frequently on them, and the 2 older ones are more than likely mature and used to providing assistance. How difficult would it be to put in a childcare center in the mall, to be used by employees, for a nominal fee?
# 12. 3/28/17 9:10 AM by Zane Barth - Short Tract,New York
I was a Latch Key kid from about 6 on ,Single Mom had to work took no assistance these folks should be helped not hung out to dry.
# 13. 3/28/17 9:26 AM by Greg Gerwitz
Right on Bob. Growing up during the same decades as you, my parents worked hard to provide for us. My Dad had 2 and sometime 3 jobs. It was a given that us older children became de-facto sitters.
It blows my mind that those who believe they know best for others rarely have been in the situations they love to sanctimoniously preach about.
Lets leave these self providing people alone.
Keep the faith brother.
# 14. 3/28/17 9:37 AM by Sam
Thank you for writing about this. My first thought when I heard this on the news was that they were "guilty" of leaving their children alone. Upon thinking about it further, I felt the same way you did......they did what they had to do to support their family. I hope that something good comes of this.
# 15. 3/28/17 9:45 AM by Jane - Rochester, NY
Thank you for your thoughtful article on a tragic situation. What can we do to help this family? Is there some way we can contribute to help cover legal expenses? Please advise.
# 16. 3/28/17 10:00 AM
I don't always agree with you but you are 100 percent spot on for this one. Great job.
# 17. 3/28/17 10:05 AM by Terri - Kent, NY
I do agree with you. But as a mom I made sure I had a backup plan. Babysitters get sick, and have accidents,& have issues etc. Although it may be difficult to find a backup sitter, it is possible. You just have to keep at it until you find one no matter what. I was a single mom (a looonng time ago) and at that time I didn't get a"child care tax credit". I did it all as a dishwasher in a restaurant. Just saying.
# 18. 3/28/17 10:10 AM by wayne - salt lake city
Not only should they not be prosecuted, they should be given access to resources that they could rely on in time of need. Not for free but resources that could help them provided for themselves.
And, they ought to be given privacy and the dignity they deserve for doing all they can to be self sufficient.
# 19. 3/28/17 10:23 AM by Fgf - Rochester
I don't have a problem with the arrest. It can be easily resolved with a Conditional discharge as long as they don't do it again. The 8 year old should not be watching two young children. I have a problem with the media coverage. Why are we constantly seeing mugshots of people who have been arrested for minor crimes? This is only going to make it difficult for people to be employed since these pictures and stories will show up with any Google search.
# 20. 3/28/17 10:28 AM by sherie heins - naples, ny
# 21. 3/28/17 10:32 AM by nocamaroyet - pittsford ny
Couldn't agree more. They are being judged by people that never had to make those choices. A real life dilemma that had to be solved without a support system. Judged from the same perspective of the crew that provides health care savings account for people with no money.
# 22. 3/28/17 10:51 AM by Patrick Winans - Clinton, NY
Great points, Bob. These are the type of people that we should be helping and lifting up, as opposed to the generations of "takers" in our society. People across this great nation that have legitimate need for help should get it. The segment of our society living off the American tax payer as a way of life could take a lesson from these dedicated parents. They did what they had to, although not an ideal situation. If the children weren't in imminent danger, they should be forgiven.
# 23. 3/28/17 10:52 AM by Pat - Chili
This couple represents the immigrants that we should welcome to our country. God bless this family and I hope they get the help that they need for their babysitting issue.
# 24. 3/28/17 11:02 AM by Chad - Owego, NY
Completely agree, Bob. There is something terribly wrong with our society, but it's not the hardworking immigrants demonstrating personal responsibility on a daily basis... it's the people who have so little strife in their own life that they feel they need to manage the lives of others.
Shame on everyone who is coming down on this family. Shame on them for looking down from their perch of first world problems and daring to criticize the actions of people who have real problems to battle.
Please stay on this, Bob. You're one of the few with a loud enough voice to see this stupidity through to a smart conclusion.
# 25. 3/28/17 11:08 AM by Bill Consler - Charlotte, NC
They did nothing wrong? Come on Bob, wake up. You don't leave an 8 yr old in charge of a 5 yr old and a 1 month old baby ever. What if any of the kids were injured or killed or abducted? I think you would have a different opinion. At least, I hope you would.
# 26. 3/28/17 11:08 AM
Sorry, but if they cannot properly adapt to our culture, then they have to go back to the one they came from. It is really for their own good.
# 27. 3/28/17 11:17 AM by Mary Turner - Merritt Island, Fl.
Totally agree with you Bob.
# 28. 3/28/17 11:30 AM by Jerry - Rochester
$30,000 minivan? Are you kidding? That's a budget model. Try $60,000 and up when it's parked at Eastview.
BTW, all of the janitors in my building with foreign accents all drive Mercedes. Just an observation.
# 29. 3/28/17 11:51 AM by Maureen Pyfrom - Palmyra, NY
Let's hope an attorney steps forward and helps them pro bono, or an agency with compassion.
Editor's Note: paul fuller and john parrinello have offered.
# 30. 3/28/17 12:27 PM by Mark
Should have been handled with a conversation and solution. Not an arrest.
# 31. 3/28/17 12:45 PM by Janet Erickson - Rochester, NY
AMEN. Not ideal -- but the parents are trying to do right. This was a better alternative than leaving the kids home by themselves, at least the parents were nearby. And if nothing happened in the six hours before someone told Security, it seems like they were safe.
# 32. 3/28/17 12:48 PM by Liz - Rochester, NY
I almost never agree with you, but I do agree in this situation.
# 33. 3/28/17 12:53 PM by Jennifer - Victor, NY
We live in a country that tends to rely 100 % on the media as truth. There are always two sides of the story. Thank you Bob for the facts.
# 34. 3/28/17 2:09 PM by Amy - Rochester NY
I'm curious why the need to repeatedly mention the "rich people's mall", the "Eastside" and "$30,000 minivans". None of those things are relevant to the story. Would have used these descriptions if talking about Marketplace or Greece Ridge? No. And yet, the story would have been just as heartbreaking.
I'm sorry, I draw the line when it comes to someone leaving children that young, but a ONE MONTH OLD? Come on. I would rather risk losing my job than endangering the welfare of my children. Two parents. One could have stayed home -- still getting income from one which is better than nothing. Call me callous but my children are everything to me. Even if that means going to a shelter with them. Where I go, my kids go. End of story.
# 35. 3/28/17 2:18 PM by Jean - Fairport, NY
Thank you Bob for your article. My heart goes out to this family, and we should indeed help them, not subject them to criminal charges, condemnation, and financial punishment. Your kindness and empathy are a breath of fresh air.
# 36. 3/28/17 2:22 PM by Some Guy
If the progressives had their wish, the neighbor would be neither taking classes nor watching the children with a level of attention impossible to provide in most of the overpriced "government-approved" day care options.
Children placed in day car for more than 20 hours a week show the exact same psychological symptoms as children abandoned entirely. Let that sink in for a moment.
Destroying the family was necessary to achieve the Marxist end-game. Enter feminism, which said women needed to do unimportant jobs for pay rather than the most important and selfless job on the planet -- mothering -- without pay. And it worked too, because most men made an adequate income to provide for such a lifestyle.
Modern feminism changed all that, pushing down all wages (in real terms of purchasing power) so much that even two incomes is really not enough for most people to raise a family on; doubly so if the family wants to stay off all forms of government assistance.
Government has gone from being an institutional instituted to protect our natural rights to a cancer that will destroy Western Civilization in less than another generation, and they will do it the same as they've done it since the dawn of the progressive era, by destroying the family.
Wake up, it's 2017, people should be working FEWER hours for a higher standard of living. Instead, we're all way over-credentialed and under-educated, and most are basically indentured servants paying school, home, and car loans just to live.
Anyone who thinks government should replace parents embraces a morally repugnant ideology that is more likely to undermine your values than the most rabid jihadist on the other side of the planet, and yet that is what a good portion of our neighbors, and possibly family and friends believe.
Again, it's supply and demand. The supply of labor was artificially increased, and it destroyed the purchasing power of the pay for that labor. It's not rocket science, but we need to wake up NOW. It's not about subsidized day care, it's about what sort of world results from a system of wealth redistribution at gunpoint.
Parents like these should be applauded for the example they set in this one-off occurrence where their plans for a babysitter fell through. But "Catholic" Charities and the rest of these phony religious groups want to gin up anger towards these parents who refused to be pimped out by the refugee resettlement industry that wants a permanent dependent class voting against traditional values and personal responsibility.
Also, kudos to Parrinello and Fuller for taking this case, when the government bureaucrats and non-profit busybodies cease taking a paycheck derived from robbing the taxpayers in their systemic war against good people caught in a tough spot, then I might give their position some respect. But this is classic rent-seeking behavior -- government creates a problem and then claims more government is the solution.
If there are no actual crimes occurring in Ontario County, it is sadly not surprising that government employees will create crimes to justify their parasitical existence.
# 37. 3/28/17 3:01 PM by Jill - Rochester, NY
I am usually in agreement with you, Mr. Lonsberry, but this time I completely disagree! I am actually shocked at your opinion on this one. I have not seen this on the news or on social media. I just read your column, so the information you shared is all I know. I should add that I am a foster parent for Monroe County and have seen some horrendous cases of abuse and neglect. With what you shared, I would agree that this is a difficult situation. I think the fact that they are both working to support their family is honorable. And they should be encouraged and praised for that. But they made a terrible decision that day! Thank God it didn't come with a terrible consequence! You CAN NOT leave a one month old baby in a car for your entire work shift! His life is more important! Period! What if something serious had happened? The eight year old would have to live with that guilt for the rest of her life. So this is neglect in the definition of the word! We have laws to protect our children. We shouldn't be okay with some children being put at risk because their parents struggle. That would and is the whole foster care community! Most birth parents don't mess up on purpose. They all have a sad story of how they got mixed up in the foster care system. The purpose of the system is to help that parent receive the tools needed to be a better parent, including improving their poor decision making skills. We don't say you had/have a difficult life so do as you please. Nor do we say you are a horrible person with no hope of redemption! These parents made a very bad decision and because of that they now have to deal will DSS and possibly the foster care system. To say they are being judged unfairly because they're poor seems off base to me. Also, the choice they made and the consequences of that choice have NOTHING to do with who shops at that mall or how much their vehicles cost!! I am disappointed that you even brought that into the discussion. It is irrelevant and odd to me. I too was left home to care for myself by my single mother, but not at one month old! I feel compassion for this family but they can't leave a one month old in a parking lot being cared for by an eight year old for an entire work shift. I hope they will get the support needed to move forward and that their family will be stronger because of this.
# 38. 3/28/17 3:44 PM by Pam Kimmel - Brockport, NY
Bob, I am often less than in agreement with you, but am lock step on this one. There are so many things, like this example, that our parent did in the raising of us that today's society calls abuse, or endangerment. I feel that those things are what aided us in becoming adults, and we have allowed them to be taken away from our children.
# 39. 3/28/17 4:08 PM by Candy - Farmimgton
I don't care what year it is.....In 1974 I was a young mother, husband works two jobs and I payed a sitter and went and cleaned houses for $3.00. hour......and if I had no sitter, I stayed home......and if they wanted to let me go for it, then I did not need to work for a heartless, selfish employer......same when I worked at the country clubs at night when I divorced......pay a sitter.....I had no mother or siblings in NY.......LIFE IS A JUDGEMENT CALL...... The thing is Bob that people need to be more responsible and spend money on care or stay home and have your "man" work more to provide....don't waste $$$ on liquor and, cigerates, gambling......she should of stayed home explained to her work......Your mother was selfish and wrong to leave you in a park all day......sad......your greatest gift is a child.......those children were to young to be left alone ......
# 40. 3/28/17 4:20 PM by Kit - Rochester, NY
Help these people who are helping themselves. Good lawyers are stepping forward and I am happy to hear that.
# 41. 3/28/17 4:50 PM by Mary Jo - Rochester, NY
I agree Bob. That's exactly what I thought when I heard about these poor people.
Have you hard if anyone is taking up a collection to help them pay their fines?
# 42. 3/28/17 5:08 PM by Helen - Rochester
I can't imagine how stressful it was for the parents to leave those kids while they worked. They did what they thought was their only option. The sitter should have given them more notice. Think of kids left alone , neglected in a cold house with no food while their parent is out scoring drugs. Happens everyday. THEIR situation doesn't get broadcast for everyone to judge.These parents were trying to be self-sufficient, just making their way, trying to fulfill their work obligations. How easy it would have been to call in sick but they needed the money. Why the front page story? Not saying they made the right choice. It's Just sad.
# 43. 3/28/17 5:35 PM by Pam Gardner - Canandaigua NY
I agree with you 100 percent, Bob
# 44. 3/28/17 7:40 PM by Mark - Webster
Bob I usually agree with you 99% of the time, this must be the 1% that I don't. I heard the story and felt bad for the parents; that they had to choose work over the safety of their children. However, you would have had a totally different position if this was an abduction story. You would have blasted these parents for putting work(money) above the safety of their children. I can see your words now and the anger you have had for the loss of these 3 children. You're right it is a sad story and they should take it easy on the parents, but stop acting like they did nothing wrong. PS Grow up with the "rich persons" mall on the east side. Would it have made a difference it if was at marketplace? You're better than that my friend.
# 45. 3/28/17 8:25 PM by Eileen - Queens, NY
Very true Bob. In an ideal world every parent has a babysitter but that is not the reality. Only parents that are raising a family know the situations that come up. Parents have to be on 24/7, a tough task for anybody..
# 46. 3/28/17 8:27 PM by Dave C - Rochester, NY
I do feel for these parents in this situation. What I find troubling however is that they never checked in on the kids over 6+ hours. Most people get a 15 min break every 4 hours. Wouldn't you go check on them or bring them a snack or maybe kiss them on the head quick?
# 47. 3/28/17 9:26 PM
I totally agree with you Bob. I thought that when I first heard about it on the news. Anyone trying to do the right thing gets slapped down. Where as if you just sit down do nothing but ask for s hand out that's okay. Our society is very good at telling other people what to do and how to act but where are they when someone really needs a help up. I live out in the country in Farmington and would like to know if there is something I can do to help these people. Thanks. Rose
# 48. 3/28/17 10:06 PM by Ann Griffin - Charlotte, NC
We immigrated to Rochester in 1953 and my Dad suffered a stroke in 1960. My mother worked full time after he got ill and the six of us children the oldest 12, 11, 9, 7 watched after our Dad and the two youngest, 5 and 3 year old. When our Dad died three years later, we continued looking after each other doing all our chores. We also never had any public assistance and our Mother worked full time at minimum wages at a local hospital. She rose to be the supervisor of her department and a national leader in her field, but her wages never rose much above minimum wage. After about 20 years of work they brought in a young man right out of college and wanted to make him supervisor, over our Mom, and at a higher wage. Luckily her daughters learned from our Mothers strong example and told the powers to be we would have to sue for discrimination. So they gave her the same pay and as the young man and made them co- supervisors. After my Mother retired he was fired in 6 months later for incompetence. My Mother had been cleaning up his mistakes and trying to teach him, but he didn't learn. Was our upbringing perfect, I will say yes, we are independent, self sufficient, problem solvers and contributing members in our fields and communities.
# 49. 3/28/17 11:56 PM by Ms. Sharron D Lofton - Rochester, New York
You're absolutely correct on this issue. If I knew how I would start a go fund me pg to at least square away their legal fees and make sure they get a good lawyer to get custody of their children back. Hopefully someone who knows how to set up that type of fund will do so and the needed funds will be raised.
# 50. 3/29/17 3:57 AM
Just goes to to show you that no matter how hard you work at it, no matter what you do, life always turns out to be one great big bowl of cherries.
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