Harambe and Parenting

Apparently now, the Cincinnati police are going to actually investigate the “family” of the boy involved.  By “family,” of course, they mean “mother.”  Every bad thing every kid does is always mom’s fault.  Directly or indirectly.

This is beyond infuriating.  Did the police investigate mothers of the miners who died in a 2010 mine explosion, or just tell them, well, you went in there, dummies?  No, they put the CEO of the company that purposely did not provide safe working conditions in jail.

There are a couple of issues here.

One is the American fallback position of blame the mom.   I’ve actually had to sit and listen to the mom of two very meek children explain how her outstanding parenting resulted in their unwaveringly compliant behavior.  All I can say about that is, well, bless your heart.

The other issue, and this is the real problem to be solved, is how did this happen?  How many close calls have their been?  I don’t believe for a minute that no other kid has ever gotten inside the barrier.  Anyone who has worked in any kind of safety capacity, even just being on a safety team, knows that usually close calls happen a bunch of times before a tragic “accident.”  And how the hell could it be so quick and easy for a 4 year old to do that?  The mom was right there, not 2 exhibits away.  He didn’t have half an hour to do it, he did it in seconds to a minute or two, by all reported accounts.

People should and do have some expectation of safety standards when they go to a zoo with active young children.  By its nature, a zoo is a place you take small children to observe large, unusual, and frequently dangerous animals.  The zoo has to be able to withstand the most bright and active kids’ attempts to break into the exhibits.  This is not like having every plastic bag marked “not a toy.”  This incident shows why.

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