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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Ground Level   » Abandoned Kids... What do you do? (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: Abandoned Kids... What do you do?
Jack Ondracek
Film God

Posts: 2246
From: Port Orchard, WA, USA
Registered: Oct 2002


 - posted 06-20-2003 10:26 PM      Profile for Jack Ondracek   Author's Homepage   Email Jack Ondracek   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Those of you who manage or own theatres might have had this happen to you, but it's a first for me.

Two kids, age 8 & 10 come into my indoor house with a parent, who pays for all 3, gets them into our "Nemo" room & then leaves.

Two hours after the show's over, my daughter (the Manager over there), notices them. They're somewhat nervous and not at all happy. They try every number they can think of... no answer. They're not sure of their address.

Posted conspicuously at our boxoffice is a fairly large sign that states we do not allow children under 12 in our auditoriums without adult accompaniment in the auditorium with the children.

If you had this happen to you, how would you handle it?

(edit)... Just found out... the kids' mother went to play bingo.

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Aldo Baez
Master Film Handler

Posts: 266
From: USA
Registered: Mar 2001


 - posted 06-20-2003 10:42 PM      Profile for Aldo Baez     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Notify the proper authorities this probably isn't the first time this has happened.

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Randy Stankey
Film God

Posts: 6355
From: Erie, Pennsylvania
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 06-20-2003 10:58 PM      Profile for Randy Stankey   Email Randy Stankey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Call the cops.

The problem is that as long as those kids are on your property they are your responsibility. If you like the looks of the kids, maybe... MAYBE... you could give them something to drink and let them play some video games or something. You don't have to do that but you can't just let them go out into the street. If something bad happens, you could have to answer questions.

It SHOULDN'T be your responsibility but the problem was dumped in your lap.

I would call the cops, not simply to get the parent(s) into trouble but because you aren't equipped, nor do you have the inclination, to be their baby sitter. You don't want to be their (unwilling) caretaker any longer than you have to.

Sometimes you gotta' do what you gotta' do.

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Chase Taylor
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 172
From: Troy, Alabama, USA
Registered: Mar 2001


 - posted 06-20-2003 11:06 PM      Profile for Chase Taylor   Author's Homepage   Email Chase Taylor   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I let them use the phone and call for someone to come and get them. I wait at least 30 min. after the last show ends and if no one has come to get them I call the cops. I personally hope the cops give the parents hell because this is unacceptable to leave your kids at this time of night alone with no way to get home. I know this goes with out saying but never give them a ride home.

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Jack Ondracek
Film God

Posts: 2246
From: Port Orchard, WA, USA
Registered: Oct 2002


 - posted 06-21-2003 02:11 AM      Profile for Jack Ondracek   Author's Homepage   Email Jack Ondracek   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Just before the Sheriff arrived, the mother's boyfriend showed up... 2 1/2 hours after the show ended. He said that the mother sent him to a different theatre, where he waited outside all that time before finally calling the mother [Confused] [Confused]

Eventually, he got the right place. The deputy let him leave with the kids, but is filing a report with the state child protection agency.

I've raised 4 daughters. This kind of stuff makes me [Mad] [Mad] [fu] [thumbsdown] [Mad]

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John Carpenter
Film Handler

Posts: 96
From: Fort Walton Beach, FL, USA
Registered: Nov 2002


 - posted 06-21-2003 09:23 AM      Profile for John Carpenter   Email John Carpenter   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We have this problem here, but it never seems to be an "accident" like the one you described. There are, as with any areas, some lower income parts of this town. It seems some of these people think that a theatre is a baby sitting service. Almost every weekend we find out that some mother dropped her 4-7 kids (and sometimes their friends too) off for a 7:00 show thinking that she could come back at 2 AM and pick them up. Well I'm sorry, but one ticket entitles you to one show. By 10:00 or so (we run late-night shows) they are caught movie hopping and causing a commotion somewhere. Well we are then having to spend time dealing with them, the upset customers, and basically watching them so they don't leave the lobby until they leave the building. When we ask where their parents are - they will say their mom is out at a bar/drinking/with her boyfriend, etc... We attempt to contact anyone, but normally that does no good. We have a trooper here on the weekend that does a good job dealing with the parents if and when they do come back, but sometimes the local police department has to come and haul them off apparently because the mom had too good a time partying [sex] and forgot she had kids?? These parents should be charged with some kind of neglect!!

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Aaron Mehocic
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 804
From: New Castle, PA, USA
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 06-21-2003 12:30 PM      Profile for Aaron Mehocic   Email Aaron Mehocic   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Its quite common here too, but it goes beyond low income families. Our theatre is located next to an off-track betting facility that was the first of its kind in this area of the country. We have our regular kids whose parents are gambling and getting drunk while they watch Nemo or what ever else is out. Occasionally some will come in just to play video games and management is OK with that. True - WE ARE NOT BABYSITTERS - but I'd rather the kids spend the afternoon seeing shows or playing games instead of home alone [sex] their eleven year old neighbor girl.

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

Posts: 10540
From: Lawton, OK, USA
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 06-21-2003 01:10 PM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
A great deal of kids in my state aren't even being raised by their parent. Yes, I meant to apply the singular and not plural to that pronoun. Retirement communities in my state are having to rethink their "no children allowed" rules and such. It seems more and more grandparents are having to raise their grandkids.

Many of todays young parents in OK are too busy partying, goofing off, not working, etc., to be bothered with raising a kid. Sure, they can shit them out when they get knocked up. But once the kid is born, dump them off on the grandparents.

This kind of thing has the really great effect of making a child feel worthless and unloved. They'll grow up with self-esteem problems. Then if they see mommy with a parade of ever changing boyfriends, they'll have problems forming and maintaining emotional attachments to other people. Or to paraphrase: you Limp Bizkit pimp daddie wannabes are f**king up the next generation!

The Bingo Mommie needs such a slap.

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Gerard S. Cohen
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 975
From: Forest Hills, NY, USA
Registered: Sep 2001


 - posted 06-21-2003 02:39 PM      Profile for Gerard S. Cohen   Email Gerard S. Cohen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Many grandparents are doing excellent work raising their children's children, often with legal custody, when the parents
are incapable. We have one feisty, "retired" grandpa raising SIX of his daughters' children after decades of manual labor. He manages to bring them regularly for immunizations, medical checkups and papers required by schools, after-school programs, and summer camps. In our pediatrics office, each child grabs a book from our children's library while waiting for his or her siblings, or they group-play with building blocks and don't make a fuss in the waiting room, nor cry even when we draw blood samples for analysis.
Another elderly grandma brings her newborn granddaughter with the love of a natural parent, and yesterday proudly brought a photo and a doll for our patients' photo montage board BB.
These are hard-working people who sacrifice the rest of their senior years to once again take on the responsibilities of raising infants to maturity in difficult times.
We have many such, and I'm proud of them!

--Gerard

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Gracia L. Babbidge
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 709
From: Bowdoin, Maine
Registered: Aug 2000


 - posted 06-21-2003 02:45 PM      Profile for Gracia L. Babbidge   Author's Homepage   Email Gracia L. Babbidge   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
A thought that has crossed my mind in regards to the whole idea of grandparents raising their grandchildren...
In the cases of the actual parents being too irresponsible to raise their own kids, why put the kids under the care of the people that raised the parent to be irresponsible? Such patterns of dysfunctionality can repeat rather often.
[Confused]

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Mike Williams
Master Film Handler

Posts: 255
From: Knoxville, TN
Registered: Feb 2002


 - posted 06-21-2003 04:29 PM      Profile for Mike Williams   Email Mike Williams   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
When I used to run the Kiddie Shows a couple of years ago, we had a lot of summer camps and day cares show up.. usually more than 1200 kids all on buses.

There was always this one day care that would leave a 3 or 4 year old behind after the show... Kid Depot in Miami.

Luckily, the kids always had a T-Shirt on with the day care name on it.

The first time this happened, I gave the administrator of the day care a stern warning that they would not be welcomed back as a group if it happened again.

The second week it happened (the next week), I called the day care... and then the police.

We always tried to make the kid feel as comfortable as possible with little popcorn and some spare Pokemon cards from one of those lame-o Pokemon movies.

Luckily, the last time they did this (the next year), they left a 7 year old behind that could call their parents. I never happened again.

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Gerard S. Cohen
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 975
From: Forest Hills, NY, USA
Registered: Sep 2001


 - posted 06-21-2003 04:31 PM      Profile for Gerard S. Cohen   Email Gerard S. Cohen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We can't always blame the parents when adults succomb to alcohol or other drugs or find themselves in abusive relationships or become irresponsible or incapable from crime or other causes. It's always tragic when, despite all parental efforts, a child becomes an adult and goes off the deep end. To save the children, they're handed over to foster care, sometimes with the grandparents.

We work with agencies and caring foster parents as well as
children of intact families, and try to keep the children healthy, free from disease or abuse, no matter what the parental
economic, social or educational levels may be. My wife chose pediatrics as her specialty because of the promise for growth and development in each child.

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

Posts: 10540
From: Lawton, OK, USA
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 06-21-2003 05:20 PM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Quality parenting is just one factor in determining how a child will grow into adulthood: either as a productive member of society or a screwup.

School culture quite arguably plays just as significant a role. That's one reason why I rail against how popular culture promotes shallow, selfish and cruel behavior as traits of "being cool." Kids and teenagers pick up this stuff from everywhere (advertising, music, TV shows, movies, fashion) and try to live that image even though it is pure bullshit. When you add absentee parents and apathetic teachers to the mix, the only role models left for these kids are the "cool ones" in school and what they pick up from mass media.

Ultimately, the vast majority of blame on a person growing up to be a screwup sadly comes down on him or herself. Having a bad childhood gives NO ONE the license to commit crime, abuse kids or do any other selfish crap.

I'm sure the mother who left her kids at the theater to play bingo for hours on end has a "perfectly good explanation" to rationalize exactly why she did what she did. And that explanation would very likely point the finger of blame at something else instead of her just admitting, "I'm a selfish asshole."

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William Hooper
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1879
From: Mobile, AL USA
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 06-23-2003 01:21 AM      Profile for William Hooper   Author's Homepage   Email William Hooper   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Treat them like all lost or abandoned items. Stick them in a storage space somewhere, & if nobody comes to claim them after a week or so, sell them on eBay.

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Evans A Criswell
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1579
From: Huntsville, AL, USA
Registered: Mar 2000


 - posted 06-23-2003 09:49 AM      Profile for Evans A Criswell   Author's Homepage   Email Evans A Criswell   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
William, your post reminds me of a 3 Stooges Episode where a lady abandoned a baby in the stooges' pawn shop. Moe was wondering what to do. Larry said "Hold him for 30 days. If nobody claims him, he's yours." [Smile]

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