Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Parenting: Doing It Right...

Jacqueline in TX sends in this story of a little girl being brought up right...

Girl apologizes for accidental 911 call
The Streetsboro, Ohio, Police Department has shared a child's adorable apology while also reminding residents about a serious issue.

The message was written in what appeared to be blue highlighter and was featured on the department's Facebook page over the weekend.
I totally get this. We've let our kids play with our old cell phones, and sometimes they were still powered for apps or using the camera. Perhaps the child didn't know that the phone was still active. Perhaps the parents didn't realize that even phones with no calling plan can still dial 911. I know from experience that the police have to respond to any 911 call that comes in, and the girl's response shows that either she was genuinely sorry or that her parents made her write what appears to be a genuine apology.

In either case, that's some darn good parenting.

We don't know why she dialed 911 - if I were a betting man, I'd guess that she didn't realize that it would actually go through, and that "911" is the number that has been drilled into their heads as the one to call. I know when the kids get any sort of safety lecture, they are told to cal 911 - even in our sleepy little 'burb, 911 brings the police/fire/rescue. Now, maybe her parents forced her to write the note - in which case she learns a lesson about not dialing 911 unless needed. Maybe she felt bad, not realizing that it would be a real call, and wrote the note on her own.

There's no mention of the child's age, so it's hard to tell if this is a 4 year old or a 14 year old. I suspect, from the writing, that it's somewhere in between, perhaps 8-10. Certainly old enough to know 911 isn't something you joke with, but possibly young enough not to make the connection between "Mom's old cell phone" and "still can call 911". In any case, I think this child learned her lesson, and the police were able to use it as a teaching moment through social media.

And to think, they did this all without having to put lumps on anyone!

That is all.


Mopar said...

I remember back before smartphones, most of my phones came preprogrammed with 911 on speed-dial. All one had to do was push and hold a certain number (I think it it was 1 or 9) and the phone would dial 911.

Actually a whole lot easier then now, where ya gotta push a button to activate the display, swipe whatever pattern to unlock it, touch the icon for the phone, dial 9-1-1 and hit send.

Ted said...

In my small town if you dial 911 from a cell phone you get the state police dispacher, instead of Mike our local day watch dispacher.

It leads to confusion as the SP have none of the expected local knowledge.

Geodkyt said...

Yeah, Ted, I learned several years ago that when calling 911 on a cell phone, IMMEDIATELY state the city/county AND state you are calling from -- not only do calls routinely go through to the state police here, but depending on which tower you hit, you could end up speaking to either the Maryland State police or the Virginia State Police. The dispatchers can easily transfer the call to the correct agency once they know.