Josh (desh) wrote,

On my way home from lunch just now, I walked by this county assistance office that I frequently happen past. Sitting out front on the step were two or three women and about five kids. One of the women was being rather rough with a kid who I think was about 5 or 6. She was lifting him an inch off of the ground by the front of his shirt, cursing at him to fucking shut up and sit down inside (or something), speaking quite sternly from just a couple inches away from his face, and so on.

I glared at her a bit, we made eye contact, and I walked away. When I was about 25 paces down the street, she started again. I looked back at her again. I was really disturbed by this. I looked around for a cop to flag down, but I didn't see one.

The next block, I ran into a couple coworkers leaving for a late lunch. I explained what I saw and asked them what they thought I should do. We agreed that flagging down a cop would be nice if there was one around. We debated calling 911 but weren't sure if it was worth it. We would've called the non-emergency police number if we knew of one. We just weren't sure.

Just then a cop drove by. I flagged him down and explained the situation.

He said, "You know all these murders around?" (Philadelphia is at its highest murder rate in decades.) "They're happening because there's not enough of that. Not enough discipline."

I said that I disagreed, and that maybe the murder rate is up because there's too much of that variety of discipline.

He said that he didn't like all the disciplining-by-talking that's been happening, and that parents need to be stronger with their kids. I told him that I disagreed, thanked him, and walked back to my coworkers.

"Well, that just made a bad day worse," I said.

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