Seriously, I want to have beers with this guy and listen to him tell stories. What an incredible person!
The interview that is also interesting is where Mr. Ramsey discusses how he had felt that "something was weird about that house," a year ago. (At about a 1:32 into the video.)
How often do we have gut feelings about something and ignore them as "being paranoid"? Or we're afraid of stepping on someone else's toes or offending someone? I know it happens to me sometimes, and later, I wish I had acted on the feeling.
Recently, a friend of mine, Southern HockeyMama (aka "SHockeyMama), had a chance to act on a feeling or walk away. Like Mr. Ramsey, she decided to act. In my eyes, she too, is a hero:
SHockeyMama loves kids and kids adore her (actually, you can't meet her and not like her or forget her - she's just that special kind of person who has such a good heart that it is impossible not to love her). She loves to spend time with kids of all ages and will help out her friends with childcare when needed. Last week, she was dropping off a little friend at a preschool when she was confronted with a sight that she couldn't believe was happening. An assistant teacher had a little boy, about four years old, pinned onto the floor, holding him down with her knee and restraining his hands, while the head teacher sat and read the other children a story not two feet away from the crying boy. The little boy was crying and begging for the teacher to let him go. SHockeyMama was shocked to see this and asked the teacher, "What are you doing?" the teacher said, "He keeps bothering my little friends and he needs to stop." Under the pretense of taking a photo of the child she was dropping off, SHockeyMama took two photos of the situation, then said "Good-bye" to the child she dropped off and walked out of the room. As she left, she mentioned what she had witnessed to the person working the front desk, noting that there were video monitors displaying the activity of the various classrooms near the front desk. Then she left.
As she drove home, she contemplated her options: Should she wait until the school day was over and show the little boy's mama the photos and let her handle it? Should she ignore what she witnessed and not make any waves - maybe there was a reason why the little boy was being restrained? Should she contact the preschool and let them know what had happened? Or should she contact her friend, MNHockeyMama, about the story and let her take put it out to the wide world and let the preschool be eviscerated by the media for allowing that behavior to go on at that location?
Ultimately, SHockeyMama decided to call the main 800 number for the preschool company and tell them what had occurred. The person she spoke with was as shocked and appalled by what SHockeyMama had witnessed and gave her an email address to send the photos and her information to them, which SHockeyMama did immediately. Within an hour she received a call back, informing her that the Minnesota office had been called and that the situation was being take care of. Within an hour of that call, she received another call from the Minnesota Director, who informed her that she was on the way to the location and that SHockeyMama wouldn't be seeing that teacher in that preschool again. All the people with whom she spoke thanked her for alerting them to the situation and assured her that they would see that this wouldn't happen again.
The next day, SHockeyMama went back to once again drop off the same child at the preschool. Neither teacher was in the classroom that day. On her way out, the facility's director called her into the office to tell her "Thank you" and "You did the right thing."
SHockeyMama saw a situation that shouldn't be happening. She could have walked away and kept her mouth shut, but she didn't. As she stated on her Facebook wall:
The reason I'm sharing this because I wasn't going to, is because if you see, or know of a child being abused, or cared for inappropriately "STAND UP FOR THEM ." Sometime their voices are just too small to be heard.Both SHockeyMama and Charles Ramsey are heroes. They didn't have to listen to their guts telling them what they should do - Mr. Ramsey could have ignored the screams and stayed home, and SHockeyMama could have walked out of that preschool and not said a word to anyone. But they didn't. They both saw or heard something disturbing and listened to their guts and did the right thing.
If only we all would be as brave as these two heroes, and stand up for those who can't speak and/or act even when we know there could be danger or others who might deride us for acting when they refuse to act, the world would be a much better and safer place for all.