Mom Furious After 4-Year-Old Receives Odd Comment After Injury

By Epoch Newsroom
Epoch Newsroom
Epoch Newsroom
April 19, 2016 Updated: January 8, 2018

Four-year-old Joni couldn’t help but cry when she was hit with a metal teapot at her preschool.

She suffered a cut, a bruise mark, and a swollen cheekbone.

Mother Merritt Smith took her to the Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio to get stitches but couldn’t believe what happened when they got there.

A staff member standing behind the registration desk noted that a little boy in her class had hit her, and said: “I bet he likes you.”

The comment set Smith off.

“As soon as I heard it, I knew that is where it begins,” she wrote on a Facebook post that has gone viral.

“That statement is where the idea that hurting is flirting begins to set a tone for what is acceptable behavior.”

(Merritt Smith/Facebook)
(Merritt Smith/Facebook)


Smith noted that she made sure to emphasize to her daughter before preschool started that hitting is not how people express how they like others.

“It is time to take responsibility for the messages we as a society give our children,” she continued. “Do not tell my 4-year-old who needs stitches from a boy at school hitting her, ‘I bet he likes you.’ No.”

Tens of thousands of people have shared the post.

The hospital has declined to name the employee or take direct action, but has reached out to Smith to apologize.

“Although we know the comment was made with no malicious intent, it is our wish to apologize and express to you that this is something we are taking seriously,” the hospital said in a statement obtained by CBS. “This comment does not represent our philosophy as an institution.”

Smith said the apology was appreciated and said she didn’t want to get the man fired.

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