Airline Apologizes for Name Shaming Child, But Public Blames the Mom
Southwest Airlines offered an apology to the mother of a child she says was the target of name shaming by an airline staffer.
The mother of a 5-year-old said a gate agent mocked the child’s name. On top of that, she says the employee even posted a photo of the child’s boarding pass on social media.
The angry mom told ABC News that the gate agent started laughing, pointing at them, and talking to other employees about the child’s name.
“So I turned around and said, ‘Hey, if I can hear you, my daughter can hear you, so I’d appreciate if you’d just stop,’”
The incident allegedly took place at John Wayne Airport in California, as the mother and daughter boarded a flight to their home state of Texas.
Yes, Abcde, no matter how you choose to pronounce it, is an unusual name.
But that’s hardly the point.
I’ve seen quite a few responses to the story across social media that lays solid blame at the mother, not the alleged name-shamers.
A good portion of respondents claim the mother “should have known” that her child would be the victim of name-shaming because she selected the first five letters of the alphabet as a real name.
Some say the mother should even have “expected” such a reaction.
Granted, in this day and age, civility and common courtesy have all but disappeared. From that particular perspective, maybe it is reasonable to expect some degree of name shaming.
It does not change the fact, however, that the person who was name-shamed in this incident was a five-year-old girl. A child who common sense would suggest couldn’t possibly have chosen the unique name for herself.
Even if she chooses, when she turns 18, to legally change her name to something others might not wish to make fun of, it’s those others, not the child, who have the real problem.
The airline won’t comment on any specific actions taken against the accused employee.
But seriously: Who does that?
Who makes fun of a child in front of her mother? Whether it was a name, an outfit or a physical disability, why would anyone think that it was acceptable? Or, for that matter, given the number of incidences in which similar social media posts have cost mocking employees their jobs, why would anyone possibly think they could post a photo of a child’s boarding pass and think no one would find out?
There’s decency and there’s common sense.
If the accusations are correct, this particular employee seems to have lacked both in this particular incident.
You don’t blame a parent for that.