Laura Palos-Martinez, an Oceanside, California day-care operator, is being investigated by Child Protection Services after she posted on her MySpace page, “I own my children’s day care. At night my job changes. I am a sex consultant . . . I sell adult toys.”
Police acknowledge that selling sex toys isn’t against the law, but claim that CPS was involved because “it may be a moral issue.”
Although I admit my first thought upon hearing about this story was, “WHY would someone who owns a day care be stupid enough to brag about selling sex toys on MySpace?”, my second – and, in my opinion, more interesting – thought was, “Do the parents of the kids in the day care have a right to know?”
My third thought was, “I’m not sure.”
There are compelling arguments on both sides. I would imagine I’d have trouble finding any parents who had no interest in the character of their childcare providers, and I would also imagine that many parents would consider active involvement in the sex industry a character flaw of sorts. And maybe they’re right, that such a person would be more likely to take naked pictures of their kids than, say, someone who spent her evenings arranging her stamp collection. But I also think that what people do in their free time is their own business, as long as it’s not illegal, and that what’s really important in choosing a day-care center is whether it’s clean, and safe, and whether the children are well-cared for.
Which, in this case, they’re not. On Tuesday, Palos-Martinez was arrested after a three-year-old in her care wandered off and was found hours later more than two miles away.
Coincidence? Who knows? It would probably be irresponsible, from a scientific point of view, to conclude from one data point that sex-toy purveyors make bad babysitters.