The librarians of Decatur, Georgia [Corrected -Ed.] set back the “cool” librarian movement by several decades when they asked the mother of a laughing baby to leave the library premises for disrupting patrons, but the Dacatur police force really turned back the clock when they deployed six or seven cruisers to handle the situation when the woman refused to leave.
Donnetta Foster, a 20-year-old single mother and student, was at the Decatur public library last October with her one-year-old son using a computer to prepare for a job interview the following day. She had been there about 15 minutes when her son started laughing at a flash card. She attempted to quiet the child, but was approached by a security officer who asked her to leave. When she tried to appeal to the library staffer, the employee shut down her computer and asked the officer to escort her out.
When Foster refused to leave, the police were called and officers arrived to escort her out of the building. She was issued a criminal trespass warning at which point she “became irate yelling in a loud and boisterous manner.” The report states that she left, but then returned within minutes, yelling again. Shortly afterward she was handcuffed and arrested for disorderly conduct. If convicted, she could face up to a year in jail.
Foster admits that she did curse, but that she didn’t yell at the police directly. She said she was frustrated that she was not allowed to tell the police what had happened in the library. Her lawyer, Mawuli Mel Davis, stated, “She was loud. She was upset. She was emotional. But it did not warrant her being arrested.”
The beleaguered mother, a full-time student at Georgia Perimeter College, has decided not to take a plea and is fighting the charge in court on September 13th. She understands it’s a risk, “But we also understand that anytime anyone has stood up for anything in our community and our society that has meant anything, it has been at a risk. She’s decided that it is a risk she’s willing to take.”
Foster says, “I’m really trying to elevate things in me and my son’s life…” She has already missed some classes because of the ordeal and anticipates missing more for the trial. Foster concludes by admitting, “I’m terrified.”
I have to say that I would be irate, too, in this situation — and not just because of breastfeeding-induced hormone aggression. The whole thing smacks of racism and I hope that Ms. Foster finds justice in the court system.
Read more posts by Amy Windsor aka @theBitchinWife:
Humorous Toddler Tshirts: Merely Inappropriate to Downright Offensive
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