What would you do if you were out to eat and the restaurant owner yelled at your crying toddler? Or, what if you were the restaurant owner and a crying child was disrupting breakfast service. Would you reprimand him or her?
The owner of a Portland, Maine, diner is under fire for yelling at a toddler to stop crying. The incident happened Saturday when Darla Neugebauer, owner of Marcy's Diner couldn't take the 21-month-old crying for 40 minutes.
According to WMTW, an ABC affiliate in Portland, Neugebauer said: "I turned around, slammed both hands on the counter, and then pointed at the child and said, 'This has got to stop.' Oh, and then the mother screamed at me because I was yelling at her child. You know what lady, you should have taken the kid outside."
Tara Carson, the mother of the toddler, posted a negative comment on the diner's Facebook page, which read: "I had the worst experience at this establishment. The owner is an absolute lunatic and screamed in the face of my almost 2-year-old child because she was crying. Who in their right mind would behave like this unless you are deranged."
Some have reported the toddler was crying because her parents ordered pancakes but didn't serve them to her.
The incident caused a storm of controversy on social media, with many saying the diner owner crossed the line:
Tiffany @buckeye_chica via Twitter: "YELLING at somebody else's kid is never appropriate. Tell them to leave, call the police. But yellingg No."
Raylene --‚¬@JARSforever via Twitter: "Shame on you. Very unprofessional! Maybe you should put a sign up saying no children allowed."
Beth McIntire @raleightech via Twitter: "Marcy's Diner Shows Us How NOT to Handle Unhappy Customers."
Folks on Facebook felt the diner owner had the right to discipline the child:
"Good for you! An ill behaved child and lazy, indulgent parents should not have the right to ruin everyone else's dining experience. The other patrons have paid to be there too, and their money is just as good. No one goes out to eat to listen to a screaming child" -- James Watkins via Facebook.
"Support from South Carolina: The PARENTS are to blame for the conduct of their child. If I were a customer in your diner, I would have been quite angry that the parents did not take the child outside until she calmed down. Shame on those parents" -- Marsha Humphreys via Facebook.
Neugebauer said to WMTW that she may have crossed the line but it was her line to cross. When asked if she would do anything differently, she said, "Absolutely not. It stopped her screaming and got them out and it made my other customers very happy and my staff very happy."
More than 1.7 million people have shared and posted comments on various social media outlets.
What do you think of Neugebaur's actions Do you think she crossed the line or do you think she had the right to yell at a child in her establishmentl