Received Saturday, May 5, 2007
I had a troubling experience at the Franklin Park Zoo on Friday 5/4. This occurred specifically in the restroom near the Outback exhibit. I was taking my child to use the restroom. Walking in the restroom, I witnessed a woman crouching on her knees in front of a little girl who could not have been more than 4. The woman who I suspect was her nanny was squeezing her wrists together and saying, "do you think this is fun for me? do you think I want to be here? Crying because you have to walk a few steps, what you need is something to cry about". (Words to this effect). I came in at the last clip and immediately saw the way she was holding the little girl's hands. The little girl was sniffling, desperately trying not to cry. I don't know what happened before I came in but as anyone knows- it is not unusual for a small child to tire of walking. The nanny looked up at me and stood up. I thought to ask her, "is everything okay" and the nanny made some sort of noise that sounded like "psssssssss" and waved her hand at me (dismissive). The little girl was taking very deep, quick breaths trying not to cry. I smiled at her. My daughter who is 2.8 at that point asked out loud, "mommy was is that woman hurting the girl?" With this the nanny left the restroom, dragging the little girl by one hand and tugging on her floral printed sweatshirt. Additional description of the child would be blond with brown eyes and she had on pinkish "croc" shoes. The nanny was wearing denim jeans in a very light wash and a red pull over with buttons at the top only. Her face was very wide, she wore her hair parted in the middle and wavy and she had a large gap between her two front teeth. She was taller than me (I'm 5'6") and easily over 200 lbs.
For descriptive purposes, please add that the child was Caucasian and the nanny, African American. Thanks.