Cruel Kids Make Fun of Deformed Cashier, Woman Next in Line Follows Them out to Parking Lot


It truly does take a village to raise children, especially in this digital age where so many different walks of life are at the fingertips of kids.

Sometimes, however, many people are reluctant to step up and say something if they see kids misbehaving in public.

One woman mustered up the courage to call two children out for their rude behavior in a Target store.

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Mary Katherine Backstrom posted a video on Facebook in which she described how she pushed back her fear of confrontation in order to teach a pair of kids a lesson.

Backstrom was waiting in line when she noticed two young children, maybe 11 or 12 years old, snickering at the cashier.

“The man who was working checkout had had some kind of severe cranial reconstructive surgery. He had staples in his head. His head was just deformed and his eye was drooping, and he looked like he had a very devastating accident and surgery,” she said.

The kids in front of her in line had their cell phones out and were trying to take pictures of the poor man with Snapchat filters, most likely to text to their friends.

Backstrom was not going to stand by and let them get away with their rude behavior, so the “super-nonconfrontational” mom set her own basket aside and followed the kids outside.

“I said, ‘You were being very cruel to that man,'” Backstrom said, adding that the kids stopped and apologized, but she wasn’t going to let it end there.

She asked the children how they were getting home, and they told her their mom was coming to pick them up. So, Backstrom waited with them until a minivan pulled up.

“Then my heart starts racing because I realize I don’t know how this mom’s going to react to me saying something to her,” she said.

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To Backstrom’s surprise, the mother thanked her for bringing it to her attention, and from the look on the kids’ faces, Backstrom knew that the mom would take care of it.

“I just wanted to say to the lady whose kid just acted like a complete butthole in Target that you’re a really good mom,” Backstrom said in her video.

“If my kids are ever in Target being buttholes or bullies or making fun of people, I hope you do the same thing. It’s hard to hear criticisms from other parents or hear your kids are acting contrary to how you know you’ve raised them, but that’s part of them growing up.

“We all need to be keeping an eye on each other and each other’s kids.”

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith