It could be a comment on the performance onstage, but the operators of the municipal Cultural Hall are livid over a few recent cases in which small children relieved themselves in the public arena, not in the bathroom – with the knowledge of their parents.
Hall Director Dina Peled, who related that “one time the mother of a small child took him to pee in a trash can in the Hall. We were shocked by the incident, but apparently it was just the beginning. Another mother took the child to defecate over a garbage can. We hadn’t recovered from those two events, when, last Saturday, we got another case: a mother left her child’s soiled underwear in the hall, near everyone, and left.”
“If a child has an ‘accident,’ it is perfectly acceptable to take the soiled undies and leave it in the bathroom garbage can,” Peled said. “These things happen, it’s happened to all of us, as parents and as children. But to leave it in on the parquet floor in the auditorium, in front of everyone? Can anyone understand such a thing?”
The Modi’in Maccabim Reut Culture Hall was inaugurated 5 years ago, and Peled has been the director from the start. She told The Jewish Press that she’s been in the field of establishing and running cultural facilities for 25 years, and this is the very first time that she’s encountered such a phenomenon.
Peled emphasized that in each case, the Culture Hall’s security cameras documented the parents in action. “We don’t want to shame them by starting to search for them publicly, but they did things that should not be done. The bathrooms are a short walk away from the spot where they were – and it wasn’t an accident, or something beyond their control, they simply didn’t care. Letting their child relieve himself over a trash can when the bathrooms are six feet away is just unbelievable. There are available bathrooms near the hall entrance. These parents’ behavior simply hurts all of us.”
Peled told The Jewish Press that, having watched all four tapes, she found no common denominator to the offending parents, in this community which is comprised equally of religious and secular Jews.
It is interesting to note that while showing a film about parents who encourage their children to do their business in public is most likely against the law in Israel, the actual act is not. Peled told The Jewish Press she did not think these were violations of the law, but she insisted they certainly violated any sense of public decency and ethics.
The Culture Hall team calls on all their guests to complain if they see similar inappropriate behavior: “If we get there, we can take care of this offense immediately. It doesn’t make sense that our customers will have to suffer the consequences of these behaviors,” said Peled.