• Sun, Feb 24 2013

A 10-Year-Old Placing A 911 Call To Avoid Bedtime Isn’t ‘Adorable’

shutterstock_117723100A 10-year-old Massachusetts boy placed a call to 911 last week – because he didn’t want to go to bed. I think this household is in serious need of a conversation detailing what constitutes an “emergency.” Also, 911 non-emergency calls aren’t funny.

When I first read the story I have to admit there was a part of me that kind of chuckled. Until I realized the child was ten years old. Ten years old! That is way to old to not understand the seriousness of a call to 911.

Massachusetts police say the child made the call just after 8pm. He told the dispatcher he was calling to report his mother because he did not want to go to bed. The boy’s mother, Rosario Davis, said he then hung up the phone, ran to his room and hid under the covers. Enterprise News reports:

Brockton police, following protocol, returned the call. Rosario explained the situation, then asked her son to pitch in.

“Dan, would you like to talk to the police?” she is heard saying in the 911 call, “because you can’t be calling 911 when there is no emergency.”

Then she told the police, “He doesn’t want to come to the phone.”

A link on the Huffington Post calls the story, “The Most Adorable 911 Call Ever?” There are countless news stories showing a picture of a smiling mother holding a phone. What? This isn’t cute. Maybe I’m more sensitive to this whole thing because I live in a city of eight million people. I don’t think it’s “cute” to clog up emergency lines and waste precious resources on a child that hasn’t been taught boundaries.

The local police department sent an officer out to the house to talk to her son about the importance of using 911 for emergencies only:

False 911 calls are part of what a police department deals with every day, said Lt. Paul Bonanca.

“Most of it’s hang-ups, people calling 911 who didn’t mean to,” he said.

Regardless of what a person says, the department has to confirm all 911 calls in person, because police never know if it’s a situation in which someone was coerced into lying.

Hopefully this mother of six will teach those boundaries to her five other children so more tax dollars don’t need to be wasted teaching her adorable children lessons that should have already been taught.

(photo: Gelpi/ Shutterstock.com)

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  • chickadee

    Yeah, the Huffington Post called that one wrong. I don’t have a problem with the photo of the mother, however, since she certainly wasn’t defending her child. In fact, she wanted her son to explain to the police about his hangup call to 911 and then grounded him.

  • SusannahJoy

    My nephews called 911 once, when they were 4 and 6. They hung up immediately when the person answered, and then the cops called back right away and asked what was going on. In the morning my parents took them down to the police station and when they walked up to the counter they just told the desk cop that the boys had something to say. The guy walked around the desk, stood over them all intimidating like, and said “What did you do?” My parents said the kids nearly peed themselves they were so scared, but after they apologized the cop was all nice again and gave them suckers and told them that they take those calls very seriously, so please, don’t do it again. It all worked out well, and they learned a valuable lesson. Although they were still both in trouble all day with all of us.

  • TheLily

    When I was four, I called 911. My parents had four kids and were in the middle of renovating the house to fit four kids in it. My three brothers were sharing two rooms (one had the homework desk in it so the older brother got a room to himself to sleep in, but otherwise everyone was in the room.) I was sleeping on a lawn chair with padding and bedding on it, put in my parent’s future walk-in closet so they could get some privacy. When the police came to see what was wrong, my parents almost had all of us kids taken away from them. They had done nothing in the way of abuse, they were just poor parents with four kids trying to make more room for them. I learned my lesson then that 911 was a HUGE deal.

  • K.

    2 things wrong with the story. One is as you’ve pointed out–it’s not okay for a child (especially 10 years old) to call 911 for non-emergencies or to be praised in the media for doing so.

    And two: “Then she told the police, “He doesn’t want to come to the phone.”

    Granted, she probably did punish him later, but in our household growing up, when you did something naughty and Mom wanted you to do something, there was no “I don’t want to.”

    • Sara

      Yup. If that were my kid, he wouldn’t have been able to come to the phone because we would have been on our way down to the police station so he could apologize in person and offer to do whatever was needed to make up for wasting valuable resources and the officers’ time.

      I agree with the author–there is nothing “adorable” about this.

  • http://twitter.com/HorridBabyNames Horrid Baby Names

    This is neither cute nor adorable. There are people with dire emergencies who call 911 every day yet they have to wait in a que because of “adorable” phone calls like this. I was a 911 dispatcher for years. I can’t tell you how many stupid phone calls like this came through while REAL emergencies waited on the line as each tick of the second hand felt like a year passing. Imagine being a wife and watching your husband having a heart attack and you can’t get through because some bratty kid called 911 to tell the cops mommy wants him to go to bed. Imagine being a mother and your child isn’t breathing but you have to hold because of this stupid call. The child should be punished and the parents should be fine.

  • katyjohannab

    Ok it’s not adorable and as a parent who has had a child go into cardiac arrest at home, believe me, I’m not a fan of non emergency 911 calls either. BUT I really don’t like all this tutting and “if that was MY child…. (insert comment demonstrating your superior mothering skills here)”. I have a kid with behaviour problems and it’s really bloody hard going at times. Especially when my child does something awful in public and however I respond, there’s always someone judging me, whether I raise my voice or try and reason with my son or just decide to let this one go because I want to pick my battles. There’s always someone who thinks if they could do a better job at parenting my son.
    So without knowing the background here maybe we could lay off the judgeyness.