A North Dakota mother is taking heat for the way she dressed her children in the cold. The woman was caught on video in a grocery store parking lot, making her kids wait in the cart with no coats, hats, or even shoes in the -9 degree weather.
The video was originally posted on a New Williston Connections Facebook group by Holly Renee Uranker, who couldn't believe what she was seeing. On a snowy, windy morning, with the thermometer at -9 degrees, a mother across the parking lot had her two shivering children in the shopping cart as she rearranged cargo in the car. They're not wearing so much as a sweater, and at least one of them appears to be barefoot.
A social media firestorm followed, with commenters going so far as to say that the children should be taken away from the mother. A local news site picked up the video, boosting its circulation and causing an uproar.
“The largest issue is that if she is willing to do this in public, what goes on at home?” wrote one user. “Poor little things. Unbelievable stupidity and neglect.”
“She needs to lose her parenting rights,” complained another. “I feel so sorry for these children.”
“The person making the video, why weren’t the cops called than [sic],” asked another user. “Why sit and watch it happen, omg poor children.”
Williston Police eventually told KFYR TV that they'd received "several" complaints regarding the video, and that an investigation was underway. While they said that they had positively identified the woman and her kids, they declined to release that information to the press. However, they confirmed that child services is involved in the case.
Because of the clamor around the video, the Williston Police Department ultimately posted a statement directly to their Facebook page, assuring the public that the matter would be taken care of.
"On January 11th , 2018, the Williston Police Department responded to a call for service, in which the reporting party indicated a female was at a local grocery store with two small children. The children did not have appropriate winter gear on for the weather conditions. Numerous concerned citizens have reported the incident. We want to ensure the community that we are actively working an investigation and addressing the concerns. The safety of the children and all community members is our main focus, so we want to thank everyone who reported."
Later, they added an update, which said: “The children have been safely located. The Williston Police will continue to investigate this matter. We want to thank the community for reporting the incident.”