When restaurant owner Darla Neugebauer screamed at a toddler who was loudly crying in her restaurant then defended her actions on Facebook, it sparked a debate about parenting and the etiquette of disciplining noisy kids.
Neugebauer owns Marcy’s Diner in Portland, Maine. It’s a popular restaurant, and the busy owner had little patience on July 18 when a toddler began causing a scene, Chris Shorr of the Bangor Daily News first reported.
Neugebauer told local news station WCSH-6 that after hearing the child cry for 40 minutes, the restaurant staff requested that the parents either leave or take their child outside. When the parents instead decided to remain inside and ignore their screaming child, Neugebauer slammed her hand on the counter and shouted, “This needs to stop.”
Neugebauer did not respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.
Later that afternoon, Tara Carson, the mother of the screaming child, wrote a post on Marcy’s Diner’s Facebook page. “I had the worst experience at this establishment,” she wrote, according to a photograph of the post taken and tweeted by WCSH’s Ted Varipatis.
Carson went on to call Neugebauer an “absolute lunatic,” “deranged,” and “not suitable to run a business.” Her post has since been removed.
Here is the original post by the mum and the response in the Marcy’s diner controversy: pic.twitter.com/wWEPUqbIDs
— TVTEDDY (@TVTEDDY) July 20, 2015
Neugebauer responded with this fiery comment.
BuzzFeed was able to obtain screenshots of Neugebauer’s first two posts concerning the incident before they were deleted, and you can see them here.
Later, Neugebauer told WSCH-6 that although she may have used poor judgment, she has no plans to apologise since she was successful at silencing the little girl. “When things stop, it’s usually a good thing,” she said.
Facebook users are flooding the diner’s page with their opinion about the incident, and many who have had their dining experiences ruined by loud children are voicing their support for Neugebauer.
Neugebauer’s personal Facebook page is also filled with compliments.
Others, however, are criticising Neugebauer for a lack of professionalism.
Early this morning, Neugebauer attempted to put the issue to rest with one final post on her diner’s Facebook page.
It doesn’t look like Neugebauer is too shaken by her critics.”I might be a local hero,” she told WCSH-6.