Florida Mom Outraged by Mall Employee's Facebook Shaming

Florida Mom Outraged by Mall Employee's Facebook Shaming (ABC News)

Erica Kalnins said she was furious to learn that a mall employee secretly snapped a photo of her and her child while shopping and posted it to Facebook -- publicly shaming her mothering skills and referring to her as "stupid."

"I was extremely upset," Kalnins of Tampa, Florida, told ABC News. "For someone to bash my parenting styles who doesn't know what was going on or the reasoning behind it is appalling. As parents we all have the same goal -- to raise our kids to be good people. No one should be judged by the style that we use. That's the bottom line."

Mom Says She Was 'Lunch Shamed' by School for Packing Oreos for Daughter

Breastfeeding Mom Outraged When Stranger Posts Photo of Her on Social Media

Alabama Mom's Facebook Apology for Kids' Movie Behavior Brings Recipient to Tears

Kalnins, a mom of two, said she took her daughter Willow to the accessories store, Icing in Citrus Park Mall on June 30, to look at some bracelets she had spotted in the window.

That night, Kalnins said her sister-in-law reached her with some disturbing news.

"She said, 'Call me crazy, but I think you and Willow are circulating the baby-wearing groups on the Internet,'" she said. "So I logged on and I was just in shock."

The photo showed the back of Kalnins with Willow, 5, in a Tula brand baby carrier browsing the store -- an act that Kanins said she did because the little girl was not feeling well.

The caption read:

The is the kind of ignorance that gets passed down to kids and ppl [people] enable their children to be independent. This girl is at least 5, but what u [you] don't see in this picture is the 1 1/2 yr [year] old in the stroller. God people are f****** stupid!!!!

"I was appalled that someone would write that derogatory comment," Kanins said. "I was very angry and I felt violated. I feel like it was cyberbullying only now it's at an adult stage."

Kalnins said she later discovered that the employee was an Icing store manager and the company's corporate office reached out to her on Tuesday and apologized, but she said she is still unhappy by the way their manager had behaved.

"I understand they feel it doesn't reflect the views of their business, however, the fact that they have employees working for them that think it's acceptable to take photos of customers like that, even if they're allowed to have their phones out on the floor -- that's a little slack on the training department," she said.

"We looked into it and apparently it's not illegal to take pictures of people in a public setting, even with minors," Kalnins added. "In my opinion, it should be a law."

The Tula carrier, Kalnins said, can hold a child up to 50 pounds, which is confirmed on the company's website.

"I never carry her in there, but even if I hose to it's completely acceptable because she is under the weight limit," she added.

Icing did not respond to ABC News' request for comment.

The Claire's-owned franchise did release a statement regarding the incident via social media.

"We were appalled by the views expressed by an Icing Store Manager on her personal Facebook account, and her actions were a significant breach of conduct that we take very seriously," Icing wrote on Facebook. "Her personal views in no way reflect the views of Icing, and we have taken the necessary appropriate action with the individual."

Within hours, moms all over the country got wind of the incident and organized a "wear-in," where women wore their children in carriers to the mall in support of Kalnins.

"We went to Icing and walked through the mall to show 'I'm not a weird mom to be wearing my kid,'" Kalnins said. "It's become really popular these days and they were showing my support."

Kalnins said she attempted to contact the Icing manager via Facebook and pleaded she take down the photo, but received no response.

She added that she and her husband plan on contacting Facebook to have the post removed.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting