Merritt Smith found herself in the middle of every mother's worst nightmare when her 4-year-old needed to go to the hospital after being hit at school. But not only is she furious with the boy who bullied her daughter, she's equally upset with a hospital employee for sending the message that what the boy did was OK.
In a Facebook post that has gone viral, Smith wrote an open letter to the man at the registration desk at Nationwide Children's Hospital to let him know that his words are powerful. "At that desk, you are in a position of influence, whether you realize it or not. You thought you were making the moment lighter. It is time to take responsibility for the messages we as a society give our children," Smith wrote.
"Do not tell my 4-year-old who needs stitches from a boy at school hitting her 'I bet he likes you.'"
She goes on to tell him that sick or injured children are vulnerable and look for support. He needs to choose his words wisely and not rationalize violence against women. "In that moment, hurt and in a new place, worried about perhaps getting a shot or stitches, you were a person we needed to help us and your words of comfort conveyed a message that someone who likes you might hurt you."
Smith will not allow that message to be OK.