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Opening Arguments

Mercedes Shrum's day off

Trish Shrum is mad at Indianapolis Public School No. 82 officials for lettting her 5-year-old daughter, Trish, "escape" from them in an incident that could be in a silent Keystone Cops movie:

When Mercedes Shrum, 5, found out she had a substitute teacher, she told school officials that she wanted to go home.

The school took her temperature, and because she wasn't ill, administrators got her settled back into the classroom, but not for long.


Shrum, a kindergartner, took off out of the classroom and out a nearby door. She walked at least six blocks, crossing busy streets several times as she tried to remember where she lived, said her mother, Trish Shrum.

[. . .]

IPS spokeswoman Mary Louise Bewley said Mercedes was immediately followed by two staff members -- one wearing a cast and the other wearing flip-flops -- who were unable to catch her.


The school's principal and a custodian soon followed, Bewley said. School officials insist they never lost sight of the child.

There is a spirited debate in the comments about whether this was mostly the mother's fault ("The blame is all on the mother for not raising the little girl correctly") or the school's ("The little girl is only five years old, for crying out loud. The mother delivered the child to school, who now is in care and custody of the child"). I'm inclined toward the latter view. "In loco parentis" means the school accepts responsibility for those in iits charge during school hours.

And I love this:

"IPS spokeswoman Mary Louise Bewley said Mercedes was immediately followed by two staff members -- one wearing a cast and the other wearing flip-flops -- who were unable to catch her." 
Let's not forget the others the school did not send after her: the one legged man, the lady with chains around her feet, the man with shoeboxes for shoes and the teacher who wears snowshoes. How hilarious would it have been to watch someone with a cast on their leg and someone with flip-flops running after a little girl. Priceless!

Posted in: Hoosier lore


Cracker #3
Thu, 08/26/2010 - 2:31pm

She is an awful mother. I bet she did not bother to tell you she moves those kids at least three times a year between Nashville and Indiana did she? It's no wonder they won't sit at school like they are supposed to. My children would have been punished and sent right back to school. This woman needs to take responsibility for her lack of parenting skills. She will milk this for money.

Bob G.
Fri, 08/27/2010 - 8:55am

Hey, don't bust on those FLIP-FLOPS...it's how a LOT of teens are permitted to go to school these days.
Looks like they just rolled outta the sack...helluva way to LEARN (anything), eh?

(ever drop a HISTORY or LIT. BOOK on such an unprotected foot? I smell a lawsuit in the making there - free money courtesy of FWCS..or is that JUST their feet?)


Mon, 08/30/2010 - 7:25pm

Sigh.. I'm sure you know all about her parenting skills huh cracker #3. So what if she moves often that does not reflect on her parenting skills. With the way the economy is today people have to move where jobs and support is. I'm in the navy and I move all of the time, does that mean my wife and I bad parents? Don't talk about things that you really know nothing about. The school and the school alone is responsible for this incident, what if they were unable to contact trish or if saddie got hit while she was crossing the street, would that have been the mothers fault as well? I would like to see your kids behavior since you're so quick to pass judgment on parenting skills.

Cracker #3
Thu, 09/16/2010 - 12:54pm

She does not work. She gets welfare for four children with four different dads ShrumNavy