kids

Do you know the story behind the 9yo girls jumping on a car at a Gold Coast shopping centre?

Australian media outlets are today circulating a video, which on first glance is troubling.

Two nine-year-old girls can be seen in the footage jumping on the roof and windscreen of a car in a Westfield carpark on the Gold Coast.

Moments earlier, they’d verbally attacked an elderly woman inside the centre, punched a security guard, and continued to scream at shoppers from the top of the car.

“This is our car so get f***ed. Get f***ed, you ****,” one of the girls yells.

When the security guard attempts to grab one of their scooters, they’re met with the words: “If you take it I’ll bloody kill you. Give me my f***ing scooter.”

One of the girls spits on a guard.

They also start throwing out homophobic slurs at members of the public walking by.

“We know the law, you can’t touch us,” one yells.

This all went on for about 90 minutes.

Eventually the police bundled the girls into the back of a patrol car, to take them home.

Here’s a clip from the video as played on 9News. Post continues after video.

Video via 9News

Then, after a few members of the public filmed the encounter, it made it into Australia’s mainstream media. The response to the video was swift, with people commenting:

They are the results of NO DISCIPLINE.”

“I wonder how they’ll be when they get older.”

“Could just imagine what the parents would be like.”

Kids today.”

“Why WOULDN’T they do it when there’s literally NO consequences?”

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“Where are the parents?”

Of course, it’s chillingly easy to watch a few minutes of a video, and draw overarching conclusions.

To see children behaving badly, and make judgements about who they are, as well as the ‘quality’ of the parenting they’ve received.

But do any of us know the full story behind how these girls ended up in a shopping centre carpark, angry and aggressive?

How two nine-year-olds learn the language and behaviour that’s now been shown on news programs around the country?

On social media, a small number of comments from a minority have started to emerge.

According to several reports, when the girls were put in the patrol car, they were “taken home to their foster parents”.

Those with firsthand experience of the foster care system seemed to view the footage through a different lens, expressing their pain at caring for children whose behaviour might be similar to that of these two little girls.

“We can’t touch them, all we can do is ask them to stop. It’s a vicious and heartbreaking cycle to have to watch and be a part of,” one woman wrote.

“These kids are a product of the system they have been victim to,” wrote another.

Others read:

“Imagine what their home life was like, sometimes foster families can’t control them because of past pain.”

“They are children let down by the system, and often, let down by their parents. This is a national crisis. We carers are fighting a losing battle.”

“These kids were foster kids. They are likely dealing with enormous rage, abandonment and instability. We have no idea what kinds of lives these kids have led and been exposed too, but at ten they deserve the compassion and assistance of adults, not condemnation. This was wrong, yes they should be disciplined, but I bet there would be a lot of pain beneath this.”

We don’t know the full story. We don’t know anything about these girls, and we don’t know anything about their parents or carers.

But what possible purpose can public shaming serve? What can two nine-year-old girls possibly gain from having their behaviour ridiculed and mocked by the Australian public?

They are nine.

And surely, they are better served with empathy rather than judgement.

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