Parenting, you’re doing it wrong. In one corner, we have Joan Barnett, a New York City schools employee, who was fired this week, after it was discovered that she faked her daughter’s death in order to extend her Costa Rican vacation. In the other corner, we have Brigit Hippen, of Hutchinson, Kansas, whose infant daughter died after she left a hairdryer running in the child’s crib to keep her warm on a cold night.
First, Barnett, who had one of her daughters call the Manhattan High School of Hospitality Management where she worked to inform the school that her sister had suffered a heart attack. A different daughter then called the school later the same day to say that the daughter had died, and Barnett would be traveling to Costa Rica for the funeral. Barnett then faxed a forged death certificate for her daughter to the school as proof of death. In all, she spent 2.5 weeks on vacay in Costa Rica.
School officials became suspicious when they noticed that several fonts on the document didn’t match. And when they contacted Costa Rican officials, they discovered that the death certificate number actually belonged to a man who had died in 2005. Whoops! Barnett was fired from her job and charged with a misdemeanor for forging the death certificate.
And then there’s Brigit Hippen. Hippen (pictured) was charged with involuntary manslaughter for essentially burning her child to death. Her daughter Karina Perez died of hyperthermia and was said to have a temperature of 108 at the time of death, thanks to Hippen leaving a hot hair dryer running on the child for several hours.
Whatever happened to — I don’t know — cuddling with your cold child or giving her a blanket? So horrific.