The Mauimama issue 24 – Editorial
Last month was a bit of a doozy. Is that what Saturn in Scorpio was all about? After the July publication came out I received more phone calls regarding my article, “Something Terrible Happened To My Child”, more parents wanting to share their negative experiences.
I had also posted the article on the Maui Mama Magazine Facebook page. In less than a week a lawyer was threatening me with libel per se and I consequently received a Cease and Desist letter threatening me with a temporary restraining order?! And a threat to file a complaint for libel and related torts (involves punitive damages) if I didn’t comply to a various number of demands. I couldn’t comply with some of them (with a good conscience), but I respectfully complied with taking down the post and to publish the following statement that, “Rebecca Stapp, owner of Potty Boot Camp, also known as Potty Trainer, who has successfully trained over 2,700 children, denies all of the allegations.”
Unfortunately after posting the statement online even more people contacted me with horror stories – now that they had confirmation who had actually inspired the article. It’s been really sad.
DHS finally sent Rebecca Stapp of Potty Boot Camp a letter regarding her operation and licensing rules – she does not hold a license. Rebecca Stapp has also been notified by officials about the two cases of third degree assault on the minors (the photographs and medical examiner reports/conclusions were enough evidence to press charges – which are now pending in the Wailuku District Court). Her court date is this month. Thanks to the mothers’ persistence and the case’s high profile the wheels began to turn and the Prosecuting Attorney made this case a priority. My thoughts are with the mothers and wish them luck in the criminal proceedings. Finally they may get the answers they need and hopefully prevent this from ever happening again.
It has been a big lesson – standing up for personal truth in the face of intimidation. Although it has been personally difficult at times, I want to teach my children to stand up for what they believe in, and to do what they believe is pono for their community. The Mauimama stands by the Maui mamas and is thankful that it could give them the voice they needed. I am also very thankful that the system finally seems to be dealing with the situation effectively. And although the Mauimama runs on a shoestring and has no legal budget, the risk is worth it! Some things, although unpleasant, need to be addressed head on.
With that said, I hope you enjoy this issue of The Mauimama. August is breastfeeding awareness month… Go mamas! I hope some of these articles help and inspire.
* UPDATE: On May 28th 2015 Rebecca Stapp, owner of Potty Boot Camp was found guilty of recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally harming a minor, in the 3rd degree. On September 17th she was sentenced to 3 months in prison and 1 year probation, and ordered to obtain mental health treatment and anger management services. A second case is pending. The Mauimama has also been contacted by the Department of Taxation with regards to the legal document stating Mrs Stapp has trained 2,700 children. The Potty Boot Camp was not registered as a business or held a GE license.
Image Credit: Cadencia Photography