Yes, disturbing newborn images at Naval Hospital are a big deal

Question: Since when did newborn babies become targets of ridicule, violence and social media foolery?

Answer: When hospital aides Allyson Thompson and Joanie Barrett, two Navy corps members who have since been removed from their posts at the Naval Hospital Jacksonville, decided it was a good idea to swear against them, violate their bodies and post photographs and recordings to a Snapchat account.

This wasn’t a good idea. It wasn’t funny. It was dumb.

This story was reported on USA TODAY and other news outlets sites after screenshots of Thompson’s Snapchat went viral. The snap shows an image of a woman giving a middle finger over a sleeping baby with a caption that reads: “How I currently feel about these mini Satans.”

Also seen in the post: a video of Thompson holding a newborn baby by the arms, dangling the infant like a marionette, while she manipulates the baby’s body to dance to rapper 50 Cent’s “In Da Club.

This was done to a newborn — only hours old.

An anonymous former classmate of Thompson viewed the snap then shared it (and her outrage) to her Facebook page:

“My blood is literally boiling and I want to snitch bc that is someone’s child. The first pic is her friend who is making the baby dance and she’s playing rap music in the background. I’m LIVID and I’m snitching bc she should get fired from her job but idk how to go about it. Pissed isn’t even the words.”

Almost immediately, the anonymous post was shared more than 180,000 times by other livid individuals.

For this, the public can thank social media.

Social media users went in — expressing their contempt for the women’s behavior.

In response to public outrage, the Naval Hospital issued an apology. The U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine & Surgery issued a statement, confirming that Thompson and Barrett would no longer perform patient care and that the babies’ parents had been informed. A full investigation by the Naval Criminal Investigation Services is underway.

Reportedly, a text conversation between Thompson and an unknown person has surfaced. In the exchange,  Thompson offers an apology, claiming she and her co-defendant were “being stupid & bored.”

The video leaves a lasting impression. Laughter can be heard as a woman giggles and jokes in the background, “we’re going to hell.”

These acts are not to be taken lightly. The disturbing images fuel parents’ worst fears.

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