Dispatches from a Reporter's Notebook

To Know or Not to Know

Posted February 21, 2008

When Lindsay Addison first hired a nanny, she felt comfortable about her choice. She had interviewed six candidates, received glowing references about one particular woman and had observed her interacting with her twin infant sons prior to hiring her.

In short, Addison believed you must trust someone immensely to allow them into your home to take care of your children. She felt, at first, that using a camera to check up on this person was a violation of that trust.

That was until last week when she and her husband put a hidden nanny cam in their home after they had concerns about their new nanny.

What Addison saw at her on her computer at her desk at work, and what she ultimately saw after she rushed home and reviewed the video, made her skin crawl.

She saw her premature sons being held like footballs, picked up by the clothes and tossed like kittens, hung upside down, and left unattended on the couch for long stretches of time when they fell and struggled to get up.

Suddenly, Addison's ideas about trust changed dramatically. She no longer felt that the camera was a violation of trust, but that her trust as a parent had been violated. She had trusted someone with her children, trusted someone to care for them as she would. That didn't happen.

The young woman in the video appeared to have no malice toward the kids. In fact, there were times she seemed tender with them. Instead, she appeared to be distracted by the television and oblivious to the fact that her actions were inappropriate.

The police investigated; the woman was not charged.

But at least the Addisons now know where to put their trust, and where not to. Their original nanny came from an online ad. This time , they will use a family friend. And the camera will stay in case they ever need to check in again,

They believe the cameras are a cost-efficient, user-friendly way to keep kids safe. They are urging other parents to take the same steps.

The question is, do you really want to know?

About this Blog:

WRAL's Amanda Lamb offers a behind-the-scenes look at what TV news reporters do, the people they meet and how their jobs affect them.