Mom Charged With Felony After Daughter Licked Tongue Depressor And Put It Back

by Leah Groth
Jacksonville Sheriff's Department

Please — just stop with the licking of things in public places

Our job as parents is to regulate, making sure they keep our kids’ dirty little paws — and especially their tongues — to themselves. Not only is the grossness level majorly high, but contaminating certain items can also be illegal. One Jacksonville, Florida woman learned this the hard way, after filming a video of her daughter licking the wood tongue depressors found in medical offices.

The clip, filmed at All About Kids & Families Medical Center, starts with a hand reaching into a glass jar filled with tongue depressors and picking up a wooden stick. In the somewhat grainy video a sign is visible reading “PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH MEDICAL SUPPLIES THANK YOU,” in all caps.

But that warning meant nothing, apparently. Because soon after a young girl in a baseball cap reaches into the jar and also takes one of the tongue depressors — only she decides to place it in her mouth and lick it from to back — before returning it to the jar and popping the lid back on.

“Don’t tell me how to live my life,” the text accompanying the video that was uploaded to Snapchat reads. Unfortunately for the girl and her mother, the law most certainly dictates how are supposed to live our lives, or else.

Because the video went viral, there were serious implications for the girl’s mother. On Thursday, Cori E. Ward, was arrested on a felony charge of tampering with a consumer product without regard for possible death or bodily injury. The charge is so serious that she isn’t even eligible for bond.

Ward claims it was all a big misunderstanding, and that she didn’t realize what she was doing was wrong. That it was inspired by a recent social media challenge involving licking ice cream and putting it back on the shelf — which resulted in a Texas woman’s arrest just a few weeks back. But ignorance is never really an excuse, is it? “I mean honestly I wasn’t thinking,” Ward told WJAX before her arrest. “I know what it’s like to have to worry about your kids’ health and stuff. I would never put somebody else’s kid at risk.”

In a since-deleted Facebook post, she apparently claimed the video was only supposed to be seen by her Snapchat friends. But the recording was shared on Facebook by somebody else and watched more than 60,000 times before being removed.

In a statement to WJAX news, the All About Kids & Families Medical Center, where the incident took place, said they the behavior was inconsistent with their standards of practice.

“Upon notification of this isolated incident, we contacted law enforcement to request a full and thorough investigation,” the center said. “We immediately removed all materials and containers from the specific exam room and re-sanitized our entire facility.”

Can we please just stop with the licking of things in public spaces? Please. PLEASE.