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Grandma photos baby in roasting pan, prompts visit from child services

And Ohio Grandma posts photo of her grandbaby in a roasting pan and got a visit from Child Services. Overreaction or not?
And Ohio Grandma posts photo of her grandbaby in a roasting pan and got a visit from Child Services. Overreaction or not?
Milad Mosapoor, Wikimedia Commons

One fun-loving grandma in Columbus, Ohio, apparently took the phrase of endearment "You look good enough to eat" to the photographic level, placing her grandbaby in a roasting pan amid some potatoes and snapping a picture of it all. And that wasn't the only photo taken of the granddaughter that got noticed, then brought to the attention of the local sheriff's department and the state's Child Services protective division.

Huffington Post reported Aug. 13 that Jackie Sheaks, the food-as-photo-prop-oriented grandmother in question, posted the photo to her Facebook page. She also photographed her granddaughter with a pacifier duct-taped to her face (over her mouth). A few of Sheaks' Facebook friends did not find the photos all that amusing. In fact, they became alarmed and alerted authorities that something could be horribly amiss.

"We're not horrible people that they are making us out to me," Jackie Sheaks told WBNS in Columbus. "It started as just a joke; we put a little tape on the pacifier because we were being silly. We wanted to share it with friends because everybody that knows us, knows we play around like that."

She insists, "We would never harm our children, never.”

But she says the experience of the backlash on social media, not to mention the visit from police and Child Services, has taught her a lesson.

“Oh, it's definitely taught me a lesson: what we think is funny, other people don't (and) it will never happen again. It's definitely taught us a lesson."

Sheaks' husband, Tommy, says that the family has suffered a considerable amount of harrassment about the photos. He said that since the baby in the roasting pan and with the duct-taped pacifier have gone viral, the intensity of the adverse blowback has nearly prompted them to relocate.

There have been no charges filed against the grandmother.

But what might be seen as an over-reaction by Facebook viewers of the photos can also be seen as a "better safe than sorry" reaction. Given that there have been some extremely horrific stories of late regarding cannibalism, getting the police and Child Services involved can be seen as the Facebook community doing its protective duty toward an unknown child that could have become a victim of a terrible act.

For instance, just recently a young man in China alleged lured his parents to a lunch at his residence, killed them, dismembered their dead bodies, then cooked their remains with rice. And in May, a teacher killed her disabled daughter and cooked her body on a barbecue grill.

What Jackie Sheaks learned was two important points: Some people have very different definitions of "funny" and that some people are far too uptight.

Still, she doesn't think there was anything wrong with the photos, nor trying to get a laugh out of them.

As for the child's mother, Sheaks' daughter, she says she has no problem with the photos.