A group of “fit moms,” who use their local mall to work out with their children, was caught off guard by some unwelcome comments.
The moms said hateful messages have been directed toward them for weeks, and those comments are allegedly coming from employees at Kay Jewelers at the Waterford Crystal Mall.
“They weren't happy with us being near their store and wanted us to move and they used some words that we didn't appreciate them using in front of our children," said Katherine Thuma.
Out of frustration, one of the moms in the group took her frustration to Facebook, and in less than 30 hours, her post went viral.
The women and their babies meet, up to six days per week, for one hour to intensely work out inside the mall. Their group is called Fit4Mom organization, and pays a year-round lease.
“We are concentrating on cardio, strength training, core work but we are really interacting with the kids while we are getting our work out in, so we are singing with them, maybe doing jump squats with the ABC's,” Thuma said.
They use the mall before it opens for business in the morning, but they said they have run into issues with some employees at Kay Jewelers.
“We tried to let it go the first few times but realized, like kids on the playground, being a bully and making fun of someone else isn't ok...and it wasn't ok for my members to endure that during our class,” Thuma said.
One of the mothers from the group took to Facebook, saying in part “Recently, representatives of #KayJewelers at the #CrystalMall location have begun a campaign involving derisive comments, hateful speech and swearing whenever we exercise within ear-shot of #KayJewelers."
The moms are upset their children are hearing curse words, and tried talking to the store workers, but didn’t get too far.
“It was clear that she believed it was ok with what they were doing and that she just wanted to make it clear she didn't want us near her store,” Thuma said.
Another post on Facebook read “Please help me because I have no words. #NoKayforValentinesDay.”
Kay Jewelers responded on Facebook, saying “Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We take these matters very seriously and are addressing the situation with the store."
Meanwhile, the negativity isn’t stopping the moms.
“It has been a positive from a negative so the initial confrontation was rough but the positive that has bloomed out of it has been so motivating,” Thuma said.
Eyewitness News has not heard back after reaching out to mall management and Kay Jewelers corporate.
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