'Home Alone' couple gives weight to old threats


January 06, 1993|By ROGER SIMON

The most famous family in America right now is the Scho family of suburban Chicago.

David and Sharon Schoo are the "Home Alone" couple. They allegedly left their two children, Nicole, 9, and Diana, 4, alone at home while they jetted off for a nine-day vacation in Acapulco.

When David and Sharon got back to O'Hare airport, they were arrested, handcuffed and led through a howling wolfpack of reporters.

The couple has been charged with a felony and a misdemeanor and are free on $10,000 bail. Their daughters have been seized by the state and placed in a foster home.

And all this is a result of the Schoos doing what parents have promised to do for generations.

Think back to your own childhood. Think back to fighting with your siblings in the back seat of the car. Think how your father would turn around and shout: "Next vacation I'm leaving you kids home! I swear to God!"

But you knew he never would.

Now, however, thanks to the Schoos, parents across the nation have real weight behind their threats.

Try it yourself. Try telling your kids: "If you don't behave I'm gonna leave you home like the Schoos did!" Then see how fast they settle down.

I know what you are saying: I am making light of a very serious incident.

But how serious was it really? I have done columns on abused children who have had their arms broken and their tiny bodies burned with cigarettes. I am both saddened and repelled to say that this happens every day in America.

The Schoos left their kids home alone with "instructions to eat cereal for breakfast and microwave meals for dinner."

Should parents leave kids that age home alone? Of course not. But nothing happened to the Schoo kids.

And we don't know if somebody was supposed to look in on them or stay with them or what. (When you are put in handcuffs and led through a screaming crowd, you sometimes don't get to tell the whole story.)

But here is the other "evidence" against the Schoos, taken from newspaper accounts based entirely on the gossip of their


1. The Schoos "seemed withdrawn, almost reclusive."

2. David Schoo "waited until after dark" to mow his lawn.

3. Sharon Schoo "rarely spoke to neighbors."

4. Nicole Schoo, 9, apparently was made to wait for the school bus "at her own driveway rather than at a bus stop with other kids."

So my question is this: Should these swine be allowed to live in decent society? Or should they just be lynched in order to purify the gene pool?

But if the Schoos are not the worst parents who ever lived, why all the interest in them? Why did I find 135 stories done on them in major American newspapers in just five days? I will tell you why: the Schoos are well off and we don't expect well-off people to behave badly.

They have a pool in the backyard of their Tudor home (as well as a swing set and playhouse for the kids) and people with pools, I guess, are supposed to be good people.

Do you think if a ghetto couple had abandoned their children for nine days it would have been on the front pages of newspapers across the nation? Not a chance.

This is the same reason Amy Fisher, the Long Island Lolita, got three TV movies made about her recently. (Have there ever been three TV movies made on the life of Mother Teresa? Eleanor Roosevelt? Sandra Day O'Connor? No, but then they never shot anybody.)

People are killed every day in New York. Young girls become hookers every day in New York. But Amy Fisher came from a very nice home in a comfortable suburb and we do not expect such people to do the wrong thing.

I do not know why. I have never noticed a relationship between money and decency.

And speaking of Amy Fisher, her parents never left her home alone while they went on vacation. They never made her wait for the school bus in her own driveway. They never waited until after dark to mow the lawn. And Amy still turned into a $180-a-night teen-age prostitute who shot the wife of her 36-year-old lover.

So before you judge the Schoos, wait until you get all the facts.

Me, I'm waiting for the TV movies.

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