Salon Owner Refuses To Apologize For Going To Work To Feed Kids During Lockdown
Small businesses were hit hard during this pandemic especially in States that strictly enforced their lockdown. Many did receive the stimulus check if they had direct deposit set up for their tax returns, but that was not enough to pay the bills and feed the family without alternate sources of income. So Texas salon owner Shelly Luther did the only thing she could in order to keep her kids fed and a roof over their heads. She went back to work, defying social distancing guidelines and orders to stay closed, as a Salon was not considered an essential service. Luther was fined numerous times and when it was her turn to appear before the court the judge asked her to apologize. But she didn't feel there was anything to apologize for.
"The single mother said she has lost all three of her jobs — musician, makeup artist and stylist — because of coronavirus closures.
She said she chose to pay her lease on her business instead of her mortgage this month.
"I don't want to cause any problems, but when you're out of money someone has to stand up and say that they're not helping us by not letting us work," Luther said earlier this week.
After multiple citations and cease and desist order Luther appeared before a judge who told her to apologize for breaking the lockdown orders.
"Luther told the judge, “I have hairstylists that are going hungry because they’d rather feed their kids. So, sir, if you think the law is more important than kids getting fed then please go ahead with your decision but I am not going to shut the salon.”
Luther has "now been sentenced to a week in jail. A judge on Tuesday called Shelley Luther's open defiance of social distancing orders "flagrant and intentional" and said she felt no "remorse or regret" for her actions.
According to court documents, Luther was sentenced to seven days in jail for violating a temporary restraining order to close her business and fined $500 each to the county's criminal and civil courts for every day the salon remained open. She openly violated the governor's stay-at-home order, an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus.
Watch The Clips Below.
The judge told Shelley Luther she
could avoid jail time if she apologized, admitted she was wrong, and agreed to close her hair salon until it was allowed to open.
— Andrea Lucia (@CBS11Andrea) May 5, 2020
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has called for her release.
“I find it outrageous and out of touch that during this national pandemic, a judge, in a county that actually released hardened criminals for fear of contracting COVID-19, would jail a mother for operating her hair salon in an attempt to put food on her family’s table,” said Attorney General Paxton. “The trial judge did not need to lock up Shelley Luther. His order is a shameful abuse of judicial discretion, which seems like another political stunt in Dallas. He should release Ms. Luther immediately.”
This is the kind of behavior that people are afraid of. Luther here needed to work in order to keep a roof over her family's head and food in her kid's bellies. How can anyone fault her for that? We would all do the same in her situation. Luther is not even being reckless here. She is doing her best to prevent the spread of the virus while open. She is checking for fevers and requiring her staff and all customers to wear the masks. You can't force people to close forever. People need to eat and pay their bills. Luther is a shining example of how all businesses should be from here on out until this pandemic has passed.