The child broke it, the adults should 'buy' it
Dear Wondering: You don't say how old these children are, but your husband (presumably) was in charge of the group while you were gone, and so I'd say that when an adult hands a child an iPad -- or doesn't take it from her -- then: "If she breaks it, YOU bought it.
Your husband already "joked" his way into scaring this girl. I give you all credit for working hard to comfort her.
It would be appropriate for the neighbors to help their child to write a note -- or contact you to say, "We are so sorry this happened. We hope you'll understand and forgive our daughter, and we'll try to find a way to make things right."
It does not sound like these neighbors have it together enough to do this -- either that, or the fact that your husband has had "negative interactions" with them in the past (what, exactly, does that entail?) has intimidated them into paralysis.
If the crack isn't too bad, you can put a screen protector over the (cracked) screen and carry on using it.
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The lesson here -- for all of you -- is that, in life, stuff happens. It is important to be forgiving and to move forward with integrity, even if you don't get what you want, or if others don't behave in the optimal way.
Dear Amy: Our son and only child committed suicide eight years ago, a week after he visited us for his 30th birthday.
Immediately after his death, we lost many "friends," and after all this time, they still shun us.
I researched the matter: It is very common that people shun you about this. Others excuse this behavior, saying, "Maybe they didn't know what to say."