By Parker Lee
Note: This post contains footage that some viewers might find graphic.
While there’s are any number of experts ready to defend what they view as the “best” way to raise a child, it’s not uncommon for parents to butt heads when it comes which techniques and styles are most effective.
There’s no doubt that among the most hotly debated, though, is the use of corporal punishment — a technique that’s legal for schools to use in 19 states across the U.S.
On Wednesday, the practice was again called into question when Georgia mom Shana Marie Perez posted a video to Facebook of her 5-year-old, Thomas, facing such discipline from his school administrators.
While pretending to text on her phone, Perez says she was able to capture video of the incident:
The video, which shows Jasper County Primary School Principal Pam Edge and Assistant Principal Lynn McElheney preparing to paddle the boy, reportedly stemmed from an episode earlier in the day where Thomas had tried to hit another boy, and ended up spitting on another.
Perez says that — though she had signed a form that prevented the school from paddling her son “under any circumstances” — she “couldn’t do anything to stop them,” as she explained in her post:
“they told me if he could not get a paddling he would have to be suspended and if he got suspended for even one day I WILL go to jail for truancy…Jasper county made me do this…I could not go to jail or my kids would have nothing…I can’t take care of my kids in jail…”
Perez added that she had previously been arrested for truancy, though many of the 18 days the boy had already missed from school were “because of doctors appointments that Perez said should have been excused.”
The mom posted a second video as well, where the administrators appear to ask her to leave the room:
Though many condemned the use of physical punishment:
Kristin Nicole – “Look, she may need to discipline her childe better but physical abuse is not the answer. And it is never acceptable for another person to physical punish someone else’s child. I would press charges if it were me.”
Robin Thieme Scarborough – “First – these women have absolutely no business having anything to do with small children. They should be relieved of their duties immediately. I don’t care what the circumstances that led to this boy being punished – two adult women do not hold down a small child to hit him with a board. What do they think that will teach him other than to be completely afraid of them and school? However, that this mom sat there and let them do this to him with him yelling help me mama??? No way on earth. These three adult women have let this child down. The only lesson they gave him is fear.”
Casey Stokes – “Lady should be more upset she failed to install any values and respect in her kid. What’s wrong with kids today not enough discipline going on.”
Some agreed that it was the right approach, but not one that should be left in the hands of the school:
Joseph Allen – “One thing about it. There isn’t a soul on this earth that is allowed to lay a hand on my child. I administer the butt busting in my house. Now, if there was a problem at school. And he was to be spanked, I’d do it myself. And in private, not in front of these teachers.”
Jennifer Ibarra – “Although I personally don’t agree with spanking, this level of punishment should be left up to the parents. The school needs to stay out of it. Period.”
As for Perez and her son, the school’s superintendent has said that the boy would be permitted to miss school on Thursday as a result of the controversial incident.
However you feel on the issue, it’s clear that the debate over corporal punishment is one that strikes a chord in the hearts of many parents, and it isn’t one that’s likely to be settled any time soon.
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