The Internet is going cray-zee this weekend over the above Facebook video, posted by mom Shana Perez. It’s been viewed almost 4 million times in 4 days.
What’s so viral about this video? It shows Perez’s five-year-old son Thomas about to be paddled by elementary school administrators in Jasper County, Georgia for (allegedly??) hitting and spitting on another child. Perez pretended to be texting on her phone during the incident, but she was actually taking a video.
Her Facebook post says “…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… And I was not texting I was recording this… I couldn’t do anything to stop them.”
According to FOX 5 News, “Thomas’ mother said she consented to the paddling because she felt pressured since she had previously been arrested for truancy after Thomas had missed 18 days. She said he was absent because he was being checked after symptoms which falsely pointed to cancer surfaced. She showed FOX 5 News a school calendar with the missed days, but did not have medical papers.”
There are a couple of things that confuse me about this story: I feel like I can’t formulate an opinion because I don’t have all the information. First, did he ACTUALLY get paddled? Because from what I can see on the video, they were never actually able to complete the paddling. Secondly, I can’t BELIEVE that schools are still allowed to do corporal punishment in a world where I’m afraid saying “I spanked my kid” out loud could get called protective services called on you. But apparently in Jasper County, Georgia, it’s still legal. Here’s the school’s statement on the matter:
The Jasper County School District is aware of the video released by Ms. Perez. Unfortunately, the District is barred by State and Federal law from commenting about the specifics of this incident. The District respects every student’s right to privacy. However, we can speak generally about the District’s code of conduct which allows corporal punishment as one of the consequences for behavior. That code of conduct is provided to all parents. When corporal punishment is used, it is with parental consent. The District is investigating the incident and looking into its’ discipline policies at this time.
I am not 100% against a parent spanking a child, although I think generally corporal punishment should be used as a last resort, because if it’s not done right, it can be damaging. But I AM 100% against an adult who is not the child’s parent doing it.
As far as Ms. Perez is concerned, I think if the administrator was pressuring her to let them spank her kid getting by saying she’s going to go to jail for truancy if he gets suspended is just wrong. I mean, the fact that she has BEEN to jail for truancy (I know, she says she has valid reasons) seems sketchy and kinda gets my parental judge-o-meter going, BUT I definitely do not have all the facts. Regardless of her parental prowess, I don’t think a school administrator should say “You have to let me hit your kid or you’re going to jail.” NO mom should be put in that situation.
Like I said, I don’t feel like I have enough facts here to make a clear judgement. I DEFINITELY feel like there is something to this story that isn’t being reported. But I CAN say that I think this situation REALLY stinks, and I hope that something good comes out of it being made public.
I believe God calls on parents to punish their kids for wrongdoing…but I don’t know about someone OTHER than me and my spouse giving our kids any kind of corporal punishment. What’s your opinion on corporal punishment in schools?