A mother in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was arrested after she admitted to whipping her sons as punishment for breaking into a house.
Schaquana Spears told WBRZ after being bonded out of jail that she thought she did the right thing when she whipped her three sons. Her 13-year-old reportedly told detectives that his mother struck him with an RCA cord repeatedly. The teen had cuts on his arms and marks on various parts of his body. His brothers, ages 10 and 2, were also injured.
"They're just being kids, being followers," Spears told the station of her decision to discipline her kids. "I thought I was showing them this is not what you do. You do not steal people's stuff, what they work hard for. I know how that feels, I've had my house broken into."
When the case went viral, District Attorney Hillar Moore issued a statement defending authorities' actions, which read, in part:
Parents have the right and obligation to discipline and teach their children. We often time see children who have no parental authority or discipline which eventually results in delinquency and criminal acts. We need more parents who discipline their children. Surely you would expect a parent to discipline a child who is burglarizing other people’s homes as this could be a deadly encounter for the child. The degree of physical discipline will be reviewed. The law does not allow excessive pain or cruelty but does allow physical parental discipline. I only have the short synopsis which does indicate that the discipline resulted in marks on the child’s body and possibly an open wound.
I will review all of the reports; meet with the DCFS office and review any history of this mother and her children to get a better picture of the entire family dynamics before making a decision. In the meantime my office is working with the juvenile court to ensure the speedy release of the mother under conditions satisfactory to the court.
A GoFundMe account was subsequently launched to support the mother after her story was on the news, as was a Plumfund campaign. Spears was bonded out of jail by someone who saw her story on the news.
Many readers applauded the mother for disciplining her children and criticized authorities for arresting her.
"Mom was teaching them a lesson! A few belt marks never hurt any of us and we learned! Now you wanna guess who they're going to blame with her little thugs get into real trouble? They always blame the parents yet they keep the parents from teaching the kids! Such a crock of s***!!" one Mad World News reader commented on the site's Facebook page.
"These scumbag kids are monsters. After disrespecting themselves, their neighbor, and their mother, they had the utter worthlessness to call the police on their mom. Unbelievable! What an absolute slap in the face as a 'thank you' for actually trying to be a good mom and teach her kids right. Very sad indeed," another added.