A Louisiana mother was arrested after admitting to whipping her three sons in an attempt to punish them for breaking into a house.
Schaquana Spears of Baton Rouge was arrested on charges of child cruelty before bonding out of jail. Her 13-year-old son reportedly told detectives that his mother struck him with an RCA cord several times. He had cuts on his arms and marks on his body from the cord. The other two boys had injuries as well.
"I left work and, in the process, I made it to my house probably in three minutes. And they were actually in there with the stolen items," she explained to WBRZ. The mother said when she realized her sons had burglarized a home, she whipped them as a form of punishment. Her reasoning, she added, was that their father was incarcerated.
"They're just being kids, being followers," she said. "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."
After her son told detectives about the punishment, Spears was arrested. She was bonded out after someone saw her story on the local news and posted bond for her.
East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore III released a statement on the incident to WBRZ:
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.
Many readers applauded the mother for disciplining her children and criticized authorities for putting her in jail.
"This is why so many kids are running the streets acting like thugs. When mom tries to give them the discipline they need she is put in jail for it, while the system teaches the kids that they are the victims, not the perpetrators. That whipping never hurt me, and it damn sure is not going to hurt those kids," one Mad World News reader commented on the site's Facebook page.
"I think they should let the mom go and lock the little thugs up in juvie. They're punishing the wrong one.at least she's trying to keep them from ending up in prison or worse when their older," another wrote.
"This was not child abuse, she was teaching them a good lesson. Now they will n ever learn anything worthwhile but when I got home -look out. Surely the officers could have handled that a little better. Some jail time may have done those 3 boys some good," another added.