Should Louisiana Mom Be Charged for Spanking?

CPC La Mom ArrestedThere are far too many Mamas and Daddies who ignore, or condone, bad behavior by their children. Every now and again, I come across an example of parenting that deserves applause, like Toya Graham, who dragged her son Michael away from the Baltimore riots. It’s always my pleasure to pass along kudos to those parents who are doing it right amidst a culture of wrong.  Michael Graham understands why his Mama did what she did: she loves him.  And he loves her, he said.

This week the story of Schaquana Spears, a 30-year-old mother from Baton Rouge, Louisiana is in the news. Ms. Spears was arrested for spanking her three teenage boys after they burglarized a neighbor’s home. The manner of spanking, however, is what has caused the fuss and led to her arrest.

The reports:

Detectives found the 13 year old “had lacerations to both his arms and linear marks on his leg, shoulder, back and stomach,” the 12 year old had “lacerations to his left arm that did break his skin” and the 10 year old had “a small scratch on his hand,” according to the affidavit.
East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore said he would be reviewing all the material in the case before deciding whether or not to file formal charges against Spears.
Parents have the right and obligation to discipline and teach their children,” Moore said. “We oftentimes 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,” he continued. “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.

My heart goes out to this mother.  Clearly, she’s trying desperately to raise her children to survive in a dangerous world. Whipping kids with a cable took the discipline to an unhealthy level, but she and her neighbor both expressed fear that the burglary could have resulted in one or more of the boys being shot.  I can’t argue with that logic, it happens too often to discount, and generally results in far worse injuries than lacerations.  Spears told WBRZ-TV she felt as if law enforcement made her look like a “bad guy for trying to discipline my kids and showing them right from wrong.”

I understand her fear, especially when I look back at the story of Trevon Johnson, a Miami teen who was shot by a homeowner while he was fleeing, after burglarizing her home.  Trevon’s cousin, Nautika Harris, was incredulous:

You have to look at it from every child’s point of view that was raised in the hood. You have toCPC Naukita Harris

understand… how he gonna get his money to have clothes to go

to school? You have to look at it from his point-of-view.

Ms. Harris’ outlandish statement is more evidence that we live in a society which has compromised the principles of morality to a dangerous degree.

Is there anything else we can do for kids being “raised in the hood?” When did it become everyone else’s responsibility to teach your children how to comport themselves?  They’re fed, housed, have medical care, and receive specialized assistance often because of the poor choices of their parents, and no one begrudges them those benefits.  Society will never be able to replace a parent’s role, however, and it’s insanity to believe that it should or will. For those who believe “it takes a village to raise a child,” I’m not convinced that the hood is a village I’d trust to do the job.

I’m hopeful that Ms. Spears  will receive assistance in the form of family counseling.  It is my fervent wish that she be supported in her efforts to raise three fine boys.  Parenting is the most difficult job on the planet, and not one of us has accomplished the task flawlessly.  Let us pray for these Screen Shot 2016-06-08 at 1.59.09 PMparents who are fighting an uphill battle in a morally bankrupt and corrupt culture. Remember always, “but for the grace of God, go I.”

I’m giving Ms. Spears credit for effort, with this caveat: she must not whip her children again.  The difference between a whipping and a spanking is considerable, though she was unable to see it in her anger and fear. Afterward, she felt she was being punished for doing her duty as a good mother; she sat in jail while her kids were given the idea that she was wrong.

No kids, your mama was right; she just took it a little too far. Maybe those scars will remind you that there are consequences in life, good and bad.  Considering how this may have ended, I’d say you got off lucky.

We can only hope that her sons will remember what their mother did right, and the price she paid to try to keep them from going to jail. Perhaps this is the lesson that will prevent them from a life of crime.


As seen on MadisonsCPC.


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