I Won’t Discipline My Punching, Spitting Kid, But Don’t Blame Me

Responsibility, what’s that?

This poor little boy got paddled in a Georgia school while his mom had to sit helplessly by, so she videoed it while pretending to text.


Her 5-year-old kindergartener tried to punch a fellow student and spit on another, leading Jasper County Primary School principal Pam Edge to give mom the option of having the boy suspended or for him to receive what we call in Georgia “a whippin’.” Paddling is legal in Georgia, but parents can opt out, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Rewind some more.

Shana Marie Perez, the boy’s mother, held her son, Thomas, out of kindergarten for 18 days this year. She claims they were (“in part”) for doctor’s appointments that should have been excused. Perez let the problem fester to the point that an arrest warrant was issued on her for truancy.

That suspension would have put Shana Marie Perez back in jail for truancy, she said Wednesday. Perez said she was arrested two weeks ago on truancy charges, booked into jail and then released. If her son missed any more school, she said she thought she’d go to jail.

When the principal told Perez that her son was going to get suspended or paddled, she claims she thought she was getting threatened with jail time.

Perez said she was helpless to do anything but watch so she pretended to text on her phone and shot video.

“I didn’t know I couldn’t get in trouble,” Perez said. “They told me either he gets a paddling or he gets suspended.”

School officials didn’t immediately respond to comment, but Perez forwarded an email from Superintendent Mike Newton that said Perez could keep Thomas home from school Thursday and the absence would be excused.

A few thoughts on this.

  1. Perez is at minimum an irresponsible adult for allowing this problem to become a huge issue leading to her arrest.
  2. Parents should be able to raise their kids how they like, and putting a kindergartener’s mom in jail for truancy is a symptom of the nanny-state we all would like to see at an end.
  3. Perez’s little snowflake is a victim, not of the paddling, which is almost certainly richly deserved, but of his mother’s idiotically poor choices, including the choice to make his punishment a viral video. (Yes, you can watch it here.)
[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.

The statement “I couldn’t do anything to stop them” is facially absurd. At any time, Perez could have taken little Thomas out of the room and home. Period. Nobody tied her up or handcuffed her.

The principal and her assistant were kinder and more gentle to Thomas than the mother who used her own child as a shield for her own irresponsible parenting choices. I don’t care if she believes in spanking or not–it’s her responsibility to keep her kid from punching and spitting on others.

I’ve got two young boys. One is 6-years-old and the other 5-years-old. If either of them punched another student at school or spit on another student, they’d answer to me or their mom. Honestly, I wouldn’t want the principal to paddle them because that responsibility is mine, not the school’s. I also wouldn’t allow my kid to miss 18 days of school without submitting paperwork. A doctor’s excuse is shockingly easy to get–if you really went to the doctor.

Be assured that the Leftist believers in the nanny-state will ignore the fact that the problem started with Perez missing 18 days of school (these same people would be horrified if we decided to home school), but focus on the fact that the school was allowed to paddle little Thomas. Do I think that Perez should go to jail? No. Do I think she’s doing a particularly good job raising her spitting, punching son?

Based on the way he handles getting any discipline at all, probably not. But liberals don’t judge people who reject responsibility, only those of us who value it.

(Note: the image on this post is of Perez, it’s her Facebook profile picture.)

About the author

Steve Berman

The old Steve cared about money, prestige, and power. Then Christ found me. All at once things changed. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

I spent 30 years in business. Now I write and edit. But mostly I love. I have a wife and 2 kids and a dog and we live in a little house in central Georgia.

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