Video of Georgia educators about to paddle young child delivers terrible message

A parent video of two Jasper County educators attempting to hold down a crying 5-year-old to paddle him tugs at the heart.

It also raises questions about devoting so much time and effort to paddling when there are more effective and kinder ways to help young children control impulses than whacking them.

The video has been viewed nearly a million times. So, many people across the country have watched these wrenching scenes and wondered what on earth goes on in Georgia schools and why we still allow corporal punishment. (Only 19 states permit corporal punishment, almost all in the southern United States.)

There is plenty of research on the ineffectiveness of paddling and the liability in dispensing it. (See what the American Psychological Association and what the American Academy of Pediatrics say.) While some Georgians look back on their own childhood “whuppings” with nostalgia, there’s no evidence children raised on corporal punishment are better behaved. One national review of 6,000 juvenile delinquency cases found that all the kids had been raised by the belt, cord or fist.

How can schools justify the admonition “Don’t hit” when administrators are swatting away at kids?

The irony is the little boy’s offense was physical aggression, and the school is correcting that behavior with being physical aggression. Yes, the educators in the video assure the crying child he’s only going to be spanked once, but it doesn’t matter because the lesson they are demonstrating is still that hitting is an appropriate response.

Here is the AJC news story by Ellen Eldridge, who talked to the mother.

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.

Perez’s son, a 5-year-old Jasper County Primary School student, missed 18 days this school year in part because of doctors appointments that Perez said should have been excused.

Her son, Thomas, tried to hit another student on Monday, his mother said, and ended up spitting on someone else. “He ended up spitting on somebody so [Principal Pam Edge] wanted to paddle him,” Perez said.

Perez said she knew the school permitted paddling, but said she signed a form at the beginning of the year that said her son could not be paddled under any circumstances.

On Wednesday, Perez posted a video to Facebook showing Edge and Assistant Principal Lynn McElheney preparing to paddle the boy.

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.

 

Reader Comments 0

575 comments
JamesTaudte
JamesTaudte

An addition to my earlier comment. My father died when I was 15. I would have gladly taken a whack each day from him is that would have extended his life each day.

JamesTaudte
JamesTaudte

I have not watched the video, but . . . I was never spanked in school because I knew it would be a double whammy. Had I been spanked in school, I knew there was a high probability I would also get a spanking at home. A little bit of fear can be very persuasive and effective at time.

Judy Richards Manning
Judy Richards Manning

As a past school administrator, I hated it, and I never saw any long term changes in behavior because of a paddling.

sethandrews22
sethandrews22

One brief look at mom's Facebook page tells you all you need to know about the sort of discipline son likely receives at home. It should've been mom who was spanked. 

Cydny Peckham
Cydny Peckham

Ridiculous. Using a weapon on a child is wrong. I'm an adult and if i attempt to resolve a problem i have with someone elses behaviour by hitting them with a paddle i can be charged with assault especially when that person does not consent. Why would someone consent to being assaulted? How can someone else give consent for someone else to be assailted? If this is how it works for adults then why is it different for children? There are plenty of adults who "misbehave" by trying to spit on people or hit them or worse yet they are supposed to know better. This child is 5 and clearly not being supported very well by anyone. Seems to me that Mom needs some education about the laws and her rights and childrens rights and perhaps this family needs support. Child has missed school for medical reasons and mom is arrested for truancy? How odd. I feel like I just stepped into the stone ages or something.

Sharon Klein
Sharon Klein

I don't agree with this, even if his mom is there. Shame on her for letting this happen. All three need to go to jail. It's her place to punish her son but not like this. This is child abuse

Phyllis Smith
Phyllis Smith

Do you even have children? I have 4. One is a nurse, one a Senior Chief in Navy, one a graphic artist and one a stay at home Mom. All got their butt spanked.

Sharon Klein
Sharon Klein

Yes I have 2 grown sons, and to this day both are great young men. They was punished when they was bad. There are other ways to handle this. My father was a cop and he would beat us with a belt. I raised my kids with out spanking them. Both went to collage and they have their own family, and great jobs. One is in the Navy and the other has is own company building homes.

Trayce Miles
Trayce Miles

I slightly spank my children when they were little and now I have two very successful college students who are not pregnant who have never been arrested and are not on drugs. Sometimes a little discipline can go along way that you have to follow up with a good parenting and good morals and not just bank and then let the behavior continue telling your child there right all the time and it everyone else is wrong is not the way to parent

Meade Grey
Meade Grey

Somebody better figure out something for this child, and soon.

Mary Young
Mary Young

I wish the f××× somebody would try it with my grands

Martie Ames
Martie Ames

A child this small, who's mom already went to jail for her child's truancy needs some intervention from someone somewhere. I don't think paddling the child was necessarily the right way to handle this situation. Maybe there should be counselor intervention to teach mom parenting skills. Kindergarten, it is not the child's fault it is parenting.

Vanessa Verner
Vanessa Verner

I personally do not have problem with spankings. Oldest form of punishment for kids. Some cultures that have existed from the beginning of time put unruly children to death. If you do not like the rules of the public school system home school.

Linda Kilpatrick
Linda Kilpatrick

The teacher should be FIRED and the Parents should be ashamed for giving permission. !!!!

Nate Doux
Nate Doux

They need to do this in all schools.

Nate Doux
Nate Doux

I got best in school still love that man till this day

Martie Ames
Martie Ames

If parents would not try to be friends, get their faces out if their phones any teach their children,. their children, acceptable behavior, talk to them not the stupid phones, many of these problems might not exist.

Kel Baxter
Kel Baxter

We need that back in the schools kids is 2times badder then we 80s babys

Michelle Cahela-Kirkland
Michelle Cahela-Kirkland

I know the mom. She had no choice. Now I believe in this discipline but it was handled in the wrong way. Mom was threaten with DFACS

Martie Ames
Martie Ames

If momma would discipline, the school might not have to.

Antoine Averill
Antoine Averill

I though this was outlawed way back when i punch Principle William old as out who were trying to paddle me at the time for being late again .This was in the late 60s mind you .

Becky Strouth
Becky Strouth

Bottom line although I didn't see him get a lick on video. The words used are so distasteful during this verbal attack on this child.. We all think he got the hell beat out of him the words are so hurtful! Shame on all 3! Prayers for this little boy! If your sitting here defending him bc he has a bad mom you failed him too. Nothing deserves this kind of emotional abuse.

DrTruth
DrTruth

In a study entailing 2,600 interviews pertaining to corporal punishment, including the questioning of 179 teenagers about getting spanked and smacked by their parents.....Gunnoe’s findings: “The claims made for not spanking children fail to hold up. They are not consistent with the data.”


Those who were physically disciplined performed better than those who weren’t in a whole series of categories, including school grades, an optimistic outlook on life, the willingness to perform volunteer work, and the ambition to attend college, Gunnoe found


Another study published in the Akron Law Review examined criminal records and found that children raised where a legal ban on parental corporal punishment is in effect are much more likely to be involved in crime.


A key focus of the work of Jason M. Fuller of the University of Akron Law School was Sweden, which 30 years ago became the first nation to impose a complete ban on physical discipline and is in many respects “an ideal laboratory to study spanking bans,” according to Fuller.  Since the spanking ban, child abuse rates in Sweden have exploded over 500 percent, according to police reports. 


After a decade of the ban, “rates of physical child abuse in Sweden had risen to three times the U.S. rate” and “from 1979 to 1994, Swedish children under seven endured an almost six-fold increase in physical abuse,” Fuller’s analysis revealed.


“Enlightened” parenting also seems to have produced increased violence later. “Swedish teen violence skyrocketed in the early 1990s, when children that had grown up entirely under the spanking ban first became teenagers,” Fuller noted. “Pre-adolescents and teenagers under fifteen started becoming even more violent toward their peers. By 1994, the number of youth criminal assaults had increased by six times the 1984 rate.”


The American Academy of Pediatrics also states, "....although spanking may immediately reduce or stop an undesired behavior, its effectiveness decreases with subsequent use....spanking is only effective when used in selective infrequent situations."  This seems completely inline with the school's corporal punishment disciplinary action witnessed in the above video.


Dr. Diana Baumrind of the University of California, Berkeley and her teams of professional researchers over a decade conducted what is considered the most extensive and methodologically thorough child development study yet done. They examined 164 families, tracking their children from age four to 14. Baumrind found that spanking can be helpful in certain contexts and discovered “no evidence for unique detrimental effects of normative physical punishment."  She also found that children who were never spanked tended to have behavioral problems, and were not more competent than their peers.


Source:  http://www.newsmax.com/US/spanking-studies-children-spock/2010/01/07/id/345669/

DrTruth
DrTruth

@Mike Toreno Newsmax didn't conduct the research studies, they simply reported the results.  Most people that attended school in a failed state full of shiftless, uneducated, drunken losers can even figure that one out.


So what's your excuse?

Linda Mitchum
Linda Mitchum

If they don't want the kids to mind and behave in school, send the little mean thing home for two weeks. Ex spell or do people want him to keep spitting on people he needed several licks

Amy Bailey
Amy Bailey

blah blah blah STUPID video.... she probably stays on her phone all day WHY doesn't anyone check into why the kid has missed SO many days?!?!?! OH let me guess mother is playing games on phone & forgot about kid......geez

Jaime Zambrana
Jaime Zambrana

My daughter is 8 years old. She does very well in school, she is respectful of adults and other children, she is happy and well adjusted. Neither I, her mother or anyone else has ever laid a finger on her and I would not permit anyone to do so either. This does not mean that she has not been disciplined or has not been taught that there are consequences to her actions. Every time she has misbehaved there has been a conversation during which it is clearly explained what she has done wrong and that there will be a consequence, followed by a non corporal punishment (loss of privileges, time out, not going someplace where she wanted to go, etc.) This type of thoughtful discipline takes time and work for the parent. You have to take the time to think about the conversation you are going to have with the child and often the punishment is also not fun for the adults. We have had to cancel trips or outings which the whole family was excited about or leave some place where we were having fun because my daughter misbehaved and she needed to be punished. Not only does every expert agree that corproral punishment is ineffective and harmful to the child (see American Academy of Psychology and American Academy of Pediatrics), studies have also shown that almost every child in the juvenile justice system received some form of corporal punishment during early childhood. In my opinion, hitting a child as a form of discipline is simply lazy parenting. The parent simply whacks the kid as says, there, I've disciplined him/her and simply moves on. Taking the time to have a thoughtful conversation followed by a thoughtful punishment is more time consuming and difficult. Hitting is the easy/quick way out.

Katrina Byous Eaton
Katrina Byous Eaton

This was what the aunt put on we support mrs edge page so it all what u think

Katrina Byous Eaton
Katrina Byous Eaton

This is Thomas's aunt. She made the video to get attention and money. I will stand for this no longer. If you watch the news report from GA on Channel 2 the school NEVER told her she would go to jail and they never got any "tests" from her getting her child tested for cancer. I feel bad for everyone supporting her. The child acts the way he does because of the environment of the home. My step brother (the child's dad) is in and out. The mom has been arrested many times along with the dad for violence and for the dad theft. She taught her son to twerk. I asked him to do something as simple as throwing his plate away and he flipped me off and said "f you" I hope you all do not support her but support the child and pray for REAL justice for Thomas Berryhill JR Thank you for all the support, love, and care for Thomas..

Sherry Dyer
Sherry Dyer

I hope this all back fires on her. Attention is all she wants. She was sitting there and could of stopped it if she felt her son was being abused.

Shannon Grubbs Pritchett
Shannon Grubbs Pritchett

I heard she had to sign an approval form for the school to spank the child and I saw her picture of him and her shooting a bird. So he needed a spanking.

Katrina Byous Eaton
Katrina Byous Eaton

She did sign it but he never got the paddling because the principal couldn't get him to be still

DavidnLinda Anderson
DavidnLinda Anderson

blame the mother ! where is the father ? she didn't want to go to jail little boys need fathers

Renata Mitchell
Renata Mitchell

I must say this! I understand the teachers and what they're dealing with now days! I also understand the kids that are being bullied now days by other students that aren't being taught to respect others! Just because these are children. Don't let them get away with spitting on other people and hitting them! Even if the parent changed her mind with having the people at the school to spank the child. The lil boys parents should have put him in his place! He didn't like being spanked! Then stop spitting and hitting on other children! 💯✔ That's the problem now days these children teenagers feel like they can act on they're bad behavior and get away with it! Stop making excuses for your child's bad behavior and teach them!

Pisem Snovanet
Pisem Snovanet

Teachers were right. Period.

I didn`t see any cruelty in teachers` punishment, if they only could paddle the mother as well that would be even better. SHe has to understand that school program is a must for any kid

Mike Toreno
Mike Toreno

@Pisem Snovanet The teachers were not right.  I mean look at it, the practices at that school system, copied across the state, have led Georgia to its present status as a failed state full of shiftless, uneducated, drunken losers with a workforce so unproductive they have to pay employers to locate there.

Val Chamlee
Val Chamlee

Seriously? I used to get my butt spanked on a regular basis.....in school AND at home! Let's stop sugar coating misbehavior and nip it in the bud!! He needs to learn discipline and respect. He wasn't being beaten to death! Smh!