Shana Marie Perez agreed to allow a school principal to paddle her 5-year-old son, Thomas, April 11, so that she would not have to go to jail in Jasper County, Georgia (video below).
Perez pretended to text with her cellphone while filming Jasper County Primary School Principal Pam Edge and Assistant Principal Lynn McElheney trying to paddle the boy, who was able to avoid it in the video; it's not clear if he was eventually paddled.
"I didn’t know I couldn’t get in trouble," Perez told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "They told me either he gets a paddling or he gets suspended."
According to Perez, her son had already missed 18 days of school, partly due to doctors appointments, and she was arrested two weeks ago for his truancy.
Thomas was accused of trying to hit another student April 11.
"He ended up spitting on somebody so [Edge] wanted to paddle him," Perez recalled.
April 13, Perez posted to Facebook the video of Edge and McElheney attempting to paddle the squirming youngster.
Perez said that she signed a school form at the beginning of the year saying she would not allow her boy to be paddled.
The school wouldn't speak to the newspaper, but Perez forwarded an email to the paper that was originally sent to her by school superintendent Mike Newton, who said that the worried mom could keep her boy home April 14 and the absence would be excused.
Perez was also supposed to meet with professional help April 15 to discuss Thomas' behavior at home and school.
In more spanking news, Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting notes that physical punishment of kids is banned in almost all day care centers in the U.S., except in North Carolina, Indiana, Alabama and Missouri, where a religious exemption exists.
In those states, day care employees can slap and spank children if they warn the parents first.
However, the news site notes that hundreds of religious-based centers have downplayed harsh punishments to the children's parents, disregarded the parents' wishes against corporal punishment or lied about their policies and spanking practices.
The behavior of workers at religious centers is difficult for some state officials to investigate because the employees are protected by religious liberty, unlike secular workers, according to the report.
Sources: Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting / Photo credit: Shana Marie Perez via YouTube