On Aug. 11, the Cocke County Sheriff’s Office was called to Cocke County High School in Newport, Tennessee, after someone noticed a 16-year-old girl with special needs had bruising on her backside and legs and the skin on her right leg was torn, WATE reported.
The unidentified teen told investigators her mother, Geneva McGill, whipped her with a horse whip because she “talked back.” The teen was allegedly whipped again the next day for not putting her dirty clothes away.
McGill claimed she only used a horse whip on the first day and used a belt for the second offense, but argued her actions fell within the range of acceptable discipline. She has since been charged with aggravated child abuse and was released from jail after posting a $25,000 bail, Knoxville News Sentinel reported.
The teen and two other children, a 7-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl, have been removed from her mother’s home in light of the investigation. The family doesn’t own any horses. “She had bought the whip for discipline tool for the children per the victim,” records state.
“A parent shouldn’t take and whip a child with a horse whip or wrought iron or anything else. It should be done in a calm and appropriate manner,” Sheriff Armando Fontes told WKRN.