MONTICELLO, Ga. (AP) — A Georgia mother says watching a video of a school principal holding her kindergartner down for a paddling as he screams and tries to get away brings her to tears.
Shana Perez says she now regrets giving the public school permission to paddle her 5-year-old boy as a form of discipline.
The boy is shown struggling with a woman Perez identified as his principal in video aired by WSB-TV. The video shows the woman holding a large paddle at one point, but doesn’t show the boy being struck.
“I know it was horrible at the time,” Perez told the Atlanta station.
“He was crying. Holding his hands over his butt, trying to get away. Wanting his mommy,” she added.
Perez videotaped the discipline Wednesday, she said, adding that her son was being punished for spitting at another student.
“He’s 5. He’s not the best child,” Perez said. “He’s probably worse than some other people’s children. It’s not the way we’re raising him. We haven’t raised him to be bad.”
The Jasper County School District, about 50 miles southeast of Atlanta, says it’s aware of the video but can’t comment on this case, but said children are paddled only with parental consent.
“The district is investigating the incident and looking into its discipline policies at this time,” the statement said.
Jasper County Sheriff Donnie Pope said he watched the video and said there is nothing illegal.
“There was no criminal activity that took place,” Pope said. “What we confirmed is there was permission. There was consent given by the parent to discipline the child, and the school board has a policy for corporal punishment, and everything was followed.”
Perez said she now wishes that she had never given consent.
“To be honest, if I could go back, I would grab him up and say, ‘No. You can’t paddle him,'” she said.