Criminal Justice

Louisiana mom is arrested for whipping kids after they burglarized neighbor's home

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A mother from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was arrested on Tuesday for whipping her three children as punishment for burglarizing a neighbor’s home.

The mother, 30-year-old Schaquana Evita Spears, was charged with two counts of cruelty to juveniles and released on bail Tuesday evening, report the Baton Rouge Advocate and WBRZ-TV.

Spears’ 13-year-old son reportedly told authorities that his mother struck him with an RCA cord, which is used to connect electronic devices, according to a Sheriff’s office report cited by the Advocate. The teen had lacerations on his arms, and marks across his leg, shoulder, back and stomach, causing some bleeding, the report said. Spears’ 12-year-old son had cuts on his arm, and her 10-year-old son had a scratch on his arm, the report said.

Spears admitted she whipped the children and ordered them to return the stolen items. She told WBRZ-TV after her release that she believed she was showing kids that “this is not what you do. You do not steal people’s stuff, what they work hard for.”

“I never could imagine trying to be a good mother would end me up in jail with a criminal record like I’m a predator out to hurt my kids who I live for,” she said. “That’s my world. Everything revolves around them. Everything I do is for my kids.”

East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore released a statement saying children should be disciplined for burglarizing a home, especially since a burglary could lead to “a deadly encounter.” A lack of discipline can lead to delinquency and criminal acts, he said. “We need more parents who discipline their children.”

His office will review the degree of physical discipline used, however. “The law does not allow excessive pain or cruelty but does allow physical parental discipline,” Moore said. “I only have the short synopsis which does indicate that the discipline resulted in marks on the child’s body and possibly an open wound.” Moore said he will review the reports, meet with child welfare officials, and try to get an idea of the family dynamics before making a decision.

Hat tip to the Marshall Project.

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