By: Krystle Crossman
Shana Perez was at her son’s school in Jasper County, just South of Atlanta, because her 5-year-old son was about to be paddled. He had been brought into the principal’s office because he was fighting with another student in his kindergarten class. The teachers alleged that he spit in their face and punched the other child. In Georgia, corporal punishment is allowed to be used on students if the school deems it necessary. Perez was ready to take her son from the school and leave but then turned around and gave her son back to the principal for his punishment. Why did she do this? She was afraid that they were going to have her arrested again.
Perez had been arrested on truancy charges earlier in the school year. Her son was out of school for 18 days. She claims that she had been bringing him to doctor’s appointments and different hospitals because they thought that her son had cancer. She has yet to give any proof of these appointments to the school and said she couldn’t show them to the news station that interviewed her on the situation either. Perez claims that she turned around and felt forced to allow the principal to paddle her child because she didn’t want to be arrested again if she walked out of the door with her son. Donnie Pope, the sheriff in Jasper County states that he would not have allowed the deputies to arrest her should she have walked out of the school with her son that day.
Pope states that there is usually a fair amount of warning before corporal punishment is used on a student. There may have been far more behavioral issues with this particular child that haven’t been told in relation to this story. Perez says that she feels that her child has special needs and needs to be dealt with as such at the school even though he has not been diagnosed with any developmental disabilities or mental issues. The school board has promised that they will have all of the necessary testing done for her son so they can figure out if he does have any challenges and if so will change the curriculum accordingly so that they can get his behavior under control. They have promised Perez that they will never paddle her son again.
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