Apr 15, 2016 6:11 PM by News Staff
A young mother is accusing Georgia school officials of abusing her 5-year old son because they disciplined him using a paddle.
The mom shot video of the incident and posted portions on her Facebook page.
The video has re-opened a debate over what is proper punishment in school?
The use of corporal punishment by school officials is legal in Georgia.
And it's clear the five year old did violate the school's code of conduct at his elementary school in Monticello, Georgia
But it's still heart wrenching and so we want to caution you this video may be difficult for some viewers to watch.
The video has been viewed more than a million times on social media is igniting a firestorm of controversy.
A five year old child being disciplined by the principal, one hit, with a paddle.
"It was emotionally devastating, I don't know how else to describe it," said Shana Perez, mother of the child.
Perez said she pretended to text so she could record this video, she wanted people to see it.
However, she doesn't dispute her son did something wrong.
"He almost hit another student and was trying to run around in the bus line and they were trying to catch him and he spit on them," she acquiesced.
According to jasper county schools' student and parent handbook, corporal punishment is allowed for conduct violations including spitting.
Perez said she's been in a long-running dispute with the principal over her son's attendance this year. Her son has been out 18-days, she says he's been sick but under Georgia’s truancy law, she was sent to jail.
According to Perez when she tried to take her son home to avoid the paddling, school officials called police. Perez thought that meant she'd have to go back to jail so she consented to one hit...one time.
The school district said legally it can't comment on the specifics of this incident but corporal punishment is only used with parental consent.
It said the district is "investigating the incident and looking into its discipline policies..."
"Based on the videos there would not be probable cause for criminal prosecution of any administrators," Jasper County Sheriff Donnie Pope said in a statement.
But on social media strong reaction:
One person wrote, "No teacher has the right to do this."
Another, "if more parents spanked children at home this wouldn't even have to happen."
"I feel like this is going to ruin his last few weeks of school,” Perez said. “He hates school now, does not even want to go."
Perez is planning to meet with school officials in the near future.
Department of Education figures for the last school year show almost half of Georgia’s school districts practice corporal punishment and that it was used more than 11,000 times.