Shana Marie Perez insisted there was nothing she could do to stop her 5-year-old son’s elementary school principal from taking a paddle to his behind because of bad behavior.
“I couldn’t do anything to stop them,” she captioned one of two Facebook videos she posted of the incident.
The Covington, Georgia, mother witnessed the spanking, which she consented to because the principal reportedly told her she’d be jailed and the boy suspended if she tried to intervene.
In one video clip she posted, the principal could be seen holding the crying child down on the floor as she asked Perez to leave the room at Jasper Primary School, southeast of Atlanta.
“I’m not going to wrestle with him,” she told Perez, who walked into the hallway.
In the second clip, which has been shared nearly 38,000 times on Facebook, the principal could be heard telling the boy how she was only going to paddle him one time. Another school official helping to hold him still added, “Unless you wiggle around.”
“They told me if he could not get a paddling he would have to be suspended and if he got suspended for even one day I WILL go to jail for truancy,” Perez wrote on Facebook with the video of the actual spanking. “Jasper County made me do this… I could not go to jail or my kids would have nothing… I can’t take care of my kids in jail… And I was not texting I was recording this… I couldn’t do anything to stop them.”
On the day of the incident, Perez was out on bond after being arrested for truancy for her son’s 18 unexcused absences. Additionally, the boy had more than 20 incidences of “excessive tardiness,” which Perez said was due to his medical problems although she failed to elaborate on his condition.
“Ms. Perez would not have been re-arrested for the suspension in question,” said Jasper County Sheriff Donnie Pope.
“The sheriff’s office would not have pursued criminal charges based on the fact that an out-of-school suspension would not have shown negligence on the part of Ms. Perez since OSS absences are not within the parent’s control,” Pope added.
Jasper County School District stands by the principal’s actions and said that under school rules, which they provide to all parents, corporal punishment is permitted “as one of the consequences of behavior.”
“When corporal punishment is used, it is with parental consent,” the school wrote in a statement.
Perez she said believed she had previously signed a form prohibiting corporal punishment on her son, who reportedly hit other children and spit on a school official, leading up to the paddling. School administrators disputed that she ever signed the form in question.
“After reviewing the facts of this case, no probable cause exists to substantiate the commission of a crime,” Pope said.
(Photo: marekuliasz / Getty Images)