JASPER COUNTY, Ga. (April 15, 2016) -- Video of a kindergarten student being paddled by his principal at a Georgia school is causing an uproar on social media.
Shana Perez told WSB-TV that she took video of her son struggling and screaming as administrators tried to paddle him at school Wednesday morning.
“I know it was horrible at the time. When I went back and actually watched the video, I was in tears,” Perez said. “He was crying. Holding his hands over his butt, trying to get away. Wanting his mommy."
Perez said her son was being punished for spitting at a fellow student.
“He's five. He's not the best child. 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,” Perez said.
Perez said she allowed the principal to paddle her son because she felt like she didn't have any other choice.
She claims if she had not allowed the paddling, her son would have been suspended, and she could have faced jail time for truancy.
"There's no way I can express how sad or how I felt about watching him be treated like that. I didn't realize at that moment how they basically abused him,” she said.
Perez told WSB-TV that she has already been arrested once this year after her 5-year-old son missed 18 days of school.
She says he missed the days because he was being tested for cancer.
However the local sheriff's office could not confirm Perez's claims.
Perez said her son's principal led her to believe she would go to jail again if she didn't agree to the paddle.
“If he gets suspended, I'm going to be arrested for truancy. If he misses another day, I'll be arrested. She never denied that. She never told me anything otherwise,” she said.
However, the local sheriff's office insists that is not true.
“There was no coercion on their part. We confirmed the school did not tell her that,” Sheriff Donnie Pope said.
Pope says the principal did not break any laws.
"To be honest, if I could go back, I would grab him up and say, ‘No. You can't paddle him. Just go ahead and take me to jail,’” Perez said.
The mother says she plans on meeting with school administrators on Friday.
While some have taken to Facebook to say they are on the mother's side, others believe that Perez has taken the issue too far.