Mother arrested for whipping children will not be prosecuted
BATON ROUGE - A Baton Rouge mother who was arrested on child cruelty charges after disciplining her children will not be prosecuted, according to the East Baton Rouge District Attorney’s Office.
"I think this may help the community say hey parents you should discipline your kids," District Attorney Hillar Moore said. "The degree of punishment that's something each parent has to weigh, and I weigh whether it's too much. In this case, it was not unjustifiable pain and suffering on this child. It was a one time event."
30-year-old Schaquana Spears became a web sensation after she was arrested following the discovery of bruises and cuts on her three boys by deputies. Spears was booked into the parish prison on two counts of cruelty to juveniles with bond set at $2,500.
Moore said the outpouring of support from the community was taken into account.
"I value what people think," Moore said. "The vast majority of people have been in favor of her. I've had some others that have been just as vocal on the other side. Not as many, but really by the time I started receiving that information, my decision had been made already."
A woman who felt sympathy for the mother’s plight after seeing her on TV paid to bond Spears out of jail. More sympathy and donations to help Spears would come in the days after the incident gained national attention. The mother insisted she felt she had done the right thing by physically disciplining her children, who were accused of breaking into a neighbor’s house. At the time, Spears said she was incredibly grateful for the outpouring of support.
“That's what's getting me through," Spears said. "Thank you from the bottom of my heart. In this day and age, I see so many babies getting killed, and I refuse to look at my babies in a coffin."
The case was reviewed by the sheriff’s office and the Department of Child and Family Services. The District Attorney reviewed the findings of those agencies before making the decision as to whether or not Spears would be prosecuted.
On Wednesday, Spears expressed concerns about her job. She said she was told not to return until the charges are dropped or she is found not guilty. Since the District Attorney decided not to prosecute her, she'll be able to return to work according to Spears.