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Mother Tasered At Mississippi School Outside Principal’s Office Where Her Son Had Been Hit With Paddle

May 17, 2012

When she became upset at the way her child was being disciplined at school, she was tasered by police officers:

GUNTOWN, Mississippi (Reuters) – A woman who became increasingly irate about her child being disciplined at middle school was shocked twice with a Taser outside the principal’s office and arrested on Wednesday, authorities said.

Michele Lee Eaton, 39, of Saltillo, Mississippi, was briefly jailed after the incident at Guntown Middle School, said the Lee County Sheriff’s Department.

At about 8 a.m. CDT (9.00 a.m. EDT), Eaton met with school principal Steven Havens because she was upset her son had been disciplined, said Lee County School Superintendent Jimmy Weeks. He declined to disclose the child’s age, grade or what discipline was involved other than to say it was not corporal punishment.

“The more they talked, the more irate she got,” Weeks said. “She used profanity and vulgar language. It was heard outside the office and in the hallway.”

A member of the Guntown Police Department who is assigned to the school repeatedly asked Eaton to stop and she refused, Weeks said. When the officer warned her she faced arrest, she became angrier and used more profanity, he said.

Eaton left the office but was twice warned to stop because she was under arrest and would be shocked with a Taser if she kept walking.

“She didn’t stop so he tased her,” Weeks said. “After he tased her the first time, she called him a profane name and he tased her again. At that time, she became compliant.”

Eaton was taken to the Lee County Jail before being released on $1,600 bail on charges of disorderly conduct, public profanity, resisting arrest and failure to comply with a law enforcement officer.

There are so many things wrong with this story, that the woman was tasered at her child’s school, that the principal escalated the incident to the point that the mother became so upset, that the police couldn’t handle the situation better than to taser the mother…

The mother had said that her son was on the “Do Not Paddle List,” which does apparently exist in the backwater area of Mississippi that allows children to be hit with a wooden paddle by school officials.

What is more insane here:  the hitting of a child with a wooden weapon used by adults as authoritative school admin figures or the fact that when the mom complains, the school calls the cops to taser her?  Civil rights violations much Guntown?

The incident marked at least the second time that Eaton had complained to school officials about disciplining her child, Weeks said. In 2010, she said her son had been spanked even though he was on the school’s “Do Not Paddle List,” he said.

Unlike 31 states that have banned corporal punishment in schools, according to http://www.stophitting.com, Mississippi allows some teachers to keep a wooden paddle in the classroom for discipline.

The northeastern Mississippi community of Guntown has seen its share of publicity recently after the kidnapping of two young girls by a man who was suspected of killing their mother and older sister and burying them in Guntown. He later committed suicide as police closed in on him last week and rescued the two girls.

 

Note that this is a middle school, whose students are between the ages of 12-14 years old, and still being hit with wooden paddles as a means of so-called “discipline,” which sounds strangely, to me, like these school officials are engaging in a form of pedophilia.

If you would like to communicate with the school to voice your displeasure, here is their contact information that I found on-line:

Guntown Middle School
P.O. Box Drawer 8
1539 Main Street
Guntown, MS 38849
Steven Havens – Principal
Missy Cates – Secretary
(662)348-8800
Grades 6-8

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21 Comments leave one →
  1. Fromthere permalink
    May 17, 2012 6:46 pm

    Apparently you are ill informed. Before posting something as degrading as your opinion, you should most definitely check your sources. The child in question was NEVER paddled. In fact, the child only received in school suspension. Your argument doesn’t hold water now that you have been served with the facts. As a witness, I can tell you that our resource officer only did what was absolutely necessary for those faculty members and students that were present. I have never seen a parent in such a foolish tirade; I’m a parent. The woman accused was absolutely ridiculously crazy. Once again, you should check your sources; some of us “backwater Mississippi folk” are highly educated with as many as 3 degrees from renowned institutions.

    • brokeharvardgrad permalink*
      May 21, 2012 5:26 pm

      Regardless of whether or not the child was “paddled,” as you so eloquently term what others see as sanctioned child abuse by an authority figure, that day or not, the woman’s child had been hit in the past by a wooden instrument by members of the school to which you lay claim. Simply saying that the woman was “absolutely crazy,” is not enough justification for tasering her.

      My argument is not based on the so-called facts that you seem to focus on, that someone whose behavior disgusts you deserves to be treated violently, whether that be a child in school or his mother. You earned your “backwater” status by claiming that behavior you dislike deserves violent treatment, regardless of the degrees you have earned.

  2. Love permalink
    May 17, 2012 8:39 pm

    You may want to do a fact check before your publish stories like this. THIS incident was over her son being suspended, not paddled.
    Regardless, whatever her upset with the school, you comply with a police officer, or you suffer the consequences.

    • brokeharvardgrad permalink*
      May 21, 2012 5:29 pm

      Ah yes, all people who refuse to comply get tasered, right? I responded to the other comment, too, Ms. Lovetoy, as you have named yourself. Just because her son was suspended, as opposed to being hit this time, doesn’t make that fact of the matter any different: her son has been hit in the past with a wooden instrument by school personnel. She took issue with the discipline and was herself physically attacked. Regardless of the behavior, unless she was a direct danger, tasering a person for yelling just doesn’t make any rational sense.

      • Love permalink
        May 21, 2012 5:34 pm

        Failure to comply and resisting arrest is grounds for tasering in all states that allow this method of police force.
        If you have issue with police procedure, take it up with the government that allows it.

      • brokeharvardgrad permalink*
        May 21, 2012 9:00 pm

        Simply because there are instances in which a police officer may use a taser, by no means proves that it was necessary or prudent in this case. There is a concept called escalation of force, and there are strict protocols for employing said force that appear to be lacking in this case.

  3. Michelle permalink
    May 17, 2012 9:06 pm

    This episode had nothing to do with paddling. If you want more information on this story you can go to wtva.com.

    • brokeharvardgrad permalink*
      May 21, 2012 5:30 pm

      Just because this episode wasn’t paddling doesn’t mean that the school hasn’t set up an inappropriate response to behavior it finds unacceptable: hit the child and taser the mother when school officials disagree. There is no justification for it.

      • Love permalink
        May 21, 2012 5:36 pm

        The mother was tasered by a police officer. You still have you facts wrong, or else you are deliberately skewing your arguments to enforce your view.
        Whether or not we agree with the corporal punishment of school children does not give us the right to disobey police orders.

      • brokeharvardgrad permalink*
        May 21, 2012 8:57 pm

        Ms LoveToy,
        There is argument to support the view that the concept of corporal punishment for adults by means of taser or hitting children with wooden instruments is cruel and unjust, not to be sanctioned for either police officers nor school officials. No one is saying it is correct to disobey police orders, but neither is it correct to use a taser on someone simply because they are loud or someone finds them obnoxious. There is simply no justification for a school’s officers hitting children with wooden intruments, nor tasering for loud voices. Tasers, like the use of billy clubs, are often found to be used unjustly by police officers. It’s a strange commentary on the school that not only did the school engage in hitting the child to “discipline” him, but it also sanctioned the use of force on the mother. When those events happened has no bearing on the fact that it appears that unjust force is a component of the school’s interactions with both the mother and child. Because a police officer used the taser in the school, the school is therefore included in the incident.

  4. Love permalink
    May 21, 2012 9:01 pm

    “”No one is saying it is correct to disobey police orders, but neither is it correct to use a taser on someone simply because they are loud or someone finds them obnoxious””

    Ms. Eaton was tasered, because she was causing a public disturbance, was repeatedly asked to calm down, finally told to leave by a police officer, and then refused to comply and resisted arrest.
    She was not tased for being loud or obnoxious. Once again, you have skewed things.

  5. Love permalink
    May 21, 2012 9:03 pm

    “”It’s a strange commentary on the school that not only did the school engage in hitting the child to “discipline” him, but it also sanctioned the use of force on the mother.””

    The school has no authority to sanction or disallow police action, after the police are already attempting an arrest.

    • brokeharvardgrad permalink*
      May 21, 2012 10:26 pm

      Ah, a basic education in vocabulary required… To sanction means to approve, or to give authoritative approval, based on the Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition. I think you misunderstand the meaning of sanction. The school could have spoken out to say that it disagreed with tasering the mother. By its silence, the school sanctioned the violence. A school couldn’t have “disallowed police action,” as you put it, but sanction and disallow are not synonymous.

  6. Love permalink
    May 21, 2012 9:10 pm

    “”Simply because there are instances in which a police officer may use a taser, by no means proves that it was necessary or prudent in this case. There is a concept called escalation of force, and there are strict protocols for employing said force that appear to be lacking in this case.””

    How would you know, when this article has omitted the majority of the facts leading up to the ‘escalation of force’ in question?
    And further, the disciplinary action (or child abuse, as you term it) of her son in the past (two years prior to this incident) has no factual bearing on the incident in question. Except as a side note of this mother’s prior problems with this school administration.

    If you want to argue against corporal punishment, do so.
    If you want to argue against the use of police tasers, that is a separate matter.

    Frankly, I’m surprised that there hasn’t ALREADY been a lawsuit against the Department of Education, throughout the state, about the use of corporal punishment still being used in the schools.

    Parents are brought up on charges for striking their children with an implement, and yet teachers are allowed to hit the children with wooden paddles? It doesn’t make sense, legally, or morally.

    • brokeharvardgrad permalink*
      May 21, 2012 10:22 pm

      There is obviously a difference of opinions in our interpretation of whether or not prior acts of violence by the school against this woman’s child affected the situation where she was tasered. You think think that they aren’t relevant, and I think they are–they show a continual pattern of violence at the school and against the mother and son. These aren’t separate issues of corporal punishment and police violence, and, well, I can argue anything I wish on my blog. My publication of your voice on it is purely voluntary.

      It appears your stance on corporal punishment vacillates–one minute you agree, and the next minute you say you are surprised there hasn’t been a lawsuit against the schools. And, for the record, I don’t agree with parents striking their children either; it’s a simple matter of force–a bigger person hitting a smaller child out of anger and frustration as a form of something akin to parental regard in any sense is wrong. Spanking has been shown in study after study to harm children in a manner not covered by physical injuries, but it expands to behavioral problems, increases in violent behavior and declines in school performance. I don’t condone spanking, but simply saying that since other parents are spanking and therefore a school should too doesn’t make any sense.

      The guidelines for escalation of force include the determination that the person poses a direct risk to the safety of others, something not mentioned in any of the 15 news articles surveyed. The mother was never reported as being considered a safety issue, merely that she was loud and obnoxious. The police have not stated that she created an unsafe situation either. Simply because I don’t publish all 15 articles doesn’t mean that there was any proof to your indirect claim that you believe the mother threatened the safety of others present. Did you believe her to be a threat? Do you work at the school? Are you a witness, and would you go on the record with your name, stating that you believed this woman to be a threat Ms. LoveToy?

      • Love permalink
        May 21, 2012 10:37 pm

        I never stated my opinion on corporal punishment one way or the other.
        I am merely addressing the legality of the incident in question.

        And yes, it appears we DO disagree on the effect of prior events on this particular situation.

        I neither work at this school, nor do I know anyone involved personally.
        But as a member of the press, I have followed this story since mere minutes after the first report, and have spoken personally to several eye-witnesses.

        Can you say the same?

      • brokeharvardgrad permalink*
        May 22, 2012 6:39 pm

        Hearsay is never considered a valid source.

  7. Goaty McCheese permalink
    May 22, 2012 4:38 pm

    “Note that this is a middle school, whose students are between the ages of 12-14 years old, and still being hit with wooden paddles as a means of so-called “discipline,” which sounds strangely, to me, like these school officials are engaging in a form of pedophilia.”

    Pedophilia’s a bit of a jump to a conclusion, isn’t it? How do you know they don’t sincerely hate the children that much?

    • brokeharvardgrad permalink*
      May 22, 2012 4:50 pm

      Pedophilia isn’t about a loving relationship.

  8. James Peters permalink
    January 26, 2013 9:51 pm

    If The Child Had Been “Paddled ” By the Parents , He Or She would probably not have to be “paddled” by a Teacher. However It seems that this Parent is irrational .

    • brokeharvardgrad permalink*
      January 30, 2013 2:05 am

      I have never heard of a parent saying that one spanking “sufficed” for discipline for the entire life of the child, so the concept of the parent hitting the child once and thereby ending any future disciplinary problems is futile. That said, if an adult is hitting a child to get a point across, the point has already been lost.

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