The mother of a kindergarten student, whose paddling led to the arrest of an assistant principal, said Wednesday she's disappointed the official hasn't been suspended.
"My major concern is this assistant principal is still working," said Judy Youngblood of Warm Springs, mother of the 6-year-old boy who was paddled on Jan. 21. "The superintendent is not taking any action against him and he is still at the school."
Anthony Crawford, the first-year assistant principal at Mountain View Elementary School near Warm Springs, Ga., turned himself in to the Meriwether County Sheriff's Department Monday. He was charged with cruelty to children and was released on $5,000 bond.
Robert Hawk, the school system's superintendent, said he didn't know whether action was warranted by the school district at this time and that Marlowe Hinson, Mountain View's principal, observed the child's paddling. Corporal punishment, he said Tuesday, has been suspended at the school.
Youngblood acknowledged she gave school officials the OK to paddle her son, who she said has two medical conditions, attention deficit disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. When he takes his medication, she said he acts fine. But when he misses it, he can be a problem.
She said she gave permission to paddle him for "refusing to write in his journal, spitting on the table and coloring on a chair with a crayon."
Youngblood said she noticed a problem that Wednesday evening when her son would not lean back on the car seat. "It didn't really click with me at the time," she said. "But when I got home, I said, 'Let me see your bottom' and noticed the bruising. On one cheek the bruise was 5 by 7 inches and on the other, 5 by 6 inches. The pediatrician's office measured them. I explained to Dr. Karen Harper with Pediatric Associates, Thomaston, what happened."
Harper had said she would contact the sheriff's office and the Department of Family and Children's Services if she found what Youngblood had described. "She contacted them the day after the paddling. We both felt it was in order," Youngblood said.
Youngblood said she feels that "what's right should be done."
The child has been returned to school, but Youngblood said she still would like for him to transfer to another school. However, because of her work schedule, she said she doesn't have time to drive him to a school that is 10 to 25 miles away, and that the school district isn't offering transportation to another school.
The cruelty charge could go to a Meriwether County grand jury Feb. 15.
See Letter from Barbara Neff to Assistant Principal Anthony Crawford
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