BATON ROUGE, La. – A Louisiana district attorney said on Friday he has no intention of charging a 30-year-old mother arrested for whipping her three boys after she found out they had burglarized a neighbor's house.
Schaquana Spears was arrested June 20 in Baton Rouge and charged with two counts of cruelty to juveniles — felony charges.
A sheriff's report said she allegedly whipped her 13, 12 and 10-year-old boys. The report said lacerations on the 13-year-old's arms had bled and lacerations broke the skin on the 12-year-old's arm. The report said the 10-year-old was whipped too, but much less than his brothers.
But East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore III told The Advocate, "At this time I have no intention to prosecute. It would take something significant to change my opinion."
Spears found herself in the national spotlight after being arrested and then was held up as a model parent by high-ranking state officials.
Louisiana State Treasurer John Kennedy, a Republican running for a U.S. Senate seat, said "sparing the rod leads to an imprisoned child." His sentiment was echoed by Jeff Landry, the Louisiana attorney general.
In interviews with the media, including one on nationally televised "CBS This Morning," Spears said she whipped her children to make sure they do not take to a life of crime. She said the children's father was in prison and that she didn't want them to end up there, too.
She whipped the boys June 17 after she found they had stolen a hoverboard and other items from a neighbor's house, Brenden Craig, her lawyer, said.
Craig said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press that he was pleased with Moore's statements.
"It was perfectly justified, reasonable discipline of her children," Craig said. He said Spears' actions never rose "to the level of what you could call abuse or any criminal behavior."
The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services has said a judge found it was in the best interest of the 13-year-old boy to be placed in the custody of child services and that he was later transferred to the custody of a relative.