What Constitutes Child Abuse? 'Hot Sauce' Mom Pleads Not GuiltyDanielle Sullivan
I first saw Jessica Beagley, the mom that forced her son to swallow hot sauce on the Dr. Phil show a few months ago. Apparently, the boy had trouble getting along with a classmate and the teacher sent home a note to his mother which made her irate.
According to the mother, the boy was unruly, always got into trouble, disobeyed, and generally didn’t listen. The original video (see below) that aired on Dr. Phil was heartbreaking and it caused many people to flood the show with calls demanding that authorities intervene for that little boy.
Last week she was charged with misdemeanor child abuse and actually pleaded not guilty.
Beagley claimed that what she did was not child abuse, and was just a form of discipline for a disobedient child.
As fellow Strollerderby blogger Carolyn pointed out when the story broke a few months ago, it wasn’t only the forced ingestion of the hot sauce (which in itself disgusting and abusive) that was disturbing, but when Beagley was finished and the boy was gagging, she threw him into a freezing cold shower, the whole time screaming at him.
How could she possibly plead not guilty?
The 36-year-old mother from Anchorage, Alaska has six children in total so there are more kids at stake depending on the outcome of this case. She is blaming the Dr. Phil show for her criminal woes now. Defense attorney, William Ingaldson, says her methods aren’t torture or cruel punishment. She also never showed up for her arraignment.
Two of her kids, including the boy in the video, are adopted from Russia. It’s a sad situation all around, but if she is allowed to keep her kids, there is no doubt that her rage will emerge time and time again, and who knows what will happen? It’s a shame.
Would mandatory intense counseling and parenting classes be enough? Would the kids be better growing up out of that home? And if so, where will they go?
UPDATE: This afternoon, Beagley was convicted on one misdemeanor count of child abuse. Sentencing is scheduled for Monday. Beagley could be fined as much as $10,000 fine and could be sent to prison for one year. Her children will not be taken from her.
The Discipline Dispute: Is it wrong to spank your kids?