A Georgia mom named Crystal Jean Hostetter and her girlfriend, Sarah Elizabeth McClain, have been arrested for punishing their 6-year-old by dunking him in a mix of syrup and cat litter and forcing him to hold a heavy brick over his head for 15 minutes while stuck in a tiny dog cage. But the lesbian couple claims they were simply disciplining the child.
In a related report by The Inquisitr, one father showed tough love by punishing his daughter by putting her dirty room out on the driveway for everyone to see. But another father who spanked his teen girls for twerking got in trouble because he was using a video cable… and the whole thing was caught on video.
Mark Twain famously said, “Truth is stranger than fiction.” While he probably wouldn’t have imagined the title for this article, it’s not even something I’d make up as a work of fiction… or as a punishment for a child.
But apparently Douglasville police sergeant Todd Garner told the Sentinel that these two women concocted this extreme form of punishment precisely because the knew it would bother the child.
“He doesn’t like anything that’s sticky. It just bothers him and the mother knows this. She said that’s why they coated his hands and feet with syrup and put cat litter on him because as she said, ‘I knew it would bother him.’”
It’s said that during his time in the cage the child cried out, “Do you all love me?” Witnesses also say the boy pleaded, “Please don’t kill me.” When someone from the Division of Family and Children Services showed up the two women readily admitted to how they punished the child:
“This extreme form of discipline was conducted on Saturday evening where witnesses saw this taking place and notified the school on Monday that they thought this was extreme and actually heard the child screaming … as they were pouring syrup on him and put him in the dog cage.”
Another form of punishment was to take away the boy’s bed and make him sleep on the floor.
The mother Hostetter has been charged with felony cruelty to children and the girlfriend McClain is charged with cruelty to children and reckless conduct. The child also has known mental issues that were prescribed three medications, but the mother did not fulfill them.
Corporal Punishment And Spanking Is Child Abuse?
At the same time, various cultures have different methods for child rearing, and what’s considered acceptable in one one country may not be considered wise elsewhere. For example, in some countries children are punished by having them kneel on hard rice while holding heavy objects in outstretched arms. One Florida woman used precisely this punishment, as well as a belt to give a “whooping,” only to have child services arrest her for child abuse.
Studies on corporal punishment and spanking seem to be divided. One study declared that spanking won’t hurt your child as long as they know they’re loved, while other studies claim spanking is linked to obesity. How do you determine the fine line between loving punishment and child abuse?