A North Carolina mother has just begun her week-long county jail sentence after ignoring a judge’s order regarding the baptism of her daughter.
Kendra Stocks and Paul Schaaf had settled a custody battle of their 2-year-old daughter in 2016, and according to WSOC, Schaaf was granted the “final decision-making authority” regarding the child, which included all legal decisions. Anything regarding religion would fall under these legal decisions, which Stocks broke immediately after the custody battle.
The day after the final ruling regarding their daughter, Stocks took their child to church and had her baptized. Schaaf was irate when he saw pictures of the baptism on Facebook and reported Stocks immediately.
WSOC reported Schaaf was a practicing Catholic who regularly attended mass. For a father to see their child baptized without them, and illegally, would be an understandable heartbreak.
The judge had previously warned Stocks and Schaaf that if either of them broke the agreements of the judgment, they would be heading to jail. Stocks was eventually found in contempt of court, and she began her seven-day sentence yesterday.
WSOC spoke with Stocks as she arrived to turn herself in.
“I’ll get through it and hopefully come out a better person,” she admitted to the camera.
News of the bizarre story has social media in a tizzy. Many on Twitter are battling over the case, but most have failed to understand the principle behind Stocks’ jailing.
The mother was held in contempt for deliberately defying a judge’s orders and breaking rules of a custody agreement, not for merely baptizing her child.
One Twitter user supported Stocks for what she did and claimed she had the right to sue the judge for sentencing her. This is untrue, as Stocks was not being punished for her religious beliefs or her decision to baptize her daughter.
Others seemed to grasp the point better and supported the judge’s decision and Schaaf’s anger.
“#KendraStocks isn’t in jail for a week for #baptizing her child: her baby was going to be baptized #Catholic regardless of timing. She’s in jail for doing something that Judge Smith expressly told her not to do: baptizing the child w/o #PaulSchaaf taking part,” one user astutely noted.
Some on social media claimed Stocks knew exactly what she was doing when she took her daughter to be baptized and purposefully did it to hurt Schaaf.
Stocks is set to be released on Friday from the county jail.