LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A woman spanked her children after she says she caught them stealing and her subsequent arrest has touched off a firestorm about spanking, discipline, parental rights and abuse.
The question is -- how much is too much?
The single mother of six apparently found out that three of her kids (boys ages 10-13) broke into a neighbor's house and stole property. After spanking the kids with a belt, she was taken to jail and her other children removed from her home.
Schaquana Evita Spears was quick to justify her actions on a local TV station.
"Everything I do is for my kids, and because I didn't want them to commit another crime," She also added, she could not "live" without her children.
She told the local Baton Rouge station the father of her children was incarcerated and she didn't want her kids going down that road. In fact, she stressed that they see her going to work every day as a chef and she has them in magnet schools and on the honor roll.
The boys who stole she said "were just followers."
CBS2's Erica Nochlin reports that the controversy over her spanking, her arrest, her children being taken away has thousands of people buzzing -- and divided -- on social media.
She talked to parents in Los Angeles to get reaction about the Baton Rouge, Louisiana mom.
Support for Spears is quickly spreading.
"I think every parent has the right to decide how to discipline their kids – I myself have spanked my daughter," said one Inland Empire mother.
Spears admitted to opening up a can of Whoop Butt on the kids. She thinks her punishment was excessive.
"And they took my kids from me," she wrote on Facebook.
Many people Nochlin spoke to believe Spears did the right thing.
"If it's something that's dangerous for them – which burglarizing the neighborhood is very dangerous for them – then yeah," said one woman.
" I don't think she should have been put in jail," said another.
Police said the kids had cuts and bruises.
And the DA there is still reviewing the case.
"If they were hit extremities, legs, arms, or in the face, or anything like that, then that would be going too far," said one man.
"If you love your children, you will discipline them." said another.
A stranger bailed Spears out of jail.
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