Elise's Blog: Mom drags child through store - discipline or cruelty?

By Elise Roberts - bio | email

People can't stop talking about the mother caught on camera dragging her son through a Rome, GA Verizon Wireless store. The video, posted on YouTube, resurfaced recently and has sparked a national frenzy.

It's been nearly four months since the mother was accused of dragging her child through a store and there has yet to be an indictment.

The Rome News-Tribune first posted the story on April 21 when Melissa Catherine Smith-Means, 37, of Gaylesville, AL, was arrested by Rome police and charged with felony first-degree cruelty to children. She could face up to 20 years in prison.

Rome police say customers and employees at a Verizon store saw Means dragging a small child around by the neck on a backpack leash. According to the police, the child had visible marks on the neck from the incident.

Last week, a Floyd County District Attorney said the woman has not been indicted on the charges and that the case file is still being assembled.

In the meantime, people are weighing in on the 20-second-video, that's been viewed on YouTube more than 40,000 times.

So did the mother take it too far?

Some say the child was probably throwing a tantrum and the mother had no choice but to drag him out of the store. Others say there is no excuse to ever treat a child this way and wonder how she disciplines the boy at home.

Discipline starts early, in my opinion. When I was four or five years old, there was never a need for a leash, only a stare that let me know if I didn't shape up, I was going to be in big trouble. I can even remember getting a pep talk before going in public places.

Sure, all children will act out, but where do parents draw the line between discipline and cruelty?

What do you think South Mississippi? Post your thoughts below.

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