Last week, a man in Georgia slapped a 2-year-old girl who was crying in a suburban Atlanta Walmart. Apparently, 61-year-old Roger Stephens approached the child’s mother and said, “If you don’t shut her up, I’ll shut her up for you.” Then, according to reports, he slapped the toddler hard enough across the face (at least four times) to leave a red mark. Afterward he said, “See, I told you I would shut her up.”
He was arrested and is now being charged with felony cruelty to children, and I think he should be. Basically, where does he get off hitting someone else’s child, regardless of how much she was crying or “annoying” him? (As he stated later.)
What bothers me most about this is the fact that a complete stranger thought he had the right to physically hit a small child repeatedly.
I don’t know about you, but if someone ever did that to my child, I think the mama bear in me would take over and I would go ballistic.
What would you do? And what do you think about this news story?
About Elisabeth Wilkins
Elisabeth Wilkins was the editor of Empowering Parents and the mother of an 10-year-old son. Her work has appeared in national and international publications, including Mothering, Motherhood (Singapore), Hausfrau, The Bad Mother Chronicles, and The Japan Times. Elisabeth holds a Masters in Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Southern Maine.