Where do people get these horrible ideas? Letina Smith is accused of threatening children with a stun gun -- and possibly actually using it on them. The three children, ages 7, 8 and 9, are relatives who were, until recently, in her care. It sounds like the way Smith used the stun gun was particularly sadistic. The children say she had them do wall sits, leaning against the wall with legs bent as if there were a chair beneath them (but there is not). Smith reportedly made them hold that position for an hour. And she told them if they moved or made a sound, she would shock them with her device. They say she referred to the discipline as the "electric chair."
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If you've ever attempted a wall sit, you know it's a challenging position to maintain for more than a minute. Imagine trying to do that for a full hour! Supposedly, the stun gun Smith used had a lighter charge than the one used by police on full-grown adults. But it's still strong enough to hurt. Smith says she never used the device on the children, but one of them could give an accurate description of how it works to make police suspect she may have used it after all.
What's really sad is that the only reason she got caught is because one of the kids got into trouble at school. A teacher said she'd be calling home to report a behavior issue and the poor child freaked out because she knew she'd get the "electric chair."
Can you imagine hearing a child tell you that -- and then finding out what that meant? It's unclear if Smith is these kids' guardian or just someone who watches them, but I would be horrified if this were happening to my children. It would make me wonder what else that caregiver was doing. What other horrible child discipline ideas had Smith concocted? Apparently she has an active imagination.
Or does she? I think people come up with solutions based on what they know -- and I wonder if Smith came up with threatening with a stun gun because she sees police officers using that to "manage" people in her community. It's NOT an excuse, of course. Every human being has the gift of common sense at their disposal. And no caregiver should be taking their cues from the police.
How would you feel if you found out a relative was disciplining your kids this way?
Image via My Fox Orlando