Mom's Outburst at Son's Elementary School Lands Her in Prison

When your child is being bullied at school, there is no doubt you are going to be concerned, anxious -- maybe even angry about it. But one mother took it a wee bit too far, when she attacked three school officials after they wanted her to leave her child's school. In fact, the crime was considered so egregious that she's been sentenced to 14 months in prison!


Jessica Smallwood, from Akron, Ohio, received the stiff sentence for assaulting three officials at her first-grade son's school after she was asked to leave the cafeteria, where she had escorted her 7-year-old son, because she didn't have a visitor's pass. Apparently the mom had brought her son to breakfast because he was being bullied. It's unclear if she knew beforehand that she would need permission to enter the school.

After becoming irate at the suggestion to leave, the mom pushed a teacher, knocked the principal to the ground, and punched a cafeteria employee. The school went into lockdown over the incident.

Now, there is just no excuse for this. Why not just go get a visitor's pass? However, perhaps they had told her she'd need to come back another day when she had one -- and her protective instincts were in overdrive over the bullying of her son, who is special needs.

Also, perhaps she had some pent-up anger at school officials already, given that she felt she had to escort her son to protect him. Maybe she felt that enough wasn't being done.

I'm not excusing her; this was no time to get violent, especially with children -- including her own son! -- watching. And the teachers were just trying to follow the rules, the same rules that protect the children.

However, I can see a mom being so frustrated, exhausted, and heartbroken with taking care of a special needs child being bullied that her emotions got the best (or worst) of her.

And most of all I'm not sure how such a long prison sentence is going to help anything. There are people who commit serious crimes who don't receive sentences this long. And what is going to happen to her child, being away from his mom for this long?

I would have hoped some anger management courses, counseling, and maybe a fine, or a short sentence, would have done the trick. This just seems like overkill to me.

Do you think this sentence is fair?


Image via Walt Stoneburner/Flickr

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