What some people think is OK to do to children never ceases to make my heart cringe and my head ache. Take for example an extremely disturbing video of 15-year-old boy violently kicking an 8-year-old boy in a helmet in the head with both feet. The teen's mom and her boyfriend can be heard in the background egging him on.
Oklahoma law enforcement detained Joshua Whittington, 28, his girlfriend, Tracy Casteel, 33, and Casteel's 15-year-old son at their Konawa home after the trio uploaded two deeply upsetting clips to Instagram.
The boy, who is believed to be Whittington's son, is wearing a football helmet as the teen takes a jump and kicks him in the head with both feet. It was captioned, "What this kid will do for a piece of gum!"
In a second video, the teen takes a running leap before again kicking the child's head with both feet. Both videos have been deleted, but the caption on this one supposedly read, "The kid loves it. like, no joke. he asked us to make another video. he thinks he's famous now."
No, the kid did not love it. He probably loved getting their attention and approval, and mistakenly believed he had to be hurt to get it. Forget about that physical injuries for a moment and think about what kind of trauma that psychological damage does to a person. Bruises heal. Soul wounds usually don't.
Thankfully his physical injuries were limited and not serious. He only suffered bruising on his neck and chest. Thank God, because aimed a differently, I'm guessing the force of those kicks could've snapped his neck.
The boy and two other children in the home have been placed in state custody, and the three suspects were arrested on suspicion of aggravated assault, and the parents specifically on suspicion of child abuse and enabling child abuse.
It's absolutely horrific what some people do to children.
What do you think adequate punishment should be for someone who hurts a child like this in a sick "game"?
Image via MIKE/Flickr