A Columbus mother was fed up this week when her 10-year-old son was being disrespectful at school, so she called the police, documented her son’s “arrest” with photos, and posted his discipline on Facebook.
“First let me say that I love my children,” Chiquita Hill, 33, posted Tuesday on her Facebook page under the name Jada Powell. “They are what keeps me going. But ... I’ll be damned if they are disrespectful to me and anyone else. I’ve been getting reports that (her son) has been stupidly disrespectful to his teacher. So bad to a point she came to my home today. That was it for me, the last straw. My children will not be thugs and wannabes. What I did next was scared straight, Columbus Ga style...”
Hill is a single mother of three children, including her son and two daughters, 9 and 5 months old.
Hill said Thursday that her son attends St. Mary’s Magnet Academy where Sasha Smith is his teacher. Smith called Hill Tuesday and asked to come over to their house near Pembrook Drive to talk to her and her son about his behavior over the course of a couple of weeks.
“She came by on her personal time,” Hill said. “(He) was not expecting to her to be here.”
But he still wasn’t listening to his teacher, and when Hill asked her son about his behavior, she wasn’t happy with his answer.
The boy told his mother, “Because I wanted to and I don’t care.”
Despite several talks and other disciplinary methods, Hill felt like she wasn’t getting through to her son, who will soon turn 11 and enter the sixth grade.
“‘If you don’t care, this is what I’m going to do,’” she said she told him. “‘I’m going to call the police.’ He didn’t think I would do this. It hit him when they showed up at the door.”
Police arrived after Hill told the operator her son was being disrespectful to adults. She kept the windows closed so he wouldn’t see them drive up.
“They put him in handcuffs and were loud and he didn’t have time to react,” Hill said. “They put him in the car and let him sit and think about it. At that time, they called my daughter out and talked to her. They explained to her why her brother was in trouble and sent her back inside. Then they went back to the car and one of the officers got in and flashed the lights and started driving just a few inches.
“Clearly he was hurt,” she said. “It hurt me. I didn’t want to do it, but I had to get across to him.”
When police let him out of the vehicle, he ran down the hill and gave his mother “the biggest hug.” He then went inside and consoled his sister, who was very upset.
“I was trying to get a point across to my son if you want to be disrespectful and you want to be rude, this is what happens when bad people do bad things,” Hill said. “There are consequences for everything.”
She said he hasn’t been disrespectful or rude since the incident but admitted he is still a little shocked over what happened. She said she’s trying to keep an open dialogue with her son so he knows “that the consequences of things he does affects the entire family.
“I want him to understand cause-and-effect for every action.”
As of Thursday afternoon, Hill’s Facebook post has over 1,000 shares, 730 comments and over 3,500 likes. Most of the posts applaud Hill for her method of discipline. Some don’t agree.
“What I say to people that say I’m emotionally hurting my child or giving him a fear of law enforcement: he respects law and knows they’re there to help people but he also knows they’re also there to show him the consequences of his action,” she said. “If I didn’t feel comfortable, I would have called them off at any time. I wanted to get him while he’s still young and impressionable. Stop it now before it could get worse.”
Hill is aware of the viral video of Toya Graham, the Baltimore mother seen on TV grabbing her teenage son and slapping him while pulling him away from the riots. Graham told CNN her son was “embarrassing himself by wearing that mask and that hoodie and doing what he was doing.”
Hill’s hoping her actions this week with her son keep him from getting to that point.
“I don’t want to snatch my son out of the middle of the street,” she said. “I’m trying to curb it now so it won’t be like that. I understand what she’s going through because that’s her only son. That’s a passionate mother right there. She loves her child. She loves her children. Me too. I’ll do anything I can to protect them. And if I have to take a drastic measure like this to make sure he stays out of that, I’ll do it.”