Is Physical Punishment Ever Appropriate?
An Alabama mother and grandmother face murder charges after a 9-year-old child died after reportedly being forced to run three hours as punishment for lying about eating candy bars.
A 9-year-old Alabama girl is dead after allegedly being forced to run for three hours as punishment, the Gadsden Times reports.
Third-grader Savannah Hardin died Monday, Feb. 20, at Children's Hospital in Birmingham. Authorities say the child suffered from severe dehydration and low sodium levels caused by running.
Etowah County Sheriff Todd Entrekin said Savannah obtained candy bars while on the school bus last week, ate them and then lied to her grandmother, 46-year-old Joyce Hardin Garrard. Garrard and Savannah's stepmother, Jessica Mae Hardin, 27, are accused of punishing Savannah by forcing her to run.
A neighbor saw the child running but did not realize anything was wrong.
"I saw her running down there, that's what I told the detectives," Simpson said, according to the Huffington Post. "But I don't see how that would kill her."
Authorities are still trying to determine if Savannah was being forced to run through physical coercion or by verbal commands.
The Gadsden Times further reports District Attorney Jimmie Harp said charges in the case could be upgraded to capital murder, a death penalty offense.
Hardin and Garrard are currently being held in the Etowah County Detention Center. The bond for each has been set at $500,000.
Do you believe physical punishment is ever appropriate? Was this clear cut abuse from the beginning or a reasonable punishment that got out of hand? Tell us in the comments.