A 47 year old woman is still in police custody Thursday after an incident a week ago where Horry County officers say she became physical with her son at his middle school and refused to let him in her home that night.
NewsChannel 15 is not identifying the woman or releasing her picture with this story to protect the identity of the child in this story, who is a minor. The mother is being held at J. Reuben Long Detention Center and is charged with Cruelty to Children (Torture, Deprivation). She is also being held under a prior charge of check fraud.
Officers with the Horry County Police Department were told of a disturbance between the mother and her son, a 13-year-old student at Ocean Bay Middle School, according to a police report WPDE NewsChannel 15 obtained.
The report says the two were in the school's main office Thursday, January 26th, when the mother attempted to correct the teen for being disrespectful toward the staff at Ocean Bay Middle. The report says she then grabbed the teen around his neck area and clothes and pushed him against the wall in a hallway. That incident was reported to have been captured on video surveillance.
"The time that the incident occurred the building was clear of students and the pick up traffic was gone. There were still a few staff around," Teal Britton, Public Information Officer for Horry County Schools said. "There were a couple of staff people who actually had engaged in the situation and tried to de-escalate the confrontation, but it happened very quickly, it moved very quickly. It was in several sections of the building and then moved out of the door."
Britton says the incident then led to a chase to the outside grounds of the school, where the mother then left the teen and another student in the parking lot and would not give them a ride. The students were then seen walking down the road, the police report stated.
Officers were told that the mother wasn't allowing her son into her home that night, and when he went to the house around 11 p.m., she reportedly told him to leave or she would call 911.
The next day officers spoke with the suspect and asked her about the incidents. She admitted to leaving her son in the parking lot as well as not allowing him in her home. Officers spoke with the teen who said he was OK, according to the report.
With the incident starting in a school, some parents are wondering if more could have been done at the school before the incident escalated and went late into Thursday night.
"People who go into a career field of education don't ever imagine that they will need to step in front of a conflict such as separating children on a playground people get a mindset for what that's about. But when that's starts to involve a grown up in this case a parent and you know a child of middle school age I think it puts us all in the level of discomfort. " Britton said.
She adds that this situation is highly unusual and that has lead them to have the uncomfortable conversations that the district needs to have about parent-child physical altercations.
"They took the action that they knew they had to take and that was calling police. Safety is ongoing, training is ongoing it doesn't stop it doesn't end this may very well be an aspect that we'll look at in terms of technique," Britton said.
Monday of this week, the mother met with officers at Ocean Bay Middle and was placed under arrest for cruelty to children. Her bond is $350 for both the check and cruelty charge, according to records with the J. Reuben Long Detention Center.