Tue | Sep 25, 2018

Should Baltimore mom caught on tape beating protesting son be commended or condemned?

Published:Thursday | April 30, 2015 | 7:31 PM

Ever since Baltimore mom Toya Graham appeared on American television smacking her 16-year-old black son in the face after he was seen throwing objects at the police during a street protest, there have been mixed views on social media as to whether her action was appropriate.

"I just lost it," Graham explained on CBS News.

"I was shocked, I was angry, because you never want to see your child out there doing that."

Among the emerging views too, is whether Graham is worthy of being called ‘Mom of the year’ for removing her son from a violent protest and ordering him home.

We asked a few local respondents, should she be commended or condemned?

Charles Young President of National Secondary Schools’ Council:
In some regard she should be commended because insurrection is never a good means of revolt, we have passed that time in our history; I think we should go for less violence and more passive means of revolt. But I also believe that children are sometimes far from reason so the means by which she reprimanded him is what I don't agree with. I don't think anything was wrong with the intention but it was the way she went about it that was wrong.

Dr. Orville Taylor, senior lecturer, sociology, UWI:
My mother was the reason why I never ended up doing the same thing that that young man did, because being a strong black woman she would probably have done the same thing as that mother. I think she has a responsibility to take her child from that situation. We may disagree with the sanction that the mother put on the child and I think she probably went overboard because it is important for a young man to have street credit, it is especially important for a young man.

Diane Gordon Harrison, Children’s Advocate:
I commend her for trying to get him not to participate but I don't commend her for the method that was used. She was coming from a place of good intention but I thought that she could have gone about it a little differently.

Everton Hannam, President, National Parent-Teacher Association:
Her doing that is how she feels as a parent and I think she felt disappointed. But I don't think all of what she taught him has gone to nought but the young man was probably overwhelmed by peer pressure. Sometimes no matter how good they are raised they make bad steps.