Grandma arrested for whipping relative with a switch

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. -- An Arkansas woman was taken to jail for using a switch on her great-granddaughter, who she says was misbehaving.

Police say the girl has visible welts on her arm.

Norma Toussaint, 70, says she's not a bad person, but says she did pull a switch off her front hedges, stripped the leaves and used it to punish her 12-year-old great-granddaughter.

Toussaint said, "I went back in the house and whooped her on her arm."

Upset, the girl threatened to dial 911.

Toussaint recalled, "I asked, I said, 'You want to call the police on me?' And she said, 'yes.' I said 'call them then.'"

At least four Hot Springs police officers showed up to the home Monday morning, KARK-TV reports.

According to an incident report, Toussaint and the girl both told police it stemmed from the 12-year-old not throwing away food and talking back.

"I said, 'You gonna give me some lip by what you're not going to do?' They do this to you they think they can do anything with it and get away with it," Toussaint said.
KARK reports hundreds of people disagree with the decision to arrest the grandmother.

Hundreds of people commented on KARK's Facebook post sharing the arrest. The most liked comments include one who said, "She has learned that she can be a brat and the grandmother or any adult can't punish her!"

Another wrote, "I had a switch used on me so many times when I was young that it kept the trees pruned in the yard."

Yet another wrote, "Reading this article just angers me. She disciplined her granddaughter. That's it. This world is backwards."

Toussant said an officer told her she should have done it on the girl's bottom, but she says she's not going to do it again. She said, "No, because I don't think I want to go to jail again but she got to learn some kind of authority you know what I'm saying."

The grandmother is now facing a felony domestic battery charge. A no-contact order was also filed against her. She has more than two dozen great grandchildren, a number of whom she has helped raise. The girl is staying with another relative in the meantime.

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