Update: Fed up grandmother arrested for spanking 12-year-old learns fate

Norma Jean Toussaint, age 70. Arrested for spanking granddaughter (Photo Credit: Hot Springs Police Dep.)
Norma Jean Toussaint, age 70. Arrested for spanking granddaughter (Photo Credit: Hot Springs Police Dep/Switch Image: Mobarnes Rolling Out)

Good news from Hot Springs, Arkansas regarding Norma Jean Toussaint, 70, who was arrested for domestic violence after spanking her back talking granddaughter with a switch. According to police, Toussaint’s 12-year-old granddaughter was refusing to cleanup food after eating. Instead of complying with the wishes of her grandmother, she decided to be disrespectful and talk back to the elder. So, Toussaint did like many grandmothers from the Deep South do and went to the backyard and got a switch. She went back inside the house and began hitting her granddaughter on the arm. That is when the granddaughter decided to “drop a dime” on her grandmother and call 911.

The following press release was received this morning by rolling out from the Hot Springs Police Department:

“After further investigation and consultation between the Hot Springs Police Department and the Garland County Prosecutor’s Office, we have concluded that there was no intent on behalf of Ms. Toussaint to cause physical injury to her granddaughter. Further, we have concluded that her intent was to discipline the child and not cause physical injury within the meaning of the criminal code. Based upon this determination, the decision has been made to dismiss the charges against Ms. Toussaint.”

This is great news for supporters of Toussaint and reasonable old school discipline. Rolling out spoke with Corporal Kirk Zaner from the Hot Springs Police Department and he stated, “Plain and simple the little girl called the police and said she was abused and we had to respond. The investigating officer talked to the 12-year-old, a witness and the grandmother who stated she had punished the child. Based on this police have to respond. We have to intervene, and enforce the laws or we infringe on rights. The story was very popular in local news and social media and we face a difficult challenge in situations like this…I remember as a child having to get a switch off a tree and having to go back if it was small. But we are glad the situation is resolved.”

Your typical 'switch tree' in Georgia (Photo Credit: Mo Barnes for Steed Media Services)
Your typical ‘switch tree’ in Georgia (Photo Credit: Mo Barnes for Steed Media Services)
Mo Barnes
Mo Barnes

Maurice "Mo" Barnes is a graduate of Morehouse College and Political Scientist based in Atlanta. Mo is also a Blues musician. He has been writing for Rolling Out since 2014. Whether it means walking through a bloody police shooting to help a family find justice or showing the multifaceted talent of the Black Diaspora I write the news.

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