Mother’s punishment should fit her crime

Recently, our televisions have been filled with footage of 25-year-old Madelyne Toogood slapping, punching, shaking and pulling the hair of her four-year-old daughter in a Kohl’s parking lot. She was frustrated with a shoplifting scheme gone wrong, and unaware of the video camera taping her crime.

Toogood took her anger out on the child, despite the fact that she clearly looked around to make sure no one was watching her.

Horrifying as that may be, the arrogance of the mother is stunning. Despite being caught on tape, Toogood has plead “not guilty” to the felonious crime of child battery.

Toogood has been quoted as saying, “Yeah, I hit her,” in an eerily reminiscent Ike Turner-like fashion.

However, Toogood laments she was just having a bad day, and her daughter was being rather rambunctious.

Toogood also states that in her six years of being a mother, this type of abuse has never happened before.

Even if I believed that – and I don’t – the thought that Toogood deserves a “Beat A Child And Walk Free” card is laughable.

Next thing you know, we’ll have a rule saying the first murder doesn’t count.

Toogood wants sympathy? Too bad. It’s hard to feel sorry for this woman when she’s sitting on a couch with a hacked-off look on her face.

She seems to have no remorse for what she did to her child, only embarrassment at being caught. How dare the Kohl’s security guards turn in a tape of a child being struck repeatedly, the jerks.

I confess that I’m no one’s mother, and have no desire to be. I won’t bother comparing light babysitting sessions of my rowdy under-five cousins to anything a mother of small children experiences on a daily basis.

Furthermore, I don’t get into discussions regarding corporal punishment. To each his own, I say.

But even mothers who believe in spanking their children – as well as anyone with common sense – have to admit that Toogood crossed the line ten times over.

There’s no excuse for close-fisted hits unless you’re a boxer and your opponent is the same size as you.

I’ve always been a bit cold to bleeding heart stories of separating a child from his or her family. But face it – some people simply are not fit to raise children. Even if Toogood receives counseling, there is no telling when and if she’ll “lose it” again and where.

As for jail – why not? After all, if Toogood were a single black mother from the inner city, she’d be in jail, not parlaying on CNN. She committed a crime and she was caught. Simple enough, right?

Besides, I hear that Toogood has anger management issues. She could work on that left hook with Big Bertha and her crew. I hear they’re always looking for a sparring partner.

J. Danielle Daniels, 20, is a junior political science student from Dallas. She is The Famuan’s Deputy Opinions editor. She can be reached at