(Memphis) - A Memphis mother is charged with four counts of Aggravated Child Abuse after police say she went too far when she disciplined her children.
Officers say 34-year-old Lawanda Wilson crossed the line when she used a belt and extension cord, but her neighbors say what she's accused of doing before that is even more disturbing.
Duct tape, a belt, and an extension cord are all items allegedly used as weapons by Wilson who claims to police she was trying to discipline her children. Police are calling it abuse because the kids were bound and beaten.
Child Services told police Wilson's four children, ages six to ten, suffered severe bruising and even cuts to their skin.
Police say Wilson beat her kids using the belt and the extension cord, but before that, they say she used duct tape to bind their hands and cover their mouths and eyes.
“It sounds like something where someone is going to murder somebody,” said Gertherine Smith, one of Wilson’s neighbors.
She believes children are supposed to be protected and sometimes that includes disciplining them. Smith did that for her children, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren, “First thing is punishment, to take away privileges, but if that doesn't work then we have to go a step further, but to me, spanking is a last resort.”
Binding and beating helpless children, Smith says, is taking punishment too far.
“I don't think you can raise a child like that,” she said. “It takes away a lot of their self-esteem when you go to that extreme.”
Smith hopes Wilson will have to take some parenting classes as a part of her punishment. The accused mother is in jail on a $50,000 bond.