None of the children of a Baton Rouge woman who was arrested last week after she admitted to whipping her sons are in the state’s custody, the state’s child protective services agency confirmed Thursday.
One of Schaquana Evita Spears’ six children — a 13-year-old boy, her eldest — was taken into Department of Children and Family Services custody for two days at the decision of a judge but on June 22 was placed into the care of a relative, DCFS Secretary Marketa Garner Walters said.
The recent jailing of Schaquana Spears, of Baton Rouge, for whipping three of her children w…
None of Spears’ other children have ever been in DCFS care, Walters said.
Spears, a 30-year-old single mother who drew national attention when she was jailed after striking three of her sons with a cord because they burglarized a house, has suggested she had all or most of her children taken away from her after her arrest.
She’s been placed on an “extended leave of absence” from her job as a chef as a result of her arrest, pending the outcome of her case, her attorney Brenden Craig said Thursday. Spears also operates her own catering business.
Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry is jumping into the case involving the arrest of a Ba…
Spears’ arrest prompted state Attorney General Jeff Landry to say last week he would start an inquiry into the matter, adding he’s grateful his mother didn’t “spare the rod” during his own childhood. Landry said he would investigate whether Spears’ children were removed from her care and if so, he would probe DCFS’ justification in doing so.
It was a judge who ordered DCFS to take custody of Spears’ child for two days, Walters said.
Ruth Wisher, a spokeswoman for Landry, said Thursday the Attorney General’s office is still reviewing the case.
“As with all cases in which we are involved, we are thoroughly gathering as much information as is available to fully inform us of the facts and issues. And as always, we will proceed in the best interest of justice,” Wisher said.
Spears’ situation also inspired a letter from state Treasurer John Kennedy advising Walters that “to take these children away from their mother … would be a ludicrous step to take.”
The way to tell when disciplining a child has gone too far is when a child is left bleeding …
Kennedy’s spokeswoman, Michelle Millhollon, did not respond to a request when presented with the updated information from DCFS on Thursday.
The Advocate previously reported that on the morning of June 22, Spears, who was at her house on Satinwood Drive, said she was going to court to regain custody of her children, and a report on a TV station this week said her three eldest children were taken from her.
“When Ms. Spears repeatedly said she wanted her children back, or that she got the three youngest back, the implication of that is that the state had them. And we never had all of them,” Walters said.
Spears did not respond to a request for clarification. Craig said he could not comment on the custody status of Spears’ children.
“Even if one is taken away, she can say she wants all of them back,” he pointed out.
The 13-year-old boy suffered bleeding wounds after being whipped, while two other sons of Spears, ages 10 and 12, received less serious injuries, according to a Sheriff’s Office report. Spears faces two counts of cruelty to juveniles.
Walters said her office is authorized to speak about a child welfare situation in instances where there have been errors reported about a case.
No formal charges have been filed against Spears. East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar C. Moore III said Thursday he’s still reviewing the case but said he intends not to charge the mother.