Parents, teens react to Baltimore mom slapping son, pulling him - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Parents, teens react to Baltimore mom slapping son, pulling him from riots

Posted: Updated:
  • KWWL.com LinksMore>>

  • Iowa City News

    Iowa City News

    Local news and information for Iowa City, Coralville, North Liberty, Solon, Tiffin, Swisher, Hills, Lone Tree, Oxford, University Heights, Shueyville and all of Johnson County and the surrounding area.More >>
    Local news and information for Iowa City, Coralville, North Liberty, Solon, Tiffin, Swisher, Hills, Lone Tree, Oxford, University Heights, Shueyville and all of Johnson County and the surrounding area.More >>
IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

A mom setting her son straight was caught on camera after he apparently participated in the Baltimore riots.

The mother, Toya Graham, told CBS News she spotted her son on TV, so she went looking for him.

"That's my only son and at the end of the day, I don't want him to be Freddie Gray," said Graham referencing the 25-year-old Baltimore man who died in police custody.

Parents and teens in eastern Iowa are sounding off about Graham reaction.

"It's never good to model violent behavior to a child because it teaches that's an OK reaction to things," said high school junior Lyn Secrest.

However, Arbry Hampton a father of three says the Baltimore mother was simply disciplining her child.

"The video I think is demonstrating a mother really loves her child," said Hampton.

The 30 second video has been making it's rounds all over social media.

It shows Graham putter her 16-year-old son in place after he was involved in the uprising and riots in Baltimore. The mother pulled her masked son away from a protest crowd, repeatedly smacking him and giving him a few choice words.

"It's kind of an extreme situation and she probably knows her son better than anybody else, so she felt like that's what she had to do to get through to him," said Pam Steck, a parent. "She was probably concerned for his safety and concerned about having him out there."

Cedric Johnson thinks otherwise, he says in order for opinions on this video to be valid we have to understand a black man's perspective.

"I really live this life, I know how it is out here being a black individual, how it's hard out here.," said Johnson.

He says the amount of hurt and unfairness some black men endure, the 16-year-old may have felt turning to violence is the only way his voice could be heard.

Hampton says there are times where parents have to put fear in their children to straighten them up, and that's something parents need to do more of.

"Tough love is something most of these kids don't get that they need," said Hampton

Even if you think the mom stepped in and took charge of her son, or violently overreacted, the teens we spoke with say their moms will get their point across either way.

"I know that she would grab be because she wants the best for me," said Tim Trana. "I think the mom handled her son the best way she knew how."

Johnson says his mom probably wouldn't have reacted that way in public.

"Probably not in public, but she would most definitely give me an earful, like are you sure you want to do this? Or do you think this is the right thing you should do," said Johnson.

Powered by Frankly