Parenting or abuse? Shopper's post of Texas dad pulling daughter by hair goes viral


It was an ordinary day at Walmart for Erika Burch, who was picking up some groceries for her kids when she saw something out of the ordinary.

A man was leading his daughter through the store by her hair, which he had wrapped around the handle of the grocery cart he was pushing, causing his daughter to follow awkwardly alongside.

“She [was] begging him to stop! She was saying ‘please stop, I promise I won’t do it again please stop!’” wrote Burch in a Facebook post that has since gone viral.

Burch quickly snapped a few photos and told the man to let the girl go but he told her to mind her own business.

“I said no I’m not! Right now this little girl is my business and you need to let her hair go now!” wrote Burch. “He said ‘I grew up just fine!’ [So] I called the police!”

A cop who happened to be in the vicinity heard the commotion and came running but was unable to do anything until his sergeant arrived. When he did, they were told that the man could not be arrested unless there were visible signs of bodily injury to the child. This was despite Burch showing the sergeant photos of the man pulling the girl along.

“The sergeant in Cleveland TX said, ‘He has the right to discipline his children!‘” wrote Burch. “Dragging a little girl by the hair if [sic] her head is not proper discipline!”

“Now this baby had to go home with this monster thinking that nobody cared about her and it’s okay for this animal to pull her by the hair of her head!” wrote Burch before urging people to share the post and contact the Cleveland Police Department.

Burch’s post, which has garnered more than 7,500 likes and 130,000 shares, has sparked a lively debate, with people weighing in on whether the man was parenting or abusing the child.

“This is wrong! No child should be pulled by their hair through a store. I don’t care what the child did there are so many other ways to handle this problem,” wrote Audrey Griffith-D’Angelo.

“If someone would do this in public, what would happen behind closed doors?” asked Deborah Simpson.

“All you people are why children now a days think they can do whatever they want. Parents should be able to discipline their child as longs as, like the police officer said, no bodily harm. Grow up and mind your own business,” wrote Tasha Lee Herrlott.

Burch’s enraged post also seems to have struck a chord amongst others, resulting in the Cleveland Police Department receiving “numerous calls.” In a statement published on Facebook, the department assures people that “this case is currently being investigated by our Detective Division.”

Do you think the man was simply discipling his child or being abusive? Let us know by tweeting us @YahooStyleUK.

Parenting through a divorce: How to keep stress and sadness for children to a minimum

Would you sign a parenting pre-nup?

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting