Tough love or bad parenting? A mom in Sebring, Florida may face child abuse charges after posting a video of her pet snake biting her one-year-old daughter. The video has been taken down but the mother doesn't have any regrets. "People are too sensitive," Chartelle St. Laurent said.
St. Laurent tells ABC Action News that she found the snake outside of the family's property and that the snake is harmless. She wanted to teach her daughter about wildlife. "It had bitten me and my son and didn't leave a mark, several times," she said. The mother wanted to show her daughter that the snake was harmless. "So, I thought it was a good opportunity to introduce her without actually getting hurt."
Authorities disagree with the parenting style. "There's always ways to teach your children lessons and this just did not seem like a good way to teach your child," said Scott Dressel of the Highlands County Sheriff's Office.
After investigating, authorities found that putting a snake with the child violates Florida's child abuse law. The sheriff's office says that it forwarded an affidavit for one count of cruelty toward a child to the state's attorney's office for review. It's up to that office to determine whether the mother will be formally charged with a crime.
"They just think that I hurt my child intentionally," the mother says. "The people that know me know that I would never hurt my children." She maintains that her daughter was not hurt.