THERE is no excuse for a stranger to discipline another person's child.

That is the resounding message from Chronicle readers after Michael Green's letter to the editor was published, telling the story of how his granddaughter, Sophia, was smacked by a stranger.

Sophia was with her mother Debbie Green at a shop in Toowoomba when the incident occurred.

Best described as "Poppy's angel" and a happy cheerful kid, Sophia has Down Syndrome and is about a year behind kids her age, developmentally.

Sophia will turn four in March.

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"She dropped one of her shoes over the handle of the trolley when the woman picked it up and gave it back to her," Ms Green explained.

"That to Sophia meant it was a game, so she did it again."

What followed was a shock - the other woman smacked Sophia on the arm while her mother was paying for her items.

"I told the woman it was not okay to smack another person's child. Even the staff were shocked at what had happened," she said.

Debbie Green is hoping to spread the message it is not appropriate to smack another person's child after her three-year-old daughter, Sophia Green (pictured), was smacked by a stranger while shopping in a Toowoomba store.
Debbie Green is hoping to spread the message it is not appropriate to smack another person's child after her three-year-old daughter, Sophia Green (pictured), was smacked by a stranger while shopping in a Toowoomba store. Kevin Farmer

"The woman argued with me until she was blue in the face that (Sophia) deserved the smack."

Ms Green said she often heard hurtful comments from members of the public relating to Sophia, but she had learned to deal with it.

"I hear a lot of comments about her disability," she said.

"Things like, 'you should keep your Mongoloid at home', and that sort of thing."

Is it ever appropriate to discipline another person's child?

This poll ended on 06 March 2014.

Current Results

Yes

23%

No

76%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

With a background in childcare, Ms Green said it had taken four years of hard work and dedication with Sophia for her to reach the developmental stage she is currently at.

"Your child is your child," she said.

"Disability or not, it is not okay for someone to discipline another person's child."

Ms Green said she supported a parents' right to smack a child, within limits.

"I do smack my children but as a last resort and very sparingly," she said.

She said she didn't report it to police, but hopes the carer of the senior citizen will come forward to identify her.



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