Alabama church day school used hot sauce to punish kids

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ASPartOfMe
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22 Jul 2022, 9:57 am

Hoover pastor: Day school punished children with hot sauce ‘for years, if not decades

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Last Sunday morning in Hoover, after he’d reminded the congregation about the men’s breakfast at Golden Corral, Pastor Jimmy Bassham of Hoover First United Methodist Church said he had one other announcement to make.

Bassham, who describes himself as a “very part-time” pastor at the church, addressed claims that the church’s day school used hot sauce to punish children two years old and younger.

Bassham’s comments, which confirmed that day school staff used hot sauce as punishment “for years, if not decades,” began with a firm commitment.

This practice has stopped,” he told those in attendance. “It will never be done again.”

Mothers of children who attended the day school said they appreciate that commitment from Bassham. But nearly everything the pastor said after that, the mothers told CBS 42, has compounded the pain and frustration the church has already caused.

The mothers said the pastor’s comments from the pulpit downplayed what occurred, pushed blamed onto one individual when multiple mothers expressed concerns, and did not accurately reflect what happened since the issue first came to light. The pastor said he’s sorry “if any mothers were upset by his comments” but added that the update was “meant solely for this church family.”

Bassham’s July 10 comments came during the first Sunday service following a CBS 42 report that first outlined allegations that day school staff forced hot sauce into the mouths of children two years old and younger in situations where the kids were biting, screaming, or exhibiting other disruptive behavior.

The Alabama Department of Human Resources said that while it could not comment on particular allegations of abuse, the agency could confirm that the Hoover day school was not in compliance with state law.

Religiously-affiliated daycare facilities like the Hoover First UMC Day School are not required to be licensed by the Department of Human Resources. Such facilities are, however, required by law to register with state officials as an “exempt” daycare. The Hoover day school, state officials confirmed, was not registered with the state at all.

Pastor Bassham said in an e-mail following initial reports of the allegations that he did not have anything to add to the daycare’s response.

Days later, though, Bassham had more to say about the issue from the pulpit, telling congregants that although hot sauce was used by daycare staffers as punishment for “years,” the practice was limited to only two children.

“It was done for two children,” Bassham said. “The parents of those children were not bothered by this, but another mother was, and she proceeded to call the Hoover Police Department, the Department of Human Resources, and at least channel 42 news.”

Later, Bassham said that the parent he was referencing was the only one to pull her child out of the day school.

“Even though her children were never impacted with this,” he said.

Bassham also added that he had only recently learned that the day school is not licensed.

“There is some question as to whether a day school such as ours has to be licensed,” he said. “But we are trying to work through that – determine what is and isn’t required.”

Mothers of children who attended the day school said they aren’t even sure which mom Bassham was referring to. His “misinformed” comments, they believe, are an effort to shift blame to a single, disenchanted parent.

Anna Sims Barnes’ involvement with the issue began when her four and five-year-old kids commented on a bottle of hot sauce at dinner.

“That’s what they give the babies at school,” her five-year-old son said. His sister echoed him: “Yeah, it is,” she said. “That’s what they give the babies.”

Barnes said the notion that only a single mother was upset about what happened at the church is “completely false.”

“Four parents confronted the day school director as soon it came to light,” she said. “One of us filed a police report. Another took to social media. I contacted DHR. This was a joint effort of several parents.”

None of the parents interviewed for this story initially reached out to CBS 42.

Barnes said she’s disappointed and angry that what happened at the day school has been “minimized in favor of protecting a church’s image.”

“I think the parents and the students of Hoover First UMC Day School are owed a sincere apology,” she said.

Heather Willoughby’s three-year-old daughter confirmed to her that hot sauce was being used on younger children. Like Anna Barnes and several other mothers, she pulled her child from the daycare. She said there’s no excuse for Bassham to bend the truth from the pulpit.

“He had weeks to contact parents, to look at the news, and to reach an understanding of what happened from all the angles,” she said. “He failed to do so and is complicit in what I see as a cover-up of child abuse.”

Heather Agee is the mother who decided to report the incident to police. She said that she was jumping up and down in frustration and anger when she watched a video of what Bassham said during the church service.

Agee said the way the situation is being handled isn’t very Christian.


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22 Jul 2022, 2:06 pm

Child abuse.

It’s shocking and sad that, apparently, many people were involved in this situation for quite some time but did nothing to stop it.


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23 Jul 2022, 2:09 am

Bought to you by the same folks who thought hanging black people from lamposts will punish them if they voted



SpiralingCrow
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23 Jul 2022, 5:07 am

What happened to time outs? If the child was really bad, why not call the parents and say, "Your child is misbehaving. Come pick them up." But, hot sauce? That's worse than soap in the mouth.



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23 Jul 2022, 5:19 am

That is terrible, I mean I remember one time when I was like 3 I ate a spicy pepper from the garden, but that was my own doing and my parents got me milk and stuff to drink to try and cancel out the spicy. But yeah seems terrible to just force spicy stuff in a kids mouth espcially so young...like all they will understand is the adult is doing something to harm them. Like a 2 year old may not understand hot sauce just feels hot and doesn't actually burn but being that age and having an adult forcing it into your mouth sounds pretty terrible like what the hell. That is even worse than the preschool teacher who excluded me from getting a snack because I changed my mind about wanting marshmallows, decided I did not want them and I guess that meant no snack for me. But also that same teacher decided when I got scared of the fire alarm it was appropriate to take my socks and threaten to not give them back if I didn't stop crying so yeah she can f**k off. Idk it was an old lady and I was like 5 so she is probably dead by now and good riddance I say.

I mean obviously if a child is upset or scared the best policy is to make sure they get more upset and scared with the expectation that they handle it like an adult...otherwise you take bits of their clothing away till they comply, obviously the best way to handle a child that simply got scared of the sudden loud fire alarm.....that is sarcasm of course.


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cyberdad
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23 Jul 2022, 7:52 am

So there's no mystery here. School is staffed by psychopaths.



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23 Jul 2022, 1:01 pm

A punishment I was born for.


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QFT
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23 Jul 2022, 1:11 pm

I asked one of the waitresses whether she ever spat into people's food. She said no, and she didn't see anyone else doing that in her establishment. But she remembers someone putting hot sauce in the soda of kids that were too loud.

I told her that to me, hot sauce won't be a punishment. On the contrary it would be an interesting food innovation. Spitting on the other hand is icky and the whole idea of it makes me throw up. So its like they substitutted punishment (spitting) with a reward (hot sauce).

I also told her that I don't like soda (hot sauce or not) but I like coffee. So I asked her to put hot sauce in my coffee next time I come, cause I am curious how it tastes. Neither of us followed throw as I guess we both kinda forgot. But thanks for the reminder. I will remind her to put hot sauce in my coffee one day. Or better yet, I will make my own coffee with hot sauce at home -- that way I can try coffee with different brands of hot sauces, both with and without cream and sugar, and see what its like :) That would be a nice experiment :)



naturalplastic
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23 Jul 2022, 2:19 pm

Hot sauce....into a hot drink?

You would only notice the effect after the drink cools down.

Interesting because the heat in hot sauce isnt real heat (its a chemically induced sensation of heat), but the heat in freshly brewed cuppa coffee IS real heat. So ...how does real heat and fake heat interact?



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23 Jul 2022, 9:00 pm

QFT wrote:
So I asked her to put hot sauce in my coffee next time I come, cause I am curious how it tastes. Neither of us followed throw as I guess we both kinda forgot. But thanks for the reminder. I will remind her to put hot sauce in my coffee one day. Or better yet, I will make my own coffee with hot sauce at home -- that way I can try coffee with different brands of hot sauces, both with and without cream and sugar, and see what its like :) That would be a nice experiment :)


One certain outcome of this proposed experiment is the waitress is guaranteed to say no if you ask her for a date.



cyberdad
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23 Jul 2022, 9:01 pm

funeralxempire wrote:
A punishment I was born for.


Living in Malaysia I have acquired a palate that demands spice/chilli. I imagine Texans and Souther Californians also acquire a tolerance for hot sauce.



QFT
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23 Jul 2022, 9:07 pm

cyberdad wrote:
QFT wrote:
So I asked her to put hot sauce in my coffee next time I come, cause I am curious how it tastes. Neither of us followed throw as I guess we both kinda forgot. But thanks for the reminder. I will remind her to put hot sauce in my coffee one day. Or better yet, I will make my own coffee with hot sauce at home -- that way I can try coffee with different brands of hot sauces, both with and without cream and sugar, and see what its like :) That would be a nice experiment :)


One certain outcome of this proposed experiment is the waitress is guaranteed to say no if you ask her for a date.


Actually I am not interested in dating her because she is 47 and I am 42. Back when I was 22, I was trying to date a 27 year old, that would have been 47 as of now. And no I wouldn't have left that other woman. But thats because I would have had kids with her by now so I would have been fine with her not having more kids. But since as of now I don't have kids yet, and I want them, then I should find someone a bit younger for that.

However, just out of curiosity: in a hypothetical situation if I did want to date her, why do you think this experiment would have caused her to reject me?



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23 Jul 2022, 9:08 pm

QFT wrote:
However, just out of curiosity: in a hypothetical situation if I did want to date her, why do you think this experiment would have caused her to reject me?


Simple...women don't date "weird".



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23 Jul 2022, 9:15 pm

cyberdad wrote:
QFT wrote:
However, just out of curiosity: in a hypothetical situation if I did want to date her, why do you think this experiment would have caused her to reject me?


Simple...women don't date "weird".


But they do like the wild guys that entertain them with their humor and crazy jokes.

So are you saying all their crazy-looking jokes are actually not as wild as they seem?What about those really drunk and loud ones? Why is being drunk and loud not as wild as being sober and making that one coffee joke?

And I thought a lot of people say I am too serious? So I guess I can never win: if I don't joke I am too serious, if I do joke I am too wild.



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23 Jul 2022, 9:16 pm

QFT wrote:
cyberdad wrote:
QFT wrote:
However, just out of curiosity: in a hypothetical situation if I did want to date her, why do you think this experiment would have caused her to reject me?


Simple...women don't date "weird".


But they do like the wild guys that entertain them with their humor and crazy jokes.

So are you saying all their crazy-looking jokes are actually not as wild as they seem?What about those really drunk and loud ones? Why is being drunk and loud not as wild as being sober and making that one coffee joke?

And I thought a lot of people say I am too serious? So I guess I can never win: if I don't joke I am too serious, if I do joke I am too wild.


wild is not weird



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23 Jul 2022, 9:16 pm

cyberdad wrote:
QFT wrote:
cyberdad wrote:
QFT wrote:
However, just out of curiosity: in a hypothetical situation if I did want to date her, why do you think this experiment would have caused her to reject me?


Simple...women don't date "weird".


But they do like the wild guys that entertain them with their humor and crazy jokes.

So are you saying all their crazy-looking jokes are actually not as wild as they seem?What about those really drunk and loud ones? Why is being drunk and loud not as wild as being sober and making that one coffee joke?

And I thought a lot of people say I am too serious? So I guess I can never win: if I don't joke I am too serious, if I do joke I am too wild.


wild is not weird


Wild involves jokes. Jokes involve clever remarks about things. Such as my making a remark about coffee.