grocery store girl with man

Photo via Erika Burch/Facebook Remix by Monica Riese

The Cleveland, Texas, incident has commenters debating if it’s abuse or ‘discipline.’

Last night, photos of a father allegedly dragging his daughter by her hair as they shopped at Walmart went viral—to the point that the Cleveland, Texas police are now getting involved.

Erika Burch posted the photos—in which the dad was holding his daughter’s hair between his hand and the handle of the shopping cart—on Facebook. According to Burch’s post, the girl was crying and asking him to stop. When Burch began snapping photos, the man told her to mind her own business, and when cops in Walmart got involved they allegedly said they couldn’t do anything because there was no “bodily harm.”

Another witness told Click2Houston, “He was angry because she wasn’t standing right next to the basket, so he grabbed her by the head of her hair and pulled her to the basket.”

As of publishing, the post has over 150k shares, and has set off a huge comment thread arguing the differences between abuse and “discipline.”

Screengrab via Facebook

Screengrab via Facebook

Screengrab via Facebook

Eventually, the local police chimed in, but according to WTOV9, no charges have been filed.

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Though police may not have initially viewed the incident as abuse, according to Childhelp, child abuse is “when a parent or caregiver, whether through action or failing to act, causes injury, death, emotional harm, or risk of serious harm to a child. There are many forms of child maltreatment, including neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, exploitation, and emotional abuse.”

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