An Arkansas mother is being charged with a misdemeanor count of endangering the welfare of a minor after she made her son walk 4.6 miles to school in order to "teach him a lesson."
Valerie Borders, 34, told police her 10-year-old son had been suspended from the bus for a week and she was making him walk to school as punishment.
A bank security guard spotted the boy walking alone in 30-degree weather on Monday and called police.
When the boy spoke to the responding officer, he told him: "Please don't take me home. Mother will beat me," the police report said.
The officer took the boy to his mother's workplace, only to be told she was on vacation. They found her at home, where she was cited for child endangerment.
"There were a number of things that could have happened to the child," said Lyle Waterworth, a spokesman for the Jonesboro Police Department. "The child could have been injured, abducted."
ABC News affiliate KAIT spoke with the boy, who made an impassioned plea on camera to keep his mother out of jail.
The boy's mother did not speak on camera.
If convicted, she faces up to one year in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000.