Thomas faced his punishment on Wednesday at Jasper County Primary School in Georgia for spitting on another student.
The little boy's mother, Shana Perez, recorded video of him being screaming and crying while being paddled and posted it on her Facebook page.
The county sheriff says Shana Perez was recently arrested after her son missed 18 days of school. She says they were for doctor's appointments and that she gave permission to administrators for the paddling because she was afraid of going back to jail.
"If he gets suspended, I'm going to be arrested for truancy," she said. "If he misses another day, I'm gonna be arrested. She never denied that. She never told me anything otherwise."
Jasper County schools allow corporal punishment if a parent consents.
Shana now says she shouldn't have.
"To be honest, if I could go back I would have just grabbed him up and said, 'No you can't paddle him, just go ahead and take me to jail,'" she said.
Corporal punishment is legal in Georgia and 18 other states in the south. But this video has led to a big outcry on social media.
The school district says it's investigating the incident and looking into its discipline policies.
How would you feel if this was your child? Share your thoughts in the comments.