A 9-year-old boy was in protective custody after his mother slapped him and hit his head against a brick wall in front of a teacher, then dragged him in front of the class and invited his classmates to make fun of him, police said.

The incident started Tuesday when the boy's mother was called to Hawthorne Elementary for a disciplinary problem, Elkhart police Cpl. Frank Owens said. The teacher and the boy were outside the classroom waiting for her.

The mother told the teacher she beats the boy but it does no good, Owens said. When she asked the teacher if she could go to jail for beating the boy, the teacher answered yes.

According to police, the mother replied: "I don't care who sees it."

Police say she then slapped the boy and pounded his head repeatedly into a brick wall.

The teacher tried to intervene by allowing the boy to return to the classroom, but the mother dragged her son into the room. In front of his classmates, she pulled on his lip and invited the students to make fun of his teeth, police said.

She jerked his arm and tried to embarrass the boy, Owens said. The teacher ordered the woman to leave.

When police arrived, the boy's face was bruised and his lip was bleeding and his mother already had left. The boy was placed in a foster home. No charges have been filed, and police are still investigating, Detective Lt. Peggy Snider said Thursday.