You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘corporal punishment’ tag.

I’ve just found out that the brilliant and amazing Alice Miller died on April 14, 2010 at the age of 87. She was a psychotherapist, a prolific writer, and a devoted champion of children’s rights, working throughout her life to spread awareness of the effects of child abuse.

Here is a video message she put out a few years back:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2hF2ujCeFw

and here is a link to her website:

http://www.alice-miller.com/index_en.php

I attended the Child Abuse Symposium in Santa Clara County, California last Friday and heard a highly effective and important presentation by Dr. John Stirling, Director of the Center for Child Protection at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center and Medical Director of Santa Clara County’s Children Shelter.

Dr. Stirling presented the findings of the ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) study, a study that has been out for years, which shows a direct link between child mistreatment and adult health and well-being.

Here is a synopsis of the primary findings of the ACE  Study performed by Dr. Vincent Felitti. Fundamentally, the study found that childhood adversity has a direct correlation with adult disfunction and poor health.

Please read the synopsis of this important study:

http://xnet.kp.org/permanentejournal/winter02/goldtolead.html

In this sad and horrible case, a 10 year-old girl, Charlenni Ferreira, was killed by her father and step-mother in Philadelphia after years of horrific abuse. Known injuries included gashes on her hands, a fractured shoulder blade, bone deformities on her arm from past trauma, bruising down her legs, scratches over her face, a fractured hip which kept her from walking properly, a split lip, a “cauliflower ear”, cigarette burns, evidence of long-term sexual abuse, and lacerations to her scalp.

Despite at least two reports from school nurses from 2006 until 2009, Philadelphia’s Department of Human Services left the girl in her father and step-mother’s care for years until she died from an infection caused by untreated broken ribs, which filled her lungs with fluid and collapsed them. When she died, she also had a seven-inch gash to her head that was stuffed with gauze and covered by a hair weave.

Apparently, the department left the child in the father and step-mother’s care because it did not have conclusive evidence of child abuse.

In the following article, a review panel consisting of Philadelphia’s medical examiner, a prosecutor, doctors, social workers, and DHS officials exonerated Philadelphia’s handling of the matter.

http://www.philly.com/inquirer/home_region/20100219_Panel_exonerates_DHS_in_child-abuse_death.html

I hate to keep bringing you horror stories of child abuse, but perhaps it’s needed. We need resources allocated where they belong. I’m willing to bet this man was severely abused as a child.

Here is the story:

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/2010/02/08/2010-02-08_us_soldier_joshua_taber_waterboarded_his_daughter_4_because_she_couldnt_recite_a.html

Senator Jake Knotts of South Carolina has recently proposed a bill giving teachers, principals, schools and school districts absolute civil and criminal protection from liability for any injury or harm resulting from their beating school children. No this did not happen in the Middle Ages. This is January 2010! Here is the language of this amazing bill:

  Proposed Bill – S. 1042 

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:

SECTION 1. Article 1, Chapter 25, Title 59 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

“Section 59-25-60. (A) A teacher who disciplines a student on school district property by means of corporal punishment while acting within the scope of his employment is immune from all civil and criminal liability that may arise from the incident. The same immunity is extended to the principal, school, school administrators, school district, and school district administrators for which the teacher is employed.

(B) For purposes of this section:

(1) ‘Corporal punishment’ means physical punishment inflicted by an adult in authority within the guidelines established by the school district on a student enrolled in a public school of a school district of this State.

(2) ‘Principal’ means the administrative head of a public school of this State.

(3) ‘Teacher’ includes both a teacher as defined in Section 59-1-130 and a teacher aide as defined in Section 59-1-140.

(4) ‘School district’ means a legal entity as defined in Section 59-1-160.”

SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.    

There must some sort of support for this in South Carolina, but how can anyone believe that children should be beaten and that neither they, their parents,  nor their guardians should have any recourse to protect them. It seems that many people do.

Here are some interesting facts on this issue:

http://www.nospank.net/tjohnson.htm

This is the result of unsupervised overnight visitation with his toddler given to a man with a history of violence:

Father indicted in scalding that led to amputation of son’s toes, Chicago Breaking News Center, December 9, 2009.

“A child whose life is full of the threat and fear of punishment is locked into babyhood. There is no way for him to grow up, to learn to take responsibility for his life and acts. Most important of all, we should not assume that having to yield to the threat of our superior force is good for the child’s character. It is never good for anyone’s character.” – John Holt, Freedom and Beyond.

Mother-Son Incest: Hidden in Shame and Rising, ABC News, Susan Donaldson James, Dec. 1, 2009.

This boy was sexually abused and beaten by his mother from the age of four.

Here is some information about “paddling”, in schools, the traditional practice of punishing children for “infractions” by smacking them publicly on bare buttocks with a wooden implement until there are bruises. Some traditional educators and parents are quite attached to this practice and fight to keep it alive. Old habits really die hard. Consider this perspective about the development of sexual deviancy: Sowing the Seeds of Sadomasochism, By Jordan Riak, November 9, 2009.

Paddling

A groundbreaking study out of the University of New Hampshire has found lower IQ’s in children who are spanked. The study also found a link between the amount of spanking and IQ levels. The more a child is spanked, the lower his or her IQ.  University of New Hampshire professor Murray Straus, who led the study, presents its results today, Friday, Sept. 25, 2009, at the 14th International Conference on Violence, Abuse and Trauma, in San Diego, Calif.

See the full text of the Science Daily article here: Children Who Are Spanked Have Lower IQ’s, New Research Finds, September 25, 2009, Science Daily.