default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
Logout|My Dashboard

Letter: Spanking is not ‘reasonable discipline’

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Saturday, January 25, 2014 12:00 am

The news brief “Court upholds mother’s right to spank daughter” on Page 2 of the Lodi News-Sentinel, Jan. 22, reports a San José judge found a “mom” used “reasonable discipline” in “spanking” her 12-year-old daughter with a wooden spoon. The maltreatment was inflicted — causing bruises on the child — for “slacking off in school.”

As a (retired) professor of education in two great universities (Syracuse University and State University of New York) I find such an opinion outrageous and ignorant for reasons below:

1. Committing violence on a child — bruises or not — is certainly not “reasonable” and not “discipline.”

2. Using a blunt instrument is not “spanking,” it is “beating”; i.e., flagrant child abuse.

3. Such cruelty is not a “parental right”; similar treatment of an adult — or even a dog — is criminal and actionable.

4. It cannot work. Punishing stops learning abruptly, since full attention must be given to avoiding pain and humiliation.

5. “Slacking off” in middle school and junior high is a normal stage in developing toward maturity.

6. The Santa Clara Department of Social Services was correct in reporting it as child abuse to the California Justice Department of Child Abuse Central Index.

Norm Lee


Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Use your real name. You must register with your full first and last name before you can comment. (And don’t pretend you’re someone else.)
  • 2 Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language.
  • 3 Don’t threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
  • 4 Be truthful. Don't lie about anyone or anything. Don't post unsubstantiated allegations, rumors or gossip that could harm the reputation of a person, company or organization.
  • 5 Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 6 Stay on topic. Make sure your comments are about the story. Don’t insult each other.
  • 7 Tell us if the discussion is getting out of hand. Use the ‘Report’ link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 8 Share what you know, and ask about what you don't.
  • 9 Don’t be a troll.
  • 10 Don’t reveal personal information about other commenters. You may reveal your own personal information, but we advise you not to do so.
  • 11 We reserve the right, at our discretion, to monitor, delete or choose not to post any comment. This may include removing or monitoring posts that we believe violate the spirit or letter of these rules, or that we otherwise determine at our discretion needs to be monitored, not posted, or deleted.

Welcome to the discussion.


  • Kevin Paglia posted at 11:45 am on Thu, Jan 30, 2014.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2092

    If spanking has aught you nothing more than violence, then YOUR spanking was administered wrong.

    When I was spanked it taught me what I was doing was wrong enough to warrant immediate correction. Spanking is NOT done to HURT, it is done to get the attention. If it is causing more pain than you get clapping your hands, you are hitting, not spanking.

    And I have known a lot of people VERY screwed up because their parents never spanked them. They have no fear of consequences for their action. View authority figures as the enemy. And treat others as disposable.

  • Todd Cronin posted at 9:58 am on Mon, Jan 27, 2014.

    Todd Posts: 132

    Two observations:

    Norm Lee has NEVER been "spanked".
    There is NO such thing as "unreasonable spanking",,,,
    as long as it is done for "friendly purposes".......[wink]

  • Brian Dockter posted at 7:34 am on Mon, Jan 27, 2014.

    Brian Dockter Posts: 2857


    I believe the judge determined it 'reasonable discipline' because there was no evidence the bruises were caused by an 'unreasonable use of force'. The vast majority of parents using a wooden spoon is not meant to abuse a child. Including this case. Let's not make it more than it is.

  • Eric Barrow posted at 12:16 pm on Sun, Jan 26, 2014.

    Eric Barrow Posts: 1591

    My Mom wore out many a wooden spoon with 5 boys and no wooden spoon she would not have stood a chance.

  • Walter Chang posted at 8:00 pm on Sat, Jan 25, 2014.

    Walt Posts: 1171

    "wooden spoon"

    No, it was more like a large chop stick.

    You learned real quick.

    Never my father, it was my maternal grandmother we had to watch out for!!

    But I digress...



Recent Comments

Posted 5 hours ago by Ed Walters.

article: Editorial: State should lead in researc…

Marcus: You state that any officer who broke the law should be fired. I believe evidence is presented to a grand jury, if the GJ finds t…


Posted 9 hours ago by Mike Adams.

article: Lower holiday gas prices leave Lodi tra…

This what you get when you put a Democrat in the White House. Lower gas prices Lower unemployment A soaring stock market. Health care final…


Posted 16 hours ago by Robert Phillips.

article: Gwin Paden: On fall gardening, and the …

Appropos of nothing other than this post, have you seen the BookTV discussion by Steven Pinker of his "The Sense of Style"? Very …


Posted 18 hours ago by Shane Marcus.

article: Letter: Leaders to blame for police dea…

Ron Portal is confessed at best. I was always taught in the class room in school, by my mother, my father, and pretty much all of s…


Posted 19 hours ago by Shane Marcus.

article: Lower holiday gas prices leave Lodi tra…

My goodness, finally some good news for the United States...



Popular Stories


Vote on the biggest local story in 2014: See poll below

It has been an eventful year in Lodi, from the antics of a wild turkey named Tom Kettleman to the announced closure of the General Mills plant. What do you see as the biggest story of the year?

Total Votes: 253


Your News

News for the community, by the community.

Mailing List

Subscribe to a mailing list to have daily news sent directly to your inbox.

  • Breaking News

    Would you like to receive breaking news alerts? Sign up now!

  • News Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily news headlines? Sign up now!

  • Sports Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily sports headlines? Sign up now!

Manage Your Lists