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Corporal punishment should not be used

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Posted: Thursday, January 20, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 6:34 am, Thu Jan 20, 2011.

The idea that “65 percent of Americans approve of spanking children” is to our shame, since every civilized country on this planet has banned corporal punishment in schools — and in many, in private homes as well — except USA, where the myth prevails that violence against children is “discipline,” and therefore “good for them.” For years, every country in Europe has outlawed spanking and other forms of abuse. Hitting a child is a cowardly act.

Believing CP “works” is a myth, tragic for society as well as for the victim. Ask any prisoner on death row how he was treated as a child. Ask any bully in school if he was bullied at home. Research the childhood treatment of Hitler, Stalin, Mao or any mass murderer and you will find they were maltreated. It all began with a spanking. Violent attacks on a second grade kid for shoplifting? What kid has not? Most of us got away with it. What needs discipline, what needs changing, is parents not children.

Is Sanders aware that the impact of his message is “justifying” violent attacks on children? Over 50 years of scientific research proves that corporal punishment harms the child — permanently in most cases, fatally in alarming numbers. Recent research shows that even mild spanking can retard intelligence, can lower IQ’s of schoolchildren, making learning more difficult. Dr. Bruce Perry, a brain specialist, found that spanking actually changes the chemistry of the brain, and if continued it can change even its physical structure.

Punishment is deeply harmful and wholly unnecessary for child rearing. Children can and should be raised without ANY punishment and I can and have proven it. My book, “Parenting Without Punishing,” is posted on my website,, showing how my sons were raised without any form of punishment. Now they are in their 40s, both are happy and successful gentlemen with college degrees, families, homes and careers.

Had Sanders’ parents known better, they would have taken Will back to the store and made things right — without shame, sermons, or punishment. No trauma, no violence.

Norm Lee

Board of Trustees, PTAVE


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  • Margaret Mead posted at 3:50 pm on Wed, Jan 26, 2011.

    Margaret Mead Posts: 2

    Only suitable for minors?:

    Schoolchildrens' "spanking" related injuries (WARNING - These images may be deeply disturbing to some viewers. Do not open this page if children are present).

    Reasonable and moderate? You decide.
    (WARNING - This sound recording may be deeply disturbing to some listeners. Do not open this file if children are within listening range).

  • Margaret Mead posted at 3:48 pm on Wed, Jan 26, 2011.

    Margaret Mead Posts: 2

    Recommended by professionals:

    Plain Talk About Spanking
    by Jordan Riak

    The Sexual Dangers of Spanking Children
    by Tom Johnson

    by Lesli Taylor MD and Adah Maurer PhD

    Most current research:

    Spanking Kids Increases Risk of Sexual Problems
    (University of New Hampshire)

    Use of Spanking for 3-Year-Old Children and Associated Intimate Partner Aggression or Violence
    (American Academy of Pediatrics)

    Spanking Can Make Children More Aggressive Later
    (Tulane University)

    Children Who Are Spanked Have Lower IQs
    (University of New Hampshire)

    In 31 nations, child corporal punishment is prohibited by law (with more in process). In fact, the US was the only UN member that did not ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The US also has the highest incarceration rate in the world.

    The US states with the highest crime rates and the poorest academic performance are also the ones with the highest rates of child corporal punishment.

    There is simply no evidence to suggest that child bottom-battering instills virtue.

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 4:14 pm on Sun, Jan 23, 2011.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Julie Worley posted at 9:54 am…Opposing Corporal Punishment in Schools as it is harmful to the healthy development of children and impairment to the learning environment which has resulted in injuries to schoolchildren…

    If she wanted a discussion and solutions to a healthy learning environment for children to learn, that is a healthy direction to go in.

    I have never considered many of the public schools a good environment to learn. If Ms Worley is concerned about an environment for healthy development of children, maybe she should support abolishing the current public school system. All you have to do is look at the results currently produced in many schools to see that attending these schools, at all, is a severe punishment in itself. It many situations, it would be more humane and educational to have a child work and develop skills than attend a public school at all.

  • Julie Worley posted at 9:54 am on Sun, Jan 23, 2011.

    Julie Worley Posts: 2

    20 U.S. States legally allow Physical/Corporal Punishment, where school employees hit children with wooden boards to deliberately inflict physical pain as punishment in 21st Century American classrooms! Schoolchildren are the ONLY GROUP OF PEOPLE LEGALLY SUBJECTED TO PHYSICAL PAIN AS PUNISHMENT! Some "School Paddling States" have "Teacher Immunity Laws" to protect school employees from criminal/civil action! There is no argument in support of physical/corporal punishment of children in schools and our nation's most trusted Children's Health and Education Organizations have issued Official Position Statements Opposing Corporal Punishment in Schools as it is harmful to the healthy development of children and an impairment to the learning environment which has resulted in injuries to schoolchildren. DEMAND U.S. CONGRESS ENACT H.R. 5628 "Ending Physical/Corporal Punishment of Children in U.S. Schools Act" IMMEDIATELY, already ILLEGAL IN SCHOOLS IN 30 STATES!

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 3:14 am on Sun, Jan 23, 2011.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Joanne Bobin posted at 9:54 am…am completely stupefied! Very different, btw, from stupid which, last time I looked was not a banned word, in that stupid simply means:

    "1. lacking ordinary quickness and keenness of mind; dull.
    2. characterized by or proceeding from mental dullness; foolish; senseless: a stupid comment."

    Corporal punishment should, or should not be used… This is the topic Ms Bobin…
    You appear more interested in making nothing out of nothing rather than remembering what the blog was about… amazing how you can take an important interesting topic and make it a topic about “stupid”… I have to admit though… when thinking about your attempts to humiliate people (unsuccessfully), maybe it would be interesting to expand this topic you are on since you are the expert.

  • Betty Dean posted at 10:02 am on Sat, Jan 22, 2011.

    Betty Dean Posts: 144

    Most People in Prison endured abuse, NOT disipline.Alot of people in prison also use abuse as a crutch. Nothing has happened to them except they have gotten caught up in drugs and alcohol and wind up in Jail. Then its not their fault they were abused! There is a difference between the two!
    I really think part of what is lacking is a good spanking. Some of these kids would straighten up!
    I guess it is true that is the parents that need to know the difference between an old fashion spanking ( on the REAR END) and abuse.

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 9:54 am on Fri, Jan 21, 2011.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Mr Kinderman wrote: "Is it really an accident that ideologically "right" means "conservative" as well as "correct?" I think not."

    The amount of self-importance demonstrated by this individual is astounding! So Mr. Kinderman actually believes that ideologically "right" leaning individuals are also "right" as in "correct?"

    OOH! A dare to stifle the learned (and "right") contributions of a confused mind.

    I am completely stupefied! Very different, btw, from stupid which, last time I looked was not a banned word, in that stupid simply means:

    "1. lacking ordinary quickness and keenness of mind; dull.
    2. characterized by or proceeding from mental dullness; foolish; senseless: a stupid comment."

    Perhaps Mr. Kinderman was looking for "ignorant," meaning:

    "1. lacking in knowledge or training; unlearned.
    2. lacking knowledge or information as to a particular subject or fact.
    3. uninformed; unaware.
    4. due to or showing lack of knowledge or training..

    A term much more applicable (though perhaps a harsher sounding adjective) to the writings of certain individuals, present company not excepted.

  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 9:09 pm on Thu, Jan 20, 2011.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2370

    It's interesting when some folks miss the concept of an accurately placed synonym. Is it really an accident that ideologically "right" means "conservative" as well as "correct?" I think not. Rarely do I ever use words without making sure that I say what I mean and mean what I say - especially on a forum such as this when under normal circumstances there is no rush to hit the "Post Comment" button.

    While I certainly believe those who spare the rod unnecessarily often cause more harm than good to an unruly child, there is no way that I would insist that those who don't spank their children to be inadvertently criminal. However, Mr. Lee goes far astray when he refers to those who merely disagree with him in this regard as child abusers. His further insistence that corporal punishment is nothing less than a cowardly act leaves me scratching my head in wonder – wondering just how stupid can people actually be. Yes, I used the “s” word fully understanding that this comment will more than likely be reported and subsequently removed and in the not-too-distant future it too will be banned from use in the United Soviet States of America. But until the First Amendment is repealed, I will continue to assert my right to speak my mind.

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 7:16 pm on Thu, Jan 20, 2011.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    I was agreeing with Mr. Kinderman's varied opinions until he accused the writer of "left wing social engineering." You, sir, should consider your words more thoughtfully in the future.

    So you believe that ill-behaved children without punishment and discipline are the product of "left wing social engineering?" I have often thought that you had some basic moral precepts, but your current comments lead me to believe that all your thoughts revolve around "left and right," rather than right and wrong. So sad!

    First, Mr. Lee must be separated from "normal" society. Why? Because he believes that "punishment" means physical response to bad behavior. The "normal" or more often accepted definition of "punishment" is, according to, "a penalty inflicted for an offense or fault," which could mean having to stay in one's room or not having dessert, or whatever. For Mr. Lee to define punishment as physical abuse is quite a reach, in my opinion, for the average person.

    I definitely question much of Mr. Lee's pronouncements. Yes, it has been shown that physically abused children have become abusers themselves. But even the average person would question the statement: "Recent research shows that even mild spanking can retard intelligence, can lower IQ’s of schoolchildren, making learning more difficult." What research? Left wing social engineering? I doubt it.

  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 10:09 am on Thu, Jan 20, 2011.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2370

    Of course anyone with half a brain understands the difference between "punishment and discipline" and "beatings and torture." Mr. Lee's "proof" through the use of his own sons in his "book" is hardly empirical evidence. But he sets forth that the problems with Hitler and the others he refers to "all began with a spanking?"

    People (particularly children) require limits; I find it absolutely impossible to believe that during the entire childhoods of his two sons that they were "raised without any 'form' of punishment." (Emphasis added.) Never raised your voice, Mr. Lee; not once?

    All children are different and require their own way of being raised. My youngest who is now 19 never once required a swat on her little behind but a stern look from either her mother or me was able to get the message across; her other siblings needed different forms of emphasis, none of which included any form of abuse (by any reasonable definition of the term).

    What is shameful are those who attempt to force their own ideas of child rearing on everyone else. Mr. Lee’s arrogance in this regard reeks of left-winged social engineering that will do nothing but result in undisciplined adults.

    By the way, shoplifting is a crime - at any age. Taking the kid back to the store to "make it right" would have been a good start, but would just returning the item(s) and apologizing be enough? That's for parents and police to determine - not Mr. Lee.

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 8:55 am on Thu, Jan 20, 2011.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2116

    An article on the topic.
    A counter to it is:

    What does this say, when a bias group gos in looking for a specific result in a study, then that is what they will find. I'm sure a researcher who is anti relationships, with equal academic acceptance, could find that marriage is harmful to people.

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 8:54 am on Thu, Jan 20, 2011.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2116

    I know of several families that think like Mr. Lee, that spanking and discipline is a bad thing. In one family the kids (3 boys) are so bad even thier own relatives don't want to take them for a weekend to give the parents a break. Another one (3 boys, 1 girl) are so bad they run the house with the parents asking and begging for the kids to do what they are suppose to do only to be rejected and finally give in to the kids wishes. My sister-in-law (who believes telling kids "no" hurts them emotionally) has kids who are so bad they'll stand in the middle of a store screaming until they get their way, which they do.

    In my house, my kids get attention getters (very rare now that they know their boundries). A single swat off the bottom brushing with just the finget tips, never the palm, that gives them immediate feedback that what they are doing is wrong. Then they get to stand against a wall, facing it. Nowadays most of the time I just have to raise my voice a little and they know to stop.

    But my kids also get rewarded strongly for good behavior and I let them know the extras are for their good behavior.

    Know what's funny about this? When I take the kids of the families I mentioned, within an hour they know my behavioral expectations and live within them. I don't spank other peoples kids (Though I've wanted to), but they do get to stand in a corner. They also know if they behave they will get favors, like a cookie after dinner or after the task asked, extra play time on the games or get to choose which show to watch or game to play, or what we have for dinner.


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