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Corporal punishment should not be used

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Posted: Thursday, January 20, 2011 12:00 am

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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