Below the belt

Child beating case crosses line between discipline and abuse

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Let’s just start with this basic premise: Children are little people.

Can we all agree on that? They’re not circus animals, they’re not pets, they’re not alien life forms. They’re not even “ours.” They are people just like the rest of us.

If you agree with that, can you agree that they have the right not to be physically or sexually assaulted?

Surely everyone can accept the latter, but we’ll grant that some folks, even in 2013, will argue about the physical. Spare the rod, etc.

Increasingly, however, people are seeing physical discipline as assault – and the poorly-thought-out resort of a parent who is unaware of his or her nonviolent leverage.

In addition, the problem is that so many parents don’t know where to draw the line between a pop on the rear end and physical abuse – particularly in the heat of the moment. Parenting can be the most frustrating thing in the world.

Yet, while the line can be treacherously thin, there’s a huge difference between a spanking and abuse – the kind allegedly inflicted by a father on a son recently in Augusta.

Curtis Tyrone Darby, 39, stands charged with felony cruelty to children in the first degree, after authorities say he beat his son on the back with a belt so badly that wounds were visible from his neck to his waist. The medieval punishment was reportedly for poor school performance.

Folks, that’s not discipline, biblical or otherwise. It’s abuse of a sentient being.

Nor is it likely that it’s an effective way to instill the love of learning in a child.

It’s barbaric and wrong and wrongheaded.

And we would argue it’s just as wrong for circus animals, pets and alien life forms as it is for little people, which we all are at some point.

Physical or verbal abuse of a child – which can scar people for entire lifespans, if they even live beyond childhood – is the mark of a wholly unprepared or dismally lazy or merely troubled parent. It’s not appropriate. Period.

With the breakdown of the extended and even nuclear family, parenting role models and methods simply aren’t in evidence as much as they used to be (though many of those hand-me-down coping skills were, themselves, dysfunctional). Nonetheless, there are no excuses for assaulting children. There are plenty of alternatives available to the thinking man or woman, and a plethora of parenting experts out there to lead you to them.

It’s also amazing how little most of us are schooled in child development. With so many of us raising these precious creatures, who ultimately go on to rule the world, you would think the educational system would put more of an emphasis on explaining the mysterious lilliputians.

Still, common sense and rudimentary observation tell you much. The window between a baby’s innocent incoherence and a toddler’s ability to be reasoned with – and denied things – is open for only the briefest of moments. And there are coping skills you can take through that window with you, if you care.

Sorry, this page may be hopelessly old-fashioned in many areas, but we leave no room for antiquated notions that physical abuse is either an effective child-rearing tool or an acceptable treatment of another living being.

In most cases, it’s a crime.

Comments (39) Add comment
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freeradical
1078
Points
freeradical 10/08/13 - 05:56 am
7
0
What " Parents "

Get a clue .

In 2013 we are not talking about " parents " exercising loving

authority and concern , but over aged juvenile delinquents more

concerned about when the next " hangover " movie is going to be

released than if their offspring is running wild in the street .

That these over-aged juvenile delinquents reaching critical mass

in the parenting dept . equates in your mind to what parents by &

large used to be pretty much renders your opinion void.

Bodhisattva
6224
Points
Bodhisattva 10/08/13 - 06:58 am
1
9
For once I agree with the

For once I agree with the Chronicle. Physical punishment has no place in child rearing. I've never struck one of my dogs. Danged if I'd ever strike a child.

localguy55
5477
Points
localguy55 10/08/13 - 07:14 am
7
0
I agree to largely all of the

I agree to largely all of the letter, but can anyone say that there is a small window of acceptable corporal punishment. In todays societal unacceptability of the use of force against a child, it apprears that the slightest act of phyiscal contact with a child could be seen as abuse. A smack on the bottom or leg with the hand can bring great consequences against a parent. However, to parapharse supreme court Justice Potter Stewart concerning obscenity, " I know it when I see it", says a lot. I believe there is a big difference between a pop on the rear with a hand and a beating with a leather belt. Hopefully parents know the limits and the public and laws against abuse can differentiate between the two.

t3bledsoe
14290
Points
t3bledsoe 10/08/13 - 07:53 am
7
0
localguy55 @ 7:14

"but can anyone say that there is a small window of acceptable corporal punishment. In todays societal unacceptability of the use of force against a child, it apprears that the slightest act of phyiscal contact with a child could be seen as abuse"

Though it is not PC any more to physically punish a child, I TRULY BELIEVE we are seeing the absolute poor excuses of childeren that have not had physical punishment!! IT DIDN'T KILL ME!!

localguy55
5477
Points
localguy55 10/08/13 - 08:07 am
6
0
That is true t3bledsoe, It

That is true t3bledsoe, It did not kill me either. I can't say I enjoyed it though. But I guess you are not supposed to enjoy it. Remember the paddling in schools, I do and I got a few wacks from the principal of the school. Did I deserve it, sure. I did something wrong and never did it again. But in society today, liberals swarm in an effort to change the old accepted societal norms. And we can see the results. As a consequence, more kids are killing kids, young teen pregnancies, soring dropout rates, and the graduation of uneducated young adults. I can't say that is due to the removal of coporal punishment but it was part of our upbringing and there is a big difference in how our generation turned out and that of the young adults of today.

soapy_725
43678
Points
soapy_725 10/08/13 - 08:20 am
1
0
Where is the article for the abuse at Planned Parenthood?
Unpublished

Where is the article for the abuse at Planned Parenthood?

Riverman1
84152
Points
Riverman1 10/08/13 - 08:41 am
6
0
Ummmm, T3bledsoe was raised

Ummmm, T3bledsoe was raised with his parents using corporal punishment? Maybe we better take another look at this. :)

t3bledsoe
14290
Points
t3bledsoe 10/08/13 - 09:29 am
6
0
localguy55

"I can't say I enjoyed it though. But I guess you are not supposed to enjoy it. Remember the paddling in schools, I do and I got a few wacks from the principal of the school. Did I deserve it, sure"

No you are not supposed to enjoy it. I guess that's why it is called punishment!! I two got 1 paddleing from my middle school principal.

deestafford
27762
Points
deestafford 10/08/13 - 09:29 am
3
1
The initial punishment for this piece of pond scum

should be a replication of what he did to the child buy administer at an adult dosage. If we can't find anyone who is not too squimish to do it...I will.

t3bledsoe
14290
Points
t3bledsoe 10/08/13 - 09:33 am
5
0
editorial

"Let’s just start with this basic premise: Children are little people"

Kids can also be brats and very controling with their tantrums when they don't get there way! What is left when do-nothing "time out and talking" is werthless??!!

t3bledsoe
14290
Points
t3bledsoe 10/08/13 - 09:44 am
5
0
editorial

"They’re not circus animals, they’re not pets"

MANY TIMES animals act much better than kids!!

karradur
2854
Points
karradur 10/08/13 - 09:47 am
1
5
I also agree with this editorial.

Violence begets violence.

It is never the answer.

I was an absolutely terrible child and I was eventually brought into line without my parents ever raising a hand to me.

t3bledsoe
14290
Points
t3bledsoe 10/08/13 - 09:48 am
4
0
editorial

"physically or sexually assaulted"

The last word should say "abused"!! And YES, we can all agree on that !! BUT this idea that corpral punishment SHOULD BE BANNED, is a buch of bleeding heart liberal *@%$#*!!

t3bledsoe
14290
Points
t3bledsoe 10/08/13 - 09:52 am
5
0
editorial

"Spare the rod"

"Spare the rod and spoil the child." This, ALL TOO OFTEN, has obviosly happened over the last 20 years!!

By the way, is The AC going soft, OR did one of your more liberal writers write this editorial??!!

t3bledsoe
14290
Points
t3bledsoe 10/08/13 - 09:58 am
5
0
editorial

"Increasingly, however, people are seeing physical discipline as assault – and the poorly-thought-out resort of a parent who is unaware of his or her nonviolent leverage"

YES, "time out and talking" has worked wonders, NOT!! I would love to see some stats on the number of juvenial delinquents today, over that during when corpral punishment was used WITH OUT A SECONDS WERTH OF THOUGHT!! There are those bleeding hearts that would say that corpral punishment has caused MANY kids to grow up to be criminals!! Horse manure!!

t3bledsoe
14290
Points
t3bledsoe 10/08/13 - 10:01 am
3
0
editorial

"In addition, the problem is that so many parents don’t know where to draw the line between a pop on the rear end and physical abuse – particularly in the heat of the moment. Parenting can be the most frustrating thing in the world"

I was indeed a victom of this from my dad on at least two occations. Should this REALLY deter me from believing in the effectiveness of corpral punishment?? NOT WHEN done in a CONTROLED maner!!

t3bledsoe
14290
Points
t3bledsoe 10/08/13 - 10:05 am
3
0
editorial

"Yet, while the line can be treacherously thin, there’s a huge difference between a spanking and abuse – the kind allegedly inflicted by a father on a son recently in Augusta"

I will NEVER denigh that there are cases when corpral punishment GOES TOO FAR!! This statement may very well be the most accurate one in the whole editorial!!

t3bledsoe
14290
Points
t3bledsoe 10/08/13 - 10:11 am
3
0
editorial

"Physical or verbal abuse of a child – which can scar people for entire lifespans, if they even live beyond childhood – is the mark of a wholly unprepared or dismally lazy or merely troubled parent. It’s not appropriate. Period"

You say that EVERYONE should agree that kids are little people? You say they SHOULD NEVER be "abused". What idiot would not agree with these two statements??!! My question to "you all" is, "What is next when non-physical punishment does ABSOLUTELY NO GOOD??!!"

t3bledsoe
14290
Points
t3bledsoe 10/08/13 - 10:17 am
3
0
editorial

"Nonetheless, there are no excuses for assaulting children. There are plenty of alternatives available to the thinking man or woman, and a plethora of parenting experts out there to lead you to them"

THANK GOODNESS I am almost finished with this editorial!! Corpral punishment CAN NOT be put in the same catigory as ASSAULT!! A few stinging raps on the back side is abuse, DOUBLE "NOT"!! I am a firm believer that THE LACH OF SAID PUNISHMENT IS the over-riding cause of delinquents!! YES, LET US fill up the jails so tax payers can carry on the "talk theropy"!!

t3bledsoe
14290
Points
t3bledsoe 10/08/13 - 10:21 am
3
0
editorial

"It’s also amazing how little most of us are schooled in child development. With so many of us raising these precious creatures"

YEP, let us learn from Dr. Spock and ALL OF THE OTHER bleeding hearts who write child disapline books "TO GET RICH off of air-headed gullibale parents!!

t3bledsoe
14290
Points
t3bledsoe 10/08/13 - 10:26 am
3
0
editorial

"a toddler’s ability to be reasoned with – and denied things – is open for only the briefest of moments. And there are coping skills you can take through that window with you, if you care"

YEP, and when "the little brats" act out in the middle of a huge crowd on "black Friday", Talking is GOING TO DO THE DICPLINARY TRICK, NOT!!

t3bledsoe
14290
Points
t3bledsoe 10/08/13 - 10:29 am
3
0
editorial

"Sorry, this page may be hopelessly old-fashioned in many areas, but we leave no room for antiquated notions that physical abuse is either an effective child-rearing tool or an acceptable treatment of another living being.

In most cases, it’s a crime"

AGAIN, over and over AGAIN, ABUSE is a crime, but a little corpral punishment WILL go a long, long way to the betterment of raiseing a good and diciplined child!!

t3bledsoe
14290
Points
t3bledsoe 10/08/13 - 10:32 am
3
0
deestafford @ 9:29

"should be a replication of what he did to the child buy administer at an adult dosage. If we can't find anyone who is not too squimish to do it...I will"

YAY, HEY!! A very good statement!!

t3bledsoe
14290
Points
t3bledsoe 10/08/13 - 10:36 am
3
0
karradur @ 9:47

"Violence begets violence.

It is never the answer"

IF I could spell the sound with my mouth known as the "RAZBERRY" I would deffenately spell it here!!

t3bledsoe
14290
Points
t3bledsoe 10/08/13 - 10:39 am
3
0
Comment about this editorial

Commenters have accused me of being a plant in order to generate more controvercy, therefore, more comments. WHAT IN THE WORLD is this editorial??!!

Bizkit
31545
Points
Bizkit 10/08/13 - 10:59 am
6
0
There is a difference between

There is a difference between a loving mild spanking and an angry beating of a parent just getting their anger out. When a child is too young to reason and in event of a life threatening issue-like a child sticking their finger in a an electrical plug a little pop on their hands is a hint to what might happen if you stick your finger in there. It ain't a beating. Just cause a parent is in a bad mood and inpatient to discipline isn't a reason to spank either. We have to teach our children, we don't want to teach them violence or bigotry, and when puberty hits all bets are off. My father and I practically had fist fights during puberty because of my testosterone driven teenage angst of testing him and authority-whatever he said I did the opposite. I was full of hell so he had to beat the "hell" out of me. Likely saved me from death or prison. I can think of about a dozen other friends I grew up with whose fathers did the same-they are all alive and well. Those kids like us without the discipline of a parent didn't fair as well-ended up dead or in prison. Getting a beating didn't teach me violence-I saw violence in society and world and naturally would fight my brothers and friends. All that crap that beatings teach violence is absurd. If we teach violence then ban football and boxing. We are genetically violent like chimps and unlike their passive cousin bonobos.

Bizkit
31545
Points
Bizkit 10/08/13 - 10:57 am
2
0
The game is afoot

The game is afoot tbledsoe-they are getting wise to you. hee,hee,hee.

Echoes86
911
Points
Echoes86 10/08/13 - 12:29 pm
4
0
Spankings

They have their place, and I'm not against them, but I agree with the statement that it shouldn't be for parents to get their anger out. It should be used to teach a lesson.

I was spanked, not many times because I was a pretty good kid. When I was a teen and I mouthed off, I got my tv, game system, CD player all taken away from me. My techy stuff were my prized possessions and looking at 4 blank walls for about a month is much worse than a spanking lol. My older brothers, alternatively, were spanked with a belt. One of them turned out to be hellacious anyways, and the other two grew up to be responsible adults.

myfather15
55706
Points
myfather15 10/08/13 - 12:30 pm
2
0
Wow, I completely agree with

Wow, I completely agree with t3bledsoe!!

When we respond to help people with out of control children and teens; we usually ask what type of action THEY have taken to punish the child. We NEVER advocate physical punisnment or not; we remain neutral and leave it up to the parent. But we do want to know what actions they've taken to discipline the child before calling law enforcement.

The most common answer is "Well, we can touch them, or we will go to jail." We will thoroughly explain to them that this just isn't factual and the limits on physical punishment. It's still acceptable, with of course, limitations that any person with common sense wouldn't cross.

Just because our more liberal people don't like it, doesn't mean it's not legal. You raise your kids your way, I'll raise my kids my way and I don't suggest you tell me how to raise my kids, or you might get offended really quickly by my words for you.

KSL
130051
Points
KSL 10/08/13 - 12:37 pm
2
1
Dang

I am getting forgetful. I knew that was Shakespeare, but I could not remember which play.

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