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Domestic CP - November 2004
Naples Daily News, Florida, 4 November 2004
Local guest commentary
Spanking can provide a valuable life lesson to child
By Dr Louis Moore
There has been a lot in the news lately about spanking.
I would like to point out that with my 81 years I have a longer view than most of your readers. I would like to address the issue from two levels the broad impact on society and my personal experience.
Are things better since the psychologists began to propose their "no hit" theories 30 years ago? When I was 13 years old, juvenile crime was stealing watermelons, hub caps and sugar cane. It also included sneaking a smoke or, more rarely, a drink of illegal whiskey. Most homes in my small Georgia town had one or more guns, but I never heard of a teenager shooting anyone.
Police were looked on as friends unless you were caught in some escapade. School classrooms were orderly and most students worked hard to get good grades and to avoid summer school.
Punishment for infractions at school was swift and certain and you hoped your parents didn't hear about it.
Today juvenile crime is stealing automobiles, breaking and entering, mugging little old ladies and shooting each other. Teachers are threatened and classrooms are anything but orderly. Punishment is postponed or not even certain. Police are "pigs" and considered enemies. Parents have to call the police to control their kids.
One should make a clear distinction between appropriate punishment and child abuse. The formula was quite simple: "There are rules. If you break them there are consequences often painful." This an important lesson and if learned early will serve one throughout life.
Child abuse occurs when the punishment is unduly harsh and causes injuries or when the punishment is not appropriate for the offense, such as a child making a simple mistake.
Then psychologists made the discovery that many child abusers had been abused as children. They then decided that any corporal punishment was child abuse; therefore anyone who spanks a child was a child abuser and that would produce children with seriously warped personalities lack of self-esteem, etc.
That is twisted logic.
When I was growing up almost every boy got whippings and spankings. None of the people I knew at school ever reported child abuse, although it did happen around the fringes. None of those school friends several hundred that I grew up with turned out to be child abusers or had warped personalities. In fact, today we are referred to as "The Greatest Generation."
My grandfather got whippings, my father got whippings, I got whippings and my son got whippings. All of us turned out to be upright citizens and there was no lingering resentment since we knew that we only got a whipping when we broke a rule (and got caught).
We learned a valuable lesson: Don't break the rules, or there will be consequences.
Dr. Moore came to Naples as its 10th doctor in 1958. He says: "I watched the hospital (then 50 beds) and town grow up over the next 35 years while I did general practice with a bunch of wonderful doctors. I semi-retired in 1983 and go to my one-room office two days a week and pretend to work. I am best known for wearing Bermuda shorts to work and riding a beat-up old bicycle. I still hold a pilot's license and own a sailboat. And, by the way, I have celebrated my 55th wedding anniversary."
Copyright 2004, Naples Daily News. All Rights Reserved.
Baltimore Sun, Maryland, 14 November 2004
Some of today's kids do and say things their parents would've been smacked for. Should they be spanked? For some parents, the answer isn't easy.
By Kate Shatzkin
Frank Hudson says he doesn't spank his 3-year-old son. But
sometimes he wonders whether he's doing the right thing.
Copyright © 2004, The Baltimore Sun
Boston Herald, Massachusetts, 16 November 2004
Brookline, time to spare the Ron
By Mike Barnicle
Brookline is famous for terrific schools, high taxes, wonderful police and fire departments, relatively safe streets and the world-renowned Busy Bee restaurant. Itís also a town where they think really big thoughts and have a view of life that often goes a bit beyond the borders of their own neighborhood.
Actually, Brookline has often been called the municipal equivalent of people who walk around wearing a sandwich board loudly proclaiming one point of view or another on issues that even Stephen Hawking hasn't thought about. A Brookline Town Meeting can make a Cambridge City Council hearing look like a gathering of disinterested, uninvolved shirkers.
And tonight's fall gathering won't be any different It's usually a quaint mixture of pep rally, civic pride and circus act. And one of the items under consideration is a left over from last year when it was dumped by a majority vote.
It's a resolution urging the town to oppose spanking. Once again, it's been filed by a local publicity hound named Ron.
"I opposed it last year and I'll oppose it this year," Bobby Alien, Jr., chairman of the Board of Selectmen said yesterday. "We get a lot of resolutions. We even had one resolution that would have us study the impact of old resolutions."
Ron the publicity hound has reams of paper explaining and documenting his concern about spanking. His big resolution is almost enough to provoke a resolution condemning the killing of trees that provide pulp for his nonsense.
Ron throws put a lot of statistics. Some are weird. None more so than when he alleges that, "national surveys show that corporal punishment is common and 25 percent of infants are hit before they are 6 months old."
That's an astounding number of babies getting whacked around. It's also totally bogus.
The odd thing is that Ron doesn't have any kids. He just seems to have an excessive and bizarre interest in spanking.
And given Brookline's history, spanking might not make the cut this year. They already nave plenty on their plate with issues such as Fallujah, Sierra Leone, Iran, racism, the mystery that still surrounds the death of Princess Di and the assassination of town native JFK, cholesterol, cell towers, recycling, Fox News, nuclear proliferation and the near criminal behavior of everyone who enjoys diner food and lives in a red state to worry about
Besides, if they lend legitimacy to Ron's hobby, what's next? Resolutions urging the town to oppose Game-Boy, J-Pods, Fruit Loops, lip rings and dressing like a tart at the age of 12? I mean, if Brookline wants to establish itself as a world-class busy-body why stop at spanking?
Most parents quickly realize that raising children is the hardest and most important job they'll ever have. It's rewarding and painful. It's filled with joy and heartache.
Sure, there are people who should never be allowed to have kids.
And anyone who beats a child deserves to be punished by law as well as by other means that the law frowns upon.
In an earlier, more innocent time in our culture, peer pressure and the neighbors would take care of child-abusers before they ever made it to court. But those days are done.
So maybe at Town Meeting this week, someone will introduce a resolution stating: Whereas Ron is clearly a publicity hound and seems intent on wasting our tine, be it hereby resolved that he deserves a good spanking himself.
Who knows? Maybe he'd enjoy it.
Boston Globe, Massachusetts, 18 November 2004
Brookline rejects measure on spanking
Resolution loses by narrow margin
By David Abel
Six months after stalling the same measure, members of the Brookline Town Meeting last night narrowly defeated a nonbinding resolution that would have made it town policy to encourage parents and child-care workers not to spank children or use other corporal punishment.
The resolution, submitted again by Brookline resident Ronald Goldman, urged parents to consider alternative disciplinary methods that do not cause pain to a child for punishment and instead promote respect and understanding between parents and children.
"There's a lot of research that shows corporal punishment is harmful, and there's a lot of research that shows it's common," said Goldman, a consulting engineer who said he has studied the subject. "People just continue doing this, without questioning it. This resolution is intended to raise awareness."
The measure, which the town's Board of Selectmen supported last spring, was defeated by the board in a similar vote this fall. Last night, members of the Town Meeting voted against the resolution 75 to 73, with 26 abstentions.
After the vote, Goldman said he had not ruled out raising the issue at a future Town Meeting, a legislative body that consists of 240 elected residents, members of the Board of Selectmen, and any state representative or senator who resides in Brookline.
"I'm disappointed," said Goldman, who spent the past several months lobbying members of the Town Meeting. "I'd rather not have to do this."
The measure returned for another vote because it was not explicitly voted on in last spring's Town Meeting. In June, members voted 105 to 78 to indefinitely postpone a vote on the resolution.
One critic of the resolution last night criticized Goldman for wasting the members' time.
"I feel this is narcissism and grandiosity taken to the extreme," said Karen Wenc, a Town Meeting member.
Others criticized Goldman for telling parents how to raise their children, when he is not a parent.
"I'm exercising my right to walk out of the room," said Linda C. Dean, while Goldman spoke to the meeting. "This guy doesn't even have kids -- and he's going to tell me how to raise my kids?"
One town selectman, however, stuck to his original vote and praised Goldman for raising the issue.
"I support it because it encourages parents to consider alternatives, and I think it's a terrific educational tool," said Selectman Michael Sher, who favored the resolution.
While he recognized some people are uncomfortable telling others not to spank their children and some in the media have lampooned Brookline for debating the issue, Sher said after the vote: "I thought it would go down by more votes than it did, but I'm disappointed. I thought this was the right thing to do."
Massachusetts is one of 27 states that prohibits corporal punishment in public schools. Aside from discipline that rises to a criminal level of abuse, the state has no law regulating spanking or other corporal punishment by parents.
Goldman said his resolution was endorsed by the Massachusetts Society For The Prevention of Cruelty to Children, Massachusetts Citizens for Children, and the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.
Goldman said studies show corporal punishment tends to contribute to negative behavior in children, such as aggression toward other siblings, bullying and disobedience at school, and an erosion of trust between parents and children.
© Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company
Advance-Register, Tulare, California, 22 November 2004
Teachers shouldn't teach religion
By Sergio Moran
I am writing this in response to the letter "Teach children to love the Lord."
As a parent, I believe the letter was written with good intentions, however, as a police officer, some parts of the letter disturbed me. As a parent of two, I strongly believe in teaching my children the Word of the Lord, but due to the fact there are so many different religions, it would be impossible to teach each religion in our school system. Home is where religion should be taught, by the parents, and not by the teachers.
Next, I would like to address your frustration with parents not being able to spank their children. That seems to be the rumor going around; however, as a parent, you may spank your child. I spank mine, however, the law states it shall not be such as that it causes a traumatic condition. Traumatic condition can either be psychological or physical.
Swatting your child on the rear does not mean that Child Protective Services is going to come take your child away. There is a difference between spanking your child and beating your child. The law was written to protect children from being abused, not disciplined.
Another clarification I would like to make, is your belief police are killing children, because they are threatened by them. I do not understand the thinking that went behind that statement. Did you have a bad experience at one time with law enforcement? Did a police officer tell you that?
As a police officer, I pray to God I will never have to use lethal force; unfortunately, I understand I live in an era of violent crime, and the criminals seem to be getting younger. Was it not two weeks ago when they arrested a 13-year-old suspected of murdering two Tulare residents?
There are a lot of young, violent offenders on the streets. That's right, kids carry guns and knives, and teenagers tend to be more unpredictable than adults. Young gang-bangers are trying to establish a reputation by violence, including assaulting police officers. No, I am not threatened by children, however, I use caution when I make contact with them.
I would like to finish this letter by asking you to find time in your schedule and request a ride-along with a police department. It will give you more insight to the danger we face on a daily basis. You will also see how much time we spend as counselors, trying to help people resolve their problems. I hope this letter educates you on some misconceptions of the law.
Sergio Moran lives in Tulare.
Copyright ©2004 Tulare Advance-Register. All rights reserved.
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