You can't count to ten without one, two, or three.
Sunday, October 14, 2012
You Can Only Beat Human Beings that You Own
A few months ago we had a court-martial that looked like a clear case of child abuse, yet the panel said the Soldier was not guitly. The defense relied on the parental discipline defense. The 12 year-old child was home alone. He let his older sister's friend into the house so he could use the phone. And that friend proceeded to steal a laptop. When Dad found out, he blamed his son and used the rubber scrap pictured below to hit the kid. The entire case came down to whether this amount of force was a reasonable way to discipline a child for letting someone in the house when Dad wasn't home.
The lawyers in our office all thought the pictures spoke for themselves, and there's nothing the child could have done to deserve this. I didn't realize we were in trouble until we picked the panel members. Most of them said they were hit when they were kids and it made them better people. They said their parents used wooden spoons, belts, hangers, and one even said a bed rail. After all the evidence was presented, it took them 40 minutes to acquit.
Anyways, this was and is upsetting. How is it that an adult can bruise a child like this and it's ok? In any dispute in a civilized society, you're not allowed to make your point with violence. And yet with children, the smallest and most vulnerable human beings, it's socially acceptable to use weapons and bruise them when you're teaching them a lesson. But you can't do this to other people's children of course, since hitting someone else's child is clearly a heinous crime. Before you can lawfully hit a child you have to show that you own it. Once ownership is established, then you can use a rubber scrap cut from an old tire and swing away, leaving bruises that last for 3 days. Unsurprisingly, this child is also violent. He was suspended from school multiple times for fights with other students. So it's nice to see that Dad is paying this forward. I'm not sure what I'm hoping to accomplish from writing about this. I guess just hoping to get this off my chest and hoping some like-minded people agree. Anyways, this is some messed-up stuff. What a world.