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Domestic CP - January 2004

Corpun file 13822

Tuscaloosa News, Alabama, 29 January 2004

Punishment can help, not hurt

Dear Editor:

Mr. Robert L. Moore stated in his Jan. 26 letter to the editor that "study after scientific study has shown that physical punishment not only fails to deter bad behavior, but may indeed lead to further and more serious infractions." Mr. Moore failed to cite the study that I was personally involved in. This study happened during the formative years of my life and was conducted at my parents’ home in Coker. I can honestly state that my father and mother administered "corporal punishment" when needed. It is amazing how this action deterred further bad behavior because I always thought about the consequences of my behavior. I am now 39 years old, have been married for almost 18 years and have two children. I have been employed with the same company for almost 19 years. The "inhumane practice" that I received in the formative years of my life has helped to form me into a stable and productive part of today’s society. Thanks, Dad and Mom!

Danny A. Hembree

Copyright © 2002 The Tuscaloosa News

Corpun file 12626

San Marcos Daily Record, Texas, 29 January 2004

Parents document discipline of teens with local law enforcement

By Anita Miller
News Editor

One teen had kicked in a door and waved a baseball bat; another had been sneaking out of her parents' house and a third had disobeyed orders while taking care of a younger sibling.

All three of the Hays County teenagers were legally disciplined by their parents in recent days, yet the cases nonetheless prompted law enforcement response.

According to Sheriff's Office spokesman Deputy Leroy Opiela, parents of the teens contacted authorities after administering discipline, just so the law will know.

"We get calls from parents because they have spanked their children or disciplined their children in some way and they want us to know about it," said Opiela. "I guess parents want to document what they've done and what they haven't done."

Although corporal punishment is not allowed in either the San Marcos or Hays CISDs, it's perfectly legal for Texas parents to administer physical punishment.

"By law a parent can still discipline their children, still spank their children if it's done properly," Opiela said. "That's not to say you can beat your children across any part of their body with whatever's available. It should be done on the buttocks with something that's appropriate -- a hand, paddle, even a belt to some extent."

Opiela said he didn't know what had happened in the three cases cited above because deputies don't even write a report about the contact unless they deem it went beyond punishment to abuse, or if the child is reporting that he or she was abused.

"Occasionally it will be a child that calls to say their momma whipped them and they have that right. But oftentimes it's the parents that call."

However, San Marcos Police Sgt. Penny Dunn said that to her knowledge, her department hasn't gotten any calls from parents in those situations.

"It's a new one for me," she said.

Children who have been punished by their parents will sometimes call 911, Dunn said, and in those cases, their proscribed actions are much like those of their county counterparts. "If it's within the realm of normal discipline we don't even do a report. There's no criminal violation, no report to Child Protective Services."

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