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Virtually Northwest, Spokane, Washington State, 22 January 1997
Lawmaker backs public paddling for young vandals
A public paddling on the buttocks would be sufficiently embarrassing to deter young people from committing acts of vandalism, Sen. Jim Burnett, R-Luther, said Tuesday.
A bill introduced by Burnett says a person over the age of 12, convicted of criminal mischief involving vandalism, could -- by unanimous vote of a jury or the decision of a judge in a nonjury trial -- be subject to "public spanking on the bare buttocks."
The sheriff would give advance notice and would conduct the spanking in a public place.
"My feeling is, you've got to make the situation hurt a little bit" and the embarrassment factor would be a deterrent to vandals, Burnett said.
Another provision of Senate Bill 166 -- "the part of the bill I want most," Burnett said -- would specify in state law that a parent spanking a child "for disciplinary or behavior modification purposes" does not constitute child abuse or neglect, or sexual abuse of a child.
Burnett, 79, told the Senate Judiciary Committee he recalled that, as a child, he was paddled by his school principal for fighting with another boy.
"It's something you never forget," Burnett said.
At a hearing before the Senate panel, no one joined Burnett to speak in favor of the bill.
Nevada Appeal, Carson City, 22 January 1997
Douglas judge orders mother to spank child
By Michael Schneider
MINDEN - District Judge Dave Gamble ordered a mother to spank her 12-year-old son in court Tuesday while the boy was appearing for a detention hearing.
The boy, Joe Rose, had appeared before Gamble previously for stealing and breaking and entering at Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School. He and friends allegedly stole a CD player and candy from the school. Rose and the boys also allegedly threw rocks at Scarselli Elementary School, breaking windows.
Rose and a friend, were allegedly involved in a snowball-throwing contest in an open field at Scarselli, a violation of the school's rules.
A yard attendant, a mother who was not employed by the school but was used in a volunteer capacity, observed the boys throwing snowballs and took them to the school's principal for disciplinary actions.
The boys allegedly uttered obscenities to the yard attendant, and Rose allegedly made an obscene gesture to the attendant.
Rose was suspended from school and was sent to a juvenile detention center where he sat from Friday until Tuesday, waiting to appear before Gamble.
Rose appeared before the judge Tuesday morning after Gamble had finished his adult calendar.
His mother told Gamble that she didn't want the boy to come home at the time of the hearing. She said she didn't feel she had control over Rose and is unable to look out for the boy's welfare.
"He's going to stay in detention," Gamble said to the boy's mother, "not because of you but because of me."
Gamble then turned his attention to the boy. Gamble told Rose he had been thinking of implementing a program where judges spank kids.
Gamble then left his seat and approached the boy and his mother, who were sitting alone at the defendant's table. He asked the boy if he could remember the last time he was spanked.
Gamble told the boy to lay across his mother's lap. He then ordered the woman to strike her child with an open hand across the buttocks.
"Make sure you do it hard," Gamble said.
After approximately five blows, the boy was allowed to stand up.
Gamble, who was still away from the bench and next to the family, put his face inches away from the boy's face and said, "That's what happens when you flip people off and act rude to teachers."
He turned the boy around so he was facing the audience and pointed out lawyers and members of the press and asked the boy how it felt to be spanked in front of all those people.
The boy told Gamble that he was embarrassed. He was then taken back to the detention center.
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