In Texas, two-year old Riley Ann died on the spot when she was supposedly flung to the other side of the room during an “obedience training session” with her mom and stepfather. (Callebs, S., 2007) According to the mother, the toddler was having difficulty saying “please” and “yes, sir”. Obviously, this situation has gone beyond reasonable. Riley Ann’s parents were sent to jail for parricide.
In Montreal, Quebec, a 9-year old autistic boy was found lifeless in his classroom on April 17, 2008 due to suffocation from a therapeutic blanket wrapped around his head by his teacher as a punishment for being disruptive. (Glocwood, R., 2009)
Corporal punishment for children is not a new thing. It has been practiced even before civilization as we know it. Since ancient times, corporal punishment on children has been recorded in literature, art and science. (Ten Bensel, Rheinberger, Radbill, 1997) In ancient Rome, corporal punishment was seen as both necessary and virtuous: “Most of the ancient philosophers and law-makers were in favour of flogging children, not only as a means of inducing them to conduct themselves well and tell the truth, but also an aid to education itself” (Scott, G.R., 1951). Even now some people even refer to the Bible which contains phrases such as Proverbs 23:13 that talk about disciplining children: “Withhold not correction from the child: for it thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.”
According to early Christian sources, children’s obedience was a necessary element of family life. Didache 4-9 and Barnabas 19-5 warned parents not to withhold corporal punishment from son or daughter but to “teach [didaxeis] them the fear of God” from their “youth” (neotetos). (Horn, C. and Martens, J., 2009)
For decades the right to punish or discipline children as families saw fit was considered a parental privilege. (Marotz, L., 2009) Different forms of punishment have