Friday, November 04, 2011

Spare The Rod And Spoil The Child?

You probably have heard of the child discipline techniques of a Texas family court judge William Adams (who sits on child abuse cases), because his daughter put up a seven-year old video of both her parent beating her. Mostly her father, who is clearly out of control in the video:
"I really don't want to get into this right now because as you can see my life's been made very difficult over this child," Adams told the station.
When asked if he felt he was going to face any suspension or discipline from the state over the video, Adams responded, "In my mind I have not done anything wrong other than discipline my child when she was caught stealing. I did lose my temper, I've apologized."
Aransas County Sheriff Bill Mills said Wednesday that Adams has disconnected his phone because of threatening calls and faxes after the video went viral. Mills said Adams told him he did not plan to go to his office at the courthouse Wednesday.

The beating appears to take place in a bedroom and the man is apparently unaware that he's being filmed.

"Go get the belt. The big one. I'm going to spank her now," the man says in the clip's opening seconds.

A few minutes into the video, a woman appears and barks at the girl to "turn over like a 16-year-old and take it! Like a grown woman!" The ordeal then appears to be over for about a minute when both adults leave the room and shut the door, but then the man returns and the beating resumes.

Toward the end of the video, the man shouts that he plans to beat the girl "into submission." The girl does not appear to be seriously injured, and at the end of the video the adult woman tells her to leave the room and sleep on a sofa.

I'm not linking to the video directly. But I watched it and found it far more upsetting than the videos of police brutality in the Wall Street protests. That's because the teenage girl in the video had no way out, because she was alone and attacked by the two people who were supposed to be her guardians and because especially the father was clearly out of control, not carrying out some weird parental task but simply attacking his daughter. That she was not left in physical pain is immaterial.

Neither do I really care about what she had done. Not even the police would have punished her in that exact manner, replicating the experience of being attacked in the street or perhaps in a war zone.