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10/6/2011 6:00:00 AM
Is spanking your children a crime?
Father spanks son in front of classmates

Ahron Sherman
Miner Staff Reporter


KINGMAN - Police say that a parent who spanked his son in front of Tabatha Gravell's fourth-grade class at Manzanita Elementary - after the boy refused to go to school because he couldn't wear what he wanted to for picture day - did not break the law.

The incident started Tuesday morning when the boy refused to go to class because his father wouldn't allow him to wear his "skinny jeans" and a certain shirt for picture day, Principal Jeri Wolsey said.

Kingman Police Department Capt. Rusty Cooper said the father had to literally carry the boy into class and sit him down in his seat. Once that occurred, the boy elbowed his father in the nose - which knocked his glasses off - and made a break for the door, Cooper said. It was then that the father grabbed the boy and proceeded to spank him in front of his classmates and Gravell.

Wolsey said she followed procedure and called the school's Student Resource Officer, KPD's Stacey Mayo.

Mayo, who was not present when the incident occurred, said she talked to both the child and the parent and took no further action.

"Nothing (the father) did warranted arrest," Mayo said.

Whether it's at a grocery store, in a park or at school, parents are allowed to punish their children with spankings, Cooper explained.

Parents can use paddles and spoons on their children's bottoms and can even slap their children in the face, but there is a line they can't cross. However, that line is not well defined, Cooper said.

"This is one of the most complicated aspects of our jobs," Cooper said. "When does a punishment go too far and become domestic violence?"

Drawing blood and causing disfigurement surpasses the traditional idea of what reasonable punishment is, Cooper said. Every circumstance is different, but in this case the child was out of control, and the punishment fit the behavior, he said.

An anonymous tip to the Miner said the boy was beaten up, slapped and spanked in front of classmates. It also said the teacher told the children in the class not to say anything.

Cooper said the tip is exaggerated: The boy was not beaten up or slapped in the face.

Gravell did tell the children not to talk about the event to other students because she was hoping to save the boy some embarrassment, Wolsey said. She was trying to stop the gossip before it started.

The boy finished the day of school, got all his work done and had a decent day considering the circumstances, Wolsey said.

"Nothing like this has ever happened before in my 20 years of experience," Wolsey said.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Article comment by: Oh Man....

@ Just Wondering

You are so right! Children can read body language same as adults can. They definately can tell when mom or dad is bluffing. How many times do parents say, "I swear that's the last time!", or, "If you do that one more time that's it!", just to let the child do it over and over again. Being a good parent is about keeping your word. Both good and bad. Another words... if you tell your child you will do something for them or with them, you should do as you said. On the flip side, if you say... "If you don't knock that off, I'm going to (you fill in the blank)"... you'd better follow through with that! Most parents want to be their childrens friends, instead of their parents. Be a parent first, and they will be your friends later!


Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Article comment by: az mac

You can take 4 kids and treat them the same and one will be perfect, one you can take things away, another only a spanking will work and last one that nothing you do will work. There are no set rules on how to raise a kid. Each kid is different even though some would like to think they are all the same and should be treated the same. Bratty kids show no discipline at all. It also shows the parents do not care enough about them to make them behave.
If spanking is what is needed then that is what that butt is for.
Some say spanking causes fear. Well if takes fear to keep my kid safe and well then that is what I will use. My daughter never used drugs or went out drinking because she did fear what we would do if we found out. My daughter says she used to think we laid awake at night thinking of ways to spoil her fun. Today with kids of her own she now understands why we did the things we did. She also hated the fact that we were always right. Now she is doing very well on her own even in this bad economy. I like to think we did our job as parents very well as she turned out very good.
If fear and spanking work, do it. You can be their pal when they grow up. I also find kids like the discipline as they used to come to our house to play where there were rules that we enforced, when they could go other places with no rules.


Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Article comment by: Oh Man

@ Tiger's Den

I agree with what you have to say, but..... is your name Tiger's Den?


Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Article comment by: Just Wondering

D. Lantern, you talk about "fear" as if it's a bad think. Fear that this child's actions will lead to punishment? What's wrong with that? Kids figure it out quickly when parents are 'bluffing". That one spanking taught that kid more than any "time out" will ever.

Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Article comment by: The Colonel

Way to go Dad! I have to laugh at the comment "It engenders fear". No it actually establishes who is in control. This is proper parenting. Apparently the little tyke doesn't get enough proper parenting at home to begin with if he acts out like this in public.

Negotiating with children does not work well because it teaches them they have an option to talk their way out of doing what the parent wants. Subtle actions such as removing the power cord from their XBox when they refuse to cooperate is very effective, with a minimum exchange of words. It is amazing how quickly a child learns by example. No shouting, no spanking, no negotiating, mush less aggravation.

Some of you parents need to get over the 70's mis-information and learn that one of the concepts a child needs to learn is respect and obedience.


Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Article comment by: Freedom Lover

@ Diogenes' Lantern.
I bet either you don't have any kids or your kids are horrible brats that you constantly make excuses for.
Yet, somehow you deem yourself the expert.


Posted: Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Article comment by: Amanda Rush

Way to go for this dad. I honestly can not beleive the comments on here you shouldnt spank your kids it instills fear in them or how could you embarass your child like that. Wake Up! I am 23 years old and would like to ask a question have you seen the other people in there twenties and teens in this town its disgracful the way they act I was spanked at a child but only maybe three times because I got the hint. I think this father did what he felt right and you know what my dad would have done the same thing. I heard once that you dont truely love your kids if you dont punish them I totally agree with that yelling at a kid or taking away his gamboy when he still has a ps3 or whatever kids get spoiled with these days is ridiculous. Parents grow up and realize that unpunished kids who were only yelled at with empty threats of time outs and getting things taken away are the gang bangers drug dealers and thiefs that run around this town today.

Posted: Saturday, October 8, 2011
Article comment by: Diogenes' Lantern

Hitting, striking, spanking, slapping or any other form of physical force does NOT engender respect. It engenders fear.

/dl


Posted: Friday, October 7, 2011
Article comment by: PIZZLE PIZZLE

Kid will thank his dad years later that he didn't let him wear women's jeans in the picture. This metrosexual skinny jeans fad has really come too far. It's ridiculous. Nobody wants to see the outline of your junk, people, wear something more suited to being a male if you are one!

Posted: Friday, October 7, 2011
Article comment by: Tiger's Den

You know what the biggest problem with society is? Nobody wants to accept responsibility for their actions. The internet has only made it worse – now you can be a completely annonymous jerk – cool huh? And yes, I posted as such just to prove that point. “Handles?” Please, those were for CB radios. Now it’s just an excuse to mouth off without anyone knowing who you are. How embolded you are now, yay you. For those that do post your names – I always smile when I see your posts, good for you!

The new “hands off” approach to parenting is simply not working. I got spanked when I was a child. Twice, and I’ll tell you that I deserved each of them. Had my parents chosen to give me a “time out” – or better yet these days, screaming and empty threats – I would have laughed at them. “Go to your room!” Really? Cool! Some alone time, thanks! I’ve only spanked my son once, when he was 8 years old. I’ve never had to resort to it since. He’s now 19, in college, and one of the most respectful young adults I know.

Kids these days KNOW that they can get their parents in trouble for a spanking. I know of a 5’2” mom with a 5’9” teenage daughter. The daughter tends to beat the *** out of the mom. When the mom reacted, guess what the daughter said? “Touch me and I’ll call the police!! No, go ahead, try it!” How would you all suggest that she handle her rebellious daughter? Send her to her room? Take something away from her? Like? Do you really think the daughter cares about either of those “punishments?”

Do you think if robbers, murderers and rapists got a “time out” they’d stop doing the crimes? Did you read the article about the man who raped and killed in California, was let out of prison then killed again? Hmm, did I just make a point?

Then why should a child stop bad behavior due to “time outs.” I, for one, am really tired of rest of society telling me what I can or cannot do, say or think. Things that worked perfectly well for generations are now not acceptable? Explain to me why that is? Are all of you that got a spanking emotionally scarred now? Come on. And if this is how you believe, it is your right. However, don’t be hipocrits and post on the articles about all the teenage crime in this town and say “what is wrong with today’s youth?” At least be consistent and don't complain the next time some young person gives you no respect.


Posted: Friday, October 7, 2011
Article comment by: Oh Man

@ So Sad

Answer this question for my "uneducated" curiosity? If the child was so concerned about being humiliated around others, than why was he publicly pitching a stinkin' hissy fit? Children who don't want negative attention do not behave in such ways. The problem is Dad probably waited to long to start [correcting the behavior] in the first place.

@ anonymous

He spanked him AFTER THE CHILD ELBOWED HIM IN THE FACE. Where does it say he "beat" him, or hit him anywhere near the kidneys? Spanking a child does not constitute sadism.... sheesh!

@ az mac

Agreed!

@ everybody else who says they wouldn't punish their children in public, and their parents didn't either.

Let me ask all of you this. Would you have even dreampt of elbowing you own father, let alone in school? Would you have talked back to your father and forced him to carry you to class, just because you didn't get to wear the clothes you wanted? Please.....

Oh I see... it's 2011 now, so kids don't need spankings anymore, right? Let's look at today's generation of children, versus previous generations where spanking was absolutely used and accepted...even expected. Hmmm... let's see..... which generation has the more ill behaved children. Gee... it's a mystery.... But hey... this is 2011 and we derive our truths from talk shows and reality tv shows.


Posted: Friday, October 7, 2011
Article comment by: Highly Amused

HALLELUJAH! When will other parents follow suit? What many of these 'children' (and some parents) in this area need are a firm spanking! I see far too little discipline when little Johnny or Susie mouth total disrespect at their elders and/or peers. What we need next is physical discipline in schools! Nothing over the line of course, but back when I was in school, swats were allowed. If it were allowed back, I'm sure we wouldn't have quite as many discipline problems. Of course, allowing parent permission slips would be best. There are those hoity toity parents who say 'Oh no, my child will not be spanked!'

And no, I'm not an advocate of domestic violence or crossing the line, but a firm spanking never hurt me as a child, and I've not been in one iota of trouble with the police!


Posted: Friday, October 7, 2011
Article comment by: anonymous anonymous

I believe many of these advocates for public beating of children either are or will be under some form of CPS supervision one day since imagine if one beats a child in public what they do in private? No wonder we see these missing children who end up were murdered by over zealous abusive parents! Some here are unfit to have a dog/cat let alone the care of a child!

Posted: Friday, October 7, 2011
Article comment by: who says

!. Who said the dad only spanked the kid because he was out of control. Did it ever occur to you that he was in complete control and believed, knowing his son that a spanking would solve the problem? Sounds like it did. 2. this little boy hit his father and threw a temper tantrum in front of the whole class. I would have taken him outside of the classroom but I'll bet the child will not do this again. 3. Thanks for setting the record straight about what is abuse and what is not. A friend's child told his mom that she could not spank him because he would call CPS and have her arrested. She believed it. By the way, Dr. Spock apologized years later for ruining so many kids.

Posted: Friday, October 7, 2011
Article comment by: Donnae Ellis

Politically correct. God forbid we spank the little brats & embarrassing him for being a brat in class. Maybe it will give other students something to think about before they act like a fool. This child will probably write in the KDM comments section how he deserved it ten years from now.

Posted: Friday, October 7, 2011
Article comment by: Warren O

To my mind, publicly spanking the child was acceptable. If the reports here are accurate, he'd been doing more than merely acting up - he'd actually struck his father, publicly making a scene, and an appropriate response was given. The boy was not 'beaten', and he was not 'abused'. He was spanked.

The spankings I received when I acted up as a kid - when, in other words, I was behaving as a spoiled narcissistic brat - were deserved, were appropriate, and did in fact result in correction of my behavior.

I don't think the boy was excessively 'humiliated', nor do I believe the other students were 'horrified'. They were all given a genuine object lesson: That actions have consequences. If that kind of lesson is traumatic, we as a society are doomed.

It's not common that you get real-world education in a school. My guess is that most of the kids who saw what happened will think twice before smarting off, and that is not a bad thing.


Posted: Friday, October 7, 2011
Article comment by: get real

@diogenes lantern
It would be so nice if you would never comment on here again you are living in a fairy tale land everytime I read your comments.

This is whats wrong with kids these days they have no respect for their parents or anyone else due to everyone saying its not right to spank your child............WELL YOU ALL ARE WRONG WE AS PARENTS HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO DO WHAT WE SHOULD DO TO A POINT TO MAKE OUR CHILDREN RESPECT US I WAS SPANKED WHEN I WAS YOUNG WHEN I GOT IN TROUBLE BUT SINCE I HAVE GROWN UP NEVER BEEN IN TROUBLE WITH THE LAW DON'T DO DRUGS OR DRINK THANKS TO MY PARENTS AND THE RULES I AM NOW A RESPECTABLE CITIZEN TO SOCIETY. THESE KIDS NOW ARE THIEFS, GANG BANGERS, DRUG ADDICTS, HAVING BABIES WHEN THEY ARE TO YOUNG TRYING TO REBEL CUZ THEY KNOW THEIR PARENTS WILL NOT SPANK THEM SO THEY WILL GET AND DO WHATEVER THEY PLEASE AND YOU CAN TELL WHEN YOU SEE THEM AT A STORE OR EVENT HUGE FREAKIN BRATS!! LUCKILY MY CHILDREN DO NOT ACT LIKE BRATS IN PUBLIC AND GET AWAY WITH IT THEY HAVEN'T ANYWAYS DUE TO THE FACT THEY KNOW THE CONSEQUENCES OF THE ACT!!


Posted: Friday, October 7, 2011
Article comment by: PEOPLE ARE NOT FOR HITTING!

PEOPLE ARE NOT FOR HITTING!

Thats the bottom line!


Posted: Friday, October 7, 2011
Article comment by: J L

The kid elbowed the dad. Total disrespect. The kid NEEDED discipline, he was screaming for it. The only thing I would've done was to take him in the hall, not in front of his classmates and spank the poop out of him.

Posted: Friday, October 7, 2011
Article comment by: Just Because

It's technically "Spare the rod, hate the child." If we're going to quote the bible, might as well quote it correctly.

Posted: Friday, October 7, 2011
Article comment by: Jane Stone

Sounds like a spanking was called for, indeed. Mine would not have had the nerve to have that fit in front of the class.

Posted: Friday, October 7, 2011
Article comment by: I agree with the police

Im grateful for every swat I ever recieved as a child from my Loving parents.

Without their guidance and setting paramiters through sensible use of the paddle. I would have been going to Jail like most of the kids we see on the front page of this paper almost daily.

Any parent to weak to administer proper sensible upbringing to their child including a red bottom once in a while should be neutered.

Parents were not intended to be their Childrens "best friend" all day everyday the child is growing up. You do that and you will visit your kid in jail someday.

Just watch lower forms of life . Even they get the idea through basic instinct. Mama tiger doesnt snatch her cub up by the scruff when its being stupid just to be "mean". She saving the cub from getting itself hurt from inexperience or pending danger.

Just like you may swat a bottom for stickng a fork into the wall socket....Which I did. I learned more from the swat then I did from the zapp.


Posted: Friday, October 7, 2011
Article comment by: Been There Done That with Judge Roth

Good for the dad, well done and Bravo! Glad to see that KD Miner posted the "allowable" forms of punishment...my children will be reading this article today, I am thinking that alot of parents will be (need to be) sharing this with there children.

Judge Roth would totally disagree with these forms of "allowable" forms of punishments, she has some strong opinions when it comes to "spanking" your children...been there done that!


Posted: Friday, October 7, 2011
Article comment by: Yes it's a crime ..

Spanking should not be done in this day and age. Your teaching your child that hitting is fine. The dad, to have the nerve to do spank his son at school. You have forever embarassed your child. Shame on the dad! Maybe the dad needs to be spanked at work in front of his peers. Maybe a retired principal has one of those wooden paddles they used to use in school.

Posted: Friday, October 7, 2011
Article comment by: Diogenes' Lantern

If you reach the point where you have to use physical force to get your child to behave, you've already failed as a parent.

/dl




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