Smacked by the hand that feeds.

StateLibQld 1 113036 Cartoon of students recei...

StateLibQld 1 113036 Cartoon of students receiving the cane, 1888 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last week Carri and Larry Williams were sentenced to 65 years in prison for the manslaughter of their adopted daughter, Hana.

Hana Williams was found dead in 2011 in the backyard of the family home 40 miles south of the Canadian border. The autopsy found she died of hypothermia. She was adopted by the Williams’ 3 years ago from Ethiopia, at the time of her death doctors estimate she was 13 years old.

Hana’s death occurred after receiving a corporal punishment style advocated in the controversial book, To Train Up A Child. Written by Christian pastor Michael Pearl. According to reports, Hana was beaten and starved as part of a regime inflicted by the two people who were charged with her wellbeing and care…Her parents. It is said that she was beaten with plastic tubing, as it hurts and leaves no marks, given cold baths, left outside in the cold and rain, starved, locked in a small dark cupboard and made to sleep in the barn. Techniques supposedly advocated in the book which the parents owned and who themselves were staunch Christians. The book has  also been implicated in the deaths of two other adoptees—an American boy in North Carolina and a Liberian girl in California. I haven’t read the book so feel I cannot comment on its contents. But judging by the comments left on the books amazon page, it’s not a pretty story. I’ll let you be the judge

Children are defenceless for at least the first decade of their lives. They need protecting, they need safety. Yet they are the only people who we are allowed to hit. If I walked up to a stranger in the street and punched him in the face or whipped the back of his legs I could be arrested. But I can smack my children, to a certain degree, and suffer no consequences. I’ll say that again as it’s worth saying twice.

I can hit my child, but I can’t hit another adult!

I outweigh my daughter by about 60kgs and I have a good 4.5ft on her. Yet under the law I am allowed to strike her, so long as it doesn’t leave a mark. As I mentioned earlier, if you hit someone with plastic tubing it hurts like hell but leaves no mark. The same also applies to soft fruit in a sock, remember the scene from Full metal jacket? I’m looking at my eldest daughter right now as she watches Peppa pig, she’s tiny compared to me. I must seem like a giant to her. It’s up to my wife and me to make sure she reaches adulthood with a good sense of what is right and wrong and I fully believe we can achieve this without laying a finger on her.

If you disagree I want you to try something. The next time your partner/friend/sibling does something wrong, smack them. Not too hard. If they do it again, hit them a little harder. See what happens. I would imagine on the first hit you would have got yourself into a fight, or an argument. And why not? Children can’t fight back and yet, I’ll say it AGAIN, we are allowed to strike them.

I don’t see any difference between me punching a stranger in the face and smacking a child. I would also like to add that neither myself nor my wife advocate corporal punishment of any kind.

It fills me with great sadness and anger that these people were allowed to adopt not one but two children both of whom faced regular beatings and abuse. It took 4 months after Hana’s death for her parents to be arrested and that was only after an anonymous tip that Hana’s brother, Immanuel, was undergoing the same ritualistic torment that Hana had suffered. After the arrest of Carri and Larry Williams the remaining 8 children, yes EIGHT, were put into state care. I only hope that the children are somewhere safe with people who will love and care for them.

There is a petition here to ask Amazon to stop selling ‘To train up a child’ if you feel as strongly as I do I urge you to sign it.

Oscar Wilde said ‘Children begin by loving their parents; as they grow older they judge them; sometimes they forgive them’

I only hope my children won’t judge me too severely

T

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