Thursday, October 4, 2012

Abuse At Barbers Hill Middle School

Sometimes people never cease to amaze me.  I just finished watching a video on CNN about Christina Douty talk about the beating that her kid went through by officials at Barbers Hill Middle School in Texas.  According to the story, she signed whatever form was necessary for her son to be paddled if he misbehaved.  However, it sounds like the school officials went too far.

First off, I'm not sure why any parent would give school officials or any other adults permission to beat their children, (excuse me, I mean paddle their children).  This is beyond my imagination on every level of conscious thought.  Are parents not capable of disciplining their own children?  Do they export that out to others just like we export jobs overseas?  Is this the way we respect our children?  I'm sure you get the point I am trying to make.

Second, in the video you see people interviewed that since they were beat as a child (again, I mean paddled), than it is perfectly okay to do it to our children today.  Some people claim of course that if we don't beat our children, the world will go to hell in a hand basket.   Some think that since she signed up for discipline in the school, she should have expected this.

Unfortunately, if you want to make the case that discipline is a good thing, beating a child is completely a different act.  It sounds like the evidence from a doctor's exam shows that the kid wasn't just paddled, but he was beat. Paddling doesn't leave welts all over the body!  Of course, the school did an investigation (choke, gag, cough...) and they found nothing wrong.  Why of course they didn't.  They probably think that all beating of children is just the norm.

I'm not sure what infuriates me more - the parent giving the school the right to beat her child or the school actually beating the child far beyond comprehension.  We worry about the unborn in this world, but when kids are born, we act as if they are property or our slaves that we can do with them whatever it is we feel is appropriate in our eyes as adults.  If you think that is a harsh statement, you need to open your eyes wider.   I'm not apologizing for it because it is true.

You see, touch plays a major role in the development of a kid.  If the touch is abusive or if it crosses the boundaries - guess what, it impacts the child in some very damaging ways.  Most people may not even be conscious enough to see what it does to the child in that moment, but believe me, the kid will have to pay for it later on in their life.  It leaves deep scars behind in the mind, long after the welts have healed.

This argument that "well I was hit as a kid, so that makes it alright" is about as absurd and neanderthal as one can get.  Just because something was done to you in the past, it doesn't make it right in the future.  As humans we are meant to grow and evolve, not remain stuck in past events of our life.  Who knows, maybe some of the people who make this statement suffered permanent brain damage and we can't hold them accountable for their actions now.  Maybe it is the fact that they are so unconscious in their life, that they fail to understand what normal behavior and treatment is all about.

I so wish we could begin to understand just how we treat one another.  If we would begin to see this, we could see just how it affects the children later on in their life.  There is a reason why kids behave and act up.  Some of their behavior should not set off alarms every time the adult wants the kid to shut up and not be seen.  Some of the acting up or misbehaving kid do, could be handled in a way that respects the child and helps them learn, rather than teaches them what not to do out of fear.  Disciplining out of fear is a sign of weakness by adults, but yet that is exactly what they do every day.

The body reacts in some very strong and emotional ways to all touch.  If it is good touch, it responds appropriately.  If it is bad touch, it goes into a protection mode triggering the emotional neural pathways of fear and anxiety.  One reaction is positive and helpful to the child long term, while the other is negative and hurtful to the child which will impact their body and mind for the rest of their life.

It is high time that we begin to learn how to parent ourselves and start respecting our children.  The more we continue to perpetuate the abuse we suffered through, the worse our society will become.  The future of this world is our children, but right now we are doing everything against making tomorrow a better place for our kids.  It is time that we open our eyes and see life for what it is, not follow the unconscious teachings of our own past experiences.  We can either choose to evolve ourselves, or we can stay stuck in the past and perpetuate those abuses we endured.  The choice is ours!  May we make a wise choice.

While this blog post may not sit well with some people, I will never stop fighting to protect children.  When I seem them being harmed by ignorant adults, I will speak out forcefully.  Children need someone to stand up for them and say enough is enough, because if someone doesn't do it, no one will!

View the CNN video of this story by clicking on this link:  School Paddling Went To Far.

Blog Post And Images (c) 9/19/12 by Don Shetterly

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