Child abuse is a serious issue, never something to be taken lightly. So, it is very disturbing when someone in the media makes a call to celebrate a case of assault on a child, as was done by Fox News contributor, Erick Erickson:
I think we should give the employee a medal, not send her to jail. 11alive.com/news/article/2…
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) February 4, 2013
The case he is referring to is one where an employee at a Dollar General in Wrightsville, Ga, savagely beat a child with a belt. Police reported that videotape of the beating showed the clerk striking the 8 year old 25 times. The cause of such beating? The child threw a cookie at the employee, reportedly for making fun of the child.
You can witness a local news report on the case, and the response to it, here:
The particulars of this case have drawn much attention from a group of people who seem to feel it is ok for strangers to decide on discipline for a child. A stranger does not know what a particular child’s needs, quirks, or disabilities may be. A child they consider unruly may be autistic or suffer from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Or it may be that they were taught to not take insults from strangers.
Whatever the case may be, the facts in the matter as presented to the police have resulted in the employee being charged with aggrevated assault. This is not a laughing matter, this worker is not a hero, she is a bully. There is a term for the use of a superior position to harm someone in a lesser one, abuse. There are appropriate responses to a child throwing a cookie in response to being insulted. Striking that child with a belt 25 times is not one of them. As a stranger, especially, corporal punishments are not their call to make at any point in this event. Erick Ericson, along with others, have come out to celebrate this employee for effectively taking away the ability to raise or discipline a child away from the parent, while they criticize parents for not disciplining their child. It is a clear case of doublethink, they reward the very thing they decry.
The decision for punishment of a misbehaving child is ultimately up to the parent. For this employee to take it upon themselves to decide the appropriate discipline method for a child they knew nothing about was not only dangerous, it was apparently illegal. Now the employee is looking to pay the price. But the person who will carry this for longer, the 8-year-old child, who now has learned a lesson that defending yourself will result in someone who is supposed to be a responsible adult will break the law and harm him. That is a lesson which he will carry with him for his entire life.
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