Discipline or Abuse?

Child abuse has become extremely prevalent in our society today. Many parents don’t seem to realize that there is a fine line between discipline and child abuse. With our many electronic video portfolio sites such as tumbler, WSHH, and YouTube, child abuse videos are appearing every day. Parents, guardians, and family members of abuse victims post these videos with pride and the police are cracking down on them. Orlando police recently arrested a man after they were tipped off by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children who viewed a disturbing video online. The little boy was being disciplined because he misbehaved in school and his grandmother sent him to be disciplined. In the video originally posted on Worldstarhiphop.com, the man says that there are 3 steps he takes to teach the boy discipline.

First, he shaves the little boy’s head bald all while slurring curse words. Another man then enters the room where they are and declares that both men will take turns beating the boy. The man then beats the little boy off camera. Lastly, the man forces the little boy to do military exercises like running laps and performing push -ups out in the courtyard. As a final humiliation, he sends the video to Worldstarhiphop.com to publicly embarrass the child. The alleged child abuser initially claimed the off-camera beating was staged although viewers can hear the child screaming and begging for the man to stop beating him. Police also discovered that the abuser also told the unidentified child to lie and say the scars on his legs came from a bike accident. The little boy also told police the man beat him often and that he was told not to tell anyone so the man would not go to jail.

The fact of the matter is that I feel parents should be allowed to discipline their children when their children misbehave without being put in jail however, there is a difference between abuse and discipline. Culturally, many people do not see the treatment of this little boy as child abuse but I believe the tactics used were a bit extreme. I feel there was nothing wrong with sitting the child down and having a talking with him and possibly giving him a spanking but the shaving of his head and the military drills were absurd in my view. If the child had been a few years older that may have been fine but he was only seven years old. I understand that many people are trying to spare our young black men from going to jail and getting into legal trouble but being overly aggressive and harsh to them is just building up resentment and anger within them and eventually they will take that anger out on something or someone. In conclusion, as stated before, I believe in disciplining children when they misbehave but I do feel there are limits and many parent must recognize this before they also get arrested for child abuse.


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