Saturday, May 31, 2008

Spanking Kids Okay According to Minnesota Supreme Court

Good news for parents who fear being locked up for swatting their kids: the Minnesota Supreme Court has ruled it's okay to spank.

The Court ruled on the issue after a man used a paddle to "spank" his 12-year-old son who weighed 195 pounds. The boy ran away after his father paddled him 36 times. It was then that the local county court stepped in and ruled the boy and his younger brother needed protective services.

The state Appeals Court reversed the county court's ruling and found the spanking, based on the boy's weight and age, was not "cruel or excessive". It also found that the county court's ruling, that the home was a "dangerous environment" was, according to the Star Tribune, "premised on the erroneous finding of abuse".

It was then that the Hennepin County District Court decided to appeal the decision of the Court of the Appeals, essentially using tax payer funds to continue to argue their ruling, that any type of corporal punishment such as paddling or spanking, was child abuse and should stand.

Frankly we're surprised the Supreme Court and Appeals Court ruled in favor of the father because of the current climate of political correctness. But then we did some research. So far no state has made spanking your kids illegal but those who use excessive force and beat their children in the "guise" of spanking can and should be charged with child abuse.

If the Minnesota Supreme Court had ruled in favor of the County Court, that any type of corporal or physical punishment is considered child abuse and punishable by law, it would be have been a "first" in the United States.

Conservative Protestant Spanking Machines

One group, Religious Tolerance.Org, believes the main culprits behind spanking children are conservative Protestants. According to the Religious Tolerance people it's the Bible that's to blame, that the Book of Proverbs advocates spanking. They also claim that spanking has a "sexual" connotation which allows them to label parents who spank as sexual deviants.

Those who claim spanking is child abuse are quick to label "spanking" as "beating" a child. This denotes a proclivity to believe that all parents who spank are "heavy-handed" and are unable to decipher the difference between sufficient swats and using excessive force.

There also a type of snobbery practised by those who don't "spank" their children. This excerpt from James Kimmel, Ph.d., denotes a man who believes his children, because he never spanked them, have grown into adults who are "more caring of others, including their children, than most of their comptemporaries". (Those who were spanked by their parents)

As a psychologist who specialized in working with emotionally disturbed
children, and as a person who has a special fondness for children, it is
extremely troublesome to me that punishment, both physical and otherwise, is an
intrinsic part of child rearing in the United States. None of my three children,
now adults, were ever punished. Just as people who state, "I was spanked and
punished and I turned out OK," my children are able to say, "I was never spanked
or punished and I turned out OK." And based on the kind of people they are as
adults, I would agree that, not only did they turn out OK, but they are much
more caring of others, including their children, than most of their
contemporaries. They do not, of course, punish their children.

Of course we'd have to take Kimmel's word on whether his children turned out to be such "spankless saints". In our lives we've crossed paths with "unspanked" kids, and from our own experiences some of them were unkind, uncaring, weaselly misfits.

As for the Minnesota Spanking Court case this won't be the last time someone, somewhere in authority will try to push through anti-spanking statutes. There will always be those who believe swatting a toddler on the butt for going to close to a busy street is "endangering" the child's welfare. We believe that swat on the butt, or behavior modification, might just pop up in the toddler's mind the next time they're tempted to toddle too close to the street. We also believe that toddler will eventually grow into an adult who will be kind and caring as much or more than his non-spanked Pamper and Huggie counterparts.

Death by 1000 Papercuts Front Page.


  1. What does the law say about the age of the children being spanking? how young how old I would assume spanking a babys illegal. I think its funny that in isreal spanking is illegal. In the original hebrew proverbs the word that was replaced with child is naar who is someone who is 12 or 13 and the word for rod isnt there either. Therefor it can be concluded that the original bible doesnt say to spank a child

  2. Spanking in and of itself should not be criminal, but 36 times with a paddle to a 12 year old sounds excessive. A few swats with the open hand to a small child is fine.


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