What do you do when you want to hit your kid but you don’t want to deal with child abuse charges? Just call the Sheriff’s Office and ask for a deputy to come over and watch.
That’s what Florida dad Dale Garcia did, and according to the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office he’s not the only parent who has asked for the cops to supervise a spanking.
Garcia’s 12-year-old daughters got into an argument. One used a knife to pick a lock after her sister locked herself in the bedroom with a tablet. He decided the daughter with the knife needed to be punished by being struck with a wooden paddle. Before he doled out the punishment, he called and asked for a deputy to make sure he was hitting her within the confines of the law.
A deputy arrived and watched Garcia paddle his tween daughter on the butt four times.
“There’s a big difference between beating your child and disciplining your child,” says Noel Stephen, Okeechobee County Undersheriff, who has supervised at least a dozen spankings. “You’re entitled to paddle your child, whether you use your hands, you use a belt, you use a paddle. Within reason, as long as you’re paddling the buttocks.”
On what planet is it not completely creepy for adults in positions of authority to come over to a home and watch children being hit by their parents? This sounds like something out of a dystopian young adult novel, not regular police proceedings. A 12-year-old girl shouldn’t be spanked on her butt by her father in the first place, let alone in front of another man. Talk about causing a warped sense of what authority figures should be allowed to do to your body.
Studies have shown that spanking doesn’t work — and involving a Sheriff’s deputy just makes it gross. Calling for police supervision isn’t a means of protecting a child from abuse, it’s tax dollars being spent so parents can cover their own asses while blowing off some steam hitting their kids.
Yes, parents should be able to discipline their children. But if the question even crosses your mind that the punishment might be illegal, it’s time to find an alternative form of discipline.