Articles Tagged with corporal punishment

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By  Steven R. Smith, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney

Building Block - W - Day Care CenterSchools and day care centers should be a place in which children are cared for in a nurturing, clean, and supportive environment. Unfortunately, at some schools and day care centers, the child care providers bring in their own sense of right and wrong.   Certainly, there are archaic and dangerous disciplinary actions that put children at risks.  Even if the child care provider was subjected to this very same punishment as a child, this does not excuse or justify the implementation of this type of punishment at a school or day care center.   Here is a simple statement to consider.  Abuse is abuse.  Of course, laws, regulations, and ordinances are more complicated than this simple statement.  It is important for day care centers and schools to follow the laws, regulations, and ordinances.  Many such rules are in place to protect the children.   It is interesting to note that some disciplinary tactics used by child care providers are similar to those improperly used against adult prisoners.   Certainly, a child is not a prisoner and should not be treated like one.  Furthermore, it is well known and should be expected that a child will misbehave and fail to follow directions.  Child care providers should be prepared to supervise the children in a safe and supportive environment.   The day care center rules and regulations should be followed.  In addition, the child care providers should adhere to and follow the laws in place.  Finally, common sense should always be used when caring for children.
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In professional sports, there is a wide gambit of behavior for coaches and players.   Many are wonderful role models who use their celebrity, good work, and inspiration to help others and improve the community and beyond.  Other professional athletes, however, by a single act or many bad acts put the league and professional sports in general in a bad light.  The National Football League is tested on a daily basis to bring entertainment to the masses while at the same time policing its own players, coaches, and other personnel.  It is a tough balancing act  but an important one especially since the players and coaches are looked upon for guidance, inspiration, and, yes for role modeling.   Recently, the NFL issued a firm statement regarding the playing status and suspension of one of the finest athletes in the NFL – Adrian Peterson.  While the suspension was handed down to one individual by the name of Adrian Peterson, the carefully and well crafted words of Roger Goodell took a strong stance against corporal punishment and child abuse.  As so aptly pointed out by Goodell, the injury was inflicted on a child who was only 4 years old.  Goodell pointed out that the size and strength of the child was so much different than that of Peterson.  Furthermore, Goodell pointed out that unlike an adult – a child had no realistic ability to fight back, flee, or seek the assistance of law enforcement.  Then, Goodell noted that the switch (i.e. tree branch) was the equivalent of a weapon that Peterson repeatedly used on his son.  Goodell then noted that Peterson indicated that he would not stop “whopping his kids” in the future.  (It should be noted that Peterson recently stated that he would never use a switch again on his son.)  These statements caused much concern to Goodell about Peterson’s proclivity to repeat these criminal acts and inflict harm on a defenseless child.  Because of all of the above and more, the NFL is requiring Peterson to undergo counseling and to sit out the rest of the 2014 season. His reinstatement in 2015 will depend on Peterson’s compliance and the results of counseling and treatment.