Editor, I am writing to express my shock and dismay over an incident I witnessed on May 9 in the early afternoon as I was leaving a hardware store. A young mother — and I use that term loosely — was severely and literally beating a small boy with a strap that looked like it had been made from a radiator belt. The child was screaming in pain and terror, and I felt compelled to stop and say something to the woman.
I told her that surely the child had not done anything bad enough to bring on that kind of punishment. She replied that her grandma beat her and that she was beating him. She added that the Bible says, “Spare the rod and spoil the child.”
I was so incensed that I didn’t think to tell her that that quote is from Samuel Butler, and the Proverbs verse says, “He who spareth the rod hateth his son.”
The woman then proceeded to beat another child, a girl a little older than the boy. I feel that she was showing off for a young man who was standing there.
What is wrong in our community that a severe beating can take place and the person doing it thinks that it is the only way to discipline children? Someone is failing miserably — our school system, our churches, grandparents, someone. What is a concerned citizen to do in such a circumstance? I feel that I should have been able to do something to spare these innocent children further pain and terror, but what?
Food for thought.
— Judy Shippey