Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Judge took spanking too far in video

The story of a Texas judge’s use of physical discipline on his daughter continues to be of high interest to readers, as local authorities has opted against pressing charges. For federal prosecutors, the decision may differ
Yes, the judge took the spanking of his 16 year-old daughter too far when he gave her 16 lashes for downloading music that was illegal. In the November 3 story featured on the Today Show, it was reported that their were welts on the 16 year old’s legs, arms and behind. Any time there was a mark left on a child after a spanking it was considered abuse and this was considered crossing a line between discipline and abuse.
Child Abuse, defined as physical injury inflicted upon the child with cruel and/or malicious intent. The law noticed the parent or caretaker may not have intended to hurt the child; rather, the injury may have resulted from over-discipline or physical punishment. Physical abuse was the second most reported form of child abuse, defined as physical injury inflicted upon the child with cruel and/or malicious intent. Physical abuse would occur when of punching, beating, kicking, biting, burning, shaking, or otherwise harming a child. The parent or caretaker may not have intended to hurt the child, rather the injury may have resulted from over-discipline or physical punishment.
What are the most effective methods of punishing disobedience? He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes. Proverbs 13:24 (KJV) My mother used spanking and time out. In some extreme cases, she sent me to bed early. She also made me leave the table or took me away if any nonsense occurred. For punishing disobedience, Dr. Phil suggested taking away something the child valued, in other words, restricting them from a favorite privilege such as, a favorite t.v. program, toy, or activity. The use positive reinforcement was also more effective because it gave a sense of value to the child. Yelling, screaming and hitting the child just caused confusion and tension in the child. Being 16, the judge could’ve done this instead of physically spanking his child.
What changes in society had made parental discipline such a hotly debated topic? Most parents saw spanking as a form of abuse. California tried twice in 2007 and 2008 to regulate spanking first by making it against the law when a parent spanked a child under two and again which made it illegal to spank a child with any object. Both attempts failed. For this reason, it was doubtful whether the use of the paddle or corporal punishment would be outlawed in schools both public and private. In 1977, it wasn’t against the law to use the paddle in school. The major concern here was whether it would have been overused in spite of the opinion that it was ‘cruel and unusual’.
In Texas, many schools in larger cities have outlawed corporal punishment. Others in rural and religiously conservative areas, however, still use the paddle regularly. In Wichita Falls, Texas, it wasn’t advertised. It wouldn’t be banned outright, not without a two-thirds majority or 38 of 50 states for a constitutional amendment that got passed.
Temple's school board voted unanimously to revive its use of the paddle after parents requested it. I don't know what I consider more shocking: that not one person on the school board disapproved of hitting students after it had already been banned, that it was these students' own parents that wanted it revived, or that this is all took place in a modern city much larger than the one I grew up in the northeast.
Schools usually claim that paddling is reserved for only the most severe misbehavior and is used sparingly as a last resort, but corporal punishment can easily devolve into physical child abuse. This was consequence of the fact that each school district in Texas was free to act according to its own guidelines when administering corporal punishment. There was no law—whether local, state, or federal—clearly limiting its use. Each school board decided how they interpreted the word ‘severe' when considering misbehavior and how loosely to apply the term ‘last resort.' Moreover, administrators must handle the question of how hard is too hard when hitting a child. Other questions include how often the same student can be paddled, if certain students deserved more than three licks and how to deal with a situation where parents didn't give consent.
Some parents go the opposite direction on the issue of paddling or corporal punishment though. Nearly half of parents of secondary school children say corporal punishment such as the cane or slipper should be reintroduced, a survey suggests. Nearly all surveyed thought teachers should be able to be tougher on pupils. The research, carried out by YouGov, showed slightly less support for corporal punishment than a TES survey in 2000 – which found 51% of parents in favour. And when parents were asked specifically about “smacking/caning children,” support dropped to 40%, with 53% disagreeing.
In spite of the on-going debate of whether spanking was a form of abuse, the judge took things too far when he spanked his daughter in the November 3 video seen on the Today Show, leaving welts on her legs arms and bottom. He crossed a line when that occurred even though he didn’t intend to hurt her.

Movie not that hard to find on Black Friday

For me, finding the DVD “Love Begins’, a prequel to the “Love Comes Softly Saga” was a thrill before Black Friday. The only movie unwatched by me was this one. The prices for this movie were reasonable too.
Local stores like Mardel, Wal-Mart, Books-A-Million, and Sears would carry this movie, so it was advised to get to these stores early for the best chance of not being disappointed about the price. Most of the time a good price would be found if one got there early enough. For me, shopping on line was easier than paying a cab and facing the mad house on Friday and Saturday at Sikes Senter Mall. Amazon.com and The Hallmark Channel also had good prices on this movie too. At the store or on line the price for this movie ran from $15.00 to $16.49, not that expensive as a Christmas present. The Love Comes Softly Saga was better bought from as seller because it was almost $60 brand new.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Fight for ramp an uphill battle.






Earlier this month, December 3, 2007 after I paid rent, the management at my apartment complex threw a comment over my shoulder about the ramp while I was on my way out the office. I was so angry, I don’t remember what she said. But it spurred me into action. I came home, put my keys and mail on the table, and went in search of the PrePaid Legal number they sent with the packet in November. I spoke to a female lawyer the first time. She recommended three things 1) finding a new place to live, 2) getting MHMR to fix it and 3) paying to fix the ramp myself. My answers were: 1) my lease was not up for renewal till the end of February 2008, so moving wasn’t an option. 2) I had no affiliation with MHMR. My needs were physical not mental. and 3) I wasn’t responsible for placing the ramp there so I was not going to pay to get it fixed. The complex put it in.


I did a search on the Internet trying to find an ADA number or web site. The first time I e-mailed some office located in Massachusetts. They answered back saying they had no affiliation with Texas only in their state. I located a regional office in Colorado and e-mailed them. They answered me back December 4; saying <em>The Fair Housing Act (FHA) took care of this type of thing, not the ADA. But they sent me two attachments: a joint statement from The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and The Justice Department in addition to Guidelines from the ADA on how to fix the ramp. They told me to take these papers to my landlord along with a written request to get that ramp fixed.</em> I am grateful to have an elastic memory. My sister had to write a few requests to get maintenance off their duff at her place. I drew from that. The male lawyer I spoke to said to give them 30 days from the date of that letter to get the ramp fixed any longer was too generous. I could take other legal measures if they fail to comply. For five-and-half years, they were violating the Fair Housing Act by putting obstacles in the way of fixing that ramp

Well, on December 5, I turned in my paperwork as advised by my lawyer and the ADA. I was afraid of the reaction I’d get from management. She told me she doesn’t react. I was allowed to speak freely in her office. While I could have named who was responsible for building the ramp in April of 2002, I didn’t name names because they were still on staff. I got a lot of praise for the way in which my request was written and my poise during the situation. She said I was correct in requesting safe access into and out of my apartment. And yes, they may have to redo the whole thing from scratch. She told me that she would copy and fax the paperwork to maintenance. 

On December 20, they started work on that ramp. My friend, Penny, came over to pick up my Christmas Cards for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. When I opened the door, they had coned off access to that space and made my neighbor move her car. Management told me not to attempt using the ramp while they were repairing it. If I needed anything to let them know.</p>
Here’s what they did:

According to ADA guidelines, the ramp was to be 6 feet in length from the top to bottom. It was 1 ½ feet too short. If they were to extend it any further than the required 6 feet, the complex would have had to place a rail on the ramp. It would be a liability for the complex if anyone living next door or upstairs had a young child who hurt themselves on it. They were going to remove the gulley or dip that made the ramp so steep by putting on more cement. Also according to ADA guidelines, they took the second parking spot to the right of the ramp. That way, anyone that has a van or bus with a lift has a wide enough space to raise and lower it safely.

The barrier came down December 23. My mother and sister made sure to have me test it before leaving for Christmas. I went up and down twice.

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