http://www.michaelcoren.com/ sample columns
I recently read an article by Michael Coren, a right thinking Christian pundit and columnist based in Toronto. His article, “On Spanking” re-ignightes the ages-old-debate, is corporal punishment of a child acceptable? I think it’s safe to say no one reading this has not been, at one time or another, disciplined by his/her parent(s) as a child. However, some of these people may have felt the sting of parental abuse. It’s a thorny issue, and to extend the metaphor, one most difficult to grasp.
Gavin was slapped. Ok, maybe the kid deserved a crack on the ass. I got few from my father when I was Gavin’s age, however, my father never left a mark. The mark on Gavin’s little tush, prompted a teacher to contact Children’s Aid, Durham. A this is a moot decision on behalf of the teacher. (In Ontario, a teachers failure to report suspected child abuse can result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.)
The 22-year-old-social-worker—her age somehow relevant here—speaks to Gavin’s mother, Perry, to seek some clarity on the incident. When Perry tells the 22-year-old social-worker she must speak to husband first, as he is the head of the household the 22-year-old-social-worker, “was incredulous, even annoyed. Why on earth did she (Perry)have to speak to her husband?”
An alarm went off in the social workers head, she could see a pattern. And in this line of work it’s, again, best to err on the side of caution.
A month later Joe Cleary was arrested at work, as Coren states, “in front of his work mates and his employers like some rapist or murderer.” Typically in Canada, suspected rapists and murders are arrested. As Joe Cleary, suspected child abuser, was arrested.
Cleary’s woes and family issues are a sad tale, I truly sympathize with their plight. I am of course forced to recognize the higher authority here, and, sadly Mr. Coren it’s not the Holly Ghost.
Gavin is the higher authority, his well being, his innocence, his safety is paramount and the responsibility of all of us.
In 1992, child protection authorities put about 40,000 Canadian children into foster care or other settings away from their home. In many of these cases, abuse was a factor.*
In Ontario in 1993, Children’s Aid Society investigated over 13,000 cases of child physical abuse. This is compared to 3,546 ten years earlier. Children 3 years old or younger are most often investigated for neglect. Children 12 to 15 years old are most often investigated for physical abuse.* Let’s fast-forward to 2009 and ask ourselves, can we even tolerated the possibility of a child being neglected?
Coren’s article serves as a reminder that this is an imperfect solution to a serious problem. When a child’s innocence is stripped away, we are all damaged. And when in doubt I think it’s best to err, on the side of caution.
Cited sources - *http://www.womanabuseprevention.com/html/question__6.html