Last month, a Florida man was arrested by police on child abuse charges after he sent a video to an online video streaming site showing him harshly disciplining a young boy. Later it was revealed that the man was not related to the boy.
The video and the arrest sparked furious debate on social media and blogs about the effectiveness of spanking children.
Christians often quote the Bible which promotes “correcting” children in physically violent ways, such as whipping them with belts and extension cords.
Proverbs 23:13-14 says “Withold not discipline from the child, for if you strike and punish him with the (reed-like) rod, he will not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.”
But child advocates say the Bible’s suggested modes of discipline are outdated and uncivilized. They point to recent cases of child abuse arising from spankings that resulted in murder — and they recommend an end to the practice of spanking children violently.
Duane ‘Dog the Bounty Hunter’ Chapman added his voice to the debate after someone mailed an audio of his grandson being spanked violently by the child’s biological father. The audio of 9-year-old Travis Mimms Jr being called a “bastard” and a “dipsh*t” by his father who whips him with a belt is disturbing to hear.
Mr Chapman, who has been granted temporary custody of his late daughter’s child, tells Entertainment Tonight he was “overwhelmed” by the audio.
He tells ET’s Chris Jacobs that Travis Sr beat the boy after the child complained to school officials that his father was whipping him.
“The school had told [Mimms], ‘Your son is telling his friends he’s getting beat!'” he said.
“So because the teacher went to the parent – the abuser – and said, ‘Hey there’s rumours you’re beating your kid’ … he went home and did exactly that,” said Chapman.
On the shocking audio a man’s voice booms: “Bend over, bend the f**k over. You know what to do.” As the beating continues, the man yells “Move your hand. MOVE IT!” The child cries, “No more daddy, please.”
Afterwards, the man yells, “now you can f*cking go to school and complain!”[audio:Travis-mimms-beats-son.mp3]
Dog’s daughter passed away in a car accident in 2006. Since then, Dog and Beth raised Travis junior and eventually turned him over to his father after integrating him into the child’s life.
Travis Sr filed a restraining order against Chapman after he told him about the existence of the audio tape.