WCHS Eyewitness News Home Charleston Eyewitness Newsroom Charleston Storm Team Weather Sports News TV Program Schedule Community Mobile: Smartphone,Tablet and SMS text Get Connected SMS Text Facebook Twitter See-It,Shoot-It RSS News Feed Email List Tumblr


Heated Debate Sparked About Corporal Punishment In Wake Of Plants Investigation

Reported: Apr. 16, 2014 6:15 PM EDT
Updated: Apr. 17, 2014 9:16 AM EDT
EYEWITNESS NEWS ONLINE WEBCAST VIDEO

News Image

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Leslie Rubin) -- The criminal case against Kanawha County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Plants, accused of striking his son repeatedly with a belt leaving a large bruise, has sparked a heated debate about corporal punishment.

Eyewitness News took those opinions to a local social worker with many years of experience when it comes to crossing the line between discipline and abuse.

"I used a form of discipline, spanking with a belt, that both my ex-wife and I have agreed upon is an appropriate form of discipline," Plants said during a press conference on Monday after the Office of Disciplinary Counsel recommended his immediate suspension to the West Virginia Supreme Court.

The word "appropriate" varies parent to parent. At the Children's Advocacy Center at Women and Children's Hospital, coordinator Maureen Runyon explained how a form of discipline, socially accepted years ago, isn't so much today.

"We are more knowledgeable today about proper parenting techniques than what we were 30, 40, 50 years ago," she said.

Runyon said that if a parent does choose corporal punishment, that it should never be administered while the parent is angry because that's the most common time that whipping or spanking turns into abuse by an otherwise "good parent."

"Anytime a child is whipped with an object of any sort, that should not happen," she said. "Any time that you whip them so many times or so hard that you leave marks on bruises on them that last for more than, you know, 30 minutes or an hour, then that's excessive and I would say that that's crossing that line."

In it's "Guidance For Effective Discipline," the American Academy of Pediatrics said, "the only way to maintain the initial effect of spanking is to systematically increase the intensity of which it is delivered, which can quickly escalate into abuse. Thus, at best, spanking is only effective when used in selective infrequent situations."

Runyon said alternatives to spanking include taking away a child's privileges such as video games, and toys. She also recommends timeouts for younger children.

If a parent does use corporal punishment, Runyon said most agree an open hand is the best way, but she also says that anytime you use force, you can easily send a mixed message.

"When they see you as a parent, hitting them or hitting their siblings, as a way to get change or to get what you want to happen, then they're more likely to do that also," she said.

The American Academy of Pediatrics also said that corporal punishment leads to children who experience more anger as adults, and they are more likely to approve of hitting a spouse.

Plants has said publicly several times that he believes if more parents spanked their children, there would be less crime.



MORE NEWS FROM EYEWITNESS NEWS
Police Seek Help In Catching Ashland Robber
News
Jul. 31, 2014 11:29 PM EDT
Police in Ashland need help to find the man who held ...
Full News Story

Coalfields Devastated By News Of Alpha Layoffs
News
Jul. 31, 2014 11:13 PM EDT
People throughout coal country are devastated by the ...
Full News Story and Video

1,100 Layoffs Planned At Alpha Coal Mines In WV
News
Jul. 31, 2014 10:19 PM EDT
Alpha Natural Resources said Friday that they expect ...
Full News Story and Video


News Decorated Rain Barrels On Display In East End
Jul. 31, 2014 9:58 PM EDT
News Fire Department Gets Life-Saving Gifts
Jul. 31, 2014 9:57 PM EDT
News 911 Call Released After Police Respond To Disturbance Involving Kanawha Prosecutor
Jul. 31, 2014 7:16 PM EDT
News Learning Program Hosts Lemonade Stand
Jul. 31, 2014 11:13 PM EDT
News Man Sentenced For Shooting, Wounding Officer
Jul. 31, 2014 6:20 PM EDT
News Couple Honored For Preservation Efforts
Jul. 31, 2014 7:18 PM EDT
News Mercer Shooting Investigation under Way
Jul. 31, 2014 7:18 PM EDT
News Corporate Teams To Compete In Kitchen Cook-Off
Jul. 31, 2014 7:19 PM EDT
News CLOG Travels Back In Time to the 1980s
Jul. 31, 2014 6:18 PM EDT
News Probe Says Chemical Plants At Risk For Terrorism
Jul. 31, 2014 5:11 PM EDT
News Heads Up Huntington App Helps Keep Tri-State Residents "In The Know"
Jul. 31, 2014 9:21 PM EDT
News Charleston's Multifest Opens Friday; Celebration Marking Its 25th Year
Jul. 31, 2014 4:16 PM EDT
News Woman Faces Charges After Police Say She Hit Husband With Car
Jul. 31, 2014 9:22 PM EDT
News Heritage Farm To Take Visitors Way Back This Weekend
Jul. 31, 2014 3:46 PM EDT
News More Than 900 Without Power After Lines Downed By Fallen Tree
Jul. 31, 2014 9:23 PM EDT
News West Virginia Singers To Perform At Live On The Levee
Jul. 31, 2014 2:20 PM EDT
News Arrest Made In "Droopy Drawers" Theft Of Mission Store
Jul. 31, 2014 2:06 PM EDT
News St. Albans Fire Victims' Names Released
Jul. 31, 2014 2:09 PM EDT
News Pinch VFD Receives Potential Lifesaving Donation
Jul. 31, 2014 3:08 PM EDT
News Thieves Target Several Homes, Vehicles In Marmet
Jul. 31, 2014 12:45 PM EDT
News Two Men Plead Not Guilty In Charleston Murder Case
Jul. 31, 2014 12:37 PM EDT
News Barboursville To Host 2015 Regional Soccer Tourney
Jul. 31, 2014 11:40 AM EDT
News Old Corbin Building To Be Creative Hub
Jul. 31, 2014 12:38 PM EDT
News Man Accused Of Breaking Into Home To Have Sex With Teen
Jul. 31, 2014 11:16 AM EDT
News Fans Can Rub Shoulders With Mountaineer Players At Annual WVU Fan Day
Jul. 31, 2014 11:39 AM EDT
News Jim Justice's Mines Have Pending Violations In Ky., Four Other States
Jul. 31, 2014 10:32 AM EDT
News Move Over Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts To Take Over Summit
Jul. 31, 2014 10:38 AM EDT
News West Virginia State University To Host Summer Research Symposium For Students
Jul. 31, 2014 9:33 AM EDT
News Police Need Help In Finding Missing Man
Jul. 31, 2014 10:08 AM EDT
News Man Pleads Guilty In Identity Theft Case
Jul. 31, 2014 9:15 AM EDT


Advertise on WCHS-TV Online

West Virginia News
Company cited for fatal W.Va. cell tower collapse

Federal officials have cited an Oklahoma company after two cellphone towers collapsed in West Virginia and killed three people.
Full Story

Kentucky News
Sinistra wins Evan Shipman at Saratoga

Sinistra edged Big Business by a nose Thursday in the $100,000 Evan Shipman for New York-breds at Saratoga Race Course.
Full Story

Ohio News
Signed ticket from Gehrig's last game nets $95,600

A ticket stub signed by Lou Gehrig on the day he retired from baseball has sold in a Cleveland auction for $95,600.
Full Story







Fugitive Files Tuesdays at 6 PM on Eyewitness News

West Virginia Wildlife Wednesdays at 6 PM on Eyewitness News

ABC News web site







Send Mail Send email to news@wchstv.com for information or comments concerning WCHS-TV Eyewitness News.
Copyright ©2014, WCHS-TV8. Portions are Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or distributed.

WCHS ABC 8 provides local news, weather forecasts, traffic updates, notices of events and items of interest in the community, sports and entertainment programming for Charleston and nearby towns and communities in the Tri-State area, including Huntington, Dunbar, Marmet, Montgomery, Nitro, South Charleston, St. Albans, Cedar Grove, Chesapeake, Clendenin, East Bank, Glasgow, Pratt, Cross Lanes, Elkview, Pinch, Sissonville, Big Chimney, Cabin Creek, Chelyan, Davis Creek, Institute, Jefferson, Loudendale, Mink Shoals, Pocatalico, Quick, Quincy, Rand, Buffalo, Eleanor, Hurricane, Nitro, Poca, Winfield, Culloden, Fraziers Bottom, Hometown, Red House, Scott Depot, Teays Valley, Danville, Madison, Hamlin, Logan, Chapmanville, Man, Delbarton, Kermit, Gilbert, Matewan, Williamson, Summersville, Richwood, Flatwoods, Gassaway, Sutton, Spencer, Ravenswood, Ripley, Mason, Point Pleasant, Ashland, Pikeville, Ironton, Portsmouth, Gallipolis, and Athens.