Free-Range Kids

Worried About Legal Action, Dad Calls Sheriff's Office to Witness Him Spanking His Kid


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It sounds kinky, and it is—but not in the way you might think: A dad fed up with his 12-year-old daughter's behavior called the Okeechobee, Florida, Sheriff's Office to come witness the paddling he was about to administer to make sure it was legal. He didn't want to be accused of abuse. According to WBPF:

The man's 12-year-old daughter got into a heated argument with her sister Monday, and the father wanted to discipline his daughter, according to a deputy's report. A deputy came over to his house, supervised the discipline, and determined it was within legal bounds and that there was no crime, and left, authorities said.

Although it may sound bizarre to some parents, the sheriff's office has received several similar requests in the past. Undersheriff Noel Stephen said he has personally supervised approximately 12 spankings.

To me, paddling sounds extreme. I do not recommend it. But I also don't recommend this call-then-act precedent, by which parents feel they must alert the authorities any time they are disciplining or otherwise dealing with their kids. What if they want to teach their kids something unpopular, or make them try a new food, or send them to bed without dessert? Do we really have to worry that someone could consider the ordinary sturm-und-drang of parenting to be abuse and take legal action?

As The Free Speech Project blog puts it:

The manner in which parents interact with their children, is personal and private, and most assuredly no matter of the state. Obviously causing physical harm to a child is child abuse, which can be argued as a separate issue.


The problem of leaving it up to the police to decide how we may parent is already out there. Witness the moms arrested for letting their kids wait in the car a few minutes. This new problem—internalizing the idea that the state knows best, and must first give permission—seems to be the next, more insidious step.

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  1. Undersheriff Noel Stephen said he has personally supervised approximately 12 spankings.

    Yes. Go on . . . .

    1. Undersheriff = power bottom ?

    2. Bow chicka wow wow wow!

      Nice work, if you can get it!

  2. So if someone films this, does it constitute child porn?

    1. Live performances don’t count as porn?

      So that’s why they cost so much!

  3. Ummm, this dude shouldn’t be taking legal advice from cops. If you’re not sure, call a lawyer.

    1. I thought most cops were constitutional scholars. Along with the power lifting and competitive surfing, of course.


      1. BOOYA!

  4. Playa,

    If your goal is to avoid conviction, ask a lawyer. If your goal is to avoid arrest, ask a cop….very politely.

  5. This citizen is truly an example of New Soviet American Man: He understands how to ask permission and take orders.

    1. sarcasmic issues the clarion calls of our time.

  6. I actually know one case where the parents should have done this. The girl was an honest to gods sociopath and the spanking probably didn’t do a lick of good. The girl called DCFS herself and had her parents arrested. She was getting the spanking because she had vandalized property all over the neighborhood, but she left that tidbit out of the sob story she sold the Social Workers.

    1. Maybe that’s why he called the cops – he wanted to make sure he had a witness in case the vindictive little shitstain lied about it later.

  7. What the fucking fuck? Are we really this far over the cliff?

  8. Maybe I’m must crazy, but I do think spanking (beating) children could be considered assault. I’m not even entirely sure I think it shouldn’t be considered assault.

    1. An open hand on the ass is not what I would call “beating.”

      1. You prefer a cock up there, do you?

    2. Every kid is different. Works on some. Worked on me, for example.

      I never got the belt when I didn’t deserve it. Its a good way to get through to some kids that actions have consequences.

      1. This. I remember every spanking my dad gave me. In each and every case I had been an absolute little shit, and deserved it, and knew I deserved it while I was getting it.

        1. And then you have situations where the parent loses their shit and hits in anger with whatever tool is to hand (belt, board, fist) so often that keeping track would not be consistent with good mental health. Hypothetically.

          1. When does a tool become a weapon, in your opinion?

            1. When applied with force to the face of a 12 year old. Hypothetically.

      2. Every kid is different. Works on some.

        I would doubly-emphasize the first sentence.

        We’ve certainly had situations dressing a kid was involved both parents and was far more traumatic and violent than any spanking we’ve given.

        I certainly hesitate remove any tools from someone else’s hand.

      3. And then there’s parents who give the belt because they’re sick fucks.

        1. On this subject I once came across a website devoted to corporal punishment. This group’s consensus was that children should be stripped and then punished in front of their siblings. Older girls could be punished privately, but the nudity was mandatory. Sick indeed.

          1. Back in the days when things like public executions were standard thee was also a general acceptance that your child remembered things better after a beating.

            Parents would take kids to a execution, bring them home and then beat their child so the child would remember the important lesson.

            The way we raised children is startling different pre and post WWII.

      4. It’s not necessarily the spanking, but the specter of a spanking. To make that work effectively, a child either needs to be spanked or witness a spanking.

        Of course it’s conceivable that parents will soon have to fear legal retribution just for threatening to spank their child.

    3. Statistically speaking, spanking is shown to have worse outcomes than other forms of punishment–both on effectiveness and on childhood development. Emphasis on…well, the emphasized part.

      If I were going to spank, I would make damned sure it was really the best disciplinary option.

      1. To be fair, this research is largely uncontrolled. That leaves us with the question of causation — does the spanking cause poor behavior, or does poor behavior cause spankings? I’d say logic is more with the latter.

      2. Like a lot of things statistically speaking, all these studies ever do is point out the correlation, then assume the arrow of causation goes whichever direction they wants it to.

        For me, it makes a lot more sense to say that being a good kid causes both the good outcomes and the lack of spanking, and being a rotten kid causes both the bad outcomes and the spanking.

        Granted, this only implies that something else is causing the good kid/bad kid dichotomy (lifestyle and genetics, IMO), but once you’ve arrived at that point, you have to deal with them one way or another.

  9. I’m all for people being able to spank their kids within reason but 12 seems a bit old. Surely you have some other recourse with a kid that age.

    1. I’m all for people being able to spank their kids within reason but 12 seems a bit old.

      As long as you don’t think that determining what is “reasonable” and what is “a bit old” is a matter for the criminal justice system, then I find your opinion to be just fine.

      1. Government is just another name for the kids we spank together.


    2. Sometimes a swat on the okole, when nothing else has gotten through to them, works wonders.

      In the case of my kids, I’d start the Swattie Countdown (3 … 2 … 1 …), and they’d stop whatever misbehavior they were up to because they knew dad FN meant it when he said it.

      In retrospect it seems obvious that taking away something they want — XBox, a later bedtime, whatever — is a better alternative than spanking, because then it’s THEIR problem.

    3. 12 is old for a father to be spanking his daughter.

      I think last year there was video of a slightly older girl videotaping her spanking from her father, who was a judge, with her mother watching.

      Mommy Dearest: Take it like a woman!

      That’s too freaky for me, and I’m partial to the extreme porn sites.

  10. Spanking doesn’t work with my kid. She’s too damn stubborn. Neither does sending her to her room. Taking stuff away? Now that gets her attention. Every kid is different.

    1. Yep – I tried spanking the girls for about a month when they were little. Didn’t work – gave up immediately.

      My son – a tap on the forehead with two fingers always got his attention. Not hitting, not a slap, not a fist – TWO FINGERS – *tap* – he’d cry his eyes out, but I knew it didn’t hurt, and it damned sure got him focused. Every time.

      They’re all grown now – now I have a granddaughter to not discipline – “Hey, hon, YOUR kid is acting up….deal with it.” lulz

    2. This, every child has their own unique “currency” and your punishment needs to hit them there. For some physical punishment will do the trick, for others it doesn’t do a damn bit of good.

      The key is to find the form of punishment that hurts them (metaphorically speaking) in the place they really care about.

      Also you need to realize that the kids currency changes as they get older and so sending them to their room for a while might have been the worst thing in the world (in their eyes) when they were 6, at 12 they might just prefer it.

    3. I loved being sent to my room when I was a kid. Eventually my mom caught on.

    4. Taking stuff away? Now that gets her attention. Every kid is different.

      This, IMO, is worse parenting than spanking (especially wrt NAP/libertarianism). Don’t get me wrong, my kids get toys taken away all the time, and I’m well aware that every kid is different.

      I just mean, it makes material goods *the* motivator and only works with, or focuses on, behavior(s) that have trivial material equivalents. To put it another way; there is no price that allows you to punch your brother in the face against his will, there is an obvious consequence of visiting violence on someone against their will though…

      My kids would be black-and-blue with nothing else to do but beat on each other. Every child (or set of them) is different.

      1. At five years old, my kid isn’t that deep of a thinker.

        1. At five years old, my kid isn’t that deep of a thinker.

          IDK, she sounds more grounded than my middle son (6), and maybe my 7-yr.-old is just a better motivator. At least, it doesn’t sound like it requires the threat of violence to prevent violence anyway.

          Like I said, didn’t mean to criticize your parenting (or your kids). I just meant to highlight that different kids are motivated differently and that one person’s optimal parenting method can easily be cast or considered as an insidious malignancy given motivation.

          1. The latest issue has been her coming downstairs after bedtime based on some ridiculous excuse, so I take away one of her nightlights. She’s got her own bathroom up there, so having to pee or being thirsty isn’t a valid excuse. She doesn’t come down again. That night anyway.

  11. Why didn’t he just ask the deppity to tase her?

    1. Just tase her, bro!

  12. The manner in which parents interact with their children, is personal and private, and most assuredly no matter of the state.

    Anachronistic balderdash!

  13. my buddy’s mother makes $72 /hr on the internet . She has been without work for 5 months but last month her payment was $12076 just working on the internet for a few hours. read more…………

  14. The next obvious development will be when the kids start calling the cops on their parents.

    1. Haven’t seen a PSA for the Child Abuse Hotline in a long time.

    2. Oh, the savvy ones already know this. Happened to a co-worker. Realizing I’m not IN the home, so perhaps he’s the most evil-ist-est parent EVAR….sure seems like his little princess is a spoiled brat who could use a good thrashing. But – she got to CPS before dad and mom so…she won that round.

      I thank my lucky stars my issues with my kids were all minor in comparison to people who have to deal with shit like that…

      1. So…..getting married has become more risky, having kids is risky.

        Incentives, anyone ?

      2. Is there a term like “SWATting” for calling in false alarms to CPS just knowing that your victim is going to get screwed by the system even if your accusation is baseless? “CPSing” just doesn’t sing.

        1. I know its totally unrealistic, but I would bet a stint in the foster care system would cure all but the most sociopathic brats from ever calling CPS again.

          1. One stint might scare them. By the third stint the effect is nil.

        2. Don’t know but there should be.

          My ex wife had a friend do it to me and my current wife right after I got tired of her dragging her feet on the divorce and filed it myself.

          Fortunately for me she forgot I knew her Livejournal password and I was able to show the Case Worker their discussions on how/when to do it.

  15. The manner in which parents interact with their children,[sic] is personal and private, and most assuredly no matter of the state.

    OTOH, the manner in which adults interact with their drugs of choice is public and open, and most assuredly a matter of the state.

  16. Fucking country is fucked.

  17. “As God is my witness, I thought spanking was legal!”

    /”Reasonable mistake of law”

  18. This new problem?internalizing the idea that the state knows best, and must first give permission?seems to be the next, more insidious step.

    That ship sailed a long time ago. Just within the past few days here on this forum I saw a couple of people arguing that you have no right to an abortion because it’s not mentioned in the Constitution. (Whether or not you have a right to an abortion is an arguable point but the fact that the Constitution is silent on the issue is an argument for the right, not against the right – whatever is not specifically proscribed is permitted.)

    Ask any number of random people to name three rights given to them by the Constitution and I can guarantee you that the vast majority of them will mention freedom of speech and press and religion and the right to keep and bear arms. Point out to them those those rights are not given to them by the Constitution but that they are endowed by their Creator with those rights and they will tell you you are being pedantic. But if you’ve internalized the idea that your rights are given to you by government, the infringement or abrogation of those rights become simply a matter of marshalling the votes to do so. It’s a scary thought that so many people seriously believe that rights are subject to the approval of government.

    1. Jerry, the Constitution doesn’t grant/prohibits the federal government from regulating abortion.

      It is silent with respect to states regulating abortion, meaning states are allowed to do so in the absence of a specific prohibition in the Constitution.*

      Naturally, this means that the ultimate authority on regulating abortion is the federal government via its judicial arm.

      *Assuming, of course that the “emanations and penumbras” decisions are a load of a-Constitutional horsepoop. If the federal courts had applied those emanations and penumbras across the board to state laws generally, there might be a better case that they aren’t horsepoop. But they haven’t, so time has shown the emanations and penumbras were a pretext, not a legal principle.

    2. You have the right to kill people unless it’s mentioned in the Constitution? Interesting. You got any good stuff I could take, since this is your legal position?

  19. It’s shit like this that makes me wish I was so dumb that I thought “Ukraine” was a heavy-equipment rental company.

    1. Sometimes I think ignorance really is bliss.

      1. Especially when confronted with this:…..ackup.html

        Video: Texas police officers support colleague’s freedom to marry, call for backup

        I’m personally apathetic on the issue of SSM, but I’m interested in how y’all might process this story

  20. Give your kids twice as many hugs as spankings, is my advice.

    1. But that will just spoil them!

      /evil orphanage mistress

    2. So for every two hugs you must spank once?

      1. It’s a working theory…

  21. A deputy came over to his house, supervised the discipline

    Cops I know have told me they hate going on domestic calls only to find that the parent wants the police to make Johnny brush his teeth before bedtime.

    And now we have one PD making it standard operating procedure. Not sure why this deputy didn’t just administer the spanking, probably because it sounded like work.

    1. Had I been the deputy I’d have spanked the dimwit that wasted my time.

  22. OT: It occurs to me that the NYPD slowdown is a game of chicken – who flinches first, the city that’s losing revenue from thousands of BS fines and penalties or the cops losing mondo overtime?

    1. A strike, with pay.

  23. my friend’s sister makes $68 an hour on the laptop . She has been without work for 10 months but last month her check was $21549 just working on the laptop for a few hours. browse this site……….

  24. in other news, jeffrey epstien has just applied for a job in the sherriff’s office…

  25. I don’t think that’s what’s going on at all. I think that parents are calling the authorities so that little Johnny doesn’t go to school and tell his teacher or counselor that Daddy spanked him. This will, depending on the jurisdiction and laws in place, inevitably lead to a home visit and questioning by the state. This isn’t an act of subservient delegation of authority…it’s an act of fear. “I want to punish my child but I’m afraid if I don’t ask the state to supervise I might get in trouble.”

  26. Whenever a child misbehaved in the town I grew up in, they would be brought to the village center; where a mule would kick them in the head. People would come from miles around to watch the community-mule administer punishment. I received my fair share of hooves to the dome. Hell, we all did. It’s the way things are done, been that way for several decades and there’s no use changing it now. (Cue the cartoonish braying sound fx)

  27. Wow, just wow. I’m speechless that this is actually a thing.

  28. Legal child porn for cops.

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  30. just before I looked at the draft four $9879 , I didn’t believe that…my… father in law had been truly erning money part time from there computar. . there dads buddy has done this for only 21 months and just repaid the dept on their apartment and bourt a great Land Rover Range Rover .
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  31. The victim learned two valuable lessons here:

    1. Laws against assault and battery only apply to people, not to a slave being beaten by her master.
    2. Cops are not friend and will not help you.

  32. This is just so retarded on so many levels, I can’t even come up anything witty.

  33. my neighbor’s step-aunt makes $80 an hour on the internet . She has been laid off for five months but last month her payment was $12901 just working on the internet for a few hours.
    website here……..

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