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August 15th, 2011
10:02 PM ET

Video: Spare the rod, spoil the child, part 1

Editor's note: Gary Tuchman reports on an author who says you must spank your child and a couple who killed their daughter doing it.


Filed under: Gary Tuchman
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. Millie

    I would encourage everyone to read the Pearl's book with an open mind..not a liberal media slant. Think about the violence in this world. Parents who wouldn't consider spanking will browbeat their children vocally..scream at them...shove them..lose all semblance of control..and consider themselves good parents because they never spank. They make their childrens lives miserable by living according to their own feelings of right and wrong..and punish (or not) depending upon their feelings that day. The Pearl's advocate abuse??? Get real...read the whole book, not just a few lines. They very clearly state that parents should not lose control, or excessively discipline.

    September 23, 2011 at 5:16 am |
  2. Jason B

    I have read books intending to disagree with them. Once in a while I have changed my opinion on something. The issue here is that I actually read the book. Anyone who thinks the Pearls are evil child beaters obviously have not read the entire book. Sadly there is always the slanted media to tell people who are too lazy to read, what to think. Here are a few quotes from the book "To Train Up A Child"

    “Train up-not beat up. Train up-not discipline up.” “A child needs more than ‘obedience training’, but without first training him, discipline is insufficient” page 4
    “Disciplinary actions can easily become excessive and oppressive if you set aside the tool of training and depend on discipline alone to do the training.” Page 9
    “Parent, have you trained yourself not to discipline immediately but to wait until your irritation builds into anger? If so, then you have allowed anger to become your inducement to discipline.” Page 25
    “Parent, if you are having problems with your children, you can be assured that you are not alone. Your children are also having problems with you. You are going to have to make adjustments in your own life if you are going to help them with their problems.” “… the responsibility for making a significant change is completely yours.” Page 32
    “There are always some who act in the extreme. These individuals are capable of using what has been said about the legitimate use of the rod to justify ongoing brutality to their children.” page 50“The rod should never be a vent for parents’ anger. Where the supreme motivation is anything other than the child’s good, it is inevitable that such behavior by the parent will assuredly create problems.” page 51
    These quotes and the rest of the book are about turning the heart of parents to the children and the hearts of children to the parents. Those that properly practice the philosophy of To Train Up a Child enjoy the fruits of joy that it produces.

    August 24, 2011 at 8:57 am |
  3. judy peware

    Thank you for this expose of the Pearl's. Please continue to show that they encourage physical abuse of children.

    August 17, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
  4. K. Wagner

    Very unbalanced reporting which implies things that are not said outright. An interesting follow-up would be an interview with the Pearl's children. Also an interview with the couple in jail to find out how they mis-interpreted what they read in the the Pearl's book. That would imply that the author/interviewer actually cared about other children not receiving the same kind of "punishment". I also wonder how many people who criticize the Pearl's have actually read all of their material. All quotes were taken out of context and the other material that cautions parents not to abuse their children are not mentioned.

    August 17, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
  5. Randi Kodroff

    Thank you for bringing this story to the public. The issue goes deeper than sensationalism and Anderson Cooper has my thumbs up for starting the conversation.

    August 16, 2011 at 10:40 pm |
  6. J. Kurtz

    I've read the Pearls' book "To Train up a Child", and several other books by the Pearls. They are by no means responsible for people mistreating, abusing, or murdering their children than God's word The Bible itself! Those parents were out of control, which Michael Pearl, the Bible and God himself would condemn. People could take many verses out of context and make it mean what ever they want it to, or misuse the verses. Those parents used this as an excuse to beat their child even to death. Some racists and KKK members have been known to quote verses from the Bible. They are taking them out of context and they are wrong. Spanking in itself is not a bad thing, I was thankfully spanked as a child and didn't get into all the trouble that those around me did. Who knows were I would be with out discipline.
    Have you ever been around children whose parents didn't believe in spanking, it's a nightmare. Just watch any daytime talk show for 5 minutes and see where the young teens and pre-teens are getting in their mothers' faces and cussing them out and watch the moms start to cry. I don't believe those mothers spanked those kids, and those kids were not taught/trained to obey or respect their parent. What happens to undisciplined children; they are growing up to be young adults that you see terrorizing their teachers, their communities, disrespecting the elderly, and have no fear or respect for the law or authorities. We need to train our children with love, rewards, and discipline and many times punishment. But NOT abuse. This video clip of yours is misrepresenting the Pears, as much as those so called "Christian Parents", were misrepresenting Jesus Christ himself.

    August 16, 2011 at 10:36 pm |
  7. Nathan

    This "report", "Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child", smacked of the worst kind of tendentiousness, of a pained attempt to manufacture shock and find scandal where none was apparent. Worst of all, the culpability insinuated upon the Moores — that because they advocate some measure of corporal punishment they are in some wise responsible for a couple who beat their child to death, a charge conveniently placed in the words of a public official — is inexcusable. It is akin to blaming a doctor who prescribes oxycodone for an instance in which the patient chooses to use the drug to commit suicide, or even homicide, by overdose. I do not have any particular point of view regarding the prudence of corporal punishment (no children yet), but the framing, the delivery, of this "report" was obnoxiously manipulative. Most laughably, quoting from their book, Cooper adds insidious emphasis to a "scandalous" line. In disbelief, he notes that the Moores advocate "spanking to cause pain". Newsflash: some people believe in "driving... to get places" and "using washing machines... to clean clothes". I can't imagine what other kind of spanking Cooper and Tuchman were expecting. I can't fathom what the scandal was supposed to be in this quote. A report on current research into the effects of corporal punishment, for good or ill, could be newsworthy. This piece was an embarrasment. You can do better.

    August 16, 2011 at 10:32 pm |
  8. Kristin

    My heart goes out to all the children who had to be raised my these sick individuals who call themselves parents. I hope the so called parents Rot!!!! As for the individual who wrote this book about parenting is not any better then theses individuals.He is very ignorant and just as guilty as the two people who killed and beat there children. Let's hope none of them ever reproduce/adopt/ or even get to enjoy another gift from heaven again (A Beautiful Child)!

    August 16, 2011 at 10:29 pm |
  9. Leslie

    This story makes me ill. These ignorant people say that they want the children to know violence is not acceptable. How would children know that if they are being beaten. What role models some children have to be subject to. No wonder the world is so violent.

    August 16, 2011 at 10:20 pm |
  10. Jeff

    I have to say that I'm somewhat disappointed with this story. Sort of felt like all that you managed to do pretty much make all Christians look crazy and like we all abuse our children. There is a huge difference between spanking your child and beating them or abusing them. So thank you Anderson Cooper and CNN for making sure everyone assumes that if your a Christian you will beat yoru child till they die. On a sidenote, not sure why you would demean some piece of literature or opinion. I guess it was silly of me to assume that this freedom to express yourself and state your beliefs was a right that was for everyone not just those individuals who side with you and your stance on child development. I was also amazed with the statement about how the authors had recieved no education in child development but yet we as a culture hang on every word that spews out of Oprah's mouth like it's gospel truth and treat everything she has to say like its from the mouth of an expert. So just kind of wondering why these people's opinions are viewed as trash while other non-experts views are held in such high esteem. I detect slanted reporting/news and blatant effort to ignore opposing views. Good job guys, really good job.

    August 16, 2011 at 10:12 pm |
  11. Wanda Raycraft

    The Pearl's are sick people. They have no clue what love is. I am appalled that they feel no responsibility for the death of that poor girl. Any one who believes they have a clue about how to raise children are also mislead. Unfortunately it those mislead who actually believe that this "god" they talk about is even real. I found the Pearl's website and was quickly even more appalled. I am lost for words and normally an eloquent person who has no problem putting my thoughts into words – I am ill at the thought that there are really people out there that would look to these two sickos for any kind of life guidance. Thanks for you time.

    August 16, 2011 at 8:48 pm |
  12. CarmenSo

    Let me get this straight a book caused them to torture their two adopted daughter. No the fact that they are sick heartless sadist sad bottom feeding human filth caused them to killed their adopted daughter. God will let you know how he feels about this in the after life.

    August 16, 2011 at 8:21 pm |
  13. Stanley

    The White Parents that beat the little Black girl to death should be in Jail for life, Better than they should be on death row for their part in killing a child. If this were Black parents beating a White child they would of been on death row by now!! It's no difference killing of a child is and should be punishable by death Black or White. Children don't ask to come here parents do that. If you are a foster parent, treat that child as if you gave birth to them yourself. Their not just a source of income for you they are people, with dreams and aspirations just as you are!! By saying that God told you to do it, is just a awful thing to say.

    August 16, 2011 at 7:17 pm |
  14. Vicki Baker

    This was a great piece. Thanks for following up on the connection with Michael and Debi Pearl. They are not qualified to give dog training advice, let alone parenting advice!

    August 16, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
  15. Susie Crump

    I have the book To Train Up a Child and used it when my children were small. There were some aspects of this book I did not agree with and chose not to use. But I think that is with any parenting or self-help book you will read. You are not going to find a book that you agree with 100%. As a Christian, I believe we should discipline our children. But discipline and abuse are two different things. You do not always have to hit to discipline your child. But I believe there are some instances where it is very effective. When I did spanked my children, it was only on their bottom and only 3 licks at the most. I would always talk to them about why they were getting punished and the correct behavior they should have. As they got older, I found that other forms of punishment worked better such as alone time, grounding them from toys or electronics, etc. You have to find out what works best for your child, on an individual basis. My children are total opposites, what worked on one did not on the other. I feel sorry for what those children of this family have gone through and have to deal with the rest of their lives. These parents obviously did not use any common sense when reading this book. It's people like this that give Christianity a bad name. We're not all like that!

    August 16, 2011 at 9:19 am |
  16. Debbie Welch

    I am a child advocate and I want to hank you for this important story.It is so important to disseminate stories like this so that people have an understanding about the kinds of abuses that are done to children in the name of love. It is horrifying to me that these children were adopted. It is all of our jobs to tell people that corporal punishment cannot be condoned no matter who parents are listening to, or what beliefs they have. Children have no way of fighting back and usually they can't defend themselves against authoritative figures.We have to stand up for their rights. If we don't who will?

    August 16, 2011 at 9:17 am |
  17. Annie, Atlanta

    So it appears that only the girls, and the African American ones at that, needed beatings? It would be interesting to see if any of the boys showed signs of physical abuse, too.

    August 16, 2011 at 9:10 am |
  18. mr igbinedion steve.

    training a child, could sometimes be tough that could lead to spanking, in correction, but not to a point of harming.

    August 16, 2011 at 5:53 am |
  19. Pastor Robert

    After watching your story on "UNGODLY DISCIPLINE" I had to comment. What these people did was not discipline but flat out whole hearted 100 % Abuse. As a pastor and a father of two children I know the scriptures that were referred too. I full support spanking as a form of discipline if done correctly. It is to be done out of love and not in anger to correct a behavior as a last resort. It is to be done where it gets the child's attention WITHOUT LEAVING A MARK!!!!! As for the use of a belt or other object God say to use a rod because the hand is meant as a part to show love and kindness, this is why a parent should not use their hand for discipline. However this adds to the degree of judgment on the parent to use the right amount of slit force to cause a brief moment of discomfort followed after wards by love and reinforcement to the child.

    August 16, 2011 at 2:09 am |
  20. Donna Clarke

    One thing was missed at sentencing: a seven hour beating for each of them – with a few prayer breaks – upon arrival at their respectrive prisons.

    August 16, 2011 at 12:37 am |
  21. Lucy

    Anderson, thank you so much for bringing attention to this issue. The widespread abuse of children and oppression of women in the fundamentalist Christian community is disgusting. I am sure no God would look kindly upon people who manipulate His words to justify abusing their children.

    August 15, 2011 at 11:52 pm |
  22. Sue

    Kudos to Anderson Cooper for exposing the sadist Pearls. In their books, they actually recommend whipping an infant! They say this more than once! Many fundamentallist Christians follow their writings, and I hope there are not future deaths as a result. Please do more coverage on this crazy couple who appear to take pleasure in hurting kids.

    Here are some other examples of the Pearls' parenting advice:

    Whipping a five year old for leaving a zip lock bag open
    Beating a child till they are fully "submitted"
    Giving them extra "licks" if they run away from you
    Sitting on them if necessary to administer discipline

    They admit to beating their own infants. in a recent post, one of their daughters recalled them beating a five year old once a day for two solid weeks (for telling a lie). Sick!

    August 15, 2011 at 11:15 pm |
  23. Amanda Mason

    This story is completely mind blowing. I read bits and pieces of the book by Michael Pearl and I was in tears the whole time and hearing that Tuchman practically lived by the book was ridiculous. No child deserves to be beaten regardless of how angry one is or even whether or not he/she is crying. I honestly wish the Tuchman's had gotten more time in prison and that Pearl was investigated because there has to be something that he's doing that is against the law. I just hope justice is served in more ways than one.

    August 15, 2011 at 11:00 pm |
  24. Austin

    I am a 16 year old boy, and all my life my parents have spanked me with a belt. NEVER have I had bruising or any other damage, unless you count a changed attitude for the better. Spanking kids to death is VERY WRONG and in a totally different category. But giving kids a spanking helps us to grow up into a good, responsible adult that knows every decision we make has consequences. If all you ever do is threaten a kid or take away their privilages, the kid's attitude and respect worsen, because eventually they figure out what they can get away with without parental discipline. Spanking a kid makes them not want to test their parents boundaries, and eventually the boundaries of society. Spanking has been the most effective form of disicipline for me and most kids I know. As long as done in the right manner, I believe a little discipline never hurt anyone. (BEATING on the other hand is a different topic)
    -"Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child"-

    August 15, 2011 at 10:58 pm |
  25. Tim Omachi

    This is why religion needs to be eradicated.

    August 15, 2011 at 10:57 pm |
  26. Andrea

    Thank you very much for publicizing this story, not only of the Schatzes but also of the background with the Pearls.
    I know many people who have been damaged by their childrearing instructions, to violently break a child's spirit. Their horrible book advocates beginning this "correction" before a baby is even 2 months old.
    It is horrifying that this happened and I dearly hope that the Pearls will also be held accountable somehow.

    August 15, 2011 at 10:57 pm |
  27. Kevin

    What happened here was horrible. I was spanked as a child, and I really don't think you can equate spanking with child-abuse. That is just a silly over-simplistic comparison that this report is making.

    August 15, 2011 at 10:51 pm |
  28. Allison Ball

    This is so clearly child abuse. Why are the authors of this book even being interviewed?

    August 15, 2011 at 10:47 pm |
  29. Mags

    THANK YOU Anderson Cooper and staff for this story! The Pearls are the lowest forms of human life, and I (and many others) have been trying like crazy to get them in the national spotlight. They need to be held accountable for what they teach "in the name of god." The Shatz case is beyond heartbreaking. My blood boils every time I think about it.

    Please don't give up on this! I hope it will grab more and more attention, and "To Train Up a Child" will eventually be outlawed. I'm all for freedom of speech, but what they teach is abuse and it's illegal. There should not be manuals for breaking the law, and how to torture your babies and children with plumbing line.

    August 15, 2011 at 10:42 pm |

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