Corporal punishment and the 'Bible Belt'

Corporal punishment legal along the Bible Belt. / Jessica Fairley

Corporal punishment is a method parents use across the globe to discipline children, but in the United States it has a tendency to be linked to the south. However, people around Albany who encountered spankings and paddlings child say they don't necessarily associate it to one region.

"Spare the rod, spoil the child" is a quote from the Bible that people use as a guideline on how to render children. Parents use the corporal punishment method at home and over 20 states around the country considers it acceptable in schools. Many of those states sit directly on the Bible belt.

"The church wouldn't want to see it go to the extreme but I think with moderation, children do need a certain amount of punishment and I think that corporal punishment is a means of discipline," said Bethel A.M.E. Pastor Rev. Ernest Davis Jr.

Davis says he believes in the Bible's teachings as far as how to raise a child. In fact, he says without it, children may be left lacking.

"If we spare discipline and we are too lenient then we don't do our children a benefit. We actually handicap them," said Davis.

Although Davis believes in this philosophy, he says he still doesn't think corporal punishment is tied to the south and others agree.

"I don't think that it's just a southern thing," said Albany resident Demetrice Jones.

"It's a southern stereotype. I think it's one of the things that's perpetuated just because we're associated with that in the south," said Albany shopper Carol Ham.

Most people say it's about upbringing. They say what you saw and encountered as a child will go with you from youth into adulthood.

"If you received time outs when you were a kid, that's what you do with your own kids. If you were whipped when you were growing up, that's what you do with your own children," said Ham.

Although the practice of corporal punishment is legal in many states, it has been on the decline in recent years.

This is a follow-up to a story FOX 31 news released concerning child abuse. To view that story follow this link.