We Can’t Spank Them,
But We Can Arrest Them—or Shoot Them!
by Kenny Gardner

Two recent news stories (both sad, and one very tragic) caught our attention recently. A few months ago a high school student in south Texas was shot and killed by police after bringing a gun to school and pointing it at police (turned out to be a very realistic looking toy gun). A few weeks ago an elementary school child in Georgia was arrested by police when she threw a temper tantrum.

It occurred to me how odd it is that legally (in most places) students cannot be spanked for misbehaving, but they can be arrested—or shot and killed. Think about it—nowadays police are stationed on public school campuses and students, who cannot be spanked, can be arrested or even killed by police—and it’s all legal!

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather see teachers spanking students than see police arresting or shooting students. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think there were as many arrests and police shootings at schools when corporal punishment was practiced. I remember students getting spanked when I was in school (I was one of them—more than once), but I don’t remember any of them getting handcuffed or shot by police.

Of course, a number of passages in the Bible encourage corporal punishment. One of them seems to suggest that parents and teachers who do not practice corporal punishment are actually contributing to the death of children. According to the NIV, Proverbs 19:18 says, “Discipline your son, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to his death.

Did I read that correctly? If I do not discipline my child, then I am “a willing party to his death”! Well, that’s what it says. And Proverbs 23:14 says the same thing—corporal punishment saves a child from death (the King James Version says spanking saves a child from hell).

This is not to criticize the police—I respect and support them and the work they do—but I’m glad I was spanked by my teachers and not arrested or shot by police!

Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him” (Proverbs 13:24, ESV).

Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him” (Proverbs 22:15, ESV).

Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you strike him with a rod, he will not die. If you strike him with the rod, you will save his soul from Sheol” (Proverbs 23:13-14, ESV)

The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother” (Proverbs 29:15, ESV)

Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; he will give delight to your heart” (Proverbs 29:17, ESV).