It’s not OK to abuse children

By Christina Rocha

Imagine when you were a teenager. Did you ever get into trouble? Well, almost every teenager gets into some kind of trouble at one time or another. When I saw a video of a disabled girl named Hillary who has cerebral palsy who was beat by her parents with a belt and cursed at her, I was disturbed by this. The only crime that this teenager committed was  going on her computer and downloading music and games without her parents’ permission.

According to her father he was just disciplining his daughter. When the reporter asked the father why he beat his daughter that way, the father said, “In my mind, I have not done anything wrong other than discipline my child after she was caught stealing.” Hillary had a video camera hidden in her room without her parents’ knowledge. About six or seven years later she posted the video on YouTube. The reason why she posted it was because she wanted her father to be aware of what he was doing to her.

After she posted that video on YouTube, the viewers got angry and also posted their comments about the video.  Hillary and her mom went on ABC News. The girl said, “I just wanted somebody to see it and tell me, ‘no, Hillary this wasn’t your fault and I’m glad you were able to grow up and move on past this and no, your dad was not right.’”

According to Hillary, she was beaten every day. She has a younger sister and she is concerned about her sister’s welfare. Some people made angry phone calls to the courthouse, sheriff’s office and police department, which prompted a police investigation into the matter. The saddest part is that Hillary’s father is a judge who is supposed to defend and protect children.

When I was a teenager my cousin and I got into a lot of trouble. I remembered when I was in my pre- teens and my cousin asked me, “Let’s go for a walk.” It never crossed my mind to ask my parents’ permission if we could go. My cousin and I took my younger brother and my younger cousin for a walk.

When my parents looked through the window and saw that we were not there, they got so scared because they did not see us.  My parents drove around the block and saw us and told us to go back to the house. We were in trouble because we did not ask them if we could take my cousin and my brother for a walk.

My parents never spanked or yelled at me and my brother. My parents made a promise to each other that when they had their own kids they would never spank or yell at them. When my brother and I got into trouble our parents would explain to us what we did wrong and why we should not do it again.   We talked about it together without getting a spanking or getting yelled at.

Bottom line, Hillary’s poor judgment was not a serious crime. Nevertheless, Hillary’s father should have never used corporal punishment. Instead he should have used a better method, like my parents did.  It would have been better if he would have talked to her. He could have explained why it was wrong for her to download music and games without asking permission,  and then explain the consequence she would be getting for using poor judgment.

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