Discipline debate: Where to draw the line when teaching a lesson

George Pacheco (Source: RCSO)
George Pacheco (Source: RCSO)

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - An Augusta man was sentenced after he plead guilty to child abuse. Investigators say last May, George Pacheco went too far when he spanked his child after bringing home a bad report card.

The discipline debate has gone on for decades. A more interesting question is where do you draw the line when you're trying teach your children a lesson.

Jay Posey, father of a 2, 4, and 8-year-old admits that he's not a fan of spankings, but sometimes they're necessary.

"Disciplining your children is teaching them lessons, if they don't do what they're suppose to, you have to discipline them," Posey said.

Investigators said Pacheco's child was left with redness and swelling to the face neck and back.

"Its kind of a tough line, I mean anything that you're going to harm the children, doing it out of anger, that's abuse. Discipline you're doing it out of love," Posey told WFXG.

According to Sgt. Shane Mcdaniel with the Richmond County Sheriff's Office, Pacheco crossed that 'tough line.'

"If you're get to where you're causing whelp marks that are red and puffy, then you've probably gone a little too far," McDaniel said.

Jennifer Mosley says she's spanked before, but she relies on other methods of discipline.

"We definitely do the sit down talks, I've realized that its better if you reward them for their good behavior rather than discipline them for their bad behavior," said Mosely

Regardless of which side of the debate you're on, law enforcement says that physical discipline isn't illegal.

"There's no law stating that you can't discipline your child, or your teenager, because you can, but you need to be mindful of how you do that," said Mcdaniel.

Parents and law enforcement do agree on one thing. They both said the best way to avoid going overboard, is just to walk away.

"If you feel like you're getting too angry then just stop altogether," Mcdaniel said.

"Just kind of walk out, calm down, and if you're going to discipline your child, make sure you have it set when you come back. You never want to do it out of straight anger," Posey said.

"We walk away or we just send him to his room and say no TV, but there's plenty of books in there," Mosely said.