The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

01 May 2005

Mixed Messages From Department Of Social Services

Felony Charge For Spanking

Father Arrested After Single Belt Incident

It doesn't take much these days for parents to end up on the local social services department's most wanted list.

Just ask Charles Enloe, a Plymouth, Mass., father of a 12-year-old boy, who dared to use corporal punishment after his son failed to return from school with homework, according to the
Boston Herald.

Now, despite any previous criminal history, Enloe finds himself facing a serious felony charge, assault with a deadly weapon!

While personally, I think using a belt on a child is rather extreme, accounts here differ. Enloe says he spanked his son lightly three times, his son says there was a belt, but no injuries were apparent.

One obvious conflict of interest: it's his ex-wife who is pressing the matter with authorities, insisting on the felony charges. Might someone care to question her motives?

The social service bureaucrats are sending mixed messages that punch holes right through the validity of any felony charges: they consider it a "non-emergency" investigation and have already placed him back in his father's care.

If he's really an "abuser" than why do Department of Social Services caseworkers feel it's safe to return the boy to his home?

What's interesting is that felony charges have been filed, yet Massachusetts law is clear, based a Supreme Judicial Court ruling, that parents are allowed to use physical punishment, as long as it doesn't result in a "substantial risk" of injury.

One would imagine that Plymouth County prosecutors might not want to waste a great deal of time on this matter.

(Boston Herald- 1 May 2005- Casey Ross- Franci Richardson)

Enloe, who insists he has no personal animosity toward police, said he is mostly upset that spanking his son could constitute a felony. He said he lightly tapped his son on the rear end three times after the boy forgot to bring his homework home from school.
Enloe said his son became scared after the spanking and called his mother, Diana Dematteo, who contacted police and filed for a temporary restraining order. The next day, police arrested Enloe on the felony assault charge and took him to lockup, where he spent two hours before being charged in court. He pleaded innocent and was released on a promise to return June 1.
Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy Cruz said yesterday prosecutors will monitor the case to decide how to proceed if it reaches a jury trial. Meantime, debate will continue over when public authorities should become involved in private discipline.
``We have too much tolerance for violence in this country,'' said Dr. Kathleen Malley-Morrison, a Boston University professor who specializes in family violence. ``Research shows that if we raise children without spanking them, they look better and they're psychologically healthier.''
Enloe said the problem is not too much tolerance for violence, but a lack of tolerance for parents' beliefs on discipline. ``I did it out of love,'' he said of the spanking. ``. . . That's all a parent wants, is for their child to grow up right.''

(Welcome OrbusMax Readers- To Main Page For Monday morning's HorsesAss.Org Controversy and New Seattle Radio Ratings Mean Trouble For Talkers)


  • I hope Charles Enloe is prosecuted for assault. It's a felony to hit your wife or dog, children deserve at least as much legal protection! "Just say no" to hitting, the world will be a better place. Hitting just teaches that violence solves problems, and it doesn't. All the adults crying about "discipline" well "discipline" means "to teach" not "to hit"! It should be illegal to hit kids, it's dangerous and inhumane and over 100 studies have shown harmful effects from hitting. There are better ways to treat human beings. This Enloe character needs parenting classes, cheesh, hitting your own child because they forgot their homework...!!! And don't blame his ex-wife, she's right to protect her child from this abuser. It's called maternal instinct, some women still have it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 13 May, 2005 05:49  

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