A sheriff’s office in Arkansas (Stone County) is investigating as abuse the use of a switch as punishment at a church camp.
Somehow, this surprises me a little bit given prevailing attitudes on corporal punishment in some quarters of the state. Next: Persuading the Arkansas legislature to end legalized hitting of children in schools by adults in the name of discipline.
On June 30, 2017, deputies with the Stone County Sheriff’s Department responded to Dump Mountain Road in Stone County, in reference to an abuse call. The complainant stated that a “youth camp” was being conducted at the Bethel Church Camp.
It is alleged that a youth counselor from the Trumann, Arkansas area was in charge of several juveniles between the ages of 11 and 17, when he took it upon himself to discipline the juveniles, with a switch. According to the parents of the juveniles and the juveniles themselves, after being struck with the switch, marks and bruising were left on the juvenile’s bodies.
The Trumann Police Department has been contacted to assist in the interview process. All of the alleged victims are juveniles, and names will not be released.
The alleged suspect has been identified however, he had left the camp prior to deputies being contacted. The investigation is being aggressively pursued and we hope to have closure by the end of the week, at which time it will be forwarded to the Sixteenth Judicial Prosecuting Attorney.
Sheriff Lance Bonds