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CBC: Second Ont. family faces spanking probe

Date: JUL-13-02
Source: CBC
Keywords: Bible, use of objects, investigation, foster care
Posted: JUL-14-02
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Second Ont. family faces spanking probe

AYLMER, ON - Church of God Pastor Henry Hildebrandt is upset that a second family in his congregation is being investigated for the way they discipline their children.

The family was called to the offices of the local Children's Aid Society for questioning Wednesday night.

The mother had appeared on CBC TV to discuss the use of objects in disciplining children. She said that a strap is used only as a last resort, and that her children know the discipline is given with love.

That information was enough for the society to open the investigation.

In July 2001, seven other children were taken in by authorities who were concerned about corporal punishment in their home. The four boys and three girls, aged six to 14, were also members of the Church of God congregation.

They were kept in foster care for about three weeks. Their parents are being prosecuted this month. Court has been told that it was devastating and traumatic for the children to be taken from their home.

The hearing in that case is scheduled to resume next week. Defence lawyers are trying to have the charges thrown out because of the way the investigation was conducted.

The church's pastor said he was stunned by the latest probe. He said the Children's Aid Society had promised to contact him before approaching other families about the way children are disciplined.

"This to me just sent the wrong signal," Hildebrandt told CBC Thursday. Last year, two other families in the congregation fled the country after being investigated.

The church believes that corporal punishment is endorsed by the Bible.

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